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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:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Criswell Predicts!

- Jerry and Rob Speyer will come up with a surprise deal, with Chinese investment, to hold onto Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The Media will start reporting about "the comeback" of the Speyers in ST/PCV in late 2010.

- In late 2011, Tom Duane will tell the Tenants Association of ST/PCV that he is "very, very sorry, really, really very sorry" that the NY Senate was not able to renew rent protection laws.

- Within five years the first building in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village will be knocked down to make way for a 60 floor high-rise. This will be followed by eradication of more old buildings. The remaking of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper will be a ten-year plan, but will take an additional four years to accomplish. By then, most original rent-stabilized tenants will either have moved out because of continual construction noise or have been killed by falling bricks.

- Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper will be renamed Speyer City. The most magnificent building in the complex will be called Speyer Tower. Mayor-for-Life Bloomberg will attend the commemoration, with Jerry and Rob Speyer beaming by his side. Bloomberg will state that "this is a great day for New York" and herald Jerry and Rob "as exemplary citizens who make the city work."

- A horrible accident will occur on the walkway around the Oval involving a dog and a cyclist. The cyclist, racing madly to get his delivery of Chinese food on time, will ride into a long retractable leash, at the end of which is a dog. The cyclist will go flying, and the dog's head will go flying, too. Various lawsuits will arise out of this tragedy, but the cyclist, because he is an illegal immigrant, will not face any financial jeopardy. In fact, his medical costs and physical rehabilitation will be paid for by the taxpayers under the new Health Care Bill of 2010. He, in turn, will successfully sue Stuyvesant Town and the dog owner, and retire to a beach front mansion in Cancun, with 12 beautiful Latinas to cater to all his needs.

- Ziggy and Roundly Roger will get into a physical altercation at a Tenant meeting. 99.99% of those present will not know what the fight is about.

- It will be found that Stuyvesant Town's notorious dumpsters do not fit, nor work properly, in the special garage built for them along Ave C, causing their unwelcome return to the Ave C loop. Councilman Dan Garodnick assures tenants living near the dumpsters that the dumpsters will finally be moved by Summer 2010, but they are still around in the summer... in the fall... in the winter....

- Dog owners will finally get their desired dog run. Pieces of chocolate cake will appear mysteriously about the grounds every once in a while.

- An expose of Stuy Town security will reveal that when the blinds are down in the monitor room at the Management Office, no one is present.

- Tishman Speyer will request and receive a MCI for road and pathway repair to replace the faulty paving for which they already received a MCI.

- NYU journalism student Joy Garrido Ernanny will become very smitten with one Stuy Town blogger and plead with him to marry her. Already "taken," the blogger will have to continually ward off the persistent and passionate advances of the distraught Brazilian beauty.

- The missing plaque honoring MetLife's chairman F. H. Ecker and his commitment that "families of moderate means might live in health, comfort and dignity in park-like communities and that a pattern might be set of private enterprise productively devoted to public service" will still not be found. Rumors will persist that it is located in the same place as Jimmy Hoffa's body.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fall of Stuyvesant Town

As Jerry and Rob Speyer pride themselves on what they've done to Stuyvesant Town [The Speyers said they are proud of their work revitalizing Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Tishman Speyer has spruced up the grounds, adding bushes and flowers, new intercoms, a fitness center and a movie screening room.], the truth is that they have damaged this community and this property, probably forever. Everyone who has lived in Stuyvesant Town for a number of years, and who remembers how it once was, knows this to be a bitter fact.

The photo above, taken today, speaks for itself.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Breaking News: Tenants and Landlord Reach Deal

From Reuters:

Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:24pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The landlord and tenants of a vast New York City apartment complex have reached an interim rental agreement for 4,000 apartments hit with illegal rent increases, attorneys for the two sides said on Monday.

The interim deal affects apartments whose rents were raised to market levels from rent-stabilized levels in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, which were bought for $5.4 billion in 2006 by a joint venture of commercial real estate owner Tishman Speyer and the real estate arm of money manager BlackRock Inc.

The interim deal covers just January and February rent, but the two sides agreed to hire an independent third-party expert to determine a longer-term stabilized rent level.

The case has been closely watched in the New York property industry because other buyers of rent-stabilized apartment buildings planned to follow the same investment strategy of increasing rents to market levels.

New York's top court ruled on October 22 that rents on some rent-stabilized apartments had been raised illegally to market levels. The high court sent the case to back to the trial court to decide issues such as damages and rent levels.

To resolve the case out of court, the two sides have been negotiating a host of issues, including setting stabilized rent levels, control of the escrow account holding rent increases paid since March, damages, and identifying who would be eligible to participate in a class-action lawsuit against the landlord and the former landlord, MetLife Inc.

The iconic properties encompass 80 acres, 52 buildings and more than 11,000 apartments on the east side of Manhattan.

The tenants sued after the landlord announced plans to bring rents up to market levels and sell units as condominiums.

The properties have lost about $3 billion in value since they were acquired in 2006, mainly because of the U.S. commercial property bust, experts have said.

The two sides said in a joint statement that they had also reached agreement on a more inclusive, six-month pact covering "a wider range of unresolved issues." These include giving the tenants control over the escrow account and settling on the composition of the class in the class action. It did not address possible damages resulting from the ruling against the landlords.

The six-month agreement is contingent on consent by CWCapital, the special servicer acting on behalf of the property's senior lenders.

BlackRock shares were down 69 cents to $225.32 in afternoon trading.


From this addition:

Broader Agreement

Current and future tenants will also be treated as rent stabilized.[Emphasis mine.]

Tishman and BlackRock also said today they reached “a more inclusive, six-month agreement covering a wider range of unresolved issues beyond those addressed in the interim agreement.”

That agreement would extend rent adjustments to June. It needs to be approved by CWCapital, the special servicer of loans on the complex, the statement said.

Ned Steele, a spokesman for a law firm representing tenants, and Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Tishman Speyer, declined to comment beyond the joint statement.


All of this is historic for New York City and affordable housing.

I love the no comment, once again, from Bud Perrone.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Rid of the Dumpsters

The issue of the dumpsters has gone on long enough. The noise of these screeching monsters is unbearable at night and in the very early morning hours. For too long management, our tenants association and our politicians (yes, including Dan Garodnick and his office) have passed the buck on this, explaining why things are the way they are, and that relief is just around the corner, which it never is. Apparently, the big wait now is on a permit which will allow the use of the entrance way to the dumpster garage that was built along Ave C. Why wasn't this permit taken care of when the concept of creating a garage for these dumpsters began to flourish? Who dropped the ball significantly on this--and is still dropping the ball? Why is this horrid noise level allowed to continue when it is AGAINST THE LAW? Why is Tishman Speyer not being fined for every instance of the noise rising above the legal level? There should be no excuses. And no noise. (BTW, I've a feeling that this dumpster garage, if ever used, will be a disaster, like a lot of things Tishman Speyer attempts.)

Complaints to the Department of Environmental Protection (which deals with noise issues) can now be filled out online.

Dan's office number is 212-818-0580, and there's also an online form for city complaints you can fill out.

ST/PCV Management Office's number is 212-420-5000. (Good luck getting through; best times are in the morning.)

I'd also suggest contacting NY's newspapers and local TV stations. It would be great if someone from the local news could check this out, with cameras and open audio. That would be a significant eye-opening (and ear-opening) exposé.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Strong Tenant Turnout at Simon Baruch

Just a few words about the tenant meeting at Simon Baruch this past Saturday.

It was overflowing. Seats taken, with packed standing crowds in the back. The biggest turnout of tenants I have seen, with a few bloggers and NY journalists taking note. Of the speakers, the biggest applause was given Dan Garodnick, and rightfully so. The guy presents himself well, speaks clearly and with purpose, and has represented this neighborhood well. The one troubling spot in his speech: Garodnick stated that everyone knew that Tishman Speyer was paying too much for ST/PCV at 5.4 billion, but, a few sentences later, he dangled the hope that tenants could buy the complex. Well, if the tenants had bought the complex at their bidding price of 4 billion, we would have been screwed too.

Tom Duane--well, the crowd became hushed as he went through his mea-culpas ("I'm deeply, deeply, deeply sorry," etc.) and used a slew of disparaging terms about the State Senate. He admitted that this year was the worst of his political life. (Duane had also lost his mother during the summer.) Though Duane tried to finish up on an energizing note, mentioning that he's not quitting the fight, I didn't get a sense of verve and determination from him.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was also present, but her speech was too predictable regarding Stuy Town/Peter Cooper tenants, and then she launched into an unfortunate rah-rah list of things the Democrats are doing in Congress that would have been better suited for a campaign stop, not a tenant meeting.

Anyway, a very good get-together of tenants (both rent-stabilized and market-rate), with a positive vibe of better and greater organizing in the future.