In Which Raphael Toledano Rewards Harassed Tenants with Ice Cream

Posted on: August 5th, 2016 at 5:19 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Protesting Raphael Toledano’s harassment, Photo: The Villager

Why worry about living eleven weeks without gas when you can have an ice cream social! How great.

Raphael Toledano – one of the larger landowners in the East Village – threw an ice cream social yesterday afternoon and was not welcomed with enthusiasm by neighbors.

This image has been archived or removed.

From the mailbag:

Brookhill Properties, real estate development firm of the frequently-covered Raphael Toledano, [hosted] an ice cream social [yesterday] afternoon for Brookhill tenants some of the East Village buildings he bought last year. The invitation, posted on building doors, features the image of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream container and a photo of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck. As of this moment, no one at the socially conscious corporation’s headquarters in Vermont or New York City was aware of a contractual agreement with Brookhill to furnish the ice cream. The company’s New Jersey offices could not be reached for comment. “I wish I could be there demonstrating with you,” a Vermont spokesperson added.

Nor is the offer appealing to many Brookhill tenants, who have endured much contention since their buildings were purchased, from threatening lawsuits, and elevated lead and asbestos levels released by gut-renovations, to allegedly persistent attempts to get the rent-regulated tenants to leave. A number of Toledano-owned, Brookhill-managed buildings have experienced months of interruptions to their gas service. One of those is 325 East 12th Street. Tenants there have not had any gas since May 18th, 2016, and the planned ice cream social will occur right in front of their building.

“Two and a half months without cooking gas and instead of doing the necessary work, they want to give us ice cream! That just takes the cake… the one we can’t bake,” said one 325 East 12th Street tenant. “If they made a serious effort to get gas service back in our building immediately, that would mean a whole lot more. But now we’ve gone for over 11 weeks without that service.”

“Something like this ice cream social might make sense, say, in a year’s time, if real, measurable progress has been made by then in the fair treatment of all tenants,” said TTC representative Nina d’Alessandro. “But with all we’ve had to go through in the past year and the lack of resolution of service issues, it seems like an ill-advised move, at best. When we met with Brookhill’s representatives in the Manhattan Borough President’s office in July, we laid out specific steps that had to be taken by our landlord to honor his tenants’ legal rights. Good relations will come from Brookhill abiding by those demands, and not by feeding us sweets. Right now, we are not on good enough terms.”

Recent Stories

Developer Begins Demolition of Rutgers Street Playground for Temporary Parking Lot

Demolition work began this week on a Lower East Side park that is a focal point in the tension between the community and developers on the waterfront. The backhoes are out and job now underway at Rutgers Park, the small public space beside the Lands End II residential development. Removal of the playground began yesterday, including […]

The 3 Lower East Side Walk-ups that Sold for $35M

Earlier this month, we reported that SMA Equities, the Long Island real estate firm with controversial history on the Lower East Side, sold a portfolio of its area properties. SMA unloaded three tenement walk-ups to Daniel Fishman of GAIA Real Estate – 102 Norfolk Street, 177 Ludlow Street, and 99 Allen Street – for an […]

H&M Debuts Pop-up Hotel on the Bowery this Weekend

Fashion retailer, H&M, is headed to the Lower East Side this week with a pop-up hotel concept. Starting tomorrow, prospective guests can access the so-called Hotel Hennes via the eponymous 3 Freeman Alley. The three-day publicity stunt will be open through Saturday, from 2 to 9pm. Guests will be able to check in for an […]

Sneakerhead Arrested for Knifing Customer at Hypebeast ‘HBX’ Opening on Division Street

A watershed moment for Hypebeast transformed into a melee on the Lower East Side last week. The Hong Kong-based fashion and lifestyle publication on Friday officially debuted in the seven-story commercial loft building at 41-43 Division Street. Its ground-level store – dubbed HBX – attracted a queue of sneaker heads waiting for a limited edition Nike […]

Arsonist Torches Eldridge Street Beauty Parlor

Two people were injured yesterday evening after an arsonist set ablaze a beauty parlor on Eldridge Street, according to several published reports. The incident transpired shortly before 5:00pm at the Sa Sa II Beauty Salon, located at 129 Eldridge Street. Cops said the suspect poured gasoline inside the store and set it on fire. (Initial […]