Hell’s Kitchen condo residents are rebelling against its ‘creepy’ boss
New York Post
By Christopher Cameron
11 November 2018
Neiditch posing in 635 W 42nd St.
Enraged residents of a Hell’s Kitchen condo are rebelling against the
flashy building boss who they claim has turned the luxe tower into an
illegal, short-term rental “gulag.”
Daniel Neiditch’s firm, River to River Realty, is not just the
exclusive Realtor for the Atelier, located 635 W. 42nd St., he is also
the building’s manager and 10-year-long board president.
Owners accuse Neiditch of using his power to run the building like a
Mafioso, organizing a large-scale illegal Airbnb racket with other
board members, and threatening and intimidating residents who have
stood in his way, according to a draft lawsuit, to be filed this week
in Manhattan Supreme Court, obtained by the Post.
“He called me ‘gray hair bitch,’” says condo owner Eugenia Elliott, who
was fined $2,500 for “incitement of violence” by the board, she says
for running an 88-strong Atelier residents’ WhatsApp group organized to
combat the short-term rental epidemic in the building. “I’m a
70-year-old grandmother of four.”
“It’s the kookiest place,” says Tanya Helfand, a divorce attorney who
bought a pied-à-terre in February. “It’s like a Fellini movie here.”
Helfand says that immediately after she purchased her apartment it was
clear that foreign tourists and even bachelorette parties were
overrunning the 46-story tower. But instead of addressing the problem
by having the doorman ID residents, she says Neiditch threatened her
and admitted to “watching” her via the building’s security-camera
“I am a single woman and it’s pretty damn creepy,” she says. “He scares
people. I filed a harassment report with the police.”
On Oct. 12, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, which has been
cracking down on short-term rentals across the city, raided the
475-unit building and issued 33 violations for illegal Airbnbs,
according to summonses reviewed by The Post. Residents, who have made
over 100 complaints to the city’s 311 hotline, according to public
records, say those units were just the tip of the iceberg and that more
tourists arrived luggage in tow the very same day. Even the building’s
cleaning service has been transformed into a turn-down service for the
short-term rentals, residents say.
“Daniel Neiditch, the President of the Atelier Board of Managers,
usurped the Board, and together with the other named Defendants, have
collectively engaged in a complex illegal transient rental enterprise
at the Atelier,” the draft lawsuit states.
The raid rattled some of the alleged illegal landlords as piles of
mattresses, furniture and room partitions appeared in the Dumpster
behind the building following the raid.
Neiditch, who did not return requests for comment, did not receive a
summons. Through his lawyer, he now claims to not own any units in the
building – despite acting as its president and telling The Post in May
he owned multiple units.
Board members who own units were slapped with violations, including Taj
Khan and Margret Chen. Two other owners, entities called Yin and Yang
Construction and White Glove Corporate Cleaning — both represented by a
lawyer who has also represented Neiditch — also received summonses.
“I’m not going to say that Neiditch is pocketing [the Airbnb] money,”
said Helfand. But, citing his prominent role in the Atelier and the
apparent river of illegal Airbnb money flooding through the building,
she said, “if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably
Roman Gambourg, a member of the Atelier’s condo board, told The Post
the board denies any “illegal short-term rental operation,” and that “a
handful of disgruntled unit owners have made it their hobby to complain
to 311 in a false attempt to discredit the board.”
635 West 42nd
Street in Manhattan
“There have been owners that have also been physically assaulted only
for the fact [that] they had a suitcase when they walked into the
building,” Gambourg said.
Gambourg also claims that the building’s condo board is in fact “on the
front line” of fixing the Airbnb problem and has pledged to fully
eradicate “any and all Airbnb activity from the Atelier Condo no later
than April 30, 2019.”
But the draft lawsuit paints a different picture, accusing Neiditch of
“bullying” tactics that have made life in the building “akin to a 1920s
Gulag instead of a white-glove luxury building.”
“The resident’s property values are being tremendously reduced by this
illegal short-term rental operation,” Massimo D’Angelo, a partner in
the law firm of Adam Lietman Baily, the firm filing the lawsuit, told
The Post. “It’s so egregious.”
D’Angelo says he will explore civil RICO claims and criminal charges
with the DA.
This is not Neidtich’s first brush with real-estate scandal.
This summer, The Post revealed that his $85 million, 24-room,
15,000-square-foot penthouse listing at the Atelier – which promises an
instant oligarch lifestyle, including a 75-foot yacht, house in the
Hamptons, dinner for two at Daniel for a year, a Rolls Royce and even a
trip to outer space — was in fact nothing more than a dozen modest
rental apartments which Neidtich claimed he planned to combine into one
after the sale.
“No one is spending tens of millions of dollars to live here — the
carpets are dirty from all the foot traffic,” Helfand says. “It’s a
nice building but it ain’t that nice. I think it’s part of his BS
Back in 2015, Neiditch was slapped with a $1 million lawsuit after his
bodyguard allegedly punched a nightclub manager. At the time, he was
making reservations using the surname “Bloomberg,” according to the
And in 2009, The Post reported that anonymous residents of the Atelier
took to the web after the tragic suicide of the building’s resident
manager, accusing Neiditch of “lies, cover-ups, scams [and] tyranny.”
New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals
The Wall Street Journal wrote an article about the short-term rental problems in the condo building.