It’s a situation likely to repeat itself as the Bushwick lofts area becomes increasingly popular and valuable. The residents and landlord of 13 Thames Street have been fighting for years over the use of a factory space that is not zoned for residential. The tenants, some of whom identify as anarchists and frequently held arts events in the space, were ordered to vacate last year. Now the new owner of the building has applied for a liquor license for a bar in the contested space, according to DNAinfo. The tenants had applied for protection under the loft law that went into effect in 2010, and they sued in January to be allowed back into the building. The order to vacate was for “illegal obstruction of the entrance” and for operating a “nightclub” in the building, according to the DOB. The building was also in the news last year when tenants claimed the landlord had hired a biker gang to harass them. The police have raided the building at least twice, in one case in search of people who were broadcasting live video of Occupy Wall Street protests. The new loft law provides a path for renters of industrial space to legally live there. It passed with the backing of the former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who has been extremely influential in housing in Bushwick and throughout New York City. The City considers the Bushwick industrial area “East Williamsburg” but locals have called it Bushwick since at least the early 20th century.
Sued Building Owners Want to Replace Evicted Tenants With Bar [DNAinfo]
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