Big Deal: Surprise! No Rent Increases!

(The New York Times) A friend recently told me, breathless with excitement, that she was renewing her lease at 8 Spruce Street, the Frank Gehry-designed 76-story skyscraper, without any rent increase. In this red-hot rental market, why would the landlord, Forest City Ratner Companies, renew its leases without demanding more in rent?  

Most of us who rent, and that is the bulk of New Yorkers, expect to be mildly abused by their landlords. Every year as our leases near the end of their terms, we wait anxiously to find out what next year’s outlay will look like.       

And when we gaze at behemoth rental towers that offer perks like full-time doormen, health clubs and live-in supers, those annual rent increases seem as inevitable as a roof-deck misting station. But that may just not be true.       


Residents at 8 Spruce Street were told this summer that they could renew their leases without paying more in rent. Credit: Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times