Knickerbocker Knockdown

The Villager reports today that the State Attorney General appealed an Oct. 4 ruling by the State Supreme Court that prevented the owners of Knickerbocker Village, a 12-unit 1,590-unit rental complex on the Lower East Side, from withdrawing from a low-income housing program and transfering the property to private ownership.

The Department of Housing and Community Renewal approved the transfer in 2003, yet tenants, who were assured that their apartments would fall under rent stabilization once the deal went through, preferred protection through the state Article IV housing program, which predates the rent-stabilization laws.

The judge who made the earlier ruling that stopped the deal said at the time that the DCHR may not tranfer the property “to anyone other than a municipality or to another limited-dividend company.” The owners of the development, Knickerbocker Village Inc., wanted to dissolve itself and transfer the property to Cherry Green Corp.–another, presumably more profit-oriented, version of itself.

Appeals are expected in the future, too, from whomever stands least to benefit from the next ruling.
-Matthew Grace