2000-02-05 / Editorial/Opinion

Who Really Wins?

When it comes down to it, many things aren't win-win situations. It's when we think one side will win and the other side loses that we forget the realities of the situation. Many times it's not about winning, but cutting your losses.

This can be said about the Dayton-Seaside fiasco. Finally there seems to be steps towards some type of resolution, or at the very least, movement towards a resolution. But, chances are it's not to the liking of all parties involved--tenants, owners and the City of New York. No one comes out the winner…

Now that the Zukerman's declared bankruptcy and will receive debtor in possession financing of $11 million to repair the three buildings, the situation took on a new life. The buildings can be repaired, to the liking of the tenants, but chances are that will come with rent increases. And if the true plan was to get rid of the Zukermans, then the tenants and city will not be getting their wishes under this plan.

The owners also lose. Obviously these court battles--fighting the taxes, the receiver, HPD violations--cost lots of money. Bankruptcy's actually a way out of this mess for the owners, but it's obviously is not a desired path.

Looks like the city takes the biggest hit--and now has the biggest decision on its shoulders. Chances are the receiver idea is dead, so now it's back to the drawing board. The city and the owners will still battle out in court the back taxes, but the owners claim the bill is more like $4 million, not the $50 million number that the city is throwing around. But, the big decision the city has to make is whether to allow the Shelter Rent Exemption. If they do, the Zukerman's would not have to pay additional back taxes. If the city doesn't, the Zukerman's can raise rents. Once again, the tenants are hurt.

So, it looks like there were no true winners in this situation. It's a lesson that took 15 years to learn…

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