City seeks to take over management of Majestic
By Graham Kates
Stymied in its efforts to force drastic fixes to the Majestic, New York City is asking to take over management of 3660 Waldo Ave. and fix the place itself.
The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development will soon ask a Bronx Housing Court judge to place the 87-unit building in HPD’s 7A Management program, in which the city appoints an independent firm to manage the building instead of current owner Morris Rubin.
Mr. Rubin and the Majestic have been under increased scrutiny since August, when HPD recommended the building for the Proactive Preservation Initiative, a new program developed to identify and repair 500 buildings in danger of becoming blighting influences on their neighborhoods.
Under the proactive program, HPD inspectors make regular visits to buildings and issue orders for landlords to fix health and safety violations. If landlords don’t comply, HPD takes them to court to get them to pay for the necessary fixes.
To that end, HPD sued Mr. Rubin in Bronx Housing Court on Feb. 14, demanding that the landlord address hundreds of open violations on record for the property and pay thousands of dollars in fines. After he was ordered to address the violations, Mr. Rubin introduced new security to the building and fixed its front entrance. But two months later many of the building’s worst — its Class C or “immediately hazardous” violations — remained unfixed.
He also introduced an administrative manager to make fixes but residents have identified the individual as Mr. Rubin’s son.
“They told me the same thing as always. That’s what HPD found, the worst violations, the C violations have not been corrected,” said Andrew Sandler, a representative of Councilman Oliver Koppell’s office.
With no remaining legal recourse to compel the Majestic’s landlord to fix the building, Mr. Koppell’s office asked HPD to pursue 7A management.