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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dan Garodnick Okay with Hefty MCI Increase

Sometimes I think that the fix is in. Considering the donations that local politicians get from real estate and investment firms, the reality is that the connections between our politicians--like Scott Stringer and Dan Garodnick--and big monied real estate concerns are probably tighter than anyone realizes. Certainly this issue is NOT being talked about in meetings with ST/PCV tenants, nor is anyone covering this connection in any newspaper that I know of. We will examine these connections as best we can given our limited resources. Knowing the facts does give one pause: Just whose side are these politicians on?

Last week's Town & Village contained an article about the value of ST/PCV. Titled "ST/PCV said to be worth 2.8B, but questions about plumbing remain," the article was troubling for two reasons: 1) The assessment of the worth of our complex had the complex's senior holder reps, CW Capital, "in charge" of conducting the appraisal, which completely invalidates a true appraisal of the property. That's like letting the Big Bad Wolf make an assessment of the safety of the woods for girls wearing red hoods. Let's hope no one is taken in by this scam. 2) The article mentions concerns about the plumbing in this complex and the possibility that "major repairs or upgrades" would be needed. Who would pay for this? Why the tenants, of course, with a significant MCI increase. Our Councilman Dan Garodnick's position? We quote from the article:

"In the event the plumbing system that services ST/PCV is in need of major repairs or upgrades, Garodnick said an MCI could be the way to deal with that, 'although nobody's ever enthusiastic about an MCI.'"

While the reality presented may be accurate, Garodnick's glib response is troubling, as it just about invites CW Capital to go for an MCI hit on tenants with our councilman's approval. It also places a potential wedge issue between those who seek conversion, who would definitely want an MCI upgrade, and those pro-rent stabilized tenants who would not want another MCI hitting their wallets.