As Alma Realty readies to propose more development on top of the Surfside buildings in Rockaway Park, the City has filed a lawsuit against Alma for code violations on other properties. On January 6, Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix announced that the city has filed two lawsuits against landlords Alma Realty Corp. and Empire Management America Corp. for allowing thousands of residents to live in dangerous conditions as a result of thousands of code violations.
According to a press release, the suits seek to improve the living conditions of the thousands of tenants in more than 20 buildings collectively owned by the two landlords. Additionally, the City’s Law Department entered into a separate agreement with a third landlord — Sentinel Real Estate Corporation.
“All New Yorkers deserve to live in safe, clean homes, which is why we will not tolerate landlords who repeatedly flout the law and put the health and wellbeing of tenants at risk,” Mayor Adams said. “Alma Reality, Empire Management America, and Sentinel Real Estate allowed thousands of code violations to go unchecked for years, endangering the well-being of thousands of residents. These lawsuits and agreement underscore our administration’s commitment to more aggressive enforcement actions against bad actors and deterring this sort of negligence in the future.”
One lawsuit alleges that Alma has maintained dangerous and unsanitary conditions in 13 buildings, where more than 800 violations remain uncorrected. Some of the worst conditions in these buildings include deteriorating facades, defective electrical wiring, missing fire doors, lead-based paint hazards, and infestations of rats and mice. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) also previously sued Alma over two of these buildings.