Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bklink: Working at 475 Kent

"Stories like these rarely end well for artists. Dozens of residents were ousted from lofts in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn after the city found violations in 2000. The tenants fought bitterly with their landlord, Joshua Guttman, accusing him in a lawsuit of harassment and trashing their homes, which he denied. They eventually settled, but they had to leave. Tenants evicted in October from a warehouse at 17-17 Troutman Street in Ridgewood, Queens, have not been allowed back. But things have gone differently at 475 Kent, as the building is known. Granted access during the day, the residents have tackled some violations: clearing debris, fixing fire alarms, replacing light bulbs in exit signs. They say the landlords have helped as well, removing the matzo wheat and having the standpipes fixed....The immediate problem that stands between residents and their homes is the broken sprinkler system, city officials said. The repair and partial installation, the city said, could take three months. So residents resolved to hasten the process. Twenty people got together and updated plans for each 12,500-square-foot floor..."--NYT

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