Historic District building owner fined

364 Henry Street. Image Credit: Google Maps.

Owner of building in landmarked district failed to honor agreement with Landmarks Preservation Commission to maintain structure in good repair.  In December 2000, John Quadrozzi, Jr. purchased 364 Henry Street, Brooklyn, from the Long Island College Hospital. The property is within the Cobble Hill Historic District and protected under the New York City Landmarks Law, which requires the owner to maintain the building’s exterior “in good repair.”

In 2010, the City of New York sued Quadrozzi to compel him to comply with his obligation to maintain the property in good repair. They claimed Quadrozzi failed to maintain the building in a state of good repair despite repeated requests.

In 2013, Quadrozzi agreed to make certain repairs by June 30, 2014 and September 30, 2014. If Quadrozzi failed to complete the repairs, he would be required to pay the city $150,000. The parties also agreed to a second penalty of $1,000 a week if Quadrozzi did not complete the repairs 30 days after an order for failing to comply with deadlines was issued.

Quadrozzi never made the repairs. In 2015, the City moved to enforce the agreement. Supreme Court Justice Dawn Jimenez–Salta agreed with the City, enforced the 2013 agreement, and ordered Quadrozzi to pay both fines, for a total of $160,000. Quadrozzi failed to comply with the court’s order to pay the fines.

The City moved to hold Quadrozzi in civil and criminal contempt for failing to comply with the 2013 agreement. The City argued that Quadrozzi had not performed any of the required work since the 2015 order and demanded that he pay a fine of $5,000 per week, more than the $1,000 stipulated in the 2013 agreement. Quadrozzi defended by claiming the delay in repairs was the result of the City.

The Supreme Court denied the City’s motion to hold Quadrozzi in contempt but increased the fine outlined in the 2013 agreement to $2000 per week.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the increased penalty and changed the penalty back to the original $1,000. The court reasoned that the fine was an amount agreed upon by both parties; it was not for the court to rewrite the terms of the agreement.

City of N.Y. v. Quadrozzi, 134 N.Y.S.3d 798 (2d Dep’t 2020).

By: Eman Bare (Eman is a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2021.)


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