“Without a hint of remorse.”
That is how a recent New York Times report describes the sentiments of a city landlord with a reputed “notorious reputation” in the wake of his would-be empire’s collapse.
That universe was envisioned as a fiefdom of Manhattan rental properties that could be bought cheaply, renovated and leased out again at substantially higher rates.
There was a catch, of course, and it was this: the original tenants first had to be induced to vacate their homes.
Reportedly, the strategy to achieve that goal was the landlord’s offer of high-quote buyouts, which were promised to tenants after their departures.
The unsurprising bottom line in this story: most of those payouts never came.
And, in the interim, the landlord’s various companies went bankrupt.
One tenants’ advocate says that the landlord’s business vision was predicated on his belief that he could “empty out [his] whole portfolio and people were going to roll over.”
That some of the tenants resisted and/or pushed for better deals apparently caught the landlord by surprise, as he began to fall behind on a schedule agreed to with his lender — a real estate investment company — relevant to apartment vacation, renovation and re-leasing.
The lender’s management company was recently given court approval to manage the properties, make necessary repairs and deal directly with tenants.
The lender’s take on the matter is notably interesting and sends a rather ominous message that should seemingly resonate with force across New York City’s vast rental market.
Pointedly, noted a principal with the investment group that funded the landlord’s scheme with a $124 million loan, “there are a lot of other landlords that are at this level that are operating and running buildings exactly like this.”
In the aftermath of the botched scheme, the lender refuses to materially criticize the landlord.
He just “wasn’t able to implement the business plan,” stated the above-quoted spokesperson.