Tenants Complain About Problems at New Luxury Rental in South Williamsburg

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Tenants at 53 Broadway in Williamsburg, a luxury rental finished last August, are complaining about exorbitant electric bills, parking lot problems and not having a promised 24-hour doorman. One resident told us, “My personal bill for my two-bedroom apartment was $700 last month, even though my roommate and I are at work all day and were on vacation for two weeks that month.” She thinks the electricity in some of the units may be wired incorrectly, because other tenants report Con Ed bills as high as $1,043 (for a three-bedroom).

Tenants in the 75-unit building also say that they were promised a functional parking lot with a lift system manned by a 24-hour attendant when they moved in during the fall. Instead, drivers can park in one of four long slots, causing cars to be blocked in if someone pulls in behind them. “We were asked to give the other tenants with parking spots our phone numbers and be on call 24 hours a day and would be responsible to return home to move our cars within a one hour window so if you were blocking someone they would be able to get their car out,” writes one driver.

Finally, residents say they were promised a 24-hour doorman, but their doorman was switched to part-time without anyone being notified. They’ve tried to contact the management company and the new owners, but the problems persist. Rents in the building start at $2,704 for a one-bedroom or at $4,216 for a two-bedroom.

A rep from Adam America, which developed the building with the Horizon Group, told us that the development changed hands a few months ago, selling to an owner called Broadway Brooklyn Acquisition LLC. We’ve tried to get in touch with the new owners, but we haven’t received any comment on these issues.

South Williamsburg’s 53 Broadway Over 65 Percent Leased in Three Weeks [Brownstoner]
Colorful Facade Appears on Condos at 53 Broadway [Brownstoner]
Scaffolding Coming Down at 53 Broadway [Brownstoner]

41 Comment

  • It’s a shame that parking needs of the tenants of 53 Broadway are left in limbo with the transition of ownership. If we can help, we are located at 26 South 6th St (2 blocks away). We can offer a 6 month Parking Special to hold over in the meantime while the parking situation there is figured out. 718-384-4978 or follow us on twitter @shermanparking

  • Not surprised the owner hasn’t commented. $500 con ed bill for one month in a studio… I know the weather has been tough on all but that’s not logical. Building owner says he’ll help, then doesn’t and continues to point fingers at anyone else.

    Bottom line… when I move out, I wouldn’t recommend that you move in.

  • 700 for a 2 bedroom doesn’t sound outlandish considering there’s probably three of those cheap ass ptac window units running. I lived in a studio in the nabe and my con ed bill could be as high as 250 a month – and energy rates have spiked last few months.

    Find out if each unit is individually metered / or if usage is allocated based off square footage. I’m guessing the latter

    • One of the tenants told me she had her electric meter looked at by Con Ed, so I think each unit is individually metered.

    • My bill was $400 for 27 days for a 1bdrm with only 1 heater on 65 (it’s supposedly more economical to keep it running at a low temp), the other heater completely unplugged, and zero lights on all day. Even with the higher energy costs, that’s nuts. I hardly use any of the electrical appliances other than that 1 heater and the fridge. It is outrageous to consider not only the electrical, but also the bailing-out on amenities (PS – the doormen actually got their time cut to leave an hour earlier at night), and the runaround from the management company. I’m not new to NYC rentals – I’ve been here for 20 years and this is probably the most complacent management company I’ve had. At least my last management company knew they were regarded poorly but still did the bare minimum. Nevermind getting this management to even ACKNOWLEDGE that near 75% of the building is having major electrical bill issues. I am seriously considering moving but that’s just more expense. It sucks that it’s coming to this.

  • My partner and I live here in a tiny one bedroom apt and our bills have been $500 for December, $700 for January and $500 for February. We don’t work from home or have pets. We turn the heat on for a few hours at night, barely watch tv and keep all the lights off. It simply does NOT compute. I and a few others in the building have held meetings for tenants in our freezing COLD LOBBY and people are outraged. Building management do NOT properly communicate with tenants, they seem to care less. It’s as if there is some form of theft happening and we are preparing to launch a proper investigation.

  • I had a $500 bill for a 1 bed in January. I was away half of it and got a $300 for Feb. We did not have the heating on once. This is really poor and the communication from the owners has been non existent. There is next to none information available for the ‘new owners’ online which makes it look as if they have just set up another company for this building.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Perhaps all the tenants should hire a lawyer for some of these issues. Maybe he can recommend a strategy for putting rent into escrow and withholding it from the LL, or some other strategy which will get their attention quickly.

  • If you have a lease, you have rights, especially if amenities that are not offered were included in the terms. As Dave suggests, get a lawyer as a group and figure out next steps. All of the tenants should document the failures of management in writing to the management.

    I cant comment on the electric bills, but if they include heat, it seems possible.

  • As many commentators here would say if this story involved rent stabilized tenants:
    You don’t like it MOVE!

    • Easier said then done

      • I’m not unsympathetic, but it might be easier for you than it is for many rent stabilized tenants.

        That being said, those charges are insane. Our old apartment had ptac units and we paid for heat and electric and in a 2 bedroom in the summer we hit $400 (and that was home all day with the ac cranked.) Our winter bills were about $300 at the max. This was a few years ago, but I don’t think rates have increased. It really sounds like something is wrong.

        • To the person who suggested we all move: I think the problem for most of us is that we simply cannot afford to fork out the costs associated with moving again. Even if it was possible.

          Its worth pointing out on this thread that its not simply high charges here, its the inconsistency. Some people are not even turning on their heat, using their washing machines etc, and are getting charged an unbelievable amount of money, whilst others are using appliances as normal and don’t appear to be getting charged as much. None of it makes sense!

          We haven’t simply moved into a building that uses expensive heaters – something is seriously wrong here and no one wants to listen, we flagged this to management weeks and weeks ago and still minimal progress.

          As a group, the tenants have accomplished more so far than the people that run the building – shame on you Metro Management!!!

    • sounds like halvewit is MetroManagement. Seriously doesn’t care about the tenants in their buildings

  • Good luck to the tenants here in either getting rebates or future reductions on their rent.

    It’s cold comfort to tell the tenants that they should move — the tenants should not have to endure the relocation costs if the landlords did not wire the electricity correctly, if they misrepresented the parking issue (although I assume those are broken in out some sort of separate document and not just lumped into the rent), or if they misrepresented the lobby services.

  • Do NOT move to 41 Kosciuszko, either. I had to read this article several times to make sure we weren’t being scammed by the same landlord. Exact same issues; lies about doorman, parking, etc… to get you in the door, then bring on those $500+ electric bills while away on vacay. Not only electric crap wall heaters/ac, but also separate (tiny) electric hot water heaters in each unit.
    So outrageous…

  • This bad press is just the start of a tidal wave if Steven Berisha and Metro Management don’t step it up over here.

  • I’m a tennant at 53 Broadway and have lived in Soho and the West Village for almost 8 years. I have never paid more than $100 a month, even in the worst heat wave of August for my Con Ed bills, and that includes having the air conditoner on 24/7. I have friends who own apartments in Manhattan and North Side Piers here in WIlliamsburg and NO ONE PAYS MORE THAN $90 A MONTH. Our bills at 53 Broaday suprass $400 a month, and we only used the heat sparingly and froze during the winter, and kept it off at night and during the day while at work. This is out of control, and I have never paid so much, even while living in some of the most expensive real estate in the City. My friend who owns in the city has her heat on ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT and pays no more than $90. This bill is a complete joke and someone needs to address this because we are being ROBBED while trying to save money in Brooklyn.

  • whoever said you get what you paid for lied! I’ve lived in better managed properties in suspect neighborhoods with better maintenance. I do not know how Metro Management Development, Inc or Aptsandlofts.com can sleep at night with the scams that they’ve pulled. These people make slum lords look good. You have people selling furniture to pay their con ed bills, people squatting in luxury apartments with layers of sweats and blankets to keep from turning on the heat. Karma is a mf and what goes around comes around!

  • WHAT A JOKE 53 BROADWAY IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Metro Management should remove the word “management” from their name because they don’t know the first thing about managing a building. Almost every tenant in this building is complaining how ridiculous their electric bills are and they’ve chosen to ignore the situation as if it’s going to go away. People have been in here for months and still no working garage as promised. Their idea of a working garage is to walk thru an icy sheet metal parking lot with an old school garage door opener just to get to other peoples cars so they can move them themselves. Not once in all this snow did anyone shovel! They don’t even care that we have NEVER had heat in the lobby. It’s humiliating when your guests come and comment month after month considering how much rent we pay to live here. I’M SURE NOW THAT THERE ARE NEW OWNERS THEY”LL USE EVERY EXCUSE IN THE BOOK NOT TO HELP THE TENANTS BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT A LEMON OF A BUILDING. I’m getting out of this place ASAP and I will do everything in my power to let anyone and everyone know that moving into this building would be a moronic thing to do. These are the laziest people I’ve ever dealt with in any of the multiple places I’ve lived in in NYC. And aptsandlofts.com should be ashamed too. They marketed this place as such an amazing luxurious building. What’s so luxurious about sleeping without heat because in order to stay warm it’s an extra $500 a month for a 650sf apt? Pathetic – that’s what 53 Broadway is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I am a new tenant in the building, and have also been disappointed with the con ed situation. $500 for the first 23 days of service, during which 14 of them we were out of town (no heat, no lights, no showers, no laundry, etc). The super in the building, William, is super nice and trying to help, but it seems there must be a wiring issue. I am nervously awaiting second bill for when we actually lived in the apartment (constantly wrapped in robes, blankets, and avoiding heat unless absolutely necessary).
    Re: the parking. The first time I arrived at the apartment on January 1 with car was when I was told the “included” parking was unavailable. Fast forward 48 hours when I am picking up my vandalized car in subzero temperatures in bushwick after it had been vandalized on the street and towed by NYC police who reported there was an unknown substance thrown all over the car as well as popped tires and a cracked windshield. Welcome to the neighborhood, might have been nice to have been given a heads up that parking was off the table, would have made other arrangements.
    It would be great to see the owners of the building right the wrongs so we can be happy staying in the apartment long term.
    Great location, spacious apartment, very nice staff and nice neighbors. It’s not too late for things to turnaround, preferably without the exhaustion of “rent strikes” and “lawyers” which are 2 words I’ve heard thrown around. We moved into this “luxury” building for the luxury of peace and quiet. I’d love to just enjoy living there are put this mess behind us!

    • I agree with all of the above. LOVE the location, apartment, staff and neighbors. Hope we don’t have to resort to “lawyers” or “rent strikes”, but it feels like the mismanagement of the building will leave us with no other choice

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your car :( I had a similar situation happen to me just last week (I was parked on the street around the corner). Try and get video surveillance if you can!

  • I’ve heard a lot of stories like this from friends in buildings similar to this one…it’s a nightmare. Seriously happy to have a rent stabilized loft where heat and cooking gas are FREE and it’s super warm. My cousin just broke his lease and moved to my building here in Wallabout because his electric was almost $500 a month…how can anyone be expected to afford that?

  • I’m having the same issues also. Bills have been as low as $300 and have only been increasing. Thought maybe it was because of the cold weather but I was out of town for 2 weeks with nothing on and my most recent bill was still extremely high. Along with the expensive rent this just adds to the pressure each month! Con Ed needs to fix this soon otherwise there will be a lot of empty apartments.

  • I’m a resident of 53 Broadway. Firstly- let me say I LOVE the building and my apartment. The super William is great, as are the doormen. Secondly – Building Management is TERRIBLE.

    1. ConEd Bills. Paid $350 while away for 2 weeks and at work the other 2 weeks hardly being in the apartment. Has only increased since, with bills averaging $600/month. This is with our heaters unplugged and taking our laundry out to be done. Literally using nothing but the TV, Fridge and lights, and only in the evenings after work at that. We also sit in our sweats under blankets in our $3,000 a month apartment like squatters.

    2. Parking. Ugh. Parking Tickets, slippery ramps and Tears if you live in 53 Broadway. Needs to be reimbursed, was a promised part of our rental agreement not delivered.

    3. Cold Lobby. The poor doormen have been FREEZING all winter. They should also get a pay credit. SHAME SHAME Metro Management for treating your employees like this.

    4. Metro Management. Oh Metro Management. Who are you, we’ve never seen you in the building you “manage”. They clearly have no idea what they are doing, allocating 1 overworked person to our building as well as many other “sites” he is frequently at. Not taking responsibility for the issue, and letting us go all winter with no resolution, postponing getting it checked out and forcing us to take time out of our lives to discuss it. This is not how I wanted to meet my neighbors!! But seriously, if EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT of the building is having the same issue, obviously something is wrong, Metro Management. Please fix it and reimburse us, 1 month free rent would be a great start to cover surplus costs + aggravation. Please don’t continue to ignore us and make us take next steps and get lawyers. We want to work this out reasonably and be done with it and move on with our lives.

    5. 24 Hour Doorman service as promised. You are taking our rent money, use it to benefit the building, period.

  • that’s tough situation. i’ve been in a horrible building before with similar problems and the only ways to get results were working collectively. if i were living there, i would withhold the amount of rent that seems appropriate for the issues that are in the lease but not being delivered. if you pay for ConEd or other utilities, it will be highly unlikely you would see any money back, even if it is because of a building error and you are overpaying b/c of it. it would be in everyone’s best interest to work together and withhold cash. there is no incentive for management to change anything unless you hit them in the wallet.

  • My girlfriend and I are also victims of this building. We love our studio apartment the neighborhood and the staff in the building (Super & doormen) However our ConEd bill has reached heights of $400+ for a small studio apartment. We hardly ever even turn on the heat (which is electric) we even unplugged it so not to trickle energy. There’s definitely something wrong with this building. I really don’t think it’s insulation, as I said we haven’t needed to turn on the heat much which means it stays comfortable without the need for the heater. There is a water heater in each unit which I’m sure accounts for some of the additional costs but certainly this can’t be the only reason for such an absurdly consistently high bill every month. Unfortunately if this is not remedied we’ll be opting to move out once our lease is up. For the extra $200-300/mo we could save it or get a nicer place even.
    - Disappointed Tenant

  • We are tenants of 53 broadway and, like all of you, outraged by our Con Edison bills. While we love William the Super, our neighbors and the doormen, we are very disappointed by the amount we are paying in heat and electricity. We live in a one bedroom apartment and both of us are gone from 7 am to 7 pm daily. We rarely turn on the heat to avoid getting an exorbitant bill (we’ll wrap up in blankets and layer in sweatshirts – not fun). It’s beyond disappointing – this is our home! For the management company to neglect us like they are is unacceptable. There is clearly something wrong with the wiring in the building. I hope we can come to an agreement to satisfy the tenants’ requests, being that we are largely overpaying for our heating bill and living with unfulfilled promises mapped out in our lease agreements. Shame if this has to go beyond the management to include lawyers.