Who is running Urban American Management?

7 Apr

Urban American Management is an affiliate of a private equity organization called the Ramius Capital Group, which is, in turn, a division of the Cowen Group Inc., (NASDAQ: COWN). The Cowen Group is the holding company for Cowen and Company, LLC, a U.S. based investment bank.

Various sources have revealed the names Philip Eisenberg, Douglas Eisenberg, and Joshua Eisenberg (Josh Eisenberg) to be connected to Urban American. If you are an Urban American tenant, one of these names may be given as your landlord. Phillip is the CEO of Urban American, Douglas is the President, while Josh is a “partner” and “general counsel”. One can only hope that they’re not related to Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg.

Regarding Josh, he is currently listed as #9 (as of April 7th, 2011) on the Office of the Public Advocate’s list of Brooklyn’s worst landlords. In a borough with over 2.5 million residents, that’s a big deal.

Congratulations to Josh Eisenberg for being Brooklyn's 9th worst landlord!

The list details Josh as the owner of 65 units with 219 total infractions. As of April 4th, 2011, there are 40 class A infractions, 144 class B infractions, and 35 class C infractions.

From the Office of the Public Advocate: According to HPD, violations reflect information on three classes of housing code violations:

  • Class A: Non-hazardous violations, such as minor leaks or lack of signs designating floor numbers. An owner has 90 days to correct an A violation and two weeks to certify repair to remove the violation.
  • Class B: Hazardous violations, such as requiring public doors to be self-closing, adequate lighting in public areas, lack of posted Certificate of Occupancy, or removal of vermin. An owner has 30 days to correct a B violation and two weeks to certify the correction to remove the violation.
  • Class C: Immediately hazardous violations, such as inadequate fire exits, rodents, lead-based paint, lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas. An owner has 24 hours to correct a C violation and five days to certify the correction to remove the violation. If the owner fails to comply with emergency C violations such as lack of heat or hot water, HPD initiates corrective action through its Emergency Repair Program.

Now, if Urban American didn’t locate its offices in New Jersey, and if the Office of the Public Advocate had used different methodology and listed corporate landlords as well as those located outside of NYC, all of the violations combined from their 5,000+ buildings may have modified Urban American’s position on the list. I am aware of how 311 gathers its data, from having called in a number of heat and hot water violations, and they typically ask for the landlord’s name and address. In my case, Urban American had claimed that “Skyline Realty LLC” was the landlord, so 311 might also have various complaints accrediting building ownership to not only Urban American and the Eisenberg family, but also various realty groups. In short, there may be plenty of violations within 311’s system regarding the same corporation that are simply not linked due to these factors. However, these are merely my speculations.

If you were wondering how much they pay their employees, Glassdoor.com provides a listing. They can afford to pay “Portfolio managers” $104,000-$115,000 per year. Food for thought.

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3 Responses to “Who is running Urban American Management?”

  1. Jorge Pichler May 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I moved into one of Urban’s properties — I signed a one year lease and pay $2,000. Have not had a working bathroom sink for the past 6 weeks…have been stood up at least 5 times — elevators are filled with garbage — dog feces all over the lobby -broken elevators is the norm – kids smoking dope in the elevators — this is what I call home — now living among people love to live in filth and squalor..with no maintenance to speak of!!

  2. Maria August 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I’ve been trying to contact management regarding a leak in the roof from their negelience. Missed work 4 days. No one ever shows up. No super on premise in the Bronx. When the super (steve) finally shows up from Brooklyn. He has been nothing but incompentant. For two weeks now someone was suppose to come and take pictures of the damages, but like him, we don’t have work to go to or a life to live (of course being scarastic). This by far is the worse management company.

  3. Matt October 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    DO NOT RENT FROM THIS COMPANY!!! The employees and management are awful!! The build was infested with cockroaches, bugs, and mice (even on the 11th floor). There was constantly animal feces in the lobby and on the elevators and people did drugs and smoked cigarettes in the hallways, elevators, and all over the property. Someone was also killed on their property in broad daylight recently. Maintenance was very unresponsive and not helpful in fixing issues. Front desk and main offices NEVER return calls or voicemails and rarely answer their phone, even during standard business hours! The front desk lost my keys when I moved out and then the building manager called me a liar and said that I never returned them. I spoke to the management company and complained, but to no avail. They took my entire security deposit ($2,400) for their own mistake! I would NEVER rent from this management company again and highly recommend people to heed the warning!

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