The marketing video for Flatbush Gardens makes the Brooklyn apartment complex sound like a tranquil, urbane oasis. The kind of place smiling, young professionals might like to settle. The building's owner says thousands of rennovation dollars have been poured into each rental unit. The leasing website calls the complex friendly, ecclectic, and safe.
Those would not have been the best words to describe Flatbush Gardens last Tuesday. That's when Kenroy Smith, a 27-year-old father, was gunned down in the a Flatbush Gardens stairwell.
A few months before, Andrea Stephenson's 18-yr-old son was murdered by gang members. Also on Flatbush Gardens property.
"If they had proper security he wouldn't have died," Stephenson said.
Security lapses, like doors with no locks and missing security cameras are among the reasons Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has put the owners of Flatbush Gardens on his slumlord watchlist. He says the complex has almost a thousand serious housing violations.
"All you need to do is look at the marketing video on the Flatbush Gardens website to see they're going for a certain demographic and trying to sell the notion that this is for a certain cut of income and meanwhile they don't even have proper security in this complex."
A company called Clipper Equity owns Flatbush Gardens. PIX 11 News requested an interview with company leaders. Richard Rubenstein, a spokesman hired by the firm, did send PIX 11 an email, but it did not address questions about the backlog of housing violations.
Michelle Williams says she's been nagging the building managers to fix her leaking ceiling. It's causing moldy, crumbled paint that's a hazard for her daughter. Williams pays $1,250 a month for her 2 bedroom. The website says that's a deal to make you smile. With 2 unsolved murders and thousands of code violations...she doesn't think it's such a bargain.
"If you're not living in here, I don't recommend you come here any time soon."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times