The sale of the Stony Run apartment complex to E&M Management for approximately $28 million has gone through, with the Nassau County developer officially extending their reach into the Hudson Valley.
According to Menashe Shapiro of the Manhattan-based Shapiro Consulting Group and a representative of E&M, the developer is planning to invest around $1.5 million toward capital improvement at the 267-unit Hurley Avenue complex, including new kitchens, refrigerators and stoves; new bathrooms; and repainted apartments. Shapiro added that E&M planned to pick up the deferred maintenance on the property, will contract with a company to maintain and keep the swimming pool open and will convert the former leasing office into a gym for residents.
Meyer Brecher, E&M’s director of property management, said the developer is committed to updating Stony Run and other local properties they’ve purchased in recent years, and will do so by moving their base of operations from the greater New York City area to the Hudson Valley.
“Our goal is upgrade Stony Run, and to modernize the complex,” said Brecher. “Moreover, tenants across all our properties will benefit from these new amenities and a streamlined process as we relocate our base of operations and management into a centralized office in Kingston.”
Among the properties owned by E&M in the area is Sunset Garden, a 217-unit complex in the Town of Ulster. E&M Management purchased Sunset Garden and Lakeshore Villas, a 151-unit property in Port Ewen, from Morgan Communities in March 2018 for $44 million, expanding a local portfolio which also includes Kingston Waterfront and 30 Black Creek Road in Highland. According to the E&M Management website, most of their other properties are in Nassau County and Far Rockaway, a Queens neighborhood not far from their headquarters in Lawrence.
E&M and some of its tenants have been at odds since they took over local properties like Sunset Garden. Late last year, some tenants described a property falling into disrepair and a property owner unwilling to do anything about it. They said tenants were not having their leases renewed to put them in a more precarious position of being subject to eviction on a whim as retaliation for speaking out, and at least two tenants — Laura Hartmann and Liz Shapiro — said that was exactly what had happened to both of them. They said intimidation was used as means to an end, the dismissal of residents who might be home during the day, older tenants, and those who challenged E&M with the hopes of replacing them with potentially deep-pocketed millennials.
Last November, Ulster Town Building Inspector Kathryn Moniz said she was spending one day a week at Sunset Garden to investigate issues raised by tenants and to try to the best of her ability to ensure they were rectified by E&M. Earlier this month, Moniz said little has changed.
“I still devote one day a week to Sunset Garden,” she said. “I have to. I go into all the common areas, I knock on doors for people that have had complaints that I’ve asked them to take care of to see if everything has been done. I’m proactive, because that’s the only way that they’re going to do anything, and even then they don’t do anything.”
Earlier in June, Shapiro said the developer was working to stay on top of maintenance requests at Sunset Garden and elsewhere.
“E&M responds to all maintenance requests in a timely fashion and takes all maintenance requests very seriously,” said Shapiro. “They are committed to Kingston and working with the building department and inspectors. There was a heating issue in February and E&M provided space heaters to tenants at their own — E&M’s — expense so no tenant would be cold.”
Shapiro added that the developer takes tenant privacy seriously and would not discuss eviction notices publicly, “other than to say that if there is an eviction notice, it is legal and done with just cause.”
“E&M’s policy is to treat every single resident with dignity and respect,” said Shapiro. “There have been some recent staffing changes to guarantee that.”
Tenants’ rights have been a hot item at the state level, with the assembly passing sweeping legislation earlier this month, including making permanent the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, which allows counties like Ulster to declare a housing emergency, and would provide rent stabilization for renters if their municipal governments opt in.
Shapiro said that E&M would work with local authorities in Kingston and Ulster County to ensure that they’re “working towards achieving the best results for tenants and the entire community.”
“The new legislation makes these issues more localized, and E&M looks forward to working with all the local stakeholders on this,” Shapiro said. “Generally speaking E&M has not passed the costs – and has no plans to do so — of improving their other properties onto the tenants.”
The seller of Stony Run, Stony Run Co., could not be reached for comment on the sale of the property.