Naftali Group filed plans with the city last week to build a 18-story luxury condo with 45 apartments on the site, between Broadway and Amsterdam, reports Crain’s New York Business.
But a longtime tenant of the five-story building is standing firm in his resolve to stay. Naftali says he is looking for a seven-figure payout, according to The Real Deal.
All of the other tenants have moved or have agreed to move, and Naftali says it terminated Ahmet Ozsu’s month-to-month lease at the end of 2021. But Oszu, who has a top-floor apartment with a private deck, insists on staying put. He says Naftali has been trying to drive him out by placing a noisy air filter right outside the door to his apartment. His lawyer says it was put in place to “intentionally harass, vex, and retaliate against [Ozsu] for refusing to surrender possession of his apartment and/or accept a buyout.”
Ozsu’s lawyer says he is working with the City Council to investigate the possibility of requiring a no-harassment certificate from Naftali. Ozsu’s lawyer said an investigation into any harassment could delay the project by several years. In order to proceed with its plans, Naftali would have to prove that it does not have a history of tenant harassment at the property.
Naftail bought the building in June 2021 for about $70 million and the tenants’ leases were not renewed (this included commercial tenant Books of Wonder, which previously had a storefront at 217 West 84th Street). The firm reportedly offered Ozsu $30,000 to leave his apartment, which he refused, and has now filed two lawsuits against him, one seeking $25 million for damages and another to evict him.