North Brooklyn luxury developer Rabsky Group and their partner Goose Property Management will allow tenants to hang posters in their buildings as part of an ongoing organizing effort, a representative told Brooklyn Paper Wednesday.
“Should any request to put up notices in any property come from a tenant within that property, we will assist and designate the space so that tenants can do so,” said Goose rep Jacob Katz in a May 26 statement.
Katz wrote in response to the Paper reporting allegations Monday by current and former tenants accusing the real estate bigs of trying to stop the renters from organizing on a residents-only chat on the messaging service Slack.
Goose oversees roughly 1,500 apartments across 10 buildings for Rabsky in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Queens.
Resident organizer Billy Taylor who lives at Rabsky’s 26 West apartment building in Greenpoint said that management tore down 10 posters advertising the group channel over the past year, and alleged that the company used phony profiles to try to infiltrate the chat.
Katz denied that Goose or Rabsky attempted to gain access to the Slack and noted that Goose did end up allowing one poster in a dedicated frame at 26 West and that they would allow for that at other buildings, too — as long as such a request comes from a resident.
“It has always been the policy of Goose Property Management/The Rabsky Group to respect our tenants’ rights,” the rep wrote. “We have not and will not obstruct any attempt to have our tenants organize as we understand our tenants’ needs and rights and will always stand up for that.”
Taylor, though, said they continued to tear down posters at two other Goose properties, the Rheingold in Bushwick and the Driggs in Williamsburg, even after allowing him to hang the notices at 26 West.
Katz claimed he was not aware of any posters being removed from other buildings, but said that tenants would only be allowed to hang posters within their own buildings.
“We are not aware of any posters being removed from any other location, and would be happy to assist any tenant who wishes to reach out on behalf of the property they reside in,” he said. “Tenants can request a space and put up posters in their building only.”
Taylor accused the property manager of talking out of both sides of his mouth, adding that they were trying to keep him from hanging posters at other Goose buildings.
“It took 10 times [of posters being removed] and his management staff was well aware of that,” the Greenpointer said. “I am going to go in personally and hang them up, I’m not going to jeopardize other people who are scared to hang them up.”
When asked about the tearing down of the posters, Katz said they didn’t know what happened, but speculated that cleaning staff may have taken them down.
“We are unsure what happened with the original posters the tenant claims he had put up, as we did not instruct our staff to remove it. However, being that we generally do not allow posters or solicitation in the lobby or building besides for a designated space, it is possible that a cleaning porter had removed them prior to the tenant requesting a designated space,” he said.