The owners of an abandoned Upper East Side townhouse have hired private security after squatters were found inside the 5,000 square foot space.
The New York Police Department removed two men and one woman from 159 East 64th Street on Friday, December 10 after a raid. Two of the squatters received mental health treatment at an area hospital. The third individual, Timoor Girodes, returned to the property. He was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing after receiving a summons a day earlier.
The Lenox Hill townhouse was home to Richard Stark and his company, Chrome Hearts, “a luxury retail brand celebrated by the likes of Jay Z and Bella Hadid for its edgy silver jewelry and black clothes.” Chrome Hearts closed up shop at this location about ten years ago and it is believed that the residential portion of this building has remained vacant since.
It is not known how long the group was unlawfully residing at No. 159 or how the police were alerted to their presence. On Friday afternoon, the New York Post reported that Chrome Hearts was unaware of the raid and arrests. However, the high-end brand has since hired private security to keep watch of the four bedroom, four bath, four story house.
“We are going to be doing 24-hours security until they get a new secure lock setting. I’m used to working in worse conditions than this. I do construction sites, bro,” Security guard Civy “Kutty” Merritt told the Post. He was in the middle of a 17-hour shift and reported observing some damage inside and a cleaning crew that removed ten bags of debris.
Stark and Chrome Hearts moved into the building in 1996, listing the property for $14 million in 2014. It didn’t sell, and The Elder Statesman opened a temporary winter shop there in December 2015. The annual winter popup returned to the location for five straight years until 2019.