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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