The Mayor’s press release proclaimed a $4.2 million win against “notoriously vile, cruel landlord” Daniel Ohebshalom — but the detail shows a settlement of just $1.1 million in payments of penalties and outstanding fines for three Hell’s Kitchen apartment buildings.

John Marc 410 W46th St
John Reeds (left) and Marc McBarron Kessler at their home on W46th Street. Photo: Naty Caez

One resident on W46th Street, Marc McBarron Kessler, who has suffered through years of neglect and misery, told us after the announcement: “How are the tenants going to benefit from this money? There’s still no roof on the building. We face another winter of no heat and hot water.”

Four years ago, in August 2019, following numerous complaints of illegal hotel activities, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) sued to shut down unlawful operation and harassment at 452 W36th Street, 410 W46th Street and 412 W46th Street in Hell’s Kitchen — leading to at least 15 inspections and approximately 100 administrative violations, according to officials.  

The OSE lawsuit outlined that the landlords — Ohebshalom, aka Daniel Shalom, and his affiliates Richard Lagana and Robin Ignico —  permitted multiple apartments across the three buildings to be converted into illegal short-term rentals, generating over $300,000 in revenue and leading to the abandonment of lawful permanent rent-stabilized tenants. The tenants suffered deficient conditions in the buildings, including extensive fire damage; large cracks in exterior walls; broken or defective common area floors; unsafe wiring; inadequate lighting at entranceways; and people breaking in, trespassing, sleeping, urinating and using narcotics in the buildings. 

410-412 W46th St Protest
The June protest outside 410-412 W46th Street. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The announcement by the Mayor’s office on Thursday said that the lawsuit reached a total settlement value of $1,115,000, representing $990,000 in penalties to resolve the city’s claims and $125,000 in payments on outstanding fines for the three buildings. The headline figure of $4.2million included a settlement with Ohebshalom and his affiliates for a further $3m for properties in Washington Heights.

Hell’s Kitchen elected officials have been involved for many years in trying to help residents of these buildings on W36th Street and W46th Street owned and managed by Ohebshalom. In March 2022 and  June 2023, local pols and activists gathered to protest about the issues residents were facing — particularly focused on the plight of John Reeds and Marc McBarron Kessler. 

Rent-stabilized residents of 410 W46th Street, McBarron Kessler and Reeds, have suffered years of deteriorating conditions in their home, including crumbling ceilings, broken doors and windows, prolific trash and debris, as well as a lack of heat and hot water over the coldest months — not to mention harassment and threats from Ohebshalom’s associates and network of property LLCs.

John Reeds' apartment at 412 W46th Street before the landlord moved him next door
John Reeds’ apartment at 412 W46th Street before the landlord moved him next door. Photo supplied by John Reeds

“The only solution that anyone ever gave me for any of these incredibly serious and life-threatening problems was ‘Call 311’ or move,” said Reeds at the June protest. “Well, we didn’t move, but we did call 311 — a lot! And I am here to tell you that calling 311 didn’t work. The system is as broken as our front door locks.”

While welcoming the “beginning of justice,” Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal recognized more needed to be done for tenants. Hoylman-Sigal is currently focused on getting Governor Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that will give transparency to Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), that often shield bad landlords. “Next, the courts must appoint an administrator to take over these buildings and improve living conditions for these long-suffering tenants,” he said.

Despite their condition and the ongoing litigation, the two buildings are for sale at a price of $11,700,000. The properties have also been listed by realtor Cushman Wakefield as “an excellent opportunity for an investor to add value through both substantial rehabilitation and renovation to two adjacent five-story walk up apartment buildings in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood” and re-list them at market rate prices.

The Mayor’s Office said there had been “persistent problems and thousands of housing code violations across Ohebshalom’s portfolio in Manhattan and Queens.” The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Anti-Harassment Unit, and tenant attorneys including Manhattan Legal Services, continue to pursue legal action against the owner, property managers, and management companies — with a trial in November expected to determine remedies for the court’s contempt findings.

“Our administration has a clear message to those who harass tenants: You are breaking the law, and we will hold you accountable,” said Mayor Adams.

“Daniel Shalom is a notoriously vile, cruel landlord who has been harassing and neglecting tenants throughout New York City for years,” said local Assemblymember Tony Simone. “Justice is being served today by penalizing his criminal actions.”

Councilmember Erik Bottcher said: “Daniel Ohebshalom, Richard Lagana and Robin Ignico callously and maliciously subject their tenants to substandard conditions that defy the basic principles of human decency, and I hope this is just the beginning of accountability for their actions.”

YouTube video
Councilmember Erik Bottcher tours 410 W46th Street in March 2022. Video: Phil O’Brien

”Our community has been witness to the unjust and appalling treatment inflicted upon our neighbors. While no dollar amount will ever make up for the pain these landlords are causing, I hope this will send a message to property owners everywhere that if you mistreat your tenants, or operate illegal hotel rooms, you will be held accountable,” he added.

When we spoke to McBarron Kessler this evening, he was out of town. “I’m not afraid to be mugged on the street. I’m afraid to go home to my building. It’s like a nightmare. John’s been there holding down the fort and it’s been horrible. We face another winter of no heat and hot water.”

Marc McBarron Kessler
Marc McBarron Kessler on the stoop of 410 W46th Street with 412 behind. Photo: Phil O’Brien

He told us about his feelings on the settlement today: “In one regard, they’re being held accountable, but in another, that’s peanuts to these slumlords. The city should take their buildings and give them to people that will take care of them. This is our home.”

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s disgusting that the City can’t take emergency measures to take charge of these buildings and finally safeguard these tenants. Also what measures can be levied against the landlord to keep him from operating in NYC? I feel terrible for these tenants and think the City should move NOW to protect them.
    Also ….how sad with all this publicity that this at least the 3rd or 4th time I am reading about these buildings. And Thank God for our elected officials Botcher/Simone and Hoylman-Sigal for their activism in pushing this along! If you stand on those 46th St steps w/those abused tenants you have an OBLIGATION to actively defend them publicly ….not just scowl w/disapproval in a picture op!!!!!
    And thanks to W42nd St for continued pressure on the situation and rogue and abusive landlord!

  2. The months long HPD court action against this scum lord ended in June. The Judge was expected decide remedy. Either turn the building over to a city appointed entity (receivership) or let the slum lord keep ownership. The judge has NOT made a decision!!! Outrageous.

    As far as the elected officials (all crowding for the camera and spewing condemnation of a criminal), the tenants have said it all. NOTHING was done for far too long to protect them against the constant no water/no heat/ leaks/roof leaking/fire next door/squatters, etc. Squatters/prostitutes are now out of the building, some of the broken windows are boarded up however, the lack of heat/hot water, etc. continue. The roof leaks so badly I hate to look at my phone thinking it’s news of a ceiling collapse.

    As Marc and John have said, they still are victims each day. The amount of time (years) this has taken for anything of substance to take place is embarrassing. Still no real repairs on the roof or conviction of this criminal. Why hasn’t the judge turned the building over to a responsible receivership? More over, where are the elected officials in demanding the judge make a decision? Should this disgraceful delay be investigated? As I said, the judge ended the “trial phase” in early June. She actually walked through the building to see for herself. Then crickets.

    Guys, there is more to this story. Fines are money, paper and can be moved around. Take the building away already. The scum-lord has been using the building as a weapon for YEARS. I am glad fines have been levied but when are they to be paid?

  3. Unbelievable that after years these tenants still have no decent place to call home- incredible that they’ve stuck it out and literally put up with unsafe, unsavory conditions and continual harassment… which demonstrates a whole lot more grit than the city or “official” pressure has brought. So far all this article tells us is that money changes hands. (Will repairs be made? Heat in the winter?) How is this a win? For who? This is a mayor proclaiming a win that really isn’t, and a councilman with a camera… judging from the mighty force and will of the city’s last few performances against a SINGLE LANDLORD, no one’s holding their breath here…

  4. Why are slum “lords” not given jail time when they repeatedly disregard the judgements? People with money can just calculate the losses and figure it into their bookkeeping. Tenants get no relief, or even a part of any actually paid settlement. The “class” system in this country is so corrupt. I usually support my elected officials, but not on this issue: Jail the criminals!

  5. Is it simply really worth it to stay? Why can’t they just move and simply find a better/more habitable place to stay?

  6. I live across the street and each of these buildings are in a state of imminent collapse. The one had caught fire years ago which destroyed the roof and then recently caught fire again from squatters and drug users. Both of these structures need to be torn down, they are unsafe and present clear and present dangers to the neighborhood and adjacent buildings. 412 46th was recently marked by the city and NYPD with a red [X] indicating the structure is too unsafe and unstable a risk for even the NYFD to enter. I do commend the city and our Councilman for helping to see the city boarded it up and installed grates to prevent further illegal entry and activities. Yet they still are used for drug use, urination and dumping of trash.

    While I respect the devotion of my neighbors continuing their struggle to live there, I do wonder at what price, including the fears of their safety and unhealthy environment. Can the minimal (if any) rent still be worth the challenges? What improvements do they realistically expect will occur at this point, the buildings are a disaster. I do want the landlord to be penalized yet at this point there’s little likelihood these condemned buildings can be saved even if there’s a new landlord.

    With people still living there it also likely prevents 410 from being closed up like 412 has been. I do appreciate they added some planters to their stoop yet the buildings are still more than a just eyesore, they are a continued danger to our neighborhood. They will catch fire again and now that the NYFD won’t enter to put out the fire it will spread to damage buildings next door. As the winter approaches homeless and drug users will again breaking the buildings.

    The buildings both need to be torn down or structurally gutted. The city should press harder to take ownership away from the slumlord.

  7. Slum “lords”?
    These vile people need to be incarcerated. Telling them to pay a fine is a slap on the wrist that clearly does NOT impede the continuation of their crimes. Why are we not getting serious about this issue? Because the city has been bought by realtors and investors. Period.

  8. Again, our local elected officials have chosen to play to the press, and make statements of outrage when they have done not enough to protect the lives of these few tenants and the rest of the neighborhood who might be affected by the collapse of this building, and the vermin that is spreading because of lack of services.

    astonishing that our “official“ thing we don’t notice. Well, we do notice. We noticed there are statements in the press, and in front of the camera, all shiny and spouting all kinds of commitments that never happened.

    Where is the fight? Where is the fight? We used to have in Hells kitchen (when we had real council members and real state legislators) elected officials actually pulling out allll stops, fighting for our safety and well-being.

  9. Where does the money? The fines? To the city? And what do they do with it? Shouldn’t it go to the tenants? The judge needs to take the ownership out of the hands of the current owners, put the buildings into receivership, use the fines to improve the buildings. NOW not 5 years from now.

  10. This “settlement” is laughable. There have been CRIMES committed. If one of the tenants had dared to vandalize a tenth of the property the landlords have destroyed and let rot, they would have been evicted. Evict the criminal landlord already! Shame on the city and shame on these officials.

  11. housing court is controlled by real estate and spends all its time making sure evictions happen as soon as possible. tenants have tried to throw this landlord in jail or fine them in many cases and housing court judges are terrified to do anything

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