There Goes The Neighborhood

On Roosevelt Island: When Landlords Turn Complexes Over to Transients and Airbnb

Updated 9 weeks ago David Stone
Manhattan Park transient apartment door propped open with luggage cart, community values not included.
Manhattan Park transient apartment door propped open with luggage cart, community values not included.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

It's no secret that major chunks of residential space on Roosevelt Island have been handed over to transients and Airbnb operators. A lot of it's illegal, short term visitors shuffling in and out, barely noticed, and with virtually no law enforcement stemming the tide, quality of life standards were bound to deteriorate along with safety and security. Even so, this took us off guard.

Cigarette Butts and Garbage Flying Out the Windows

Manhattan Park management, which oversees an 800 apartment complex here and advertises living quarters as "luxe," released this memo to all tenants yesterday by email:

Dear Residents,

It has come to our attention that residents are disposing of their cigarette butts and other garbage out of their windows and off their balconies. Residents living below are finding their own yards and balconies covered in debris. Throwing garbage out windows or off balconies not only creates a mess, it is a serious safety hazard.

Please be respectful of your neighbors and the environment, and throw away your garbage in the appropriate receptacles. Management will be doing rounds to ensure that this request is adhered to.

If you have questions or concerns please feel free to enter a ticket on Building Link or contact the maintenance office.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Management

Luxe Apartments

More than a few times in the past year, we've reported on the perils of living in Manhattan Park. Market rental space has gone over to transient housing with illegal conversions throughout all buildings. We've photographed a smoke detector covered with plastic to prevent its going off after conversion crippled ventilation, and more than a dozen times we've notified management of food waste being left in open bags in AVAC rooms, drawing cockroaches, silverfish and other unidentified insects.

Smoke detector covered with plastic, Manhattan Park, February 2018.
Smoke detector covered with plastic, Manhattan Park, February 2018.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

But tossing garbage out windows and balconies is new, even to us.

Not a surprise though.

Along with discarding security and safety standards, turning space over to short term residents and weekend visitors welcomes people with little or no investment in the community. If some act as if they're on spring break, twelve months a year, should anyone be legitimately surprised?

If you're paying Manhattan Park rent inflated by transient conversions for what you were told was a "luxe" apartment, you might be.

Who howled loud enough to get some attention, this time?

For many longterm tenants, given the current state of affairs, what would be more surprising is if green-eyed "Management" did anything more than send out a memo.

 

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