New York has long had a bumper crop of notorious landlords. Years back, there was the one dubbed the "Dracula landlord." Then there was the "devil landlord." But it's hard to peg Frank Palazzolo, a wealthy Westchester real estate operator, as a member of the worst-landlord club. That’s because, even though the scores of buildings he was associated with teemed with violations and creaked in disrepair, actual legal ownership of most of the properties was usually in the hands of others.
What is clear is this: At one point, more than 100 large and, in many cases, severely troubled apartment houses in the Bronx were registered to corporations at his Scarsdale headquarters.
1040 Boynton Avenue (left) is one of three buildings on the same block that corporations linked to Palazzolo controlled at least as early as 2000. Over the next several years, the properties would rack up dozens of housing violations and thousands in emergency repair bills from the city.
In one of his rare conversations with a reporter, Palazzolo denied owning any buildings. "Palazzolo is a lender," he insisted.