What lies behind this door?

On New York’s Upper East Side, just down the street from my high school, sits a magnificent mansion. As my classmates and I walked past on our way to gym class in Central Park, I’d wonder: who lives at 7 East 84th Street?

A titan of finance, like a bulge-bracket banker or a hedge-fund god? The CEO of a Fortune 100 company? A reclusive heir or heiress?

Actually, no. It’s the home of a landlord/tenant lawyer. And not even a landlord-side lawyer, but a champion of tenants’ rights.

The scourge of New York City landlords is a lord himself — with a $30 million castle. Can you believe it?

We learned of the news via Curbed:

A six-story, 13,000-square-foot mansion at 7 East 84th Street has just come on the market for the first time in almost two decades with an asking price of $30 million. Located within the confines of the Metropolitan Museum Historic District, the 129-year-old house has been renovated and maintained — although not modernized (aesthetically, at least) — by its current owner, fearsome (to developers) tenants’ rights lawyer David Rozenholc, who, with his wife, purchased it in 1996 for an undisclosed amount.

Ah, so David Rozenholc and Dena Weiner bought this home a long, long time ago — early in the reign of Rudy, before the huge run-up in New York real estate prices. That explains a lot (just as it explains how a law professor wound up in a $13 million home). I could see a successful plaintiffs’ lawyer living in a $30 million mansion, but a landlord/tenant lawyer seems like an unlikely owner of such an abode.

In fairness, if any tenants’ lawyer would live in such a home, it would be the spectacularly successful Rozenholc. He has been scoring victories against landlords for years, from defeating the Donald in 1986 to securing seven-figure buyouts for rent-controlled tenants in the 1990s (and taking a one-third cut).

If any of his clients get evicted, they can go live with Rozenholc. He certainly has enough space for them….


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