Monday, January 26, 2009

Big brother is watching at Rockrose

From the NY Times:

Rockrose Development Corporation markets itself as something of a cruise director, fostering a sense of fun and neighborhood spirit in its luxury rental buildings fitted with pools, barbecue grills and party rooms.

But one former tenant, David Griffiths, now thinks of the real estate developer as more akin to Big Brother.

Mr. Griffiths, an information technology consultant, and his wife, Katy — who is pregnant — had to move in November when Rockrose declined to renew their lease at its EastCoast waterfront development in Long Island City, Queens.

A Rockrose employee, he said, told him it was because he had posted critical comments about the building on the Internet.

“It’s very ‘1984,’ ” said Mr. Griffiths, 38, a Briton who seems mystified to find himself part of the turbulent annals of New York landlord-tenant relations.

“I feel like I’m in the early chapters of a George Orwell novel,” said one tenant who also posted complaints on the forum and fears he is “next on the hit list.”

“If this is supposed to be like living on a cruise ship, call me seasick,” said the tenant, who asked that his name not be published, for fear of inflaming relations with Rockrose.

39 comments:

Lino in Manhattan said...

From article:"Rockrose’s treatment of Mr. Griffiths was “obnoxious,” but legal, said Maddy Tarnofsky, a tenants’ lawyer who tangled with the company....."

"Rent-regulated tenants’ complaints are legally protected, she said, even if they are “hanging a landlord in effigy outside the building,” but landlords of market-rate apartments do not need a reason to refuse a renewal."

These are the conditions the now-indicted Joe Bruno would have inflicted on three million New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says

Rockrose is famous for its shabby treatment - expecially at the start of the building process, they are slow to pay out to their sub-contractors,making them suffer thru the billing process and fighting every item, and holding back retainage on the billing, but I am sure they charge big rents and want it on time.

Big developers are going to put more people on unemployment, than any other section of work.

Anonymous said...

How is this "Big Brother" when a guy is making public comments in a public forum? Please.
Rent stabilization has been a complete failure. We need to really get rid of it for everyone except the elderly or disabled. Everyone would benefit.

Astorians.com Mods said...

You can always move over to Astoria and post something criticizing the community.

We can then ban you, too.

Anonymous said...

You mean even the mod that posted he likes hairy guys?

Anonymous said...

Yes, him too.

Where is Wade Nichols?

Anonymous said...

Keep on rockin' the "Rose"
with criticism!

Isn't the ownership of "Rockrose" Iranian?

Queens Crapper said...

He didn't post in a public forum, he posted in a private forum that Rockrose infiltrated. He also isn't a rent stabilized tenant.

Anonymous said...

No tenant has enough money to take this way up to the US Supreme Court
on his own, but a class action suit should be filed by some advocacy group.

EVEN IF YOU SIGN A LEASE forbidding
bad mouthing a shoddy landlord....

THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO SIGN AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!

Sue that mother fucking Rockrose!

kane said...

I hate to say it, but what Rockrose is doing does not violate the Constitution or any laws. In order to be a First Amendment issue there has to be state action. With both the tenant and Rockrose being private parties, it is impossible for Rockrose to infringe on the First Amendment rights of tenants.

Secondly, and I'm surprised no one has brought this up, if Griffiths was so critical of Rockrose why did he want to renew his lease? If the place was bad enough to badmouth on the internet why would you want to continue to live there and bring your child into that environment?

I'm not defending or negating either side, just playing a little devil's advocate.

Anonymous said...

He formed a Google Group. He personally approved whoever was in the group. Maybe someone in the group mentioned something, or one of the tenants works for Rockrose. Regardless, when the heading said "Big brother," I was expecting to hear that they were bugging the apartments or had video surveillance. You can say that what Rockrose did was petty, but I don't see a Big brother situation.

Anonymous said...

Hey there are little things to bitch about no matter where we live. It doesn't mean we want to pick up and move. Also, his wife is expecting, so that may have been another reason to stay put for another year or so. Regardless, when asked to produce, the company doesn't seem to have evidence against him that he was really trashing the place.

Anonymous said...

Rockrose is run by several Iranian Jewish brothers named Elghanayan. They grew up on Rockrose Place in Forest Hills Gardens, and if you google their name you will see info on their father's indictment. I think the family got out of Iran after the boys' uncle, Habib Elghanayan-- leader of the Jewish community in Iran-- was executed by the ayatollah.

As developers, they generally self-finance. They started out concentrated in downtown Manhattan, rehabbing old buildings, and after 9/11 started really spreading out geographically.

Nasty gossip dept: Brother Tom's (I think it was)divorce was pretty hot stuff, both in terms of the wife's accusations and the finances involved (hundreds of millions). The then ex-wife later hooked up with Gov. Corzine. Thems just folks, I guess.

Anonymous said...

is the problem of Big Brother widespread?
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/27/renters-forced-out-of-stuyvesant-town/
is the problem global?
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23391081-details/George+Orwell,+Big+Brother+is+watching+your+house/article.do
is the thought police widespread?
http://www.philipcoppens.com/1984.html
Is the American Family being destroyed?
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/70575
Corruption of the political process, possibly including Illinois
Governor 'selling the office'
Landlord power and who cares about pregnancy or family?
http://www.nysun.com/new-york/harassment-weighed-as-battle-of-tenants-landlords/84145/
'Harassment' Weighed as Battle Of Tenants, Landlords Heats Up
Think twice about moving to New York City.
The landlord prefers not to talk about super-resistant rats,
pesticide poisonings of pregnant women, crime rates,
big brother cameras, and anonymous tips to the police resulting in
Drug Raids. According to the government identity theft is rapidly
increasing and drug raids. Informant consultant pay-offs to prevent
unions.
High level anti-tenant from 'Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man' type
operatives trained at WalMart, etc.

Maspethian said...

"EVEN IF YOU SIGN A LEASE forbidding
bad mouthing a shoddy landlord....

THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO SIGN AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!"

Yeah, but thats not what happened.

Where in the Constitution does it say that a landlord is obligated to renew a lease? You are well justified in criticizing on moral grounds, but stop waiving the Constitution around when it doesnt control.

Anonymous said...

Everyone - this is not a First Amendment issue. The First Amendment protects against government actions restricting free speech. It does not apply to non-governmental transactions.

What does the ethnic or religious background of the developer have to do with anything? Oh, this is Queens Crap . . .

Anonymous said...

"What does the ethnic or religious background of the developer have to do with anything?"

Things are different in Iran. What's going on at Rockrose kind of brings Tehran a little closer to home.

Anonymous said...

What does the ethnic or religious background of the developer have to do with anything?


AS FAR AS THE MACHINE IS CONCERNED, ETHNICITY IS EVERTHING.

YOU CANT FLUSH A TIOLET IN QUEENS WITHOUT SOME HACK BLATHERING SOMETHING ABOUT ETHNICISITY

Anonymous said...

i'll tell you a bit what ethnicity might mean in terms of this case. i speak from personal knowledge about this. when many iranian jews (and other iranians) fled iran when the shah got was deposed, they left with lots and lots of money. not all of them of course. but the shah's government was incredibly corrupt, one of the most corrupt in the world at that time. a lot of the initial money that iranians came to the west with was not honestly made. i'm sure many will attack this statement as being racist or bigoted or jealous , but it's true.

Lino said...

...."a lot of the initial money that iranians came to the west with was not honestly made."

In 1994 I was looking at buying an apt in Forest Hills, my favorite area outside of Manhattan. At the time there were many 2 bdrm co-ops in postwar bldgs along Queens blvd near Continental ave in the 50K range.

I started talking to the locals at one of my restaurant locations. Most of worst complaints came from older Jewish resident who pointed me toward several "clubs" along the blvd that catered to the Russian Jewish mafia.

I got an earful of the rackets they were involved with ie: fake documents and insurance fraud etc.

These are the same tales that friends who lived in Brooklyn told of 'Russian" immigrants buying $800K waterfront properties while still FOB with no apparent source of income.

If you walk along certain sections of Qns-blvd there are several establishments that have sinister air to them complete with sopranos types in front.

Hopefully we'll get an administration that cleans out this mess but given the political realities of this city, I'am not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

>>I got an earful of the rackets they were involved with ie: fake documents and insurance fraud etc.

These are the same tales that friends who lived in Brooklyn told of 'Russian" immigrants buying $800K waterfront properties while still FOB with no apparent source of income.

Ive heard the same too and felt some of the "vibe" of a few places in that area.

Anonymous said...

I guess all Italians are corrupt criminals since "many," "but not all of them of course" made a lot of money from mafia activities. Yes, all Italians must be low-life criminals because of this.
Looks like Queens Crap is a forum for ignorant bigotry again . . .

Anonymous said...

With some of the comments here seems that some of the infamous mods from astorians.com are here.

The point is that in this country our custom is permitting anyone to say anything about anyone.

Slander or libel is one thing. Shouting fire in a crowded theatre when there is none, and starting a stampede is something else.

But the point is when there is censorship, whether its a self-styled community blog like astorians where the mods activily keep out anything that effect real estate prices or politicans reputation, or this gentlemen who wants to comment about the conditions of his home, the public every right to insist on a free and public forum.

And a special note to our friends at astorians: as long as you ban people and keep them banned, you will be slammed here.

I would suggest you wise up and don't get into a pissing match with ol Crappy.

Anonymous said...

Kane...you're wrong.

Unless you're an attorney....consult one before you speak.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Iranian Jewish
info posted on Rockrose was intended as just that... PURE INFORMATIVE INFORMATION!

Stop raising these knee jerk anti Semitic innuendos.

Anonymous said...

Stop raising these knee jerk anti Semitic innuendos.

You have to learn to *embrace* the racism and anti-semitism. This is Queens Crap!

Anonymous said...

PURE INFORMATIVE INFORMATION

Yeah sure. At least in the old days you would have had the courage to put on a white hood and let your true feeling known. Nowadays you just let innuendo do the talking. Such is the way of the crapper and their kind. no wonder you are banned from astorians. Who would want this hateful speach?

Anonymous said...

kane is correct in that this was not a First Amendment violation since Rockrose is not a government entity.

I guess all Germans are homicidal maniacs since many, though not all of course, were homicidal maniacs during WWII.

astorian.com is a joke said...

Yeah sure. At least in the old days you would have had the courage to put on a white hood and let your true feeling known. Nowadays you just let innuendo do the talking. Such is the way of the crapper and their kind. no wonder you are banned from astorians. Who would want ...

---------

Its funny how the mods at astorians.com are always being called Nazis.

Now there was one group that liked everthing real neat and tidy.

Anonymous said...

*You have to learn to *embrace* the racism and anti-semitism. This is Queens Crap!

You should embrace the non questioning pathetic astorians blog and see if theres any discourse over there.The few idiots on here who say slurs get called on it. Its another thing to talk about history.That sad developer blog wouldnt know about that because there busy being PC and making plans for hollow social meetings that amount to patting themseleves on the back not actually looking at the community around them. Enjoy the new development astorians and watch yourself be priced out.

Anonymous said...

????Such is the way of the crapper and their kind. no wonder you are banned from astorians. Who would want this hateful speach?

Nothing of importance is talked about on astorians blog except for high school mentality plans for outings. Crapper has called out people saying dumb racist things.There is no disagreement on astorians pseudo blog about the local political atmosphere(overdevelopment,bloomberg, gentrification) or let alone globally.

Anonymous said...

Crapper never calls out racist statements, especially when the racist supports whatever position Crapper is taking. Your comment is a joke.
Who cares about the astorians blog? I don't read it, don't live in Astoria, and never comment on it. It has nothing to do with the pervasive bigoted and racist comments made on this blog.

dear mods @ astorians.com said...

Well there you have it lads, so what will you do?

Will you continue to ban red meat and your own community from the blog, or will you grit you teeth and open astorians.com to well the community of astorians?

Your clubhouse minders should understand that the rules are different - we are not clannish Greek and Italian peasants (though we boast a lot of their sharp tongued offspring here) and the old world of controlling information (and keeping your community in the dark) by being buddies with the editor of the local newspapers no longer holds true.

It’s bad enough that Astoria (and Dutch Kills) are a city-wide laughing stock already when it comes to development, and both their sorry-assed politicians and community board.

It’s bad enough that you think a proliferation of third world dining establishments makes your community upscale (ready to compete with Manhattan non the less)

Its bad enough the two bit crooks that run your community are running it into the ground as they turn it over to developers for a song

Now your actions are bringing dishonor to the very area you claim to represent.

Is your stiff necked self-righteousness worth it?

You have a choice.

Lift your ban on your own residents, or get kicked over and over again as the entire city watching laughs at you.

We are not going anywhere and you can expect little notes like this on a regular basis.

Is it worth it?

Anonymous said...

Why do you read this blog then, if its so racist? You feel you have some kind of duty to protect NYC against so-called "bigots"? Or did your handlers send you here to boost the mayor's rep in Queens? That's why you're posting about how great Ray Kelly is and how great all the crap architecture is, right?

Queens Crapper said...

I deleted 2 racist comments this morning where someone's "ass" was threatened because of his race and suspected sexual orientation.

I decided against getting on a soapbox about it and just took care of it.

Anonymous said...

"Racism" is often used as an excuse for messing up Queens. No longer, pal.

Anonymous said...

Crappy, I suspect some of the over the top comments posted here are ringers by 'tha boyz' to try to make Crappy look bad.

Anonymous said...

"What does the ethnic or religious background of the developer have to do with anything?"

Things are different in Iran. What's going on at Rockrose kind of brings Tehran a little closer to home.

Especially since they grew up in Forrest Hills? You are just looking for a way to bring their race into it.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right...
anytime someone divulges the ethnicity or religious background of a particular individual or group they're wearing a "white hood"?

C-mon fella,
stop jerking our chains with that same tired old swill when you've got no intelligent arguments to offer!

Somebody
appears to be off their meds again!

Nah...he's just plain 'ol stupid and that's a full time 24/7 job!