Archive for the tag 'oceana condominium and club'

Look at all those gangbangers (Source: NYC Parks)

Design of the new elevated comfort stations. The ramps and stairs are designed to detach in the case of an extreme weather event. (Source: NYC Parks)

The New York City Parks Department will present revised plans this Thursday for the controversial bathroom and comfort station slated for the Brighton Beach boardwalk in response to outcry from Oceana condominium residents and local leaders.

The public hearing on the new draft environmental impact statement will take place at the Shorefront Y (3300 Coney Island Avenue), from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

It’s the second public hearing on the site’s bathrooms, which are identical to 35 others along the Riegelmann Boardwalk and elsewhere in the city – all replacements to facilities damaged in Superstorm Sandy. At the November meeting, residents of Oceana and other nearby buildings lambasted the proposal for the 20-foot-tall structures, with complaints ranging from blocked views and claims that it would attract the homeless, to concerns about the stability of the structure.

The Parks Department previewed seven different alternatives for the placement of the New Brighton location – the formal name of the site in front of Oceana near Coney Island Avenue – at City Hall in February. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz gave favorable, though tepid, reviews of the new plans.

“Some alternatives are clearly better than others, but what came across is that this is a new administration that has expressed a real willingness to listen to what the community has to say,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said in a press release. “It is a very hopeful sign that the [draft environmental impact statement] includes the options that were raised by residents at the Parks Department’s public scoping meeting last November. I believe this is an important step in an ongoing dialogue and it shows that the city is trying to be responsive to the community’s needs.”

Source: ah zut/Flickr

The founder of digital currency service Liberty Reserve, who once lived in Brighton Beach and whose alleged accomplice lives in the Oceana condominum complex, said that the United States government kicked off a witch hunt against the company’s owners after they refused to turn over the source code for their proprietary system.

Source: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network via Financial Times

The Liberty Reserve bust is being painted by prosecutors as the largest international money laundering case ever prosecuted. Authorities  allege that it was created, structured and operated to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously, aiding them to launder the proceeds of their crimes. Liberty had more than one million users worldwide and conducted approximately 55 million transactions before it was shut down in May 2013. It served to launder more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography and drug trafficking.

The founders of the service included two Brighton Beach residents, Vladimir Kats and Arthur Budovsky.

Kats, 41, was arrested in May 2013 and pleaded guilty in October to his role in laundering the estimated $6 billion.

Following previous charges against the two for a similar but unrelated operation, Budovsky fled the country to Costa Rica and renounced his American citizenship. There, he incorporated Liberty Reserve. According to US and Costa Rican investigators, Budovsky used shell companies in Costa Rica, Cyprus, Russia, Hong Kong and other countries to hide the business’ operations.

In an internationally coordinated bust, Budovsky was arrested in Spain last year, while others in the case were arrested in Costa Rica and New York and several properties on different continents were raided.

Now, Budovksky is fighting extradition from Spain to the U.S., telling a Madrid court that the investigation is a witch hunt resulting from his refusal to turn over the source code that made their system function.

“I refused. It’s like asking Coca-Cola for their secret formula,” he told the court, according to the Associated Press. “The truth is that the U.S. wants to protect its monopoly on financial transfer platforms.”

He also claims that he sold his share of Liberty Reserve in 2007, and only served as a consultant. According to American authorities, Budovsky was the principal operator of the service, with Kats as his second in command until a falling out in 2009.

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Sweet living room.

When we wrote last month about a Craigslist post advertising a penthouse apartment at the Oceana Condominium & Club up for rent for the low, low price of $6,500 a month, we were a little disappointed that the listing didn’t have any photos.

At $6,500, the listing is easily the most expensive rental unit we know about in Southern Brooklyn. And, having seen some fairly swanky units at the Oceana – like this everything-Versace penthouse, or this surprisingly classy duplex - I was really hoping to catch a glimpse of the interior. Would there be the ubiquitous Italian marble and cherrywood floors? Would there be top-of-the-line appliances? How about a purple theme with gold trims, that much-loved color combo of royalty?

Alas, no. A new post is out on Craigslist, this time with photos. It’s rather pedestrian. Regular ol’ parquet flooring and a kitchen that looks like it’s out of any of the $150,000 co-ops available int he area.

Still, it’s a pretty nifty space. A $150,000 co-op isn’t likely to have a balcony with a sweet ocean view and an impressively-sized living room.

But for $6,500 a month? Can we at least get a petite lap giraffe with that?

Oh, and if you’re just looking to test out life in the luxurious Oceana building, there’s a two-bedroom unit on AirBnB for just $150 a night.

Check out the rest of the photos.

Look at all those gangbangers (Source: NYC Parks)

Design of the new elevated comfort stations. The ramps and stairs are designed to detach in the case of an extreme weather event. (Source: NYC Parks)

A group of long-time Brighton Beach advocates seized the opportunity of Monday night’s hearing about the Oceana comfort stations, telling the Parks Department that they ought to give equal consideration to all of the elevated bathrooms already installed – and not just those near the condominium complex.

The packed hearing, which drew approximately 130 residents to the Shorefront Y (3300 Coney Island Avenue), was called by the Parks Department as a result of a court order, which requires them to produce an environmental impact statement (EIS). The hearing was an opportunity to address the scope of the planned EIS and suggest that Parks consultants evaluate additional aspects of the project.

However, it was ultimately a cathartic expulsion of rage and frustration by residents miffed with government bureaucracy and the perceived threat to their quality of life.

A small crew of residents from around the neighborhood urged the Parks Department to produce similar studies for the already-completed comfort stations further down the boardwalk and citywide, or at least extend its conclusions to those structures.

Keep reading, and view video from the heated hearing.

Look at all those gangbangers (Source: NYC Parks)

Look at all those gangbangers (Source: NYC Parks)

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is the latest elected official to enter the fray over the new bathrooms slated for the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Brighton Beach, which residents of the Oceana condominium complex have vocally opposed.

Jeffries is on the boardwalk today holding a press conference, calling for the Parks Department to forever abandon its plans to place the bathrooms in Brighton Beach, officially dubbed the New Brighton Comfort Station. That would leave the next nearest public restroom on the boardwalk more than seven blocks away.

Oceana residents opposed the placement of the bathrooms, saying the 20-foot-tall structure would impede their oceanfront views, attract drug dealing gangbangers, and create a bad scent.

Jeffries joins Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Senator Charles Schumer in siding with Oceana residents. It was also an issue in the recent City Council race, where opposition was embraced by candidates including David Storobin and Ari Kagan.

The last we checked in on the story, city officials suffered a setback when a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge ordered that the agency produce an environmental impact study and scoping process, which includes a public hearing that will take place tonight (details below).

None of the other three comfort station on the Brighton Beach – Coney Island boardwalk, nor any of the other 10 locations throughout New York City, are being subjected to the same process. That’s because the type of project doesn’t typically trigger the state requirement for an environmental impact statement when building in a coastal erosion hazard area –  a requirement that, somewhat ironically, Cymbrowitz had sought to strike down for all future projects. He said these bathrooms changed his mind.

The Parks Department released their draft scope statement for the environmental study a few weeks ago. In it, they unsurprisingly determined that the proposed comfort station would have no significant impact on a slew of areas, including socioeconomic conditions, community facilities and services, waste and sanitation services, energy, air quality, public health and more. In fact, they found that it provided benefit in some of these areas.

Due to the court case, the statement says, the agency will also assess the comfort station’s impact on several additional areas, including urban design and visual resources, natural resources, neighborhood character and hazardous materials. Tonight’s meeting is an opportunity for the public to comment on the scope of the study.

If you have thoughts about the comfort station and its impact on the community, whether for or against, attend tonight’s public hearing at the Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

UPDATE (3:06 p.m.): Moments after publishing this piece, the following flier landed in my inbox. Apparently this is being distributed around Oceana.

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File:Liberty Reserve seizure.png

The screen displayed when attempting to visit Liberty Reserve after the government shut it down in May (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Vladimir Kats, a resident of Brighton Beach’s Oceana condominium complex, admitted to his role as a co-founder of a digital currency service that prosecutors say was favored by crooks, and the black-market banker pleaded guilty for his role in laundering an estimated $6 billion. Prosecutors say it is the largest international money laundering case ever prosecuted.

Kats, 41, pleaded guilty on October 31, according to United States Attorney Preet Bharara, having served as co-founder of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency service that billed itself as the Internet’s “largest payment processor and money transfer system.”

But prosecutors say Liberty was no Paypal. They allege that it was created, structured and operated to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously, aiding them to launder the proceeds of their crimes. Liberty had more than one million users worldwide and conducted approximately 55 million transactions before it was shut down in May 2013. It served to launder more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography and drug trafficking.

“As a co-founder and operator of Liberty Reserve, Vladimir Kats served as a global banker for criminals, giving them an anonymous, online forum to hide the proceeds of their illegal and dangerous activities,” said Bharara in a press release. “With his guilty plea today, we take a significant step toward punishing those responsible for creating and running this international den of cybercrime.”

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Oceana complex (Source: Google Maps)

The owner of a penthouse unit in Brighton Beach’s Oceana condominium complex needed to market his ultra-expensive, super-luxurious fireplace-equipped “penthouse.” So he did what any high-baller would do – eschewed enlisting an agent, and placed a photo-less, typo-filled listing on the most elite real estate site he could find: Craigslist.

Screenshot of posting (Click to enlarge)

Screenshot of posting (Click to enlarge)

Here’s the description from the listing:

1800 square foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, huge living room, kitchen, dining room, lots of closets, Luxury Penthouse apartment on the (top) 7th floor with 800 square foot terrace, overlooking the beach, renovated, Total 2600 square feet.

Apartment includes a Washer and dryer, dishwasher, fire place, 1 parking space included right by the front entrance. Oceana community has additional parking, 2 outdoor and 1 indoor swimming pools, gym, 24 hour security in entire Community

For more details or to see apartment, contact OWNER, MARK

At $6,500 (no fee!), it’s easily one the most expensive rental units in Southern Brooklyn. In fact, that’s roughly the median price for a standard two-bedroom rental in some of the most coveted areas in Manhattan, from SoHo to the Financial District. It’s nearly twice the price of the next most expensive rental we could find in Brighton Beach, also a three-bedroom, going for $3,500 a month.

Of course, there’s really no fair value comparison for a penthouse in the Oceana, locally. After all, where else will you find bathroom tiles and gilded couches designed by Versace? Heck, it could have historic value; possibly the penthouse previously occupied by an alleged Medicaid scammer? Be careful… you never know which alleged Oceana-landlord-slash-Medicaid-scammer we’re talking about.

Source: Google Maps

Muss Development is close to finally completing the Oceana Condominium and Club, a string of luxury buildings between Brighton Beach Avenue and the Riegelmann Boardwalk. The completion of the final tower comes more than 25 years after the real estate firm announced their ambitious plan to build hundreds of condos on the site of the Brighton Beach Bath and Racquet Club, according to a report in Real Estate Weekly.

Construction of Oceana’s final structure, located at 50 Oceana Drive West, is set to be finished by 2014. According to the Wall Street Journal, the total cost of the building’s construction is $40 million. Demand for the new space is high as 50 of the 59 units have already been sold. If you’d like to grab one of the last spots, you’ll have to shell out some serious cash, as unit prices range from $700,000 to $1.7 million.