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Off-Broadway playwright evicted from $263-a-month apartment.

Off-Broadway producer and playwright Violet "Vy" Higgensen ("Mama, I Want To Sing") is being evicted from her $263-a-month two-bedroom rent-controlled apartment at 430-36 East 72nd Street.

Reason: Her primary residence is a five-story, 13-room, seven-bedroom, six-bathroom townhouse that she owns at 26 West 71st Street.

Higgensen claimed in Civil Court that the townhouse was a "temporary" residence - a "business center," she called it - and that although her husband, her nine-year-old daughter and her mother lived there, she needed the apartment to "get away from it all" and planned - "It was her hope and dream" - to move her family into her former homestead, one of only two apartments occupied in a brick-over, 39-unit walk-up without mailboxes.

Franklin Kaiman, a partner in the real estate law firm of Rosenberg & Estis, pointed out a flaw in this claim. Ms. Higgensen's mailing address for her 1988, 1989 and 1990 tax returns was that of the townhouse. Further, a Consolidated Edison representative testified that gas and electric bills in the apartment consistently ran below $15 a month, less than average.

Housing Court Judge Jose Rodriguez, ending the four-year tug-of-war last month, called Higgensen's claim that the apartment is her primary residence "not credible" because she has failed to maintain an "ongoing substantial physical nexus" with the place.
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Title Annotation:Violet Higgensen loses rent-controlled apartment in Housing Court case
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 8, 1993
Words:212
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