Albee Square— Luxury Building or “Animal House”?
With only two elevators in a 28-story building, thin walls, and seven floors worth of college students, one couple wrote the New York Times “Ask Real Estate” column for advice on how to get out of their leases. The Times published the response column on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The couple wrote the New York Times: “College students overrun the elevators and amenities. Now, residents are wondering whether we have any recourse to renegotiate our rents or break our leases. Do we?”
At the beginning of the year, over half of The King’s College’s on-campus housing was moved across the Brooklyn Bridge to 436 Albee Square West.
Moving into their luxury rentals with gym and rooftop access that many would die for, Albee tenants were shocked on move-in day when seven floors were populated by The King’s College’s students.
“We have lived there for 2 months and it is one of the worst buildings we ever moved to and this is not our first time being the first tenants in a luxury building and first to move in. We had issues with them the second we signed the [lease] until today. It started with the management company never getting back to us for over 2 weeks, and when we were ready to move in, there were all kind of problems with the unit they didn't bother to fix although we called, emailed, and even our in-house broker tried to help. [...]As icing on the cake, they have converted several floors into dorms. Who doesn't want to pay 4200 and live with college kids?” Bklynlife posted on Reddit’s AskNYC page.
Some residents have complained that management allegedly didn’t alert tenants about the influx of King’s students coming in.
“Management brazenly and deliberately withheld the fact that at least 1/3 of the building would be leased to house College students. Imagine moving into (what you thought was) a brand-new, luxury apartment, only to find that your soon-to-be neighbors were teenagers. And there were a lot of them. And they were everywhere,” said Christopher Maycock on Google Reviews two months ago, while giving the building a one star rating.
The complaints started rolling in on move-in weekend, Junior, Andres Martinez said.
“But, in my day-to-day experience the elevators aren’t too crowded and I have a school schedule and a working job so I take the elevator as much as everyone else does.” Martinez said.
With four students to every one apartment, tenants have expressed that the building can’t handle so many people.
“I understand that it’s a lot of students, but we don’t party or go screaming down the halls.” Freshman, Sophie Pol said.
Freshman, Kendra Avila said that tenants living next door to King’s students were blaming them for problems with the management and the building.
“[Tenants] were worried about us making noise, but it’s others.” Avila said.
Avila confessed that her and her roommates moved apartments because their neighbors were harassing them.
Another Freshman, Lexi Smith said that their neighbors would send in unprovoked complaints about them as well.
“Neighbors would complain when we weren’t even home or on the couch doing homework and playing light music.” Smith said.
Though there are tenants that let the doors slam and the bluetooth speakers blast, King’s students say that it’s the NYU students that are living in the building.
“I think the tenants get them mixed up with us.” Freshman, Olivia Staggs said. “I don’t think we’re the problem, they’re the problem. I’ve never had a bad experience with a tenant so when I hear all these bad things, I wonder where it comes from.”
There is constant communication between the school and the management.
“We talk often and they do not have a problem with our students.” Leticia Mosqueda, the City Point Housing Director said. “They have commended us at times and have said that they have more complaints about other tenants (general population) than King's students. Students play an important role in maintaining relationships with building staff and neighbors. We have asked students to be good neighbors, monitor noise level, and be respectful and mindful of others.”
The Empire State Tribune reached out to residents living in Albee about the problems expressed in the New York Times article; all declined to comment.
“The last thing I’m worried about is partying.” Avila said. “I’m just trying to pass.”