Landlord's Murder Shakes Orthodox Community

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

NYPD (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Josh Nathan-Kazis, staff writer for The Jewish Daily Forward , talks about what is known about the kidnapping and death of Menachem Stark, a prominent Satmar Jewish developer and landlord in Brooklyn.



Josh Nathan-Kazis

Comments [27]

E from Brooklyn

Art, keep on spinning. Except she wasn't underage AND SAID NOTHING HAPPENED. To top it off Stark sued the city and received a settlement . Your source is obviously not the Daily News, you're a blatant liar, or best case scenario suffer from reading comprehension issues.

Jan. 08 2014 10:35 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Funny e, I have gotten most of my information from The Daily News and I haven't seen them refute anything. As for the subway incident, from what I read, it was an undercover cop who witnessed the incident and arrrested Stark. The girl who was allegedly accosted was underage and she and her family wouldn't press charges.

Jan. 08 2014 07:08 AM

In 2010 I called into the Brian Lehrer Show to ask a question about unscrupulous landlord practices, of a sort. I was currently living in one of Max Stark's buildings at the time -- 239 Banker Street (not in Bushwick, actually, but in Greenpoint). The show ran a story about illegal lofts in Brooklyn, replaying my call, and the DOB evacuated all residents within a few days of the show. It was a tumultuous time, to say the least. (And I wasn't the woman who showed up in a moving van, during the mass exodus, expecting to move into her new apartment that she'd just dropped a three-month deposit on.) It is strange to revisit that experience now, and in this context. But, still, what happened to Max is a horrific fate for anyone.

Jan. 07 2014 09:05 PM
E from Brooklyn

Art, since guys here are discussing totally irrelevant stories of bad landlords or other Hasidic Jews and meshing it all together, I figure I may as well bring up murderous tenants and my perceived view of the new administration's disdain for the Rich Guy. First blame the guy, then let him prove me wrong... (At least De Blasio's alive to defend himself.)

All your rantings about loan sharks and shady deals are based on newspaper stories as reliable as the subway incident one, which was rightly refuted by the Daily News for the hogwash it was. Stop buying all that garbage only when it plays into your prejudices.

Jan. 07 2014 07:29 PM
Brooklyn landlord

Art525 you keep on saying the word reported but that's not a fact, fact #1 is that he ownes 1500 apts and he has 150 complaints #2 yes he did have shady deals there's no question about that but the question still stands if he deserves to be slandered like this and called a slumlord #3 most of the drug overdoses in the hotel was prior to him owning it yes it took him a few years to clean it up that's how long it takes to clean up buildings that are infested with drugs

Jan. 07 2014 07:03 PM
art525 from Park Slope

Darn phone. That should be loan shark.

And he shouldn't have had so much real estate if he couldn't run it properly. If you are taking money from people you have to provide them with a service commensurate with what you are charging. It is basically robbery if you take someone's money and don't give then what is promised in return. You and so many people are willing to make excuses for this guy. It's unconscionable.

Jan. 07 2014 06:56 PM
art525 from Park Slope

Hey Dear Landlord (with apologies to Joe Cocker). Stark had a building taken away from him because it was such a mess that it was unliveable. I don't know how anyone with a conscience could let that happen. It has also been reported that he would default on loans and then have family members but the buildings at fire sale prices. It was reported on the show that one of his buildings had 11 drug overdoses. It is also reported that he was a Liam shark. I'm sure John Gotti had people who would have said he was a wonderful guy. I am sure that we will learn of all his ugly activities as this case continues to unfold.

Jan. 07 2014 06:49 PM
brooklyn landlord

Mike really that's your comeback I tought I'm talking to smarter ppl

Jan. 07 2014 06:46 PM
mike from thankfully not williamsburg

hey brooklyn landlord, you rest my case. ive seen better writing from nigerian scammers.

Jan. 07 2014 06:43 PM
brooklyn landlord

What you guys don't seem to understand is a couple of things (1 he owned more then 1500 apartments and how many complaints did you find 10 15 (2 when you own property in nyc the hpd inspectors can come in to a brand new apartment and give you ten violations just because he is in a bad mood that's why in nyc your allowed to have up to five violations in each apt and what did he have in total 150 violations that's less then 1% on the amount of aprtments he owned I would say that he took very well care of his apartments (3 yes he did have a lot of issues on a couple of buildings regarding defulrting loans but when he took out the money the bank gave it to him with a ssmile since the numbers on paper made sents before 08 so yes he did have issues not because he didn't wanna pay its because he couldn't pay (4 here's a email of one of his non jewish tenats please read and you will see he was far from all bad as most of you here would like to think without doing any homework. Dear Mrs. Stark and the entire family,

I had the pleasure of dealing with your husband and family leader
"Max" for almost every month since 2001. I was the first tenant in his new
building at 315 Seigel St and I am still here after all these years. We
often spoke about building up the neighborhood when it was not safe to even
walk around here. He answered my call and was always there to assist and
help with any needs I had as a tenant. On many occasions, he would call me
to walk around with him collecting the rents and was always interested in my
business and how my family was doing. Max and I were the same age. After
hearing that he had a new born, I immediately called to wish him my best for
new baby and he replied, I would need to get busy to catch up to him.
I had my first born in the building and he and Sam were nice enough to stop
by to see my son.

Max was a Stand Up guy, a good friend and a very good landlord. I wanted to
take the time to let you know that the world will not be the same without
him. Especially our street here at Seigel. Max was a pioneer of the
neighborhood and his memory will always be remembered here by our tenants in
the building. God Bless his soul and may he be in peace until we will all
join him some day in the heavens.

If there is anything I can ever do for you or your family, please call me


Eric Ortense
apt 214
315 Seigel St

Jan. 07 2014 06:28 PM
Art525 from Park Slope

You know what's nonsense E? It's nonsense to proclaim its open season on landlords in New York because two people who own real estate were murdered. Ridiculous. And you know what else is nonsense? To somehow bring Bill SeBlasio and his "tale of two cities" into the conversation. It's pretty hard to take any of this seriously.

Jan. 07 2014 05:32 PM
mike from again, not williamsburg, not ever.

PS- 4 years ago, i was in a serious car accident at roebling and n.10th , i was hurt, people could have been killed. dazed after the collision, i was struggling to even understand how it could have happened. there were suppossed to be 2 stop signs at the corner. was one block by a construction fence on a hasidic building site. the other was cut down to make way for a sidewalk shed on the opposite corner, another hasidic building site. i never would have known if a cop on the scene didnt let me know, adding " you didnt hear it from me". i found pictures on google street view what it was supposed to look like . i couldnt believe what they did. they do what ever they want, painting over bike lanes they dont like, removing street signs, they get away with what ever they please. i sued six of them in small claims, got very little money from each, enough to replace my 3000 car. forget the fact for over a month it took 10 min just to get out of bed in the morning , i was so banged up. to collect my money, i went to their little $hit-hole warrens that they all called offices, they looked more like viet cong tunnels. filth and junk eveywhere, you could barely move. if i never see another one in my life again, it will be too soon.

Jan. 07 2014 04:23 PM
E from Brooklyn

Thanks John for spewing this nonsense and reinforcing my point...

There's been another landlord murdered in Brooklyn -- apparently it's open hunting season on landlords. I fervently hope De Blasio will speak up now, unless this is the new way to resolve the inequality in the "tale of two cities" ...

I don't know what influenced this tenant, but it's always good to have in mind that words can harm -- especially if someone has a broad audience.

Jan. 07 2014 04:00 PM
mike from not s williamsburg

there was a hasidic guy being sued on the peoples court by a fuel oil company. first he told the judge he was only the super of the apt building. . she asked who the owner was, he said " an LLC" ( limited liability corp). she then asked if he was an owner of the LLC, and he says mumbles yes . typical. then he says he didnt own the building when the oil was purchased, it was already taken by the city for back taxes. she asked how long he owned it, he said 9 months. then she asked how could the taxes be so far in arrears in 9 months. he said the building was in arrears when he bought the building. beautiful. what he did was bought the building, collected all the rents for as long as he could, paid no bills, no mortgage, no taxes, no con-ed, no nothing. even after the city took the building, he continued to collect rents, the tenants knowing nothing. then they move on and do it all over again. that's how these guys operate, to them its like factory farming, people are just chattel to be abused and profited from. no conscience, no morals, nothing. they make me sick

Jan. 07 2014 03:44 PM
John Katz from Williamsburg

The Hasidim are taught to hate gentiles from birth. He did not deserve to die but make no mistake this man was not a "Good" man just because he wore the uniform or followed the Torah.

Jan. 07 2014 02:53 PM
E from Brooklyn

He's not on trial now. If he were, we'd need to wait for the results. He's been ruthlessly murdered, and many people seem to think it was okay and that we live in a safe city because he was a bad guy and deserved it -- led on by the Post's misinformation. That's why despite the grisIiness of the crime and rarity of a kidnapping in NYC (which should have shaken everybody up) we haven't heard a peep from our new mayor or Police Commissioner.

I leave it to heaven to judge him, but all this gloating is nauseating and counterproductive. My "race" comment was referring to the commenters here and elsewhere that claim he was only good to his fellow Hasidim without doing due research. The assumptions about his racial intolerances I see on the blogosphere -- based on nothing but thin air -- are sickening.

Jan. 07 2014 02:30 PM
art525 from Park Slope

E from Brooklyn- OK since he didn't shaft everybody that means he was a good guy? We have heard of countless people who he ripped off, he even had a building taken from him because it wasn't considered habitable. He was a loan shark. He shafted people out of millions in bad deals. But there are some people who liked him? That works for you? And it is people like you who are bringing race into this. He is not being attacked because he was Hasidim. He is being attacked because he was a sleazeball.

Jan. 07 2014 02:11 PM
E from Brooklyn

The media is choosing to highlight his business troubles and disgruntled tenants. Most of his tenants and business associates -- of all stripes -- are happy campers, but who's looking?
Also, I personally know a self employed guy that regularly did work for him that happens to be black. He was shattered by the murder and even went to his funeral as he was always treated well, and is very friendly with the family. So many clueless race baiters here.

Jan. 07 2014 01:21 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

If you are a Mensch to people within your community, but a wolf to everyone outside, can you still be considered righteous?
I would love if a maybe a rabbi could chime in, orthodox or not.

Jan. 07 2014 12:17 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

If you are a Mensch to people within your community, but a wolf to everyone outside, can you still be considered righteous?
I would love if a maybe a rabbi could chime in, orthodox or not.

Jan. 07 2014 12:13 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

If you are a Mensch to people within your community, but a wolf to everyone outside, can you still be considered righteous?
I would love if a maybe a rabbi could chime in, orthodox or not.

Jan. 07 2014 12:12 PM

I know people who were victimized by a similar corrupt landlord -- lost all their money plus tens of thousands in legal bills and the city made THEM responsible for the building not being built to code despite having been swindled by the builder.

They didn't resort to murder, but I'm not sure I would've blamed them much if they had.

Jan. 07 2014 12:03 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The murky world of the ultr-orthodox and shady Brooklyn real estate dealings, I feel bad for the man's kids but this is not just a random murder.

Jan. 07 2014 11:31 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Wow is this attempt to defend this guy a tortured argument. The guy was apparently an incredible sleazy slumlord. He should be admired becasue he bought buildings in bad neighborhoods? Really? How noble. Of course he didn't provide services and let the buildings go to hell to the point where a building was taken away by the city from him because it was inhabitable. Yeah what a guy.

Jan. 07 2014 11:26 AM
Robert from NYC

Oh please the guy was scum despite his "kindness" to his own! This is like mafia, no difference.

Jan. 07 2014 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Headline: Satmar Slumlord is Slain!

Jan. 07 2014 11:24 AM
john from office

He was kind to his people, the Hasidim. All others are Goyem, even other jews.

Hasidic landlords are slumlords.

Jan. 07 2014 11:23 AM

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