Right before Christmas a group of Norwood residents received a letter saying they had 90 days to leave their home. Needless to say, this was not the gift they expected.
Located at 3245 Perry Ave., is a building of co-ops. Among the people who were threatened with eviction was renowned photographer and EMT who rescued people on 9/11 Joe Conzo.
Conzo, who has lived there for 25 years and overcame cancer, was caught off guard and immediately reached out to the media, elected officials and the developer, Glacier Equities. In November, Glacier purchased nine buildings in Manhattan and the Bronx for $23 million with plans to renovate the co-ops and put them on the market.
He told as many people as possible that they have rights and there was an eviction moratorium until May 1, but some left on their own.
“We were like what the f*ck,” Conzo said. “It was a punch in the gut when this happened. Christmas came and left for everyone who got this letter.”
But as Conzo made a stink in the news, owner of Glacier, Myles Horn, took notice. Horn reached out to Conzo assured him that no one is being booted out of their home and the letter should not have been sent out. He also expressed his apologies to all of the tenants.
Furthermore, Horn is working with the residents to allow them to purchase the co-op, give them time to find a new place and is willing to waive months of rent to assist people with relocation expenses.
“As we promised everyone we have had conversations with almost all of the tenants,” Horn said to the Bronx Times. “No one is being removed. We really see this as an economic boom to the Bronx.”
He stressed that no one should be evicted during a pandemic and he wants to give people the opportunity to be homeowners. People are often deprived out of living in Manhattan, but that should not be the case in the Bronx, he said.
“People are priced out of everywhere,” he remarked. “We have to get the word out that the Bronx is the place to live.”
Conzo is on good terms with Horn now and feels the situation has been resolved.
Among the elected officials that were angry about the situation was Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. He along with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Senator Jamaal Bailey and Congressman Adriano Espaillat sent a letter to Horn thanking him for admitting there was a mistake with the letter, but asked for Glacier to offer every tenant at least one lease renewal that continues the terms of their most recent lease agreement and for those that want to remain living in their homes, with opportunities for home ownership that include insider discounted pricing or financing packages. Additionally, the pols requested for those that wish to move, they ask that he assist in relocating them to new homes that fit their budget and life needs.
Dinowitz has met with Horn and hopes he keeps his word on helping the tenants.
“Can you imagine someone opening up an envelope saying you are being kicked out around Christmas during a pandemic,” he exclaimed. “This whole episode didn’t have to happen. I don’t think anything is really resolved yet.”