Mayor Walsh makes Green National Receivership Request
Published on February 13, 2023
In motion for expedited court action, city lawyers detail Green National’s “journey of self-serving greed at the expense of vulnerable tenants”
City asks judge to appoint receiver to intercept rents for repair and maintenance and make Green National pay $1 million to ensure costs are covered
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is asking the State Supreme Court to bring an end to Green National’s property management in Syracuse. Citing the company’s “journey of self-serving greed at the expense of vulnerable tenants,” City lawyers submitted a petition Friday seeking the appointment of a receiver to take over Green National’s four remaining large rental properties in the city: the Skyline Apartments, The Vincent, The James and Chestnut Crossing.
The City’s action requests the court appoint a receiver to intercept all rents for repair and maintenance of Green National properties and to cover costs of receivership. The City also asks the court to make the company pay $1 million to cover any shortfall in costs of the repairs, maintenance and/or the receiver before rent payments for the month of March are received.
“For years, Green National has forced its tenants to endure horrific living conditions while thumbing its nose at efforts to hold it accountable. The company has repeatedly reneged on its commitments and not met the requirements of the city, the New York State Attorney General and even the State Supreme Court,” said Mayor Walsh. “They promised to sell all their properties and didn’t do that either. So now we need to take the extraordinary measure of a court-appointed receiver to replace Green National once and for all.”
The City’s petition calls out the company’s pattern of failing to deliver on its obligations: “If [Green National is] willing to ignore the directive of this Court’s orders and the New York State Attorney General herself what chance do the residents of these Properties stand of having their issues addressed? The answer is none. Not without the assistance of a receiver who is charged with collecting rents, not for the receiver’s own pockets, but to invest in the Properties to provide safe and habitable living conditions for the residents.”
Across the four Green National properties, the City’s petition details repeated instances of serious crime; more than 1,500 calls to 911 in the past six months; 11 separate declarations of unfit living conditions in two years; and multiple occurrences of failed utility systems. The City wants a receiver to take over management of: Skyline Apartments, a 12-story, 352 unit complex at 753 James Street; The Vincent, sixteen three-story buildings with 267 apartments at 420 and 438 Jamesville Avenue; The James, a seven-story apartment with 62 units at 600 James Street; and Chestnut Crossing Apartments, two three-story buildings with 133 units at 923 and 941-947 James Street.
Mayor Walsh, joined by representatives of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, Code Enforcement, Police, and Law, met with Green National tenants on Monday morning to explain the expected next steps in the City’s action. Walsh said the City is prepared to recommend a qualified receiver to immediately take control of the Green National properties in Syracuse.
The City of Syracuse has been working closely with New York Attorney General Letitia James to hold Green National accountable and improve conditions for tenants. Last February, Attorney General James reached an agreement with Green National requiring the company to correct all code violations at their properties within 60 days and to pay a $300,000 fine. After the 60-day period, Green National fixed some issues at their buildings, but failed to correct all the code violations in a timely manner. As a result, Attorney General James sued Green National for failing to repair all their violations and to retain a monitor, as required by their agreement. Attorney General James secured a court order requiring Green National to correct their code violations and pay additional penalties for violating parts of their agreement with OAG. Green National has filed a motion to reargue the case and a notice of appeal on the court decision.
# ## #