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The local advertising flier calling itself the Broadsheet (BS), which earns most of its revenue from the BPCA and state-funded organizations, has not surprisingly given all of the credit for Gateway Plaza replacing the old air conditioners and heaters to the people who actually allowed the uninhabitable conditions to exist for decades: The elected politicians.
In today’s online BS, local resident turned “reporter” Matt Fenton lists various elected officials, and Glenn Plaskin of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association (who opposed the various recent court battles taken up by tenants staging a mutiny against his leadership), as the agents of change. Mr. Fenton makes no mention at all of the real reason that LeFrak caved in, which was the city-led lawsuit against Gateway over complaints filed by tenant Kim Lurie.
As BatteryPark.TV has exclusively reported, the Dr. Lurie complaints to the city 311 call system led to the City’s HPD filing a lawsuit on her behalf against LeFrak’s Gateway Plaza, and the case was recently settled. The several thousand dollars in fines that LeFrak had to pay for this single case would have been multiplied by all of the apartments in Gateway. Therefore, LeFrak saw the writing on the wall and agreed to replace them all.
BatteryPark.TV has previously reported how the elected officials, led by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and his minions of Margaret Chin and State Senator Dan Squadron, have hosted nothing but Kabuki theater events, during the coldest of winter months, allowing Gateway tenants to vent their frustrations. Then, year after year, no one at the Battery Park City Authority, or any of these elected official offices, would do anything to actually pressure the LeFrak organization to make any improvements.
Richard LeFrak is worth an estimated $6 Billion, and donates heavily to Tri-State elected official campaign funds. In fact, one BPCA administration was caught accepting campaign donations as the BPCA, in turn, gave lucrative ground rent deals to LeFrak.
Only after BatteryPark.TV reporting inspired some residents to stop following Glenn Plaskin and his GPTA, and they began to file lawsuits and complaint to 311 about the deplorable conditions, did any action take place. The most recent accomplishments in the battle against the uninhabitable conditions in Gateway Plaza were won by a few courageous tenants willing to take matters into their own hands, legally (through the city 311 complaint system, then civil court).
The current agreement by Gateway to merely replace the heating and cooling units is only a partial response. The real problem with Gateway that is driving high electric and heating bills is the poor infrastructure and leaky windows. The entire outer skin of Gateway needs to be replaced, or else the building should be condemned and torn down. An “energy audit” paid for by LeFrak concurred that the windows must be replaced.
If your apartment building or nearby local store has allowed the Broadsheet to occupy counterspace, you should ask why.