199 LEE AVENUE – THOUSANDS OF MAILBOXES

“For years, the address has sent shivers through the spines of tenants throughout North Brooklyn: 199 Lee Avenue.
Home of Lee Avenue Shipping and Communication, it is the site of more than 350 brass mailboxes where many Brooklyn tenants mail their rent checks, month after month, without necessarily knowing who their landlord is.”
August 25, 2009 the Brooklyn Daily

 

A Satmar Owned Home to Mailboxes, Records Unavailable

A Storied Building with a Past that goes back to 1973

LostMessiah, May 4, 2016

99 Lee Avenue is a 3500 square-foot building is referred to as “legendary.” It has held the mailboxes of over 1300 companies who were registered at that address. It is reported that in January there were 13 companies registered there that month alone many tied to “”Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management, Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity Group, slain landlord

Menachem Stark, his brother-in-law Abraham Bernat and his former business partner Israel Perlmutter.”On average Lee Avenue holds on LLC for every 2.5 square feet of space.”

In 2009, one of the issues was that tenants in buildings throughout New York were required to mail their checks to an LLC at that address without knowing their landlords or if the checks were getting to their enshrouded intended recipients. Tenants were uncomfortable and legislation was raised which would have required landlords to register their principal owners. The bill, as proposed was entitled the Multiple Dwelling Registration Bill which would have required LLC landlords to register the names and addresses of all individuals sharing ownership beyond the 25 percent share threshold.

In 2014 it was reported in an opinion piece by the Forward that “199 Lee Avenue, an address in the religious Jewish part of Williamsburg. It’s connected to literally hundreds and hundreds of distressed buildings. Entities with an address at 199 Lee touch all sides of any real estate deal — as owners, mortgagers, brokers — and it’s nearly impossible to connect the address to an actual person.” One of the issues raised was many of the buildings whose mailboxes were housed at 199 Lee Avenue and whose identities are unknown reflect ownership by slumlords. The buildings had become distressed, the tenants had voiced complaints and an effort was being made to attract investors intent upon “flipping properties” to make money without consideration for the tenants within those buildings.

On May 3, 2016, according to matzav.com reported by way of photos that it would appear the Police accompanied by FBI Agents were once again at 199 Lee Avenue collecting evidence. Given the extensive list of registered companies, only a portion of which are listed below at the bottom of this post, one can only speculate what they were investigation. To our readers, anyone with information on any of these companies, you assistance would be useful and could be provided by email or on our Tips page.

To view Matzav’s post from May 3, 2016 entitled:

Photos: FBI Agents Collect Evidence at 199 Lee Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Please click here.

In February 2016 the Real Deal reported,

Meet the little Williamsburg building that’s home to over 1,000 LLCs

At first glance it seems like one nondescript building among scores in South Williamsburg, a three-story brown-brick property housing a small retail store and a couple of apartments above.
But in Hasidic real estate circles, the 3,500-square-foot structure at 199 Lee Avenue is legendary. Hundreds of landlords from the Orthodox community, who collectively own thousands of apartments in Brooklyn’s fastest-growing neighborhoods, have mailboxes there. Every month, these mailboxes are used to collect rent checks and help cloak the identities of some of the city’s most mysterious property owners.
Since 1973, a grand total of 1,391 companies were registered to 199 Lee Avenue, according to The Real Deal’s analysis of Active Corporations records at the New York Department of State. Thirteen companies registered there last month alone. Not all these are real estate firms, of course, but hundreds are, including entities tied to Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management, Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity Group, slain landlord Menachem Stark, his brother-in-law Abraham Bernat and his former business partner Israel Perlmutter.
MenachemStark21

Menachem Stark

“A lot of people don’t want the tenants or other people to know exactly where they are,” a source familiar with the building told TRD. “They want to hide themselves or their identities.”
On average, 199 Lee has one LLC for every 2.5 square feet of space. Many have nearly-ungoogleable names such as PS John LLC, Owners Solution, Inc and Italian Bambinos, Inc, the last of which was registered just two weeks ago at the building’s “Suite 192.”
“When I was brand-new as a lawyer, I would see 199 Lee on every paper I got,” said Michael Grinthal, a tenant’s attorney at MFY Legal Services. “I thought this must be a gigantic office building, until I saw it and just realized it was this corner mailbox store.”
The property is currently owned by Henny Katz, according to public records. Katz, who also owns a three-family home at 930 East 22nd Street in Midwood and a two-family home at 84 Penn Street in Williamsburg, couldn’t be reached for comment.
“It’s possible that 199 Lee Ave came to play the role it did due to word-of-mouth within the Satmar Hasidic community,” Grinthal wrote in a note to TRD. “My memory (which is certainly not comprehensive) is that the landlords who used PO boxes at 199 Lee came from that community, and certainly it wouldn’t be unusual for members of a tight-knit community to adopt similar business practices and vendors.”
vendors.”
@199Lee's Twitter feed

@199Lee’s Twitter feed (click to enlarge)

Grinthal pointed to another LLC hub, at 46 Trinity Place in Manhattan, where Active Corporations data show that over 100 real-estate-related LLCs are registered. At that property, he said, many of the companies appear to be intertwined with one another, buying and selling one another’s’ properties. Those interrelationships, Grinthal suggested, might be another reason these hubs exist.
At 199 Lee, the mailboxes are housed inside Lee Avenue Shipping & Communication, a shipping and mobile phone store. In 2009, Melissa Mark-Viverito, then a City Council Member and now Speaker, tried unsuccessfully to push through legislation that would require landlords to register principal owners with the city. A photo posted by the City Council captured the bizarre scene: more than 350 brass mailboxes inside a cramped space.
Along with anonymity, 199 Lee offers convenience.The mailbox area is open 24 hours a day, a source said. Lee Avenue Shipping even operates a Twitter account, @199lee, with 198 followers, 13 of whom employ the name “mysteriously unnamed.”
The account religiously tweets “Mail is done,” once every day. The catch? It’s silent on Shabbat.

To read the story in its entirety click here.


On February 17, 2016 The Jewish Voice reported:

Lee Ave. Anonymous Mailbox Central; Bklyn Real Estate’s “Ploni Express”

Just a door or two down from America’s first, oldest and most famous Shatnez laboratory – founded before the U.S. entered World War II – another Lee Avenue address has gained prominence in recent years.
UPS, the United States Postal Service and others have long seen the value to customers of having somewhere else for their mail to go besides their home or office.
With many of the landlords in Brooklyn’s  Chassidic neighborhoods pursuing the namelessness of a P.O. or other mailbox, 199 Lee Avenue has become the “Ploni Express” of real estate anonymity in the last four or five decades.
More than a thousand companies have received their rentchecks; correspondence; complaints; government forms and other mail in the little brick building.
Plenty of companies of all types populate any such collection of “inboxes” and 199 Lee no doubt includes Attorneys, investors and others. But it really rings the bell when it comes to Brooklyn’s midsize-to-big realty industry, with mail addressed their for some of Brooklyn’s biggest names in Real Estate.

In that same month Realty Today reported:

Williamsburg Is Home to LLCs

…The 199 Lee has at least one LLC for every space of 2.5 square feet with registered names that are nearly unsearchable. This includes Italian Bambinos which has just registered some two weeks ago.
MFY Legal Services tenant lawyer, Michael Grinthal, narrated that when he was just a new lawyer, he thought of the Williamsburg Building as a gigantic office building since he would always see 199 Lee Avenue on every paper until he saw it personally and realized it was a corner mailbox store. He added that 199 Lee became famous due to word-of-mouth from the community within Satmar Hasidic and members came to adopt the same business practices.

To read the article in its entirety click here.


In January of 2015, the Forward published an opinion entitled,

Fighting Jewish Slumlords Isn’t Anti-Semitic

Menachem Stark’s death and the media’s inflammatory response to it highlight a particular kind of anti-Semitism: the kind that can emerge as a result of the religious Jewish community’s involvement in real estate and the horrible living conditions in many of those buildings.
As a tenant organizer at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, I work alongside tenants citywide to form tenant associations and improve building conditions. I was shocked by the headlines describing Stark’s murder, but not surprised, unfortunately, by the shady business practices or lack of upkeep on the large stock of rent-stabilized buildings he was connected to in Brooklyn. That’s something I see all too often.
Through my work, I do a great deal of research to try and untangle the mess of who owns what property and who’s connected to whom in the real estate industry. And it’s not easy. Take 199 Lee Avenue, an address in the religious Jewish part of Williamsburg. It’s connected to literally hundreds and hundreds of distressed buildings. Entities with an address at 199 Lee touch all sides of any real estate deal — as owners, mortgagers, brokers — and it’s nearly impossible to connect the address to an actual person.
Stark’s death, and the resulting uproar, comes at a particularly interesting time for my coworkers and me, since we’re in the midst of planning a tenant-driven rally in Borough Park, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn. The rally is targeting a group of Jewish investors who are trying to flip two horribly distressed rent-stabilized buildings in Crown Heights. Like at 199 Lee Avenue, the investors are nameless — associated only with a P.O. Box in Borough Park that is associated with many other distressed properties in Brooklyn and Queens.
UHAB has been organizing for years with tenants at 230-232 Schenectady, which are in foreclosure. The buildings are actually falling down as tenants continue to reside in them. They are totally infested with rats, have leaks and mold, and there have been three electrical fires in the past two years. Oddly enough, the tenants actually won in their organizing campaign in March of 2012: the buildings’ mortgages were purchased by a tenant-approved non-profit group, The Mutual Housing Association of New York, which plans to rehab the buildings and keep them permanently affordable for current residents.
Now, though, the Jewish owner of the building (he actually illegally purchased it from another Jewish landlord) is further stalling the foreclosure. He’s attempting to market the buildings to investors, pay off MHANY, and make some money before he’s out of the deal. We’ve found out that their broker is Sanford Solny, but that’s about it. We know they’re from Borough Park, so basically we’re pretty sure they’re Jewish. Solny has essentially told us that he hopes for the deal to be “between friends” in the community. This deal is shady and morally wrong, much like the deals that Menachem Stark was involved in.
It’s entirely possible that the public will view our upcoming rally as anti-Semitic. But how else can we ask the nameless Jewish investors of Borough Park to stay out of 230-232 Schenectady?
The media firestorm around Menachem Stark’s death, along with the planned rally for 230 and 232 Schenectady, underscores the tension that results from poor living conditions and opaque real estate deals that happen behind closed doors in an already-insular community. Rather than fighting this in housing and foreclosure court, maybe the next step is to bring these Jewish landlords and real estate tycoons to the Beit Din, and really put their feet to the fire.

 


In August of 2009, the Courrier Life’s Brookly Daily reported,

New effort in Williamsburg to ‘unmask’ landlords

This could change with new legislation introduced this week by Manhattan Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito (D-East Harlem).On August 18, Viverito joined several members of Make the Road New York and Brooklyn housing attorneys on Lee Avenue in South Williamsburg to announce her proposal to require landlords to register principal owners with the city.
“The only interaction between some tenants and their landlords right now is a mailbox.That cannot stand,” said Viverito.“Registration of landlords needs to happen.It’s a way of unmasking who the landlords are and holding them accountable.”
As proposed, the Multiple Dwelling Registration Bill will seek to require landlords organized as limited liability corporations (LLC) to register the names and addresses of all individuals who share ownership in a multiple dwelling, beyond the 25 percent share threshold currently required by the city.The bill would also seek to apply the city’s administrative code to multiple dwellings instead of just single room occupancy (SRO) buildings, vastly expanding the number of buildings within the city’s purview.
According to attorneys with South Brooklyn Legal Services, the managing agents and corporation officers of buildings are often difficult to reach.In many low-income Brooklyn neighborhoods, buildings in foreclosure have often changed owners quickly, leaving a trail of names that may not have the authority to make decisions on a property.The resulting confusion over ownership of a property often makes it difficult for tenants and housing advocates to resolve problems outside of the courts.
“I meet people every day and their first question is often, ‘Who is my landlord?’” said Michael Grinthal, staff attorney with South Brooklyn Legal Services.“It can take days of research to find out.”
Make the Road members made a rare trip to South Williamsburg to visit the site where many of them mailed their rent checks to.At a makeshift press conference on the corner of Lee Avenue and Heyward Street, MRNY member Otilia Rios spoke about the consequences of having multiple unknown landlords for multiple dwellings in his neighborhood.
“My neighbors and I have no idea who actually owns our building and has control over its daily operations,” said Rios.“Over the last three years, I have had serious problems in my apartment, including a roach and rodent infestation.When I call the number provided by my landlord to try and resolve these problems, no one answers and my calls are not returned.When I send letters to 199 Lee Avenue, I get no response.”
Though Make The Road New York’s membership base is primarily Latino and many LLCs registered at 199 Lee Avenue have strong Hasidic connections, Executive Director Javier Valdes emphasized that the Multiple Dwelling Bill was not indicative of a conflict between Latino tenants and Hasidic landlords but a measure to promote transparency and protect all low-income tenants.
“I think about all tenants living in safe and affordable housing and this can benefit Hasidic Jews in this area as well,” said Valdez.“We feel what is really important is that people live in safe conditions.Hopefully we will be able to know what is really behind these LLCs.”

To read the article in its entirety click here.


Some of the many companies registered at 199 Lee Avenue:

199 Lee Avenue Realty, Corp., 199 Lee Ave., #327, Brooklyn, New York, 11211
Chief Executive Officer
Zisha Beer, 199 Lee Ave #327, Brooklyn, New York, 11211
Principal Executive Office
199 Lee Avenue Realty, Corp., 199 Lee Ave #327, Brooklyn, New York, 11211
Registered Agent Zisha Beer
Number of Shares 200
Stock Type No Par Value
Name History Mar 10, 2011
199 Lee Avenue Realty, Corp.

Company Profile Lee Avenue Realty Corp

Company Name 199 LEE AVENUE REALTY, CORP.
Company Number 4066056
Business Type DOMESTIC BUSINESS CORPORATION
Register Date MARCH 10, 2011
Jurisdiction NEW YORK
Agent n/a
Name History MAR 10, 2011 Actual 199 LEE AVENUE REALTY, CORP.
137-145 West 145 Street LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn, New York, US-NY 11211, US
135-145 Holdings I LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn, New York, US-NY 11211, US
250 East 176 Realty LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn, New York, US-NY 11211, US

SECURITY SHIELD INC.

Company name SECURITY SHIELD INC.
DOS ID # 2949912
Initial DOS Filing Date September 4, 2003
County KINGS
Jurisdiction NEW YORK
Company Type DOMESTIC BUSINESS CORPORATION
Current Company Status ACTIVE

Company Address Information

DOS Process SECURITY SHIELD INC.
199 LEE AVENUE #529
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11211
Chief Executive Officer RIUKA BUXBAUM
199 LEE AVE 529
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11211
Principal Executive Office RIUKA BUXBAUM
199 LEE AVE 529
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11211
Registered Agent RIVKA BUXBAUM
199 LEE AVENUE #529
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11211

Stock Information

# of Shares Type of Stock $ Value per Share
200 No Par Value

Name History

Filing Date Name Type Company Name
September 4, 2003 Actual SECURITY SHIELD INC.

Woodbine Acquisition LLC · 199 Lee Avenue Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Department of State (DOS) ID 4779227
Current Entity Name WOODBINE ACQUISITION LLC
Entity Type DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Initial DOS Filing Date 06/23/2015
County Incorporated Kings
Jurisdiction State or Country NEW YORK
DOS Process Address MOSES MIZRAHI
199 LEE AVENUE
SUITE 185
BROOKLYN
NEW YORK 11211
Registered Agent MOSES MIZRAHI
199 LEE AVENUE
SUITE 185
BROOKLYN
NEW YORK 11211

1-36 Woodbine LLC · 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Department of State (DOS) ID 4779215
Current Entity Name 61-36 WOODBINE LLC
Entity Type DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Initial DOS Filing Date 06/23/2015
County Incorporated Kings
Jurisdiction State or Country NEW YORK
DOS Process Address C/O WOODBINE ACQUISITION LLC
199 LEE AVENUE, SUITE 185
BROOKLYN
NEW YORK 11211
Registered Agent WOODBINE ACQUISITION LLC
199 LEE AVENUE
SUITE 185
BROOKLYN
NEW YORK 11211

Corporation · 199 LEE AVENUE, SUITE 185

DOS ID Business Entity Name Address
4686521 96 MALCOLM X LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4687671 264 EAST 28TH STREET LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4687666 1068 WINTHROP STREET LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4779215 61-36 WOODBINE LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4540502 JACKSON APARTMENTS LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4676998 1670 JEFFERSON LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4675129 385 HIMROD LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4088706 GREEN FOREST APARTMENTS LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4687699 3420 NEWKIRK AVENUE LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4687691 1311 LINCOLN PLACE LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211


Corporation · 199 LEE AVENUE

DOS ID Business Entity Name Address
4842194 1065 LAFAYETTE REALTY LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4856396 THE WARWICK GROVE USA INC. 199 Lee Avenue # 936, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4733925 96 UNION SV NY LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4666197 APP DEV MEDIA INC. 199 Lee Avenue Suite 593, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4634852 JFA MOTORS INC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 735, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4864843 HAMILTON SOUTH BEND NY LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4786140 16 SPENCER REALTY LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 739, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4747495 STAN ESTATES LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 574, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4677984 SUNSET 52 LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 744, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4687666 1068 WINTHROP STREET LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 185, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4887396 YPS FAMILY LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 157, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4645449 86 S LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 222, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4669543 RW STEUBEN LLC 199 Lee Avenue #324, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4484480 OREGANO ON LEE CORP. 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4810059 UNITED HOLDINGS OF NY LLC 199 Lee Avenue #745, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4908644 MBI ACQUISITION LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 182, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4666187 GLOBE LINE STORE INC. 199 Lee Avenue Suite 593, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4845832 FIRST CHOICE POS INC 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4816669 EBEST GROUP INC. 199 Lee Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4534757 ZEV GOLDSTEIN LLC 199 Lee Avenue, Suite 739, Brooklyn, New York 11211

9 Kent Development LLC · 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Department of State (DOS) ID 4325347
Current Entity Name 19 KENT DEVELOPMENT LLC
Entity Type FOREIGN LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Initial DOS Filing Date 11/28/2012
County Incorporated Kings
Jurisdiction State or Country DELAWARE
DOS Process Address 19 KENT DEVELOPMENT LLC
199 LEE AVE #693
BROOKLYN
NEW YORK 11211
Registered Agent REGISTERED AGENT REVOKED


Corporation · 199 LEE AVE #693

DOS ID Business Entity Name Address
4606850 795 FRANKLIN LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4810989 100 WALWORTH LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4573903 527 KNICKERBOCKER LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4677304 ALL YEAR HOLDINGS LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4539375 489 ST MARKS LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4502759 259 EVERGREEN REALTY LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4399247 252 GRAND LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4735408 LINSK BM LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4858756 57 GRAND LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4443049 273 DRIGGS LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4583009 270 GREEN LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4490205 PROSPECT HEIGHTS HOLDINGS LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4631839 71 WHITE HOLDINGS LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4667280 4404 14TH LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn Ny, New York 11211
4876563 218 HILLTOP LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4541740 199 WEIRFIELD LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4539397 808 BERGEN LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4716673 148 SKILLMAN LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4569655 394 GATES LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211
4744956 1157 MYRTLE LLC 199 Lee Ave #693, Brooklyn, New York 11211

609-619 West 135 Street LLC · 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) 549300HN0JOB8JHKWC70
Legal Name 609-619 West 135 Street LLC
Legal Address C/O National Registered Agents, Inc.
160 Greentree Drive
Suite 101
Dover
Region: Delaware (US-DE)
Country: United States (US)
Postal Code: 19904
Headquarters Address 199 Lee Avenue
Suite 215
Brooklyn
New York
Region: New York (US-NY)
Country: United States (US)
Postal Code: 11211
Legal Jurisdiction United States (US)
Legal Form LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Entity Status ACTIVE
Managing Local Operating Unit (LOU) GMEI Utility (EVK05KS7XY1DEII3R011)
1146 Ogden Realty LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn, New York, US-NY 11211, US
1234 Shakespeare Realty LLC 199 Lee Avenue Suite 215 Brooklyn, New York, US-NY 11211, US

7 thoughts on “199 LEE AVENUE – THOUSANDS OF MAILBOXES

  1. LM,

    No one has the time and few have the inclination to read through ten articles on the same subject. A summary of the major points would help. And, FYI, you have an error on the address in your headline. It’s 199 not 99.

    Like

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