Park Slope

A long-awaited payout for holdout Prospect Park Residence tenants is near

Six Weeks Late, Nursing Home Landlord Comes up with $3.35M Settlement for Last Remaining Seniors

September 6, 2016 By James Harney Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Prospect Park Residence in Park Slope. Eagle file photo by Mary Frost
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Now that they’ve finally settled, they can afford to resettle.

The longstanding controversy that has swirled around the Prospect Park Residence senior citizens’ home came one step closer to closure last week when its owner agreed to pay $3.35 million to get a group of holdout tenants to move out of the Park Slope facility.

Landlord Haysha Deitsch has been trying to clear out 1 Prospect Park West — once home to as many as 130 elderly residents — since 2014, so that he can sell it for $84 million to investment firm Sugar Hill Capital Partners, which wants to convert the nine-story, 134-unit building to luxury condos.

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The deal hit a snag when a small group of tenants — all of them over 90 years old — refused to leave and filed suit, sparking a court battle that turned nasty at times, including allegations that the seniors were being served inedible food and were denied air conditioning in hot summer months in an effort to 

strong-arm them into moving out.

Deitsch finally agreed in May to pay $3.35 million to the five remaining holdouts by July 15, with the understanding that they would move out by Aug. 31.

But he failed to meet the July deadline, leaving the holdout seniors in limbo, not knowing if they would have the money to pay for new places to live, and not knowing how much longer they could stay at the Prospect Park Residence.

The landlord reportedly missed the deadline because he was strapped for cash and wanted to dip into a $7 million down payment Sugar Hill Partners had put down on the building. Early last month, Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Wayne Saitta blocked Deitsch from making that move.

Last week, Deitsch finally came up with the $3.35 million, which, says his attorney, Joel Drucker, will go into an escrow account and be disbursed to the five tenants if and when they vacate the building by an Oct. 10 deadline.

For Deitsch, however, the saga is not over; before the $84 million sale to Sugar Hill Partners can be consummated, $10 million worth of liens on the property — connected to several wrongful death suits filed by the families of residents who died while living at 1 Prospect Park West — must be settled.


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