Today, the 128 Hester Street Tenants Association and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) will gather in front of the Wyndham Garden Chinatown (93 Bowery) to remind the community that the case of 128 Hester Street is far from over. It has been well over three years since the tenants of 128 Hester Street were displaced from their homes. The building’s deterioration was due in part to the construction of the 18-story Wyndham Hotel on an adjacent property. The hotel has since opened.
Numerous attempts to settle this dispute have been made over the past few years. Most recently in December 2012, AAFE reached out multiple times to schedule a meeting between the tenants and the designated “community liaison” of the owners. Nothing materialized.
The tenants also commenced a lawsuit in December against the principals and agents of the corporate entity now holding title to the building which includes William Su and Simon Wong. The tenants are seeking recovery for damages they have suffered due to the loss of their stabilized apartments, plus recoveries for property damage and the rents and deposits previously paid to the owners and their predecessors during the course of the long decline in the stability and safety of the building. Before the case is given a date for a trial, depositions must take place. The first deposition was originally scheduled for today. It was later postponed by the owner’s attorneys to a new date in April 2013.
William Su and the other related parties have a strategy to drag this out as long as possible thinking that the tenants will give up. They are wrong. The tenants and AAFE have made numerous good faith efforts to resolve this situation to no end. To the tenants, justice delayed is justice denied.
Today’s rally will continue the Justice for 128 Hester Street campaign and we are asking everyone in the community to support the eight families permanently displaced by this irresponsible owner. We also ask elected official, community leaders, and any organization that receives public funds to not support this establishment until the tenants receive the fair and just compensation they deserve.