Comment Policy

All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved.

NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog. Because of the anonymous nature of the commentary, specific agendas can be pushed by a sole individual and may not reflect a more popular belief by the residents of this community.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Preferential Rent Vs. the Legal (Real) Rent

There have been questions on two STPCV Facebooks about rents being raised more dramatically than seemingly allowed by the Rent Guidelines Board every year. The questions were answered, but I may has well stress the facts here. I will also be adding this info the side bar.

Basically, if you are a newer tenant, you will probably be charged a "preferential rent," which will be stated in your lease rider. This preferential rent will NOT be the rent the landlord CAN charge you, which would be the legal rent. It doesn't matter that all apartments in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are rent stabilized, one "victory" that was the outcome of the Roberts decision. (And what a joke that victory turned out to be!) Upon lease renewal, the landlord can charge as much rent on your "rent stabilized" apartment as the legal rent allows, the preferential rent be damned.

Because of the high turnover of apartments in this community, via the transient student population, the legal rents of many apartments are now very high, a major reason the landlord loves and welcomes students, of course. (And when are the politicians going to close this loophole?)

Chances are that your new apartment in STPCV will have a preferential rent to lure you in. But BEWARE: around the corner could be an increase that could shock you.

If you are about to rent an apartment here and would like to stay long term and call this your home, please be very aware of this. If anyone makes you a promise that your rent will remain what it is, excepting normal Rent Guidelines Board increases: 1) make sure you have that promise in writing, and 2) make sure your lease explicitly states that your preferential rent will remain in effect for the entire term of your tenancy. Chances are very good you will get neither.

You can read more about preferential vs. legal rents here:

http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac40.htm

Friday, March 6, 2015

Read This and Be Prepared to Gnash Your Teeth



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/nyregion/mayor-bill-de-blasio-and-developer-rob-speyer-are-close-but-not-on-affordable-housing.html?_r=0

Unlike many of his more wary real estate brethren, Rob Speyer moved quickly to build a strong relationship with New York’s liberal mayor, Bill de Blasio, after his election in 2013.

The relationship flowered, and Mr. Speyer, whose company owns Rockefeller Center and operates on four continents, was a host at Mayor de Blasio’s birthday party at Gracie Mansion last May. At a real estate gathering five months later, Mr. de Blasio singled out Mr. Speyer, telling the 6,200 attendees that the developer was “tremendously civically oriented.”

While enjoying a close relationship, however, the two men do not seem to be on the same page when it comes to the pressing need for affordable housing in a city where rents are soaring beyond the grasp of the poor and middle class.

More at the above link.

Perhaps Bill can ask his buddy for a return on the billions that Robbie weighed down tenants with when his then-property ownership of this complex went bust.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The High Rise of Dan Garodnick



http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5574-new-phase-of-east-midtown-rezoning-prioritizes-public-benefits

These people are so transparent.

I stopped trusting our councilman, Dan Garodnick, when he eased himself into a third term as councilman after voting against extending term-limits. It was a blatant hypocritical maneuver that is typical of politicians and why people are so disenchanted with them. Of course, we had clues as to Dan's steadfastness when he presented a coherent argument against the commercialization of the Oval (at the time, Stuy Town's greenmarket) before disengaging from his stance by agreeing to the commercialization as long as it was meant "for residents and their guests," a stipulation that became almost immediately laughable given the lack of a landlord's enforcement. Even the tenant fight for "affordable housing" became something of a joke, and a cruel one, when the only option given was a buy-out of the property with the involvement of Big Real Estate that would have meant the steady evaporation of true affordable housing in this community. Then there are Dan's yearly dinner dates with the REBNY, one of the strongest organizations in the city whose goal is the elimination of rent stabilization and the pursuit of building taller and taller at the expense of livability, the working class who can still afford to live in Manhattan, and just the simple charm of living in a city and not in a mega-towered landscape bottomed with chain drug stores, Starbucks, and banks.

Now that Bloomberg is gone, Dan has assumed a position of more influence and attention, as the above article indicates. Dan's "high rise" is no doubt propelled by a vision of becoming mayor of the city one day. His other vision is the more immediate one: changing Manhattan, specifically the East Side, midtown.

Dan is a smart man, though, and, as a lawyer and politician (why are the two always so joined at the hip?), he knows how to say the right thing to whomever he is addressing. One could say that he plays both sides, something both politicians and lawyers become so adept at. Aside from his skills at defining positions with succinct "reasonableness," Dan is also an attractive candidate on a physical level. The ladies, both young and old, must like him. (But a warning: He should stop eating cannoli, as I've been noticing a slight girth advancing along his waist in recent photos. More of this and he'll start looking like Scott Stringer, another hopeful candidate for the position of mayor of New York City.)

Dan's position on the rezoning of east midtown is typical of his "reasonable" stances on other issues. On one hand, he is all for extra zoning privileges for Big Real Estate (the current curse of what's happening with the build-up of sliver high-rises in Manhattan), while on the other hand, he wants to upgrade transportation venues and give people mini-parks with waterfalls. Playing both sides.

So while New York is still turning into Bloomberg's vision of Dubai on the Hudson, the humanitarian perks are meant to assuage the peons and give politicians nice photo-ops, a win-win situation on the surface.

Unfortunately, I still see Big Real Estate winning, Big Time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Here they come!


 http://blog.massengale.com/2014/09/28/finger/

Dan's turf, btw.

Perhaps coming to Stuy Town/Peter Cooper in the future.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The TA Presents Its "The Courts" Safety Report to CW, but Fails to Notify the Fire Department and the DOB



http://stpcvta.org/post/the-courts-stuytown-playground-11-safety-report

Well, that's nice and friendly. Perhaps the TA could have gone the extra step of informing both the Fire Department and the DOB (Department of Buildings), so a record of the infractions could be official, but no....

Management thanked the TA, but blew it off on tenant concerns about noise and just who is using the "The Courts" at Playground 11, which has been taken over by commercial enterprises for "residents and their guests."

But we are reminded: "The Tenants Association takes seriously any incursion on our traditionally open spaces...."