Gum Surgeon Fights Co-op Renovation to Continue to keep Follow Open up

17 West 54th Street and Stuart Froum (Google Maps, Linkedin)

A periodontist at a landmarked Midtown co-op is fighting a window renovation that he argues would close his dental observe and expense him fifty percent a million dollars.

Stuart Froum is up versus the co-op board of 17 West 54th Road, which claims he is gumming up a badly-required $16 million overhaul of the building’s decrepit windows.

On Dec. 7, times in advance of the renovation was to get started, lawyers for the practitioner submitted for an injunction to preserve his place of work open up, and condition Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager granted a momentary restraining get. 3 months later on, attorneys for the co-op fired again with a 30-day see to cure — warning that the 76-calendar year previous dental surgeon’s lease would be terminated if he did not cooperate with the window set up.

In a memo submitted final week, attorneys for Froum named the default recognize a “pressure tactic” which amounted to a danger of eviction.

Froum, a dental surgeon whose follow occupies a floor-floor device at the cooperative, is the sole shareholder whose home windows have not been changed. The operate, his attorneys argue, would close “an important surgical facility all through the peak of the worst pandemic in generations.”

His attorneys estimate that closing his office environment would value Froum $500,000 in shed profits and other fees.

Lawyers for Froum declined to comment. Lawyers for the co-op did not return a request for remark.

Froum’s business stayed open up, as allowed, through New York City’s spring lockdown. From March 16 to June 12, with the metropolis mostly shut to end the unfold of the coronavirus, Froum executed 110 crisis surgeries — which his attorneys explained retained those people individuals out of terribly needed medical center beds. Given that then, he’s found much more than 500 individuals.

Froum has operated his dental practice in the Rockefeller Flats — where a penthouse presently asks $2.5 million — for a lot more than 30 years.

The 12-story creating, which sits across from the garden of the Museum of Modern-day Art, functions rounded bay windows, fireplaces and an internal garden courtyard. Commissioned by John D. and Nelson Rockefeller, and finished in 1936, the landmarked International Design making was created for properly-heeled enterprise folks working at the nearby Rockefeller Heart.

The co-op, which was landmarked in 1984, was crafted with 15 p.c a lot more light than developing codes required at the time. When gleaming, the metal-framed home windows have deteriorated over the previous 85 yrs. In 2018, a prepare was crafted to overhaul them.

Mark Jones, the president of the co-op board, claimed in an affidavit that the windows are an eyesore — and Froum’s, in unique, are really hard to dismiss.

“There is also the damage, even if intangible or difficult to quantify, of the discordant and dilapidated windows on the front of the 54th Street making, promptly adjacent to its entry, that devalue the setting up and offend the other shareholders,” Jones stated.

But the prepared renovation is additional than a beauty resolve, the co-op’s lawyers argued. In 2017, the Department of Buildings issued a violation in element because of the windows’ rusty frames. In 2018, the constructing incurred one more violation for a cracked pane on the seventh ground. Both of those violations are solved.

Attorneys for the Rockefeller Apartments say the window alternative job is the item of a long time of study and investigation to assemble a staff to substitute extra than 625 home windows. If the completion of the task is set off much for a longer period, they argue, the staff of architects, engineers, asbestos abatement experts and challenge administrators may possibly move on to other perform.

Lawyers for Froum, even so, argue that “ship has presently sailed,” and the design crew has currently disbanded.