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NYC landlord fined for splitting condo into 9 illegal micro-units

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The situation investigators from the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) stumbled upon at 165 Henry Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side resembled a scene from the 1996 indie film “Being John Malkovich,” Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos said, according to The Daily Mail.

Two Manhattan landlords appeared to have constructed and rented out illegal sub-units in two properties in the same building until Wednesday, when DOB personnel responded to a 311 call about the situation, a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings told INSIDER.

An illegally constructed staircase between the two levels of apartment 601; A DOB inspector on their knees to demonstrate the height of the doors and ceiling inside apartment 601.
NYC Department of Buildings

The caller complained that a landlord, later found to be Xue Ping Ni, had erected illegal subdivisions in an apartment between the building’s fourth and fifth floors. Investigators discovered that Ni had divided the existing 634-square-foot unit horizontally to construct nine single-occupancy rooms attached with an illegal staircase, according to the Daily Mail.

The nine illegal units had no windows, sprinklers, or fire safety systems, and posed an immediate risk to its tenants.

The New York Post reported that the units had been rented out to 11 tenants, and as one unnamed tenant left with suitcase in hand, he said he was charged $600 in rent for each month for the last two months he lived in the space.

The resulting ceilings were between 4.5 and 6 feet tall, with short door frames that inspectors had to crouch down on their knees to access. In addition to illegal structural work, the DOB told INSIDER that Ni had performed un-permitted electrical and plumbing work in the condo.

The low ceilings of the units located between two of the building’s floors were compared to a scene in “Being John Malkovich,” in which John Cusack’s character has a job interview at an office on the fictional 7th 1/2 floor of a building, and needs to crouch down in order to enter a short door frame into an equally squat office space.

“This is like the room out of the movie ‘Being John Malkovich,'” Kallos said, according to the Daily Mail. “It was funny in fiction, but a horror story in real life.”

Read more: Epstein’s lawyers got Manhattan prosecutors to argue for a lower sex offender status in 2010, and the NYPD never required him to check in, according to report

The DOB issued Ni 11 violations, one for each room, one for work without a permit, and one for failure to maintain the building. He is facing up to $144,750 in fines, with additional daily penalties of $1,000 a room for up to 45 days until the conditions are fixed.

A DOB inspector crouches inside apartment 601; Doors to illegally constructed single-occupancy units in apartment 701.
NYC Department of Buildings

“Every New Yorker deserves a safe and legal place to live, which is why we’re committed to routing out dangerous firetraps and ordering the landlords to make these apartments safe,” a statement from the DOB provided to INSIDER said.

“Tenants living in truncated windowless dwelling units like this poses an extreme hazard to their safety, as well as the safety of their neighbors, and first responders. Dangerous living conditions like this cannot be tolerated in our city, and we are holding these landlords accountable for their egregious failure to keep the building safe and livable for tenants.”

The Daily Mail reported that both condo units, with Ni’s being unit no. 601, and another landlord, Jin Ya Lin, owning unit no. 701, had been discovered because stacked air conditioning units were observable from the street below.

Lin faces 10 violations and fines up to $139,750 for nine similarly structured units that posed immediate risks to tenants.

All the tenants from both condo units were evacuated with assistance from the American Red Cross.



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CEO of Outdoor Voices reportedly steps down as losses rack up

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  • Tyler Haney is reportedly stepping down as CEO of Outdoor Voices, according to a new report from Business of Fashion. 
  • 31-year Haney, who founded the brand in 2013, will reportedly stay on at the company but in a different role.
  • According to Business of Fashion, the company struggled to raise more funding at the end of last year and was losing around $2 million a month in 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tyler Haney is reportedly stepping down as CEO of athletics brand Outdoor Voices. 

31-year Haney, who founded the brand in 2013, will stay on at the company but in a different role, Business of Fashion reported early Friday morning. 

A spokesperson for the company was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider. 

Outdoor Voices has become a popular choice in recent years for trendy millennials with its brightly colored activewear that’s targeted toward everyday exercise – jogging or walking the dog, for example.

As of 2018, the company had raised $64 million in funding and counted Mickey Drexler, the former longtime J.Crew CEO, among its investors. Drexler became chairman of its board in 2017 but stepped from this role in mid-2019, according to Business of Fashion. 

Sources told Business of Fashion that the company struggled to raise more funding at the end of last year and was losing around $2 million a month in 2019 with annual sales of around $40 million. 

In conversation with Business Insider in 2018, Haney said that her goal was to create the world’s number one athletics brand that would eventually overtake more established players such as Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour.

She said she wanted to create sportswear that was comfortable enough to sweat in but could be worn for a range of recreational activities.

“I remember going for a 1.5-mile jog and noticed that there is real dissonance in wearing a brightly colored outfit with muscle mapping all over it, something that you would see on an Olympic athlete, when I was going for a 10-minute-a-mile jog,” she said in a phone conversation with Business Insider in 2018.

She added: “We are really building the rules for our own game here… I have no interest in building the next Nike — we are building Outdoor Voices.”

The brand’s clothing line includes leggings, sports bras, t-shirts, and exercise dresses for women. A cotton t-shirt costs from $35, while leggings cost between $75 and $115. The scaled-down selection for men includes $55 shorts and $35-to-$55 t-shirts.



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The Dem debate in Las Vegas got more viewers than these programs

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The ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

game of thrones

“Game of Thrones”

HBO


Complaints from longtime fans aside, “Game of Thrones” was a consistent bread winner for HBO, bringing in high ratings for the premium cable network. 

However, diminishing enthusiasm over the final season of the series left the finale episode not only outpaced by the Las Vegas debate, but also not even the most viewed episode of the season, falling to a 15,845 rating.



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Dwyane Wade: 2012-13 Heat win streak had peak LeBron, couldn’t lose

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  • Dwyane Wade said the 2012-13 Miami Heat was a “special” team and felt like they couldn’t lose, particularly during their historic 27-game winning streak.
  • Wade said that team may have featured LeBron James at his peak — though he argued James may still be there now.
  • The dominance of that Heat team and the fun they had on the court changed public opinion of them after the “Big Three” joined up, according to Wade, a decision he is also proud of.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2012-13 Miami Heat can boast a claim as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

In their third year with the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat went 66-16 in the regular season, including a 27-game win streak, the second-longest NBA history. They went 12-4 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, then won the championship in a thrilling, seven-game series with the San Antonio Spurs, notching their second straight title.

While speaking to Business Insider ahead of the release of his ESPN documentary, “Life Unexpected,” Wade said that Heat team knew they were doing something “special” and created memories they’ll never forget.

“I think going through that process, we knew that it was something special that was being done,” Wade said. “You could feel it.”

lebron james dwyane wade

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Ronald Martinez/Getty


The 27-game win streak, in particular, featured some of the most dominant basketball the league has ever seen. The Heat did not lose from February 3 to March 27 before finally falling to the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. During that span, the Heat outscored teams by nearly 13 points per 100 possessions. Sixteen of the 27 wins were by double-digits.

“Winning 27 in a row, man, it felt like you can never lose, you know,” Wade said. “It was just automatic. Down 27 in a fourth quarter? That’s okay, we’ll come back. It was that mentality and it was so much fun.”

That season may have also been LeBron James’ finest (a lofty achievement). James took home his fourth MVP that year and dominated both sides of the ball. Bosh has since told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons that it was the best basketball he’s ever seen anyone play. Wade agreed that it may have been the best he’s seen James.

“Definitely ‘Bron was at his — I mean you can’t say that he’s not at his peak still, but you know, he was definitely at the best of LeBron James we have ever seen.”

Wade said that Heat team also found its groove off the court. He noted that that was the season they produced their own viral “Harlem Shake” video.

“Two years before, we was the team that was hated because of the decision we made,” Wade said, referring to the teaming up of James, Bosh, and Wade. “And then two years later we was loved because we have fun playing the game of basketball.”

miami heat big 3

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James.

Chris Trotman/Getty


Wade looks back at that decision to team up with equal pride. That Heat era seems like a flash in the pan — four years, four Finals appearances, two championships, and that was it. James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Wade and Bosh remained with the Heat, but Bosh’s career was cut short in 2016 with blood clots. 

Wade, however, said that the impact of the three stars teaming up still resonates today, what many in the NBA world consider the “player empowerment” era.

“I’m proud to be a part of, you know, LeBron and Chris Bosh and myself, proud that we was a part of creating that change and shifting the power,” Wade said. “It’ll shift back at some point, but 10 years strong, the power has been shifted into the player’s hand. As a player and as an advocate for the players coming forward, after us, coming up, that’s what you want.

“We understand what the game has done for us and the platform the game give us, but the game is only as good as the players. And the fact that the players can have that power, it makes me feel good to know that we was, you know, in the beginning phases of that.”



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