A former basketball pro is subleasing his two upmarket Brooklyn apartments for non-stop parties which distraught neighbors say have caused constant noise – and even seen guns fired.
AJ West, a 29-year-old former college basketball star, allegedly began listing his Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant apartments on Airbnb and Square as pay-by-the-hour production or party spots last summer.
Soon after, there were music video shoots scheduled five to six times a week and nearly constant parties at the two apartments, with dozens of occupants crammed into the small properties.
AJ West, a former basketball pro turned party organizer, is allegedly renting out his Brooklyn apartments as recording studios and party spaces
West, pictured in Reno in 2014 during his time as a student sportsman, was a former center basketball player at the University of Nevada
In one case, court documents say, a party at the Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment on December 30, 2020 became violent, ending with three guns being fired more than 10 times and two people arrested for reckless endangerment.
Since then, residents told the Daily News, the police have been on the premises of the apartment whenever a party is happening, which one resident said occurred five nights a week.
Another said the combination of flashing sirens outside and the blaring music inside makes the building feel ‘like there’s a war going on.’
The properties are listed on Airbnb and Square as production studios, run under the allegedly illegal business 4tkstudios and 4tkspaces, according to a lawsuit in the Brooklyn Civil Court.
‘This is a media production place first,’ the Airbnb listing for one of his apartments says, ‘so if you are a normal guest, please do not complain or write a bad review about the fact that there is one motion camera at the backdoor and one motion camera in the living room.’
The apartments include an arcade system with over 80,000 games dating back to the 1970s, three televisions connected to two Xbox Ones and a ‘huge, luxury recliner.’
The apartments are designed to be music video recording spaces, with this photo showing one such space at one of West’s Brooklyn apartments
This apartment, in Grand Street, Clinton Hill, features an arcade and three televisions connected to two Xbox Ones
In December, a party at West’s Clinton Hill apartment (pictured) resulted in three guns being fired 10 times and two people arrested
West considers his apartments, like the one in Bedford Stuyvesant (pictured) a media production place first, and advertises them on his Instagram
They could be rented out at discounts under certain promotions listed on West’s Square, including an Early Bird Special in which any session booked with an 8 to 11 a.m. start time is just $45 per hour, with a four hour minimum.
And anyone who stays beyond three hours sees their price-per-hour reduced from $60 to $40 after the third hour up until six hours.
West, who was a former center at the University of Nevada, does not book stays for less than 20 people on Fridays or Saturdays, the description on one of his Airbnb properties says, in violation of COVID-related gathering laws.
DailyMail.com has contacted Airbnb and Square for further comment on how West is allegedly using the properties listed on their websites.
Now, the management at the Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment are suing West, claiming he failed to pay $1,500 in monthly rent in March, and the management company at the apartment in Clinton Hill said they took down the Airbnb listings in 2019, and made West sign a waiver saying he would not rent out the premises.
But, Friday Taub, who works for Plaza Management, said he put up the site again in the summer of 2020, and confirmed he has not been paying rent.
The company has begun eviction proceedings, but has not yet received a court date, due to COVID-related delays.
An eviction moratorium imposed in the wake of the pandemic has effectively banned evictions across New York state.
That moratorium is set to be extended until August 31 at the New York Capitol in Albany on Monday, and was designed to protect people who had lost their jobs due to COVID from being made homeless.
But critics say it has effectively given bad tenants carte blanche to behave how they please with no consequences.
‘It feels like [West’s] exploiting the relaxed pandemic eviction rules to make a nightclub in our building, to make revenue without paying rent and terrorize everyone in the building,’ one neighbor said.
West is due back in court on May 6.