Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Joel Wiener: Agent of gentrification

From Crains:

In the world of New York housing, where landlord-tenant battles are both routine and brutal, Joel Wiener has plenty of scars.

One of the city’s top 10 rental apartment owners, Wiener’s been sued for overcharges and shoddy repairs, and denounced by politicians for making housing too expensive for the working class.

None of it, though, has slowed his rise. From a disclosed net worth of $124 million in 2001, the 68-year-old Wiener today has a fortune of $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s benefited from soaring property values as gentrification spreads to one city neighborhood after another.

His Pinnacle Group manages about $2 billion worth of property—some 10,000 units, almost all rent-regulated, in every New York borough save Staten Island. The firm has also made millions converting about 25 buildings to condominiums.

Through his lawyer, Ken Fisher, Wiener declined to comment on his net worth.

Kim Powell, who co-founded an anti-Wiener group called Buyers and Renters United to Save Harlem in 2005, says his wealth has come at the expense of tenants.

Powell and other critics say landlords like Wiener are helping to accelerate the demise of affordable housing by snapping up buildings in once undesirable neighborhoods and driving out existing tenants with high rents. Gentrification was a major issue in the recent campaign that saw Mayor Bill de Blasio elected to a second term. He’s pledged to build 300,000 affordable units by 2026.

“The harassment comes dressed up in a pinstripe suit,” Powell said. “This is a family empire that’s mushroomed into a billion-dollar estate.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

His Pinnacle Group manages about $2 billion worth of property—some 10,000 units, almost all rent-regulated
...
Powell and other critics say landlords like Wiener are helping to accelerate the demise of affordable housing by snapping up buildings in once undesirable neighborhoods and driving out existing tenants with high rents.

So which is it? Are his units mostly rent regulated or is he pushing people out with market rate? How can you "anti-gentrification" people even hope to fight... whatever it is you're exactly fighting if you can't even get your facts straight?

JQ LLC said...

Since there is a paywall to this story it's difficult to analyze this. But actually it isn't. For scumlords like the incarcerated Steve Croman and shit-for-brains white house advisor Jared Kushner also owned and managed buildings with rent-regulated apartments and pulled the same bullshit and profited also until Steve got caught and Jared left town to damage the nation and the world. And also, of course, all the bastard predatory developers who bought the feeble corrupt ideologue mayor.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/bill-de-blasio-slumlords_n_3862981.html

And it's not like the neighborhoods these rapacious predators are undesirable, because Ridgewood is mostly middle class and it's starting to feel the pinch with new towers going up and fabricated exorbitant speculation of property and rentals, bringing up the property tax rate slowly killing homeowners and ethical landlords. In addition to all the frivolous spending imbeciles flocking there because of a perceived hipness cachet of the town, bring up the area median income rate.

These are the results happening by the second from the tenets and tactics of the Gentrification Industrial Complex.

Here is the same article published in full on Bloomberg, owned by the former mayor who enabled this jerk. It points out that he gave a million dollar settlement to tenants for his egregious management and racking up dubious costs for repairs to avoid going to court.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-20/billionaire-landlord-finds-fortune-in-nyc-s-gentrification-boom

Anonymous said...

>Since there is a paywall to this story it's difficult to analyze this.

Here's an archive link for you.
http://archive.is/yEatP

Crappy should consider posting archive links along with the original link for any article behind a pay wall.

Tommy Efreeti said...

Thanks for the informative and well-written comment JQ LLC. GIC...that's a good term for it.

The City may never do this but ideally backing single-residency home-ownership would go a long way towards preserving outer-borough QOL. Most people don't know this, but Bloomie actually downzoned huge swaths of SE/NE Queens towards the end of his tenure. It's a completely different way of life not too far out, and that's a good thing - the City doesn't need to be turned into some cookie-cutter megalopolis.

Residents with permanent, well, residences tend to be more invested and concerned with the well-being of their communities. Ideally you do this out of a a sense of community, not just caring about your property values, but the result is the same.