Friday, August 25, 2006

Trouble in Boymelgreen Land

Given developer Shaya Boymelgreen's plans for Gowanus and presence in Park Slope, Dumbo and other Brooklyn neighborhoods, we've long been fascinated by news of his doings. In this week's Brooklyn Papers, Ariella Cohen reports at length on Boymelgreen's latest trouble: an investigation by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into claims by 200 construction workers that they've been denied overtime pay for three years. (Note the inflatable rat, which is somewhat visible in the photo here, that's been parked in front of Boymelgreen's 75 Smith building for some time noting the missing overtime pay issue.)

Cohen also reports that Spitzer’s office is "arbitrating complaints from Park Slope condo owners who bought Boymelgreen apartments only to discover that the windows didn’t keep out the rain, walls weren’t properly insulated and bad engineering meant moldy cellars."

A little more from Cohen's excellent article:

The developer has been banking on the market power of Brooklyn’s stroller revolution since the late 1990s, snapping up gritty residential blocks and remaking them. With Park Slope Estates and two other bucolically named condo developments on Second and Third streets between Fourth and Fifth avenues, he introduced bigger, luxury-styled condos to what was then a fringe of Park Slope.

This year, he expects to finish construction on the 12-story luxury Park Slope Tower on Fourth Avenue at Fifth Street as well as another apartment tower on Second Street and Fourth Avenue, and a condo-hotel at 75 Smith St., at Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill. Over the next decade, he plans to bring the same family friendly luxury living to a four-acre parcel he owns on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. And he’s a big player in DUMBO, where his 23-story Beacon Tower and a 12-story building a few blocks away would add 135 units of luxury housing to the hot neighborhood one subway stop from Manhattan.

He’s been the target of protest by labor unions that have demonstrated near his sites with an inflatable rat. Now, not only construction workers are paying attention.

Cohen's article also contains sidebard detailing Boymelgreen's projects, problems and partnerships that is absolute required reading.

We've previously reported on the breakup between Boymelgreen and Israeli industrialist Lev Leviev, as well as Boymelgreen's sell off of property in Miami. So, the rich detail that Cohen provides only intensifies our interest in whether Boymelgreen will remain a significant Brooklyn presence or whether his interest is already shifting to Israel, India and other countries.

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