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Rats Don’t Discriminate

They Love Million Dollar Homes, Too 

The Cast Iron House, renovated in 2015 by architect Shigeru Ban into state-of-the-art luxury condos, has a rat infestation. And they’re not small rats, either. But these Tribeca residents aren’t going down without a fight. Nor should they have to, especially when they’ve paid millions already for their homes. Which is exactly what they said – right in their lawsuit, filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court.

The Cast Iron House is at 67 Franklin Street in Tribeca, and was built in 1882, but completely reinvented into about a dozen luxury residences. The design was quite modern and creatively done, which was going to be a challenge due to the restriction from the New York City Landmarks Commission that the rooftop addition be invisible from street level. Here are some pictures to show the success of the unique design.

Photo Courtesy of RealtyHop

Anyhow, the seemingly exquisite homes attracted authentically exquisite residents, like Giorgio DeLuca, co-founder of Dean & DeLuca, the gourmet grocery chain. DeLuca is one of the residents who has had enough, and is now suing. According to The New York Post article, court papers state the city Health Department has already found fresh rat droppings twice, earning them two summonses in two years. The lawsuit details the reasons for the problem even occurring under normal circumstances as being because of missing insulation in many areas of the facáde and the lack of fire stopping sealants in the walls of the building. In addition, the suit states that residents have had to spend their own money fixing holes in drywall and cabinets the rats have made. It included pictures from home security camera footage of the huge rats crawling all over furniture and even in a child’s playroom while they’re away. Some of the rodents apparently have also been found dead in common areas. The lawyer for the building stated they deny all allegations and have confidence the lawsuit will be dismissed. 

Rats! Not Again…

Photo by Ranjith Jaya on Unsplash

I hate the loathsome creatures, and like the one pictured above, they all look like they have this permanent evil grin on their face, to me. NYC notoriously has a rat problem. A big one. With notoriously big rats. In a study by RentHop, by November 2021 there were already over 25,000 rat sightings across the five boroughs, a 28.7% increase from the previous year. October 2021 showed the highest number of reports of all, with a 62.7% increase from October 2020 and the worst month in 6 years. Rats pose serious health risks, and we certainly don’t need that right on the heels of the pandemic. There’s more good information about rat statistics in another article we did here

Perhaps when inspectors can get back to their jobs as the pandemic wanes, things might get incrementally better. And when building owners can focus on caring for their tenants and their properties, instead of being focused on the moratorium and when they can begin evicting people again – maybe then. We shall see. 

Rochelle Harris is a passionate writer originally from Phoenix, AZ. who credits her success to integrity and determination. She has a great sense of humor, loves music and her family, and writes fiction and poetry in her spare time. She is excited about the New York experience and lifestyle! Follow Rochelle on Twitter at @LinguisticAnRky or get in touch at [email protected]