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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, July 31, 2009

Ex-Market Rate Tenant to Tishman Speyer and BlackRock

I received a message today from a former market rate tenant of Stuyvesant Town. It was sent as a comment to one of the blog posts ("Our Tenants Come First"), but it's certainly worthy to be brought out more into the open, as it addresses a critical issue in how the landlord deals with the market rate tenants in this complex when lease renewal comes around. So here it is:

As a market rate renter who recently moved out, I have to express my extreme irritation with ST on the move out of the complex. Comments before complaints:

- I always paid the rent on time.
- I was never a problem.
- I was happy there and the complex and my apartment were well maintained.

That said, here is what has happened:

- Stuy Town was essentially willing to lower our rent by around 10%, no more. They subsequently (less than a month later) lowered it by another approx 10% based on ads I have seen in the subway offering 2 months free. Apparently that is not being offered to good tenants.

- I wasted a ton of time just trying to figure out what the renewal would be if we stayed. ST, of course, made this extremely difficult by helpfully making the hours start at 10am to speak with a renewal person (Heather O'neill).
- Apparently the leasing office can't accept returned keys, which is a joke. I had to literally threaten them with making a stink in the leasing office before a "solution" could be found.
- ST just tagged us with almost $300 in "fees" for moving. There were two:

1. A $229.30 fee to replace a light fixture (a "globe"). It was broken and I never bothered to have it replaced. They had also given me a quote of $85 or $115 (I am not sure which) to replace it when I lived there. So ST is literally lying on the fees.

2. A $40.14 fee to pry a $15 taped mirror from the back of a closet. That might have taken 1 minute.

When I complained to ST, I was, again, helpfully referred to their legal department. I assume I will get screwed on these items. Give me a break.

I used to say good things about ST, but I won't anymore.

I understand that Tishman and BlackRock are underwater on their investment, I am sure many of these fees are designed to screw people as much as possible. That's fine, you are screwing yourselves long term, but of course you are so underwater you can't think straight.

I hope someone at ST is reading this comment.


Anonymous said...

There is no intelligent life at Tishman Speyer. Anyone contemplating renting an apartment here: Buyer Beware! They will screw you every way they can think of, and they can think of lots of ways. That's the only thinking they do.

Anonymous said...

There must have been at least 200 "move outs" yesterday (July 31st). The Avenue C loop curb was packed solid, and they were parking in the handicapped spots to load up. It didn't help that someone has decided that moving trucks are no longer allowed along the sidewalks of Playground 9 & 11 because (get ready for a good laugh) the cheap concrete was breaking up.

Anyone stop to think that driving forklifts, front end loaders, garbage trucks, sewage trucks (for the porta johns), golf carts and all the other service vehicles could be causing the wear and tear ? Instead, why don't we screw everyone moving in or out by making their movers walk everything to the street, running up the bill.

I've never seen such incompetence and disregard for customers than that displayed by Tishman.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to be petty, but isn't it Blackrock, not Blackstone? Two entirely different companies, though they probably do the same type of business.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You are absolutely correct. It's BlackRock Realty that went in with Tishman Speyer to buy ST/PCV. Blackstone was just interested in the property when it was up for sale. Will change the posts. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

As a former tenant, I was one of the hundreds that moved out on 7/31, I think someone should find out if TS directly collects the revenue from those fees as part of managing the property and pockets them or if those fees accrue to the LPs in the funds who TS sold equity to.

If that fee revenue is going straight to TS I think there is a huge conflict of interest and TS should not be allowed to manage the property for its own short term fee collecting benefit at the expense of occupancy rates and tenant good will.

TS is significantly harming both equity and debt holders in PCV/ST by destroying the long term value of the development to line their own pockets prior to losing control in bankruptcy.

I smell lawsuit...and foreclosure.

Anonymous said...

"As a former tenant, I was one of the hundreds that moved out on 7/31, I think someone should find out if TS directly collects the revenue from those fees as part of managing the property and pockets them or if those fees accrue to the LPs in the funds who TS sold equity to."

Wouldn't the collection of fees be used to offset operating expenses ? All of the labor force here is unionized, and it's not like an apartment turns over once every 40 years, it's more like 200 a month. That's a lot of labor to refurb (not renovate) those apartments. They need to be cleaned, floors need to be done, walls painted and other touch-up's. That all costs a lot of money at today's labor rates.

I think we could question if the rates were fair (in other words are people being overcharged), but no question in my mind that there are operating expenses to be covered here, and those expenses are even greater than under Met, given the cost of upkeep to the grounds and the renovated apartments.