Author Topic: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At  (Read 6402 times)

Offline Stew

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Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« on: May 26, 2016, 10:13:08 PM »
I want to reply publicly to the many people who have asked where we're at.

Recently, New York City adopted a bylaw that says that if one tenant of a building has a Department of Buildings violation, no other tenant can get a building permit.

In our case, there are other premises in our building that have violations. Apparently, they are mostly about signage, and in at least one case go back to 1999.

The result is that we have been unable to get a permit since January to continue renovations.

Previous to this, our building permit was suspended for several months because a NYC Building Inspector cited us for making cosmetic changes to our space, citations that were thrown out in October, in their entirety, by the tribunal that deals with alleged violations.

My law firm tells me that I may get a building permit next week, at of course considerable cost, to continue working despite the City's position to this minute that we should be closed down because of violations by others over which we have no control.

I don't know what to say. First, a Building Inspector dragged us through the court system over making completely legal cosmetic changes to our space, and now we have been refused a building permit since January because other people have violations, and apparently the Department of Buildings is talking about minor sign violations that go back to 1999.

My lawyer tells me that we may get a building permit next week that gets around this craziness.

I just want to open, preferably before the City of New York forces me into bankruptcy.

Stew

« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 10:30:44 PM by Stew »

Offline Cassat

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 10:27:01 PM »
Really sorry that you are going through one crazy obstacle after another, Stew. Crossing my fingers that the way forward clears soon.

Offline petster

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 10:51:51 PM »
Unbelievable story.  Have you attempted to reach out to any politician or media for help to resolve this for you.  Sounds incredulous and I'm so sorry to hear of this. 

Offline redge

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 11:12:31 PM »
Unbelievable story.  Have you attempted to reach out to any politician or media for help to resolve this for you.  Sounds incredulous and I'm so sorry to hear of this.

We called Mr. Dromm's office the first time the Department of Buildings went after us, and received no response.

What I'd like to know now is what his vote was when his council decided to refuse people like us a building permit for other people's violations.

I'm just trying to open a serious restaurant in Jackson Heights that some people might like.

This is turning into a nightmare.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 11:24:20 PM by redge »

Offline Simka

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 01:11:06 AM »
It's appalling. I can't believe they have dragged this out so long.

Offline lalochezia

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 09:34:54 AM »
Firstly, this sucks beyond belief! We're all rooting for you!

Secondly..... if your lawyers plan doesn't work.
Media: with the caveat that you should find someone who presents the most sympathetic case possible; remember the goal is to break through the political logjam, get building again, and not prove to the world  every injustice that has been visited on you.
Rather than randomly going for a strategy, If you can find examples of people successfully using media to go up against DoB absurdities, then use that as a model - or better yet, use those people.

--

 "Signage violation" seems to be 100% BS reason and an overbroad application of an over blunt tool in law , but if a landlord or tenant has unsafe conditions due to a violation, and refuses to redress the violation, you can see why this kind of stick would be useful.  I realize this is little consolation to you....


What I'd like to know now is what his vote was when his council decided to refuse people like us a building permit for other people's violations.


Leave this kind of thing alone for now. Eyes on the prize!

Offline Lilybell

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 10:44:35 AM »
Stew, I don't know if you ever reached out to the contact I gave you at the Dept. of Small Business Services, but this might be something he can help with.

Offline thedisabledfoodie

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
So sorry about all of this, Stew. It's really awful. Hoping it works out soon for you and with minimal stress and additional cost.

Offline wlirfan

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 10:54:23 AM »
I'm very sympathetic, but looking at the DOB web site, there are 7 open violations, 6 of which predate you but involve doing construction work without a permit, and 1 of which is a (minor and brand-spankin' new) boiler registration violation.  Your landlord -- not you -- should be dealing with these old violations to get them off the record so that you can proceed.  I did see the violation that was dismissed, so good job on that one.

Good luck and hope you open soon.

Offline turtalia

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 12:17:07 PM »
Thank you for the update! I've been wondering how you guys were doing.  That story is crappy and I hope it turns out for the best - not least of all because I'm looking forward to being an early customer!

Offline missmarty

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 03:13:23 PM »
Really sorry to hear about this. (after just reading a friends building, going co-op price changed from $450,000 to 750,000 in a year!) Bad day for small business and small income families in JH.

I've worked with Monica Morales at Pix11 a few times. She covers these types of stories in Queens. Message me, if it sounds like a good idea.

Offline Sabina

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2016, 04:04:17 PM »
Any updates? I see lights on inside when I pass by in the evenings.

Offline Spinitch

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2016, 03:59:37 PM »
i just saw some people working on the space. they said it might be open for the holidays :)

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2016, 09:02:40 PM »
i just saw some people working on the space. they said it might be open for the holidays :)

Excellent news!

Offline dssjh

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Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 09:22:44 PM »
no sign of activity. permits outside either expired or expiring within a couple of weeks.

you quit, right, guys?

Jackson Heights Life

Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 09:22:44 PM »