The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Tag Archives: andres rios

BronxInk: “Troubled Bronx buildings flipped again”

Dyan Kerr deals with a wall of mold in her Williamsbridge apartment. (STEVEN GRABOSKI/The Bronx Ink)

This is an excellent article by Bronx Ink that reflects what is happening today to this infamous Bronx building portfolio in their fourth round of speculation. Who is Anthony Gazivoda and why did he pay so much for these dilapidated buildings? We still don’t have all the answers, but the current state of affairs is definitely troubling…

With a single tap of the finger, mailboxes open at 1585 East 172nd Street in Soundview. It’s a trick anyone can pull off.

“Social Security and Section 8 checks have gone missing,” said Andres Rios, the leader of the building’s tenant’s association.

Broken mailboxes are just one problem facing Rios’ building, one of six notoriously distressed buildings in Highbridge, Morris Heights and Soundview. The buildings have been in disrepair since 2006, bouncing from owner to owner, each either without a plan to fix them or the money to carry the plans out.

The buildings were sold again in September, this time to Bronx real estate agent Anthony Gazivoda, for $21.4 million. Gazivoda paid almost $7 million more than the previous owner, a surprisingly high purchase price that has tenants and housing advocates afraid that the new owner will find himself just as cash-strapped as the previous ones.

“There is no financial story that justifies that sale,” said Dina Levy, executive director of the Urban Housing Assistance Board, the advocacy group that has been following the plight of the buildings. “You can twist it but you still can’t justify it. There’s no amount of rationalization that gets you to $21 million. That’s troubling.”

Anthony Gazivoda did not respond to numerous interview requests.

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Daily News: “Irate tenants accuse Bluestone Group of ignoring slum conditions just like previous landlord.”

This morning, we wrung our hands and wracked our brains trying to make sense of the deal that Gazivoda Realty struck with Hudson Valley Bank and the Bluestone Group. As we stared at each other around our conference room, the Daily News published this article.

Daniel Beekman interviewed Andres Rios, tenant at 1585 E. 172nd street. Andres’s fury, and simple desire for a safe, livable home, strengthens our conviction that this deal does not make sense, and that the debt-dumping must be stopped. 

When the Bluestone Group bought the debt of six Bronx slums 15 months ago, it promised to fix up the rotten buildings and make life bearable there.

But tenant advocates warned that the Manhattan-based company had overpaid and was looking to make a quick buck.

Last week, Bluestone sold the debt for a handsome profit and walked away.

Now the tenements that sent slumlord Sam Suzuki to jail in June 2010 have their fourth owner in three years.

“You gotta to be careful who you invite to your house,” said Andres Rios, a tenant at 1585 E. 172nd St. in Bronx River. “Or the devil will bite you.”

Read more at The Daily News.

 

 

 

Crain’s New York: “Bronx apartment buildings flipped again”

A little more than a year ago, the Manhattan-based real estate investment group, the Bluestone Group, purchased the foreclosed debt on six run-down buildings in the Bronx for $10 million, promising tenants they were in it for the long haul and pledging to make substantial repairs.

But city officials and housing advocates were skeptical that the little-known Bluestone had the experience to rehabilitate such dilapidated housing, and worried they were seeking a quick pay day.

Read more at Crain’s New York.

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