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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:

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Locations, A Small Number of Residents--So What's the Problem?

This week's TOWN & VILLAGE contained an article on the pipe banging that's been affecting many residents of Stuyvesant Town, with wake-up calls as early as 5AM. I already noted this "amenity" in a previous entry. Tishman Speyer's response, quoted in the paper:

"There are a few locations on the property where a small number of residents are experiencing increased pipe noise...."

I can't stand dismissive BS, and I would suppose all the tenants who are being affected would also find such a statement infuriating and condescending. Always trying to put on a brave, no-problem face, Tishman Speyer continues to insult its tenants as it tries to sell the complex to the rest of the world. Isn't it about time that TS should start firing these "spokespersons" for their company or at least give them new instructions?

Meanwhile, the Tenant Association's forums continue to be down for "maintenance," an excuse that by now is becoming its own peculiar, if not cruel, joke. A letter in TOWN & VILLAGE and commentary on the Lux Living blog indicate that a new, more proactive tenants organization may be in the works

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tishman Speyer's Surprise Wake-up Calls for Last Minute Shoppers

Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village last minute shoppers were given a delightful surprise this early Sunday morning by not just one free wake-up call, but two!

The first wake-up call came between the hours of 5:00AM and 6AM, when the pipes in many buildings began banging like crazy--and persistently.

"This is typically a sure fire way of waking up tenants," explained George Hatzmann, the managing director of ST/PCV for Tishman Speyer, whom I woke up at his Long Island home with a call at 9AM, wishing to find out more about this surprise Sunday amenity. "We realized this week," Hatzmann went on after two yawns, "that many of our tenants still have not finished or even started their holiday shopping, and today is a great day for early morning bargains at places like Macy's and Lord & Taylor. So what better way to send our Season's Greetings to residents than to provide this wake-up call, so that they can get their asses in gear and shop till they drop. Of course, just between us and off the record, I hope our rent-stabilized tenants do shop and drop--drop dead--so we can change over their apartments to market rate ones. But please don't quote me on this, I'm in enough shit already with that statement I made about pushing harder to get one of our disabled RS tenants out of Stuy Town!"

I assured Mr. Hatzmann that I would keep this confidence to myself, and then proceeded with my questioning, in between his sleepy yawns. What about the second wake-up call, which happened after 6AM, the snowplows, salt trucks, etc, with all their beeping and motor noises?

"Ha, that was fun!" Hatzmann replied jovially, interrupting a deep yawn in his excitement. "We already had that planned out last night. We figured there would be a tenth-of-an-inch of snow coming down during the night; that gave us the excuse, however flimsy it may seem. Anyway, if the banging pipes didn't wake up residents, surely our running and beeping snowplows would. And those boys do like to ride around in those things and back them up all the time!"

On behalf of all last minute shoppers in our community, I thanked Hatzmann and his company, Tishman Speyer, for being so considerate to us tenants this Sunday morning. But I had one concern:

"Is this going to be an MCI?"

"Oh, no, no," Hatzmann assured me. "We are already maxed out on MCIs that we will be hitting residents with starting next year. No, this is just our gift to tenants. Take it in the spirit in which it was intended."

"Thank you, Mr. Hatzmann. I hope you have a very pleasant holiday, you and Mr. Jerry Speyer and Mr. Rob Speyer."

"Yeah, you too. But next time don't call me up this fucking early. I need my sleep!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Once Upon a Midnight Dream....

Holiday Season Message to the Tenants of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village from Tishman Speyer (A Fantasy in One Act)

Dear ST/PCV tenants:

We at Tishman Speyer realize that we've been on the wrong footing with our Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village tenants for a while now. We admit that our management skills regarding this property and you, the tenants, have been sorely lacking. We also admit that we made a mistake in acquiring this property for such a lofty, credit-busting sum as 5.4 billion dollars. Nevertheless, what's done is done. Now, as the new year approaches, we have decided to turn over a new leaf, as it were, and rework our relationship with you and set in place a new commitment of service and dedication.

We will value all tenants--the market rate tenants, as well as the rent stabilized tenants. This means that market rate tenants will not see exorbitant raises in their leases and that rent-stabilized tenants will not have to fear unwarranted Golub notices or spying, via Key Cards, to make sure they are where they are supposed to be.

We will not cultivate an attitude toward our seniors of waiting with impatience to see them move on to the great beyond so that we can turn their apartments to market rate ones. We particularly value our seniors who have worked and struggled in this city, and have brought up ST/PCV families here. These seniors are the golden treasures of our complex, and we wish them many healthy and prosperous years to come. Seniors, we will always be there for you and your concerns.

Oh, and those Key Cards--forget about them! We are doing away with them and going back to the traditional method of opening doors--with a key. No more will you have to drudge over to the far end of Stuyvesant Town at Ave C to pick up a card for yourself or your guest, and wait among the crowds--or worse, be shut out half an hour before closing because the staff there do not want to work overtime.

We will work closely with the Tenants Association and form a partnership with them, so that all the issues that affect you--from laundry room problems to filthy hallways, from lack of heat to overheating--will be dealt with correctly and expeditiously. We will have management do periodic reviews of the interior of each building to make sure it looks like a decent place to live. Expect fresh coats of paint and easy to clean faux-marble floors where there now exists stinky and dirty industrial carpeting.

We make a commitment to you to listen to your problems and respond to your phone-calls, instead of ignoring them, as we have been wont to do. So, if we can't respond to you right then and there, expect a return call that day--or the next at the latest. We will stop outsourcing our billing questions to foreign countries where none of your questions can be answered, even after a dozen attempts.

We will decrease the amount of NYU students here. It's not that I, nor you, dislike students (we all were students once and some of us have children who are students), but we have begun to realize that having an influx of this type of transient element here is destabilizing to the tenant environment we wish to cultivate. There's a reason for the existence of dorms and Stuyvesant Town was never intended to be a dorm.

We will set aside 5% of newly available apartments to returning veterans from the Iraq War. Their rents will be the medium rent of current rent-stabilized tenants. This will be our company's way of not only saying thank you to these service men and women, but will reflect upon the original values of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, built as a haven for veterans after World War II. Furthermore, in an effort to continue the honorable tradition that Stuy Town was founded on, we will stop market rate tenancy at 50%. The remaining 50% will be secured for affordable middle-class housing, to include the veterans already mentioned. The middle class is the true heart and soul of New York, and we do not want to lose such a class forever.

The Oval Essentials have been a bust, and rightly so. We created these to sell the complex to upscale prospective market rate tenants, but these essentials have created division, while eliciting cruel laughter, also. We cannot do away with these spaces at this point, but we will free up the Essentials, with periodic open houses and a rotating plan of availability of use for all tenants.

To celebrate the New Year and our new commitment to you, there will be a New Year's Eve party for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village tenants at the Oval, catered by some of the best food establishments in the city. We promise not to serve soggy wraps or luke-warm lasagna at this event, and will provide fresh baked goods from Veniero's and De Robertis Pasticceria.

Unlike other events that were, we admit, used for promotional purposes, this one will not have our photographers or video people present, nor will we try to sell you anything. So goodbye to that ever-present red Verizon FiOS stand. This event is for you, period.

This will be an expensive party, to be sure, but it is our way of thanking you for putting up with all the construction this past year, the confusion, and the disregard we have had for you.

Above all, we want to establish a new partnership with you, as we value all of you, not only as tenants, but as human beings. We hope that as we show that we value and respect you, that you will return the favor. All of us, united, can move forward in these troubling times with decency and concern for our fellow man.

All this is our commitment to you.

Thank you, and have a Happy Holiday Season and a Great New Year,

Jerry & Rob Speyer

Monday, December 8, 2008

Alert: Rally to Repeal Vacancy Decontrol - Tuesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM at 64th St. and C.P.W.

From the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village
Tenants Association:

- All Buildings


Tenant Announcements

To know your neighbor is to keep your neighbor. Market Rate neighbors don't have a chance to stay your neighbor. Help give them that chance and help preserve affordable housing for future generations of all New Yorkers. Support, demand, and rally for the repeal of Vacancy Decontrol.

Tenant friendly State Senators now control the Senate
for the first time in 43 years.

The Gang of Three have settled, yielding Senate leadership to Malcolm Smith (D) of Queens. More below ...

The tide is turning. Make it happen!


12/9: Mass Rally to Repeal Vacancy Decontrol

Mass Rally to Save Rent-Regulated Housing!
Close the Vacancy Decontrol Loophole!

Tuesday, December 9th, 6:30pm-8:30pm - 64th and C.P.W.

ST/PCV-TA endorses this event and will have a delegation. Please help make it a big one by showing up.

Join a thousand tenants and allies in demanding our state politicians end vacancy decontrol and preserve rent-regulation.

Vacancy decontrol is the greatest threat to New York's affordable housing. This winter, we can end it and save 100,000 rent regulated units on the verge of elimination.

Through vacancy decontrol, landlords can take a vacant apartment out of rent-regulation when the rent-regulated tenant vacates.

Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
1 train to 66th St; A, B, C, D to Columbus Circle
traducción espanol
wheelchair access
childcare provided

To RSVP, for more information, to volunteer, contact:
danielle AT or 646-202-3962

12/12: Annual New York State Policy Conference

Including a panel on repealing Vacancy Decontrol

Our allies at The Center for Working Families are hosting their annual New York State Policy Conference. Elected-officials, community advocates, constituency-based organizations and policy experts will gather to develop and unite around a common vision for progressive action in 2009. Join them and bring your voice to the table for housing justice.

"In This Together": Policies for the Common Good
Friday, December 12th, 9:00am to 3:00pm

Kimmel Center, New York University
60 Washington Square South, New York, NY
PLEASE RSVP Space is limited
(718) 222-5754, Ext. 240
Issue Panels include:
Speakers include:
Keynote: Steve Fraser, author, Wall Street: America's Dream Palace
Honorable Richard Brodsky, NYS Assembly
Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Drum Major Institute
Elisabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society
Annette Bernhardt, National Employment Law Project
Honorable Neil Breslin, NYS Senate
Carrie Brunk, New York Jobs with Justice
Lavon Chambers, Laborers Local 10
Peter Colavito, SEIU32BJ
Honorable Richard Gottfried, NYS Assembly
Adriene Holder, The Legal Aid Society, Tenant Member RGB
Keynote: Honorable Malcolm Smith, NYS Senate
Brad Lander, Pratt Center for Community Development
Myles Lennon, Urban Agenda NYC Apollo Alliance
Honorable Vito Lopez, NYS Assembly
Jim Tallon, President, United Hospital Fund
Bob Master, Comm. Workers of America
Frank Mauro, Fiscal Policy Institute
Mike McKee, Tenants PAC
Ed Ott, NYC Central Labor Council
Karen Scharff, Citizen Action of New York
Elizabeth Yeampierre, UPROSE NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
And many more!


More on the Gang of Three settlement

More Albany News


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Please help defer the cost of legal, communication, and meeting expenses and save time and effort. Donate online.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Case of the Missing Cabbages Still Not Explained

The Thursday edition of TOWN & VILLAGE contained an article "Disappearing plants in ST explained," which addressed the mystery of the disappearing plantings in front of Stuy Town's Community Center. According to a representative of Tishman Speyer in the by-line free article, "The begonias were recently removed as scheduled in order to protect them from exposure to the cold. They will be replaced this week with plantings that thrive in winter months."

Yes, but it wasn't begonias we were talking about. The cabbages, which thrive in winter months, arrived one week and were gone the next. So why was the cabbage patch put there and removed so quickly? If it's a mistake, say it's a mistake, and be done with it. And, yes, now the barren piece of ground is covered by different plantings.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Case of the Missing TA

Have you heard from your Tenants Association? Have you seen its message board? Have you read on the main page of the TA's website an explanation of what the problem is?