The ongoing saga between tenants of New York’s Carnegie Hall studio towers and the Carnegie Hall Corporation that governs the building seemed to be wrapping up following a judgment earlier this month, but a recent discovery left some crying foul.
Iu and Bibliowicz Architects, the architectural firm of CHC chairman Sanford Weill’s son-in-law Natan Bibliowicz, was recently given a $150 million contract to renovate the towers. Although a state agency decided there wasn’t a conflict of interest, the tenants facing eviction might see the deal as another reason to appeal the project.
New York civil court judge Jeffrey Oing ruled in early December that the CHC has the right to evict 18 commercial tenants from the building to renovate and make room for the Hall’s growing education programs.
Oing said the CHC doesn’t have to make space for tenants available in the studio towers because there is no legal basis for it, according to the New York Post.
A state supreme court decision on the additional residents in the building is reportedly forthcoming.
The residents filed suit earlier this year, citing a law that declares a landlord cannot evict a tenant in a rent-controlled unit unless the landlord is planning to demolish the tenant’s building.
Because the CHC is planning to gut and renovate the towers, the tenants claimed they cannot be evicted, as "only an actual razing of the structure" could be considered demolition.
The towers have a storied history, housing legendary artists, performers, photographers and musicians over the years.
Actor John Turturro, who has championed the residents’ cause, said that in expanding the space for arts education programs, the CHC is effectively pushing out people who’ve kept such programs in the city going for many years.