The Orbach Group is a real estate investment and management company that owns about 50 buildings near Columbia University. The New York Times reports that it’s yet another shady company, so tenants should be wary of them. The Orbach Group installed metal gates on most of their buildings’ stoops in a clear effort to discourage stoop-sitting by rent-regulated tenants.
Hanging out on one’s stoop is a city tradition. The Orbach Group is trying to make it go away so that its below-market-rate renters will move away and it can rent the apartments to Columbia students. Tommy McCarthy, who pays $480 a month for his apartment, received several letters from the company accusing him of loitering on his own stoop. The company then put up metal gates that make sitting on the stoop feel like sitting in a jail cell.
“The stoops allowed the block to stay close as a community — it’s where everyone gets together, and the gates have definitely blocked that,” lifelong 109th St resident Anyale Contin told the Times.
The Orbach Group isn’t just being creepy with rent-controlled tenants, too: It advertises to Chinese students by using Columbia’s colors and a similar logo to try and imply an affiliation to the university it doesn’t have.
The Orbach Group is a disgrace to late Law & Order actor Jerry Orbach’s good name.
(Photo: Google Maps)