Dubious owner takes over storied complex
By Adam Wisnieski
A judge has approved a plan for Van Court Reality LLC, a company created by Riverdale-based Chestnut Holdings, Inc., to take ownership of the historic Shalom Aleichem Houses. But it may not be the savior tenants have been hoping for.
The troubled 234-unit, 15-building housing complex, located between Giles Place, Sedgwick Avenue, Cannon Place and West 238th Street, has been in foreclosure since May 2011. The bank sold the mortgage note to Riverdale’s Chestnut Holdings after the current and similarly named owner Van Cortlandt Village LLC failed to make mortgage payments to New York Community Bank.
Van Cortlandt Village LLC could not come up with a plan to get the building out of foreclosure and on Jan. 11, U.S. bankruptcy judge Robert Drain approved a plan for Van Court Realty LLC to take over the property.
Since Van Cortlandt Village LLC bought the property in 2007, residents say conditions have deteriorated. They have complained of a leaking roof, collapsing ceilings, crumbling walls and other dilapidated conditions. Insufficient heat and hot water are also common, they say, and multiple tenants have complained over the last week about not having heat in their apartments. The complex has had hundreds of violations lodged against it with Housing Preservation and Development and in 2011, five of its buildings were added to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s watchlist of the city’s worst buildings.
Keywordsshalom aleichem, shalom aleichem houses, van cortlandt village, chestnut holdings, new york community bank, foreclosure, adam wisnieski