jump to navigation

separated by brick walls – literally September 27, 2006

Posted by farshadf in NYC, Uncategorized.

In a city where gentrification wars are the stuff of legend, this one has tenant and landlord separated by brick walls – literally. A Brooklyn landlord has bricked up all the windows in his Prospect Heights apartment building – except for one unit where a holdout tenant is still living.

Migdalia Barreto, her daughter and her elderly mother contend landlord Mark Scheiner is trying to drive them out of the eight-apartment building to pave way for a luxury conversion.

But Scheiner counters that he took the extraordinary step at the Dean St. building for Barreto’s own good.

“If you have an asset that could be prone to fire or drugs, you protect it,” said Scheiner, who received a violation from the Buildings Department on Monday for doing his latest masonry without a permit.

“It’s secured to protect the tenant in the building.”

Barreto, 46, said she, her daughter and her mother, Carmen, are the last tenants living in the building, between Sixth and Carleton Aves., because Scheiner bought out five other families in the last year.

“He is so full of s–t,” said Barreto, who lived in the building as a child before returning in 1983, when rent was $300.

“He just wants us out so he can renovate the building and rent it for thousands and thousands of dollars.”

Prospect Heights has become increasingly trendy in recent years as yuppies priced out of nearby Park Slope buy property.

Barreto said her problems began last month when her hot water was turned off. Then, last week, Scheiner sealed all of the building’s windows except Barreto’s, she said.

With police stopping by on several occasions suspecting squatters in a vacant building, Barreto has hung a sign outside announcing the building is her home.

“Cops have come by on four different occasions,” said Barreto, who now pays $535 for the two-bedroom apartment. “People want to know what’s going on, and I’m tired of explaining myself.”

Scheiner, who owns six buildings in the city, bought the Dean St. apartment house for $500,000 in 2004, records show.

He began buying out other tenants last year, said Barreto, who rejected an offer of $30,000 to leave.

Scheiner wouldn’t say what he plans to do with the 76-year-old building once it is renovated.

“I’m getting tired of this pressure and I’m nervous about this situation,” said Carmen Barreto, 66, Migdalia’s mother. “People think this is a drug house. I’ve been here for so many years. I don’t know why he’s doing this to me.”



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: