We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This is a new letter from Mgmt posted on all floors of 118 East 4th St. It concerns the removal and installation of new mailboxes. The letter is of course not signed or dated. They seem to be asking us as tenants to do their job for them. Considering the inflated rents the new tenants are paying, its a bit insulting.

195 East 4th Street is also a Fortune East owned building going through the same construction nightmares we are going through. More on that later. Here is a description from one of their tenants we are in email contact with, concerning their mail situation.

Do not rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum Real Estate, Fortune East, or PVE Assoc.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Fire

At 11:15 this morning we had another fire scare. 
Three fire trucks pulled up in front of 118 and 120 East 4th Street. 

The incident was in 120. Again. This quote from a TA member residing at 120 will describe the situation. 

Speaking of incompetence. From Ben Shaoul, Magnum Mgmt, and Fortune East the flow of incompetence is relentless, and seemingly never ending. We NEVER had any of the problems described in the blog before Mr. Shaoul and his partners purchased our buildings.  We used to have a super that lived in 120. He was removed from his apartment so that Fortune East could squeeze out as much profit as they can from these buildings. When our Super lived here he would nip these problems in the bud. There would have been no need of all those fire trucks if he still lived here. Such a waste of taxpayers hard-earned dollars. We are very grateful to the NYC Fire Dept for their quick response.

Do Not rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum Real Estate, Fortune East, or PVE Assoc. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Opposed to Fracked Gas Pipeline

Help oppose a pipeline bringing high-pressure fracked gas from upstate to NYC. Please see the following link, send an email or letter, and attend the meeting. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gog in NYC: Survivor

Gog in NYC: Survivor: I've always loved this little townhouse on E 4th Street, which now sits in the shadow of a ginormous finger building .  It lives and breathe...

Jane Says

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” 

Looking For An Apartment ?

You will live to regret it.

Fire Last Night

Last night between 8:30 and 9 there was a fire scare at 120 East 4th street. Four fire trucks arrived on the block, bringing traffic to a stand still, lighting up the street and buildings with red flashing lights and bright white beams from the search lights attached to the trucks. Dozens of people on either side of the street leaning out of their windows to get a look. Quite like an Edward Hopper painting. I noticed that the large numbers of firefighters on the street below, did not seem to be moving about with any great urgency, so I figured the situation was not so dire. I kept watching to be sure. I thought I smelled smoke, but wasn't sure.  The trucks remained on the block for about a half an hour. I sent an email to our tenant association's private social network asking what the problem was. I received a quick response from one of our members. The fire was from one of the new tenants lighting a BBQ on the roof. 

The following photo is one of the rooftop gardens with access from the apartment below on top of 120 East 4th. A bulkhead stair from an apartment to the roof is apparently legal. A room up there is apparently not legal. When Rosie Mendez attended one of our TA meetings in February, she said this sort of room on the roof is illegal. The definition of "room" comes into question here. A real estate developer like Ben Shaoul will try to manipulate the definition of "room" to suit his ruthless greedy profit driven agenda. Mr. Shaoul and Magnum Mgmt have a penchant for adding barely legal or illegal structures to rooftops. In the photo below through the window, a drying rack for clothing is clearly visible. Does this make the structure a room, or a storage space? Hard to say.

Looks nice, but we here at OE4 are not sure how much care was taken to make such a roof garden structurally sound. Looking carefully I'd say not much care was taken. Looks like some nice patio stones and a bit of decorative gravel placed directly on top of the roof. Looking carefully one can see that the old roof is in need of some attention. 120 East 4th street has 2 or 3 of these roof cabanas as we like to call them on the roof. This is where one of the new tenants lit a BBQ. Are BBQs legal on the roofs of the East Village?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You've Got Mail

At 118 East 4th we are now without  mail service, thanks to the inept Fortune East/ Magnum Mgmt. I encountered a mailman on my out to work and he was posting a sign above our mail boxes on the first floor. 

Apparently the US Postal Service made the decision to suspend mail service to 118 East 4th St. Despite the annoyance to us, I can't blame them for making that decision. See the next photograph.

We will see how long it takes Mgmt to fix this problem. I often wonder about the new tenants. Most of them pay $2550 a month. That adds up to $30,600.00 a year. Such an outrageous amount of rent to pay, living with such endless chronic problems, due to careless mismanagement.  I'm just sayin. 

                                              Do not Rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum Mgmt, Fortune East, or PVE Associates.

More about the lease renewals at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St.

More about the lease renewals at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tenants Bill of Rights

Do not rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum Real Estate, Fortune East,or PVE Associates.

Telling Lies

I was in the hallway today, on my way home for lunch. I passed a real estate agent with a client, presumably working for Magnum Real Estate, on my way up the stairs. I overheard this real estate agent, none of whom incidentally ever have a key to the Apt they are showing, telling outrageous lies to his client. I don't mean the usual exaggerations of a real estate agent. I mean outright nasty lies. He said the rent was so high because of "the rent stabilized tenants. They are free loaders and most of them are on welfare, and are substance abusers, don't ever talk to any of them. When they are all evicted, your rent will go down. They will try to get you to join their tenant association. Do yourself a favor and don't get mixed up with them. They'll all be gone a couple of months".

Do Not rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum Mgmt, Fortune East, or PVE Associates.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'll Be Watching You

This is our new key to the front doors of the buildings we live in. Its an electronic "fob" key. Magnum/ Fortune East changed the entry doors to our buildings for reasons of "security".  Along with this fob key, a video camera was also installed for our personal "security".We received an unsigned letter from Fortune East saying that we had 3 different times to appear at an apartment at 120 East 4th St. to pickup our new key. We were instructed to bring our ID. The letter said we were only allowed one key. If we wanted a second key we had to submit the reason for one in writing to them. According to the law we are allowed 2 keys to the building. Fortune East will mess with you in any little way they can. I went to pick up my key on the first day. I presented my drivers license to this guy named Keith. I can't tell you if that is his real name. There has been a history of folks from Magnum Mgmt. presenting themselves to us with false names.  He asked me to find my name on a list and initial it. As I did this, without asking me, he swiped my ID into his computer and there was my face on his computer screen! Now I already live in an apartment here. I already went through an interview process and background check. Ben Shaoul and Magnum were performing background checks on the tenants that already lived here. Very sleazy in my opinion. I'm quite sure they used Google and other Internet search devices to collect information on us. Now this particular key has our identity on it. We buzz ourselves into the building with it and the camera records us. I can't say that I personally feel secure with this. Can you say George Orwell?

There is another problem with this key aside from Ben Shaoul performing daily surveillance upon us.  We experienced a power blackout in the hallways of the building last January. See the post "Blackout". The power went out on all floors except the first floor. From the street all looked normal. This is the point of concern. If the power goes out in the entire building, which is possible with the slipshod management, what happens to the electronic locks? Are they still locked, or is the building open to the criminal element on the street? Is the lock disabled without electric power? Fortune East instructed us to keep the original key in case of a power outage, but they put a metal plug into the keyhole. Now in the case of another blackout, I'd like to know if I return home late at night from work that I can get into the building. I can make my way up the stars in the dark, and light a candle and cope. In the situation of another blackout, I fear that I would be locked out on the street. One might say to call the super and he would come down to the street and let you in. Magnum has removed the super from our buildings,  to maximize their profits, so this would not be an option. According to reviews of Magnum on the Yelp website, they have a pattern of removing Supers from their properties.  Of course there has been no response on this issue from Mgmt.

Every move you make, every step you take, I'll be watching you.

Do not rent from Ben Shaoul, Magnum, Fortune East, or PVE associates.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Before and After

These are photographs of the "renovated and improved" hallway of our building.

I think its clear which hallway has a more inviting vibe. 

In this photo with the ladder, the plastic tarp over doorways, and the construction dust on the hand rail of the stair, is in my opinion preferable to the "improved" grey.

Psychology of Color: Yellow

Cheerful, the color of the Sun, associated with laughter, happiness and good times. A person surrounded by this feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more Seratonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It is the color associated with optimism. It's influence can speed up our metabolism and bring out creative thought. Legal tablets are yellow for good reason. The more golden shades connect to the promise of better times.

Psychology of Color: Orange

The most flamboyant color on the planet! It's the color tied most to fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth, and organic products. It is also associated with ambition. Orange is a new dawn attitude. 

Psychology of Color: Grey

Grey is most associated with the practical, middle of the road, solid things in life. Too much grey leads to feeling mostly nothing. Some shades of grey are associated with old age, death, taxes, depression or a lost sense of direction. 

Friday, March 2, 2012


HOW MANY MORE BUILDINGS do Ben Shaoul and his shadow companies control? We've discovered 5 more definite addresses to add to our list, but we know that Shaoul's company Magnum advertises rental apartments at other addresses. It is a pity to know that very many tenants are subject to the indifference and neglect of these "managers". Tenants should be warned away from buildings managed by Fortune East, Magnum Real Estate Services, and PVE Associates.

We are updating our Map and Violations page and invite our readers to inform us of other buildings and/or building conditions at the Shaoul properties. Please email East4thJane with information.

Here is a taste of what tenants say:

>deceptive, undelivered services and promises, inadequate appliances, unavailable super, invasive of privacy, litigious
"They're disgusting, vile people and should be reported as many times as humanly possible. Total scum."

>unavailable, charge illegal rents, leave services like buzzers broken for months, ineffective about coordinating services, hide their physical location
"Never, ever rent from them. Ever."

>wouldn't make repairs or needed maintenance until tenants hired a lawyer, bloody noses from construction dust, invasion of privacy
"DO NOT live in a building operated by magnum management. They are the most incompetent, irresponsible and unpleasant property owners in new york...
...Magnum Management is a HORRIFIC management company and I strongly suggest you reconsider leasing any apartment managed by them."

>did not respond when the super robbed many apartments, no heat or hot water

>cheated tenant out of credit for his property
"Magnum Management is one of the most poorly run real estate companies in NYC. Not only do they hire completely incompetent staff, they basically treat their tenants like crap...These people are professional crooks."

>"Do NOT make the mistake of living in a magnum rental."<

Seen At The Bean

Looking For An Answer

This is a new permit for work in 118. I have underlined in pink the point in question. Work has been performed in more than 50% of 118 and far more than 50% of 120, and the work continues to increase in scale. It has been going on like this for over a year. Perhaps its a question of semantics. 311 and the DOB have been of little help in this matter. Anyone out there have an answer to this? Please contact us.