The truth about a complex built for veterans and the middle class and how it has evolved through the years to become one of the more interesting and controversial of New York stories.
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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.
Quality of life issues are not that important, however. Things like the carpet rule or outsider dogs. These "rules" tend to be ignored, on purpose it seems. So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.
"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.
Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.
At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change, though the "selling" of this place is intense. Few of the "rules" will be enforced, as Management doesn't want to lose customers or potential customers. Where personal integrity is a hallmark of an excellent management style, this integrity is not seen in enforcing some of the rules.
Our Tenants Association is, basically, null and void. Oh, it is still around, but it lacks the will power to confront much of anything. The TA will ask for your dues, however. By now, the TA is a charade.
About those "club cars" we see going this way and that way, and outside of Stuy Town or Peter Cooper Village:
A reader, Edmund, sent in the following photos and a video that shows how packed with residents was the music at the Oval yesterday. And the photos were not taken at the beginning or at the end of the event.
I want truth. Residents that BS other residents into thinking that the events are well-attended have been proven, so far, as liars. They have an agenda. Mine is just telling and showing the truth.
While there has been a plus for some the issues confronting residents, there have been others which have remained and seem incapable of being properly addressed or enforced. And some issues have gotten worse. In going through some of the older posts at blog, I see that some of these issues are the same years ago.
This main post will deal with some of these issues....
We kinda laugh at the warning "For Residents and Their Guests," but nowadays even that warning or post (take your pick) is being ignored. Management has no one to go around and check that this notice is up, so either it doesn't care or just doesn't know. (It should have someone going around, period.) It is an amusing notice in a lot of ways, but necessary for this place to be properly zoned. It is missing from, say, Five Stuy Cafe, which should have that notice visible, unless the ruling has been dismissed.
This is a post from November 3rd, 2011:
An ice-skating rink is a pretty big straw, but it seems it has had the
effect of mobilizing tenants and making both residents and politicians
hyper aware of zoning and the commercialization occurring inside
Stuyvesant Town. This week's Town & Village carries a front page
article, "Garodnick Questions Legality of Commercial Activity in
ST/PCV." Though commercial activities have been happening inside the
complex since Tishman Speyer took over as owner and manager, though
we've seen the Farmer's Market, Food Trucks, tables for Verizon and Zip
Car, charges for the Oval "Essentials," etc, make their way into Stuy
Town with some push-back from tenants, this ice-skating rink may just
have tipped the balance into getting residents finally fed up with the
commercialization inside this property. Or perhaps not. To be seen.
T & V article carries quotes from councilman Garodnick and
management's Adam Rose. Garodnick: "People want to make sure it is
legal and I am currently exploring that question. There's a lot of
concern over the variety of commercial activities, including the food
trucks and now an ice rink and the paid storage facilities." Rose
contends that "We believe the minor commercial activity in Stuy town
such as food trucks and the ice rink are completely legal, and provide
additional amenities and attractions to the vast majority of our
residents, especially families." While the legality of commercial
activities is yet to be determined by the Department of City Planning
(I'm not holding my breath), it has to be stated that the "vast
majority" of residents are not using any of the amenities being offered
at Stuyvesant Town. We're talking about a resident population of
anywhere from 25K to 30K, and certainly you don't even see a tenth of
that number using the Oval Essentials, the food trucks, etc, or
attending the summer concerts and events, which, at best and on rarer
occasions, can draw in a few hundred people.
It can't be stressed
enough in these discussions (even T & V skips this point) that
these amenities are being used to sell the place to prospective renters,
and it must be admitted that some amenities are directed at prospective
renters with families, which
is a good thing, as we'd like to increase a more stable population
rather than the transient student one we see continually growing.
T & V article reveals more of what Garodnick asked of the
Department of City Planning: "Does zoning allow for food trucks to be
positioned within the Stuyvesant Town Oval? Management recently
announced that they would be installing and opening an ice rink in a
Stuyvesant Town Playground. Does the present zoning allow for an ice
rink on the property? And if so, would charging for admission or
equipment change that?" These are pivotal questions.
also stated to T & V that he believes the ice-rink should be
complimentary to residents. "An hour a day in a playground that is
normally open and free is not a good policy and it will not have a good
outcome." Dan must be really hopping mad now, as the updated schedule
for free use of the ice-rink allows for just two hours of free use to residents per week,
not the previously publicized seven hours per week. (Perhaps I'm
wrong, but I smell a slight set-up here, with a "generous" gesture
forthcoming that will go back to the one free hour a day schedule.)
bulging letters column in T & V contains responses from tenants. A
couple of tenants are for it, including a familiar voice who calls the
rink's detractors "cranky" and "better suited to a gated community in
Florida than apartment living in a dense urban environment."
letter writers share their concerns, which have also been addressed
repeatedly on this blog and Lux's website and Facebook.
heart-warming surprise comes from an opinion piece by Steven Sanders,
who had been our state assemblyman for 28 years. As someone who grew up
in Stuy Town, Sanders takes a nostalgic journey in his piece, writing
about Playground 10.... "Every kid growing up in Stuy Town or Peter
Cooper had 'their' playround and #10 was mine." His article is well
worth reading as giving insight into what that playground means and
meant. He begins to finish it off this way:
"There are just some
places, which are just really special, that corporate America, in such a
hurry to make a buck, just does not really get." And: "I may be
entirely wrong but I am not sure that there has been an outcry from the
residents demanding an ice skating rink which is a very specialized
activity that only a relatively few will participate in." Finally:
Tishman Speyer bought this community five years ago and over spent
literally billions of dollars, they did so in the belief that they could
make big changes to our already successful and iconic community that
would make it more profitable. In hindsight I am sure they wish that
they would have just let well enough alone. So a word to CW Capital and
Rose management... 'If it ain't broke don't fix it.'"
From November 8th, 2011:
STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER DAN GARODNICK
Re: Commercial Activity in Stuyvesant Town
Department of City Planning (DCP) has responded to the questions I
posed to them about commercial activities in Stuyvesant Town.
regard to the planned ice skating rink, DCP has advised that, due to
“the unusualness of this circumstance,” we should seek the review of the
Department of Buildings (DOB), which enforces zoning regulations.My
office has already reached out to the DOB for a final word on whether
an ice skating rink, for a fee, conforms to the R7-2 zoning regulation
applicable in Stuyvesant Town.
I have asked the DOB for a complete review of the construction permits
and the work that is actively being performed – including the electrical
wires being strung through trees – to ensure that any construction
activity is being conducted without risk to residents or workers, and
within appropriate hours of the day.We expect the appropriate enforcement of any violations.
have also asked the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a
test of the sound that will be emitted from various ice machines in
order to ensure compliance with the noise code, and to confirm the
safety of chemicals that appear to be used in connection with the rink.
regard to other commercial activities – such as food trucks and
greenmarkets – that are not permitted in an R7-2 residential zone, we
expect CW Capital/Rose Associates to bring themselves into compliance
with the law.I am happy to offer
the assistance of my office in helping to relocate the Stuyvesant Town
Greenmarket to an area around the property that would be both legal and
convenient for the many residents who enjoy making use of it.
who want to know what you can do to expedite enforcement on the ice
rink or any other issue are advised to call 311 and to contact my office
with your 311 reference number which will be helpful to us in following
up.Residents should also feel free to contact my office at (212) 818-0580 with questions or concerns on any of these matters.
Some photos taken last evening of "the Event," which in this case was a movie showing GREASE. Not much attendance, children bored and playing with each other, bicycles not being stopped by a usually absent PS. Oh, yes, and our loops still filled with discarded garbage and, for the mattresses, illegally disposed.
I don't live at the Oval, but going outside, I see that when the weather is good and the people are out (and there are more and more people, thousands more in this community), the place can get too much, even for me. I see infractions constantly, like a bicycle being ridden around the Oval and a PS officer looking right at it/him and not a word was said. I guess he didn't want to be bothered.
And there is garbage all over the place, including my building. That no one cares seems at times to be an understatement.
I passed by Oval Cafe. The guy playing (at a microphone, no less) must have driven people away, judging by the music he was playing and "singing."
In case the above is hard to read, know that Management really does want a circus, and almost every day you will get an "event." Blackstone must be so proud.
Update 6/3/2018: I'm looking at the above photo and looking. Is this photoshopped? A fake?
Update to update:Yes, A FAKE! Not to say that "creatively" removing this, adding that was not done, but the photo is not a vision of things as "is," but a FAKE.
The noise from working on the "new" improved Playground 1 is unbearable. I live in another building, across the loop, away from that playground, and even I can hear the jack-hammering, drilling, pounding, etc. If I lived around that playground, I would have to go someplace else, it is so disruptive and LOUD.
Please, if you live there, ask for a rent reduction. Take sound files, evidence. I went there, even as it is drizzly, to make sure. I had to leave, the noise was so bad.
Open to debate whether days were good in general, but I took this photo near the Oval before it was taken down. Taken down, too, was a plaque which spoke of the affordability of this complex. The politicians promise that the plaque will be returned, but how long have you heard that promise? Hey, why not create a new one and mention affordability now?