Seventeen rent-regulated tenants in a high-end rental building in Murray Hill owned by Cammeby’s International Group had their rents lowered after the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal ruled that services had been reduced at the building following a staffing cut from two doormen in the lobby to one 24-hour concierge. The vast majority of the residents in the 237-unit, 20-story building at 30 Park Avenue are free market.
The 17 rent-regulated tenants of Monterey at Park at the corner of 36th Street, filed a complaint in May 2021 alleging a reduction in services, including the staffing reductions. The building has filed an application notifying the state of the staffing cuts in 2020, but it was not approved.
The actual amount of the reduction for the rent-regulated tenants would be modest, but the rents are frozen until the changes are approved.
Even as some tenants are rent-regulated, the landlord is asking as much as $12,000 for a two-bedroom penthouse in the building constructed in 1955 that has a gym, billiards room and other amenities, according to listings on StreetEasy.
The state ordered the rents for the tenants to be rolled back to the level prior to the December 2022 ruling. Cammeby’s bought the building in a joint venture with Thor Equities in March 2015 for $179 million, according to city records.
The case was disclosed in a petition Cammeby’s International filed yesterday seeking to overrule the DHCR decision. LINK
According to the state’s December 2022 ruling in favor of the tenants, “The tenants initiated a complaint on May 17, 2021 alleging that the owner has eliminated doorman service, reduced the number of porters and eliminated the service operator, who operated the service elevator and assisted with package delivery. The owner has replaced the 2 doormen on day duty with a concierge, who sits at the lobby desk and does not perform the services previously provided by doormen such as hailing taxis, opening doors, assisting with parcels and signing for packages, unloading cars and screening guests. Previously, 2 doormen were on duty for the day shift, 1 doorman was on duty for the evening shift and 1 doorman was on duty overnight…”
Cammeby’s for its part, argues that there has been no negative impact on the tenants.
“Nowhere in the [state’s] Order is there an explicit finding of a reduction in any actual services. Rather, the [state’s] Order finds that there was, in fact, staff present in the Building lobby. And, the Building concierge explained to the DHCR inspector, as recited in the [state’s] Order, how the concierge provides security by screening visitors, calling up to tenants and monitoring the building-wide surveillance system.