STR: Do you take frequent tours of PCVST, including its buildings? What do you personally see that you feel needs improvement?
Adam Rose: I am at PCVST a minimum of two days per week as it is the largest and most important assignment that we have. Yes, I regularly walk around the grounds as well as make random visits to buildings in both Peter Cooper Village as well as Stuyvesant Town. About once a month I am asked to arbitrate the most difficult cases of tenant unhappiness, whether it is about a neighbor issue that can’t be solved by the normal process or regarding some defect in an apartment that the resident services and construction supervisors cannot get to completion to the satisfaction of the tenant. As a result, I regularly interact with residents and hear their opinions, something that is very useful to our getting better and better at what we do at the property.It is clear to me that the public areas need to be refreshed. For example, at Stuy Town, the common hallways are ready to be repainted in a brighter and fresher color. If I can get approval from the owner, I would also be very happy to replace the carpets which are nearing the end of their useful life. Peter Cooper would benefit from similar work. One of my pet peeves is light bulbs, and I am pleased to report that we in the middle of a light bulb replacement project that will unify the color (regarding cool white vs. warm white) and improve the corridors. We are also working on a mock-up in Peter Cooper Village of a better way to handle recyclables. You will hear more about this as it is completed.
We know that bulk garbage (and even regular garbage) are issues that need to be improved. This requires a multi-pronged attack since tenant behavior is one aspect, and staffing and supervision is another. We are working with some of the elements of the union contract of our porters to improve flexibility, supervision, and staffing in order to do a better job at cleaning. Unfortunately, I cannot say more about this topic until the contract is fully negotiated. But I am not happy with the overall state of cleanliness. I realize that people wonder why this can’t be solved overnight, but the reality of a complex of this size is that things take more time than we would like them to take.
I also look at the landscaping and grounds, and have a plan to complete the “greening” of the property in 2012. It is unfortunate that Tishman Speyer planted millions of dollars of the wrong things at PCVST, and that the actual solution to many of the issues is the removal of some of that material. But plant beds that are naked dirt are unacceptable, and I know that these will be corrected in the coming year.