- Last Updated: 5:52 AM, July 29, 2012
- Posted: 12:17 AM, July 29, 2012
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
An apparently heartless Greenwich Village co-op board is ousting the next generation of a family that has lived in its Fifth Avenue building for 57 years without an explanation, stunned residents say.
Michael Del Terzo, who had hoped to raise his own son in his childhood home, and his brother now have just six months to vacate the building.
“I don’t see this as an apartment. It’s just like anybody else who wants to hang onto their home,” a teary Michael Del Terzo told The Post. “I do not want this as a weekend getaway. I did not view this as, ‘Let’s try to turn a profit.’ I want this as my home.”
Del Terzo’s parents, Robert and Helen, first moved into 33 Fifth Ave. back in 1955, when Robert, a doctor and World War II veteran, opened a medical office on the first floor.
Robert and Helen, a nurse, ran the practice for 30 years. At first, the building superintendent let them convert part of the space into a small studio apartment, but the couple quickly moved up to a fifth-floor apartment in the building.
They had two sons, and eventually expanded, renting the apartment next door in 1965.
When the building went co-op in 1985, Robert Del Terzo closed his practice and happily bought his family’s home.
“My parents, at age 70 and 71, they thought this would give us all more stability,” Del Terzo said.
The doctor died in 1988, and Helen stayed on, inheriting the co-op shares and living the next 22 years in the family’s combined apartments until she died there in November 2010, a day after her 96th birthday, with her family by her side.
While one son currently lives in the home with his family, the brothers agreed to transfer the co-op shares to Michael, a successful Pennsylvania urologist who plans on moving home to New York with his wife and 10-year-old boy.
The co-op requires any transfer of shares to get board approval. Expecting no trouble, Michael and his brother Robert submitted an application — and were stunned when they were rejected.
“We had absolutely no inkling whatsoever” that the board would turn them down, Del Terzo said. “I just don’t get it.”
The decision is just plain mean, said Del Terzo’s lawyer, who has filed suit against the board in Manhattan Supreme Court.
“This is a highly unreasonable, unfair thing, to lock these people out after 57 years. Who would think that’s the right thing to do?” attorney Jack Malley said. “There should be a twinge in their stomachs. It was a heartless decision.”
Co-op board president Nancy Cohen could not be reached for comment.