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Borough President Stringer, Senator Squadron and Council Member Chin Celebrate Victory for Tenants of Independence Plaza North
Today, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and State Senator Daniel Squadron joined tenant leaders to celebrate and discuss the details of yesterday’s State Supreme Court ruling upholding the rent stabilization of tenants at Independence Plaza North in Downtown Manhattan because of J-51 tax breaks that the landlord received from the City.
Yesterday, Judge Marcy S. Friedman ruled that Independence Plaza North (IPN) is rent stabilized because it received J-51 tax benefits from the city both before and after exiting from the Mitchell Lama program and that HPD did not change that status when it permitted the landlord, Lawrence Gluck and Stellar Management to pay back the J-51 tax benefits.The ruling states that HPD’s determination to terminate IPN’s J-51 benefits was discretionary, not mandatory.
“When tenants sign a lease with their landlord, the tenant can’t just change the terms at their will. Yet, HPD allowed Lawrence Gluck to do just that when they accepted refunds for two years of J-51 tax benefits,” said Borough President Stringer. “I applaud this decision, and hope its terms send a clear signal to unscrupulous landlords aiming to subvert our city’s rent stabilization law to make a dime: rent stabilization is a solemn trust, not a relationship of convenience.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron said, "The Court’s ruling that Independence Plaza North is protected by rent stabilization is a huge victory not just for the tenants of IPN, but also for affordable housing across the city. J-51 tax abatements come with a benefit and an obligation, and this decision sends a strong message that landlords shouldn’t be able to accept one without living up to the other."
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