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(Gothamist)   How one crazy, old, unemployed Ph.D turned his rent stabilized Manhattan hovel into $17 million   (gothamist.com) divider line 158
    More: Hero, Ph.D., Manhattan, Herb Sukenik, Central Park West, Mayflower Hotel, Central Park South, MRIs, Mayflower  
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26797 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Mar 2014 at 9:22 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



158 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-02 06:49:44 PM
And to think, they could have had it  for the additional cost of 2 meals a week, maybe $200 extra.
 
2014-03-02 07:19:52 PM
UP did it better.
 
2014-03-02 07:53:03 PM
Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-02 08:54:44 PM
And who says rent control doesn't help the people who need it?
 
2014-03-02 08:56:52 PM

InterruptingQuirk: Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

[img.fark.net image 345x203]


No kidding.  It sounds like he was exactly smart enough for his own good.
 
2014-03-02 09:30:39 PM
In the old days this jamoke would have just been found face-down in a crossword puzzle one morning.
 
2014-03-02 09:30:49 PM
So being a bitter old douchebag with a good memory can get you millions of dollars?

I can't wait to grow old!
 
2014-03-02 09:32:44 PM
A hit man would have been cheaper
 
2014-03-02 09:34:33 PM
Well this has some real humanistic components and emotional touch points that can be appreciated by roughly 0% of the populace.

He went on to confirm that he did now want money - even though he had no use for it, no kids, no charitable impulse, and didn't want to leave it to his brother.

Who can't relate to this?
 
2014-03-02 09:36:10 PM
And the winner is.....the lawyers!!!
 
2014-03-02 09:37:57 PM
So is he some opportunistic NIMBY blocking development or is he a champion of the people for shaking down some housing developer?

I can't identify any good guys here.
 
2014-03-02 09:39:58 PM
Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?
 
2014-03-02 09:42:02 PM

KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


It always make me happy to see a little grifter fark a big grifter.
 
2014-03-02 09:42:34 PM
Also: Gothamist excerpted (read: copied) most of the article from the NYPost:

http://nypost.com/2014/03/02/hotel-hermit-got-17m-to-make-way-for-15 -c entral-park-west/

Don't be like Gawker, Gothamist. Nobody likes a Gawker.
 
2014-03-02 09:43:45 PM
I don't think we are to look at him as a hero.   He's a millionaire, and I believe here on fark that millionaires are bad and to be vilified.

Tear this person down and sick the tax man on him.
 
2014-03-02 09:44:01 PM
I'd bet good money this gets turned into a movie soon.


KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


It's not extortion, it's capitalism. Why do you hate America?
 
2014-03-02 09:44:27 PM

super_grass: Also: Gothamist excerpted (read: copied) most of the article from the NYPost:

http://nypost.com/2014/03/02/hotel-hermit-got-17m-to-make-way-for-15 -c entral-park-west/

Don't be like Gawker, Gothamist. Nobody likes a Gawker.


The New York post is owned by Murdoch.  Gothamist did to the Post, what this crazy coot did do the developers.  Fark the both of them.
 
2014-03-02 09:44:41 PM

KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


So how does this developer getting the apartment building help you?  Extortion?  No, business.

So people should be required to help businesses just because?
 
2014-03-02 09:45:18 PM

toadist: I don't think we are to look at him as a hero.   He's a millionaire, and I believe here on fark that millionaires are bad and to be vilified.

Tear this person down and sick the tax man on him.


His estate will likely go to the state since he's a freaking hermit with no family or friends.
 
2014-03-02 09:45:35 PM

fusillade762: I'd bet good money this gets turned into a movie soon.


KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?

It's not extortion, it's capitalism. Why do you hate America?


It's only capitalism when the big guy farks the little guy.  The other way around is called a felony.
 
2014-03-02 09:50:00 PM
I thought rent control was a way to have affordable housing for poor mugs. It doesn't sound like the tenant deserved to be in rent control housing to start with.
 
2014-03-02 09:50:42 PM
How one crazy, old, unemployed Ph.D turned his rent stabilized Manhattan hovel into $17 million


Step 1: Live in 15 Central Park West, the city's most exclusive building. Everyone else is shiat outta luck.
 
2014-03-02 09:51:18 PM
ilarge.listal.com
 
2014-03-02 09:52:40 PM

BigNumber12: How one crazy, old, unemployed Ph.D turned his rent stabilized Manhattan hovel into $17 million


Step 1: Live in 15 Central Park West, the city's most exclusive building. Everyone else is shiat outta luck.


He won housing musical chairs fair and square, the rest of y'all can giiiit out.
 
2014-03-02 09:53:19 PM

grumpyoldmann: I thought rent control was a way to have affordable housing for poor mugs. It doesn't sound like the tenant deserved to be in rent control housing to start with.


I don't think he was covered under rent control, it was rent stabilization, very different rules that superseded rent control.  There are very few apartments in NYC still covered under the old rent control laws.
 
2014-03-02 09:53:42 PM
He'll die in three weeks and the developers will be all "AWW DAMN IT".
 
2014-03-02 09:56:32 PM

Mentat: InterruptingQuirk: Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

[img.fark.net image 345x203]

No kidding.  It sounds like he was exactly smart enough for his own good.


Actually, from the sound of things, it had nothing to do with what was good for him.  He had plenty of money already, no family to give the new money to, and nothing really to do with it.  He toyed with the developers because he was bored and pissed off that he didn't get free dinner.  That's it.  The developers had the really bad luck to be the only entertainment in a bored, angry, clever dude's life.
 
2014-03-02 10:02:32 PM
In the movie version John Malkovitch will play the crusty hermit. But we'll need a young Hispanic maid with a tragic back story who softens his rough edges and makes him see the beauty in life. Somebody get Demi Lovato on the phone.
 
2014-03-02 10:03:31 PM
New York City rental control laws are beyond stupid.  At one time, Santa Monica (California) came close, but I don't think anyone can ever match the NYC stupidity.
 
2014-03-02 10:06:00 PM
Rent-stabilized tenants in the outer boroughs are increasingly facing malign neglect from greedy landlords

Uh, no, malign neglect comes from landlords who can't earn a return on investment because of rent control, so they don't improve their buildings.

Santa Monica, CA has rent control. All the buildings are run down ugly crapholes. Nearby Westwood has no rent control, and all the apartment buildings are new and beautiful, some with giant gyms and other awesome amenities. You get what you freaking pay for.

Want to see crappy apartments? Go to a rent controlled city.
 
2014-03-02 10:06:16 PM

KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


All you ever hear about rent-control laws are the 90-year-old weirdos living in broom closets in trillion-dollar buildings and paying 38¢ a week. The abuses go as much in the other direction as with any other law, which is to say that the people who can buy and sell entire blocks of Midtown generally do a little better than the people who signed leases in the 1940s.

So the short answer as to why they don't make "common-sense" adjustments to rent-control laws (and I agree your idea is perfectly sensible) is that we don't really live in a common-sense world, especially where Manhattan real estate is concerned. Probably any attempt to reform the law would end it completely.
 
2014-03-02 10:07:14 PM

Emposter: Mentat: InterruptingQuirk: Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

[img.fark.net image 345x203]

No kidding.  It sounds like he was exactly smart enough for his own good.

Actually, from the sound of things, it had nothing to do with what was good for him.  He had plenty of money already, no family to give the new money to, and nothing really to do with it.  He toyed with the developers because he was bored and pissed off that he didn't get free dinner.  That's it.  The developers had the really bad luck to be the only entertainment in a bored, angry, clever dude's life.


In my mind(I know), it seems that this guy just didn't want to move and came up with increasingly more ridiculous requests just so they would leave him alone. The money was the only thing that they cared about and so it was the only way to make them feel anything about this situation.
 
2014-03-02 10:07:44 PM
Someone who has no delusions whatsoever must seem crazy to most people (obviously Subby).
 
2014-03-02 10:10:07 PM
Old man with a lot of money?

4.bp.blogspot.com

He can get a gold-digging wife for a few years, catch up on what he missed, for all its worth.
 
2014-03-02 10:11:50 PM

nytmare: He'll die in three weeks and the developers will be all "AWW DAMN IT".


He made it seven years.
 
2014-03-02 10:13:08 PM

Equilibrist: And to think, they could have had it  for the additional cost of 2 meals a week, maybe $200 extra.


I'm pretty sure that it wasn't the cost, but that the high-end restaurant didn't want to be continually inhabited by a foul-smelling curmudgeon.
 
2014-03-02 10:13:49 PM

semiotix: KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?

All you ever hear about rent-control laws are the 90-year-old weirdos living in broom closets in trillion-dollar buildings and paying 38¢ a week. The abuses go as much in the other direction as with any other law, which is to say that the people who can buy and sell entire blocks of Midtown generally do a little better than the people who signed leases in the 1940s.

So the short answer as to why they don't make "common-sense" adjustments to rent-control laws (and I agree your idea is perfectly sensible) is that we don't really live in a common-sense world, especially where Manhattan real estate is concerned. Probably any attempt to reform the law would end it completely.


I explained it in a post above.  The original rent control laws the Tea-Party derp-o-sphere loves to bring up as the norm in NYC were superseded by rent stabilization laws decades ago.   There are very few people living in apartments under the old rent control rules because, as you've pointed out,  those people have a median age of 107.  They find some geezer or biddy living in an apartment they leased in 1937 on which they are paying $47 a month in rent the Teahadists go ape-shiat about the injustice of it all.  Meanwhile, down on Wall St, the recent trillion dollar swindle is help up as an example of shrewd business.
 
2014-03-02 10:16:39 PM

Emposter: Mentat: InterruptingQuirk: Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

[img.fark.net image 345x203]

No kidding.  It sounds like he was exactly smart enough for his own good.

Actually, from the sound of things, it had nothing to do with what was good for him.  He had plenty of money already, no family to give the new money to, and nothing really to do with it.  He toyed with the developers because he was bored and pissed off that he didn't get free dinner.  That's it.  The developers had the really bad luck to be the only entertainment in a bored, angry, clever dude's life.


His motives weren't the issue, it was whether he was too smart for his own good.  That usually implies outsmarting yourself, which he clearly didn't do.
 
2014-03-02 10:18:00 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: nytmare: He'll die in three weeks and the developers will be all "AWW DAMN IT".

He made it seven years.


Wow, he really was a pioneer in life...
 
2014-03-02 10:22:50 PM
I don't see why there should be any hate for this guy at all.  He played the game like a master and got a nice little payday from some douche bag Manhattan real estate developers who will just pass the cost along to their ultra rich clients who won't even notice.
 
2014-03-02 10:22:55 PM

StanTheMan: Uh, no, malign neglect comes from landlords who can't earn a return on investment because of rent control, so they don't improve their buildings.


How many do you own?  Are you speaking from first hand experience?
The common tactic in these areas is for landlords to do anything they can to drive residents out.  So leaving the building as craphole as possible becomes a mark of pride for them.
 
2014-03-02 10:23:04 PM
In other news, you can oink up 17,000,000.00 for a small apartment and still make a profit off of people who want to live in an ant farm.
 
2014-03-02 10:24:08 PM

KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


It renews my faith in capitalism.
 
2014-03-02 10:24:36 PM

KAVORKA: Come on, there ought to be a rule where they can give him 10 years in a rent-free, comparable apartment.  Or something like that.  He basically extorted them, how does this help anybody except him?


You say that like it's a bad thing. Strange. God helps those who help themselves, so sayeth my mother. Though she never helped herself to seconds.
 
2014-03-02 10:25:48 PM

Starshines: I don't see why there should be any hate for this guy at all.  He played the game like a master and got a nice little payday from some douche bag Manhattan real estate developers who will just pass the cost along to their ultra rich clients who won't even notice already sold the building for $88

million.

ftfy.  I don't feel bad for them one iota.  I have an entire field of no-farks planted.
 
2014-03-02 10:27:50 PM

Starshines: I don't see why there should be any hate for this guy at all.  He played the game like a master and got a nice little payday from some douche bag Manhattan real estate developers who will just pass the cost along to their ultra rich clients who won't even notice.


yes, but if you want to go all circle of life the client's money came from some Russian plutocrat who made a mint selling gas to the Europeans through the Ukraine, for which said client was bribing the Ukrainian government and well....look at the news headlines.
 
2014-03-02 10:30:24 PM

bunner: In other news, you can oink up 17,000,000.00 for a small apartment and still make a profit off of people who want to live in an ant farm.


What a $65 MM ant farm may look like.
 
2014-03-02 10:30:42 PM
I live in a historic town filled with NYC commuters, so I just came in here to say fark developers to hell.
 
2014-03-02 10:32:30 PM
... using this one old, weird tip?
 
2014-03-02 10:32:50 PM

Mentat: Emposter: Mentat: InterruptingQuirk: Developer boohoo "this old guy is too smart for his own good"

Old guy:

[img.fark.net image 345x203]

No kidding.  It sounds like he was exactly smart enough for his own good.

Actually, from the sound of things, it had nothing to do with what was good for him.  He had plenty of money already, no family to give the new money to, and nothing really to do with it.  He toyed with the developers because he was bored and pissed off that he didn't get free dinner.  That's it.  The developers had the really bad luck to be the only entertainment in a bored, angry, clever dude's life.

His motives weren't the issue, it was whether he was too smart for his own good.  That usually implies outsmarting yourself, which he clearly didn't do.


Except, as I pointed out, he didn't need or even really want the money.  So he wasted between one and two years of the last 9 years of his life living it a construction zone because he was too smart to accept the earlier offer, and held out for an even larger amount that he apparently didn't want or need.  That sounds too smart for his own good to me.
 
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