Jacob Weinreb, principal of real estate firm Weinreb Management, is being sued by New York City for failure to correct over 200 safety violations across his 11-property portfolio; seven of which are on the Upper West Side, The Real Deal first reported. Additionally, the New York City Fire Department has issued “…nearly two dozen violations under the Fire Code for five of the buildings,” according to the lawsuit filed on February 9, 2022 in New York County Supreme Court.
The 36-page complaint states that most of the violations against Weinreb pertain to issues with the building’s facades. It’s also noted that the defendants demonstrated a “failure to provide and/or maintain fire protection systems.”
AdvertisementThe complaint alleges that “For some of these violations, years have elapsed without the Defendants establishing compliance as required.” Cracks in exterior walls, eroding joints and sidewalk sheds that aren’t up to code are also on the list of violations.
There are five FDNY violations for Weinreb’s property at 2401 Broadway which include failure to provide and/or maintain fire protection systems, including sprinkler systems and other fire extinguishing systems. Five more FDNY violations loom for 777 West End Avenue, where the lawsuit claims Weinreb failed to produce required records of inspections and fire system tests while also failing to provide or maintain fire extinguishers or other extinguishing devices.
“These owners must address the hundreds of uncorrected violations from multiple city agencies putting the public and residents of these buildings at risk,” said Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesperson for the city’s Law Department. “No building owner is above the law.”
The complaint also alleges, “Defendants have allowed their buildings to deteriorate to the point where they pose an imminent threat to the health and safety of the tenants and the public.” The complaint asks the court to order that Weinreb fix all outstanding violations and certify compliance within 30 days. That includes conducting all required inspections and filing all necessary reports mandated by Local Law 11 of 1998, the New York City Administrative Code. Penalties will be imposed for each building found to be in violation of City codes.
Weinreb’s Upper West Side buildings include:
- 5 West 86th Street
- 350 Central Park West
- 255 West 88th Street
- 276 Riverside Drive
- 777 West End Avenue
- 420 West End Avenue
- 51 West 86th Street
In July 2021, the public became (more) aware of the sidewalk shed that had been up for fifteen years at 51 West 86th Street. In October, the residents of 51 West 86th held a one-year mock anniversary to celebrate the lingering scaffolding that was put on top of the fifteen-year-old sidewalk shed. Former City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Silly Billy, a comedic clown and magician for kids, were both in attendance calling for action. Former Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer also called out the 86th Street scaffolding in an interview with CBS.
Weinreb Management did not respond to a request for comment.