Thursday, May 19, 2016

Victory for the Tenants of 2020 Broadway and 143 West 69 Street: Albertina is CLOSED!!

Exactly one year ago we were concerned about a known arsonist renting the space formerly known as Tani.

We created a Change (dot) org petition to encourage our landlord, ABC Properties, not to rent the space to someone with a history of burning down their establishments.

It was frightening for many to think our lives were in danger. That, at any moment, we’d perish in a disastrous fire and, for many, be just another news item in the media.

To the astonishment of many of us – the store opened just a couple of months ago under the name of: ALBERTINA.

Our landlord insisted the original tenant’s deal had “fallen through.”

I never believed that to be the case. Many of you did not buy that either.

The way these businesses (restaurant/arsonists) work is they rent a space. They get insurance. They inflate the money they spend. They open for a while. And then they have an “accidental” fire. In short – the restauranteur/arsonist walks away with a profit – and in many cases, the landlord is free to build another structure.

Perhaps a co-op building. Perhaps a condo building.

I was so very afraid (as many of you were) that it would be our very horrible fate.


Which means we WON.



Some of you who live at 2020 had the additional burden of excessive noise, excessive building vibrations, and many sleepless nights because of the middle of the night food deliveries.

Some people hired attorneys.

Some people stopped paying their rent.

The landlord attempted to mitigate some of the complaints.

It is important for everyone to remember: We, as renters, have rights.

We have the right to live in a safe environment.

We have the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment”  

A quick review:

With every lease, a tenant gets the following rights:

1.   Privacy: A reasonable expectation of privacy;
2.   Peace & Quiet: Including the freedom from unreasonable and recurring disturbances from the landlord and/or other neighbors;
3.   Right of Use: Exclusive right of use, except for landlord’s reasonable right of access;
4.   Safety & Security: A premise & dwelling that provide adequate security and are free of bodily hazards;
5.   Basic Utilities: Access to basic services such as electricity, heat and hot water, which are also part of the implied warranty of habitability.

We are neighbors. We are a community. Together, we can (as we have done many times now) make our homes a better place.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in signing our petition – each one of you saved not only your life, but the lives of your neighbors.

Please pass this information on to your neighbors who may not be on our mailing list.

Thank you.

Kirby Sommers, President
Cornfeld Tenants Association