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Monday, December 12, 2011

Statement from Tenants & Neighbors on TA/Brookfield Partnership



STATEMENT FROM TENANTS & NEIGHBORS ON STUYVESANT TOWN-PETER COOPER VILLAGE TENANT ASSOCIATION'S PARTNERSHIP WITH BROOKFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT


Maggie Russell-Ciardi, Executive Director of New York State Tenants & Neighbors, one of the city's largest tenant's rights groups, said:


Tenants & Neighbors believes in the power of tenant organizing. We know that, working together, tenants who live in housing that is at risk of loss of affordability can build consensus around an alternative vision for their building and then spearhead a campaign to make that vision a reality. We commend the tenant association on having taken their community’s future into their own hands and identified a tenant-endorsed preservation partner. There may still be a long and hard fight ahead to ensure that Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village is preserved as affordable housing. But the tenants have both an incredible determination and the power that comes from intensive and relentless organizing and mobilizing- as was made evident by their historic victory in the Roberts case - and we have every confidence that they will continue to succeed. We support them as they strive to ensure that their building is taken out of the speculative market and instead preserved as decent, affordable housing for the long term.”

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the Met Council on Housing would say?

Anonymous said...

"We support them as they strive to ensure that their building is taken out of the speculative market and instead preserved as decent, affordable housing for the long term.”

Did I miss something? I didn't see this included in the TA plan. Just a condo flip-flop scheme.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

LOL. Yes, if the TA plan would have as its goal in the conversion the preservation of "decent, affordable housing for the long term," then I'm all for the plan!

Anonymous said...

Delusional and out of their freaking minds! Last I heard, there was 10% preserved as affordable housing, with NO INDICATION of who was going to own those units, and using WHAT means test to make sure that the needy were obtaining those apartments. It is all a lot of hot air so far.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the TA's plans and actions were more transparent this deal would not smell so bad. But then again, it would!

Anonymous said...

So now the Tenants & Neighbors are selling out? Everybody is out to get you, right? Don't worry, you will get to live out your last days here, so stop your whining. This is SO much better a plan than what we have now. Two tenants organizations thinks so. Seriously, at this point, if there is nothing you can do personally to make it better, e.g., run for TA, then you need to move. You will never be happy here.

Anonymous said...

Note to TA:

With all due respect, it does sound like a lot of blah blah blah. April 2012 you plan to propose this to CW?

It sounds like a lot of nonsense. Sorry. I don't think it's serious and I don't believe CW would even entertain a sale to us.

IMO

Anonymous said...

the plan that the TA proposed sounds good-those who want to buy can otherwise those who don't won't---the alternative is someone ELSE will buy---and the same old games of trying to get tenants out will happen again

Whopper said...

Or maybe Tenants and Neighbors is being realistic. If we don't try to buy Stuy Town from the bondholders, they will sell it to another Tishman Speyer and how much affordable housing will there be then? A conversion plan is the only way to keep this a middle-class community. We should be embracing the Tenants Association proposal.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with Whopper. A non-eviction condo conversion is the only hope we have. Bravo to the TA. Anon 10:10 mentioned something about a flip/flop scheme, what exactly do you mean? There are controls in place in the event people attempt to do that. Anon 10;12 metioned that CW would never accept the offer....well why not? It will be approximatlely a 3 billion dollar offer backed by Brookfield. Could you please explain how it's "not serious."

Anonymous said...

Lesser of two evils gets my vote.

1==== another TS, or worse

2==== us, as owners.

yeah, i'll choose us.

Anonymous said...

I've posed these questions more than once and haven't gotten a single response. If the TA and Brookfield become the new owners why would they be any different than a Tishman Speyer or a CW Capital? Is the TA going to spit money out their arses to pay the expenses to run and continuously maintain the old equiptment? Is the TA just that superior to all the other wanna be owners at money management that they would be able to grossly overpay for an asset and still be able to keep costs down? I thought they never did something like this before but yet now they hold themselves out as experts, how did they become experts at running a place this large with a seriously divided tenancy when they never did this before? What is their (the TA)current budget that they have this expertise? Exactly what percentage of tenants are currently dues paying members of the TA anyway? Why should anyone listen to them if they only legitimately represent a tiny fraction of tenants? Just maybe they will find themselves in the same position as Tishman and CW and would need to raise additional capital to keep the place running. So then instead of mean old Tishman you have mean old TA (and Brookfield), only now the people of the "community" will be all divided and at each others throats (Midtown East and all the litigation and physical confrontations that took place in a conversion a fraction of this size) comes to mind immediately. In no way shape or form does the TA plan preserve middle class affordable housing. The Gueterman plan does more for middle class affordable housing than the TA plan does. Therefore, I find the T&N statement to be little more than payback by the Tenants and Neighbors group for the support the TA has given them in the past. I have sent money to Tenants and Neighbors in the past but that stops now, and just as I was getting ready to send out my year end charitible contributions too. Oh, well their loss. I encourage others to stop supporting anyone who backs the TA on this plan, either finanacially (The TA or Tenants and Neighbors) or with their votes (Garodnick, Stringer, Kavanaugh, Maloney, Quinn.etc.) until they realize that the majority is against either plan.

Anonymous said...

Question: If the place does go condo, will you be able to switch apts or you have to buy the one your in?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You will be able to buy the one you're in, though the TA is looking into the other possibility, too.

Anonymous said...

Re: above comment on small fraction being represented...

are you speaking of those of us who wish to buy/ not buy?

we've been here 14 years. I don't know any one who doesn't want to buy their apartment.

Anonymous said...

@ anon December 14, 2011 10:42 AM

Please note that Midtown East is a Mitchell-Lama where tenants paid a pittance for their apartments, and a conversion would mean a huge windfall for a lot of people, a totally different scenario than in ST/PCV.

In the meantime, it's kind of pointless at this time to discuss things that don't really exist on paper yet, but I would encourage everyone to give the TA input when they seek it from residents, as they have said they would do building surveys to gain insight into residents intentions and needs. All this bashing and thrashing serves no point except to confuse the issue. The damage (in terms of Met's $5.4 billion dollar windfall) has already been done, and everyone is just bailing water right now. The key will be to negotiate a purchase price that is reasonable. If "reasonable" can't be accomplished, then there will be little choice for those of limited means.

I'm interested to see what happens come April.

Anonymous said...

we've been here 14 years. I don't know any one who doesn't want to buy their apartment.


That's odd...I've been here 50+ years and I don't know a single person who would even entertain buying their apartment.

Anonymous said...

"The damage (in terms of Met's $5.4 billion dollar windfall) has already been done, and everyone is just bailing water right now. The key will be to negotiate a purchase price that is reasonable. If "reasonable" can't be accomplished, then there will be little choice for those of limited means."

The funny thing, as I see it, is that the people who DO buy could be hurt even worse! If you pay up to buy an "albatross," you are on the hook for the expenses. The people that are not able to afford to buy in may actually come off better in the end.

The P&L for this place will have to be analyzed very carefully. Then add 20% and you'll get to a number that represents what it is really going to cost to run the place.

Anyone that disagrees doesn't know "Boo!" ;)

Anonymous said...

Poster at 12:47 pm: I don't want to buy my apartments and several of my neighbors have expressed the same sentiment. The place is too old, too run down and would be a money pit.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous December 14, 2011 2:38 PM

They won't be hurt if the property is purchased at a sustainable price and how the deal is structured, but that remains to be seen. Right now, we don't know anything to really base any sort of intelligent decision on.

We all realize that if the TA had won a 4.5 billion dollar bid, we would all be shirtless right now. I really think people have their eyes wide open after seeing all the carnage of the past 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Opposite for us and our friends here and neighbors. All say the y want to buy and buy now.

Some even talk about buying two.

I"M not kidding. I"m not saying what i want at this point. Pointless as it's just talk.

Anonymous said...

It was already mentioned that there will be only one apartment purchase per lessee. I also have got nothing but positive feedback from my neighbors regarding the prospect of purchasing our apartments: this includes the very senior tenants who would like to leave it to their children eventually.Actually, I haven't talked to anyone who simply dismissed the prospect out of hand. Certainly, any elderly tenant with no family might choose to remain a renter I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I've talked with my neighbors. All of us on the floor but one want to buy.

Anonymous said...

To the person who blogged that the "lesser of two evils" is tenant owenership. The only tenants that will own are those who buy the condos. Brookfield will own the apartments of the rest of us. People who want to "buy, buy buy" as another blogger mentioned are in a different income category than mine-I guess they would be upper middle class. I know we aren't able to know the numbers, but something costing $500,000 give or take might as well be a million for many of us. This is not "affordable" housing.

Anonymous said...

I've talked with my neighbors too. All are MR tenants. Said they wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Would cost too much; maintenance would be in the stratosphere; buildings are too old and crappy; much better apartments can be bought even in Manhattan for what the cost would be here. Also, ironically, they don't want to live in a dorm/transient community because the students and hotel guests sure as hell wouldn't want to buy.

Anonymous said...

Who said 500,000? where on earth did you get that number?

Anonymous said...

anon 10:33 got the inside info on the pricing, and in the process ruined my dream of home ownership. I wish he wouldn't have let the cat out of the bag! I too cannot afford $500,000 or "there abouts".

I wonder if the intel that anon 11:10 procured will be accurate if, somehow, the prices are a bit less than $500,000. I wonder if a market rater would continue paying $4000 a month in rent when they could own it with the carrying charges being a little over half that. I mean, I'm just dreaming of course as we all now know the prices will be $500,000 per unit (or therabouts). Of course, $500,000 would be for a stuytown one bedroom on avenue c, imagine what a 3 bedroom in peter cooper is going to be.......millions!

Anonymous said...

WELLL..... WE Have had a great rent for years on our place. we pay less than 1500 for 2 BR. this has allowed me to save quite a bundle to be honest, and i'll put 150k on a 500k mortgage. i figure it'll be close to 2500 or so a month to own my own piece of manhattan.

i can't wait. and yes, i'd take two if they let me.

Anonymous said...

Which are going to be $500,000? one br or two? stuy or pcv?

Anonymous said...

WELLL..... WE Have had a great rent for years on our place. we pay less than 1500 for 2 BR. this has allowed me to save quite a bundle to be honest, and i'll put 150k on a 500k mortgage. i figure it'll be close to 2500 or so a month to own my own piece of manhattan.

i can't wait. and yes, i'd take two if they let me.

Give me your contact information because there is no way I would purchase mine and I'll let you have it for a good price since you are guaranteed to lose your shirt, just on the maintenance fees.

Anonymous said...

Some random opinions:

The affordable housing aspect died when MetLife sold the place for $5 plus billion. Where were the politicians then? A few apartments may be preserved as such but the investors can't get paid back without mr. market.

The buildings are in reasonable shape but engineering reports are needed. I've lived in plenty worse.

The average outstanding loan balance per apartment is approx. $275,000. Reasonable for a sale conversion - to condo or coop, but tough to justify to a non-conversion buyer. I think the only way out of this for the current owners or a buyer is to convert the place.

Somebody has to step up to the plate and try and negotiate on behalf of the current tenants - who else but the TA? They've done a good job of engaging the local politicians.

The tenants can't buy the place without the help of a deep pocketed investor. There will likely be many tenants that decide not to buy - somebody has to have the resources to "carry" those units at a loss and to manage this large place.

A condo conversion is the safest for individual tenants - let's wait and see what the sale price is and loan terms,etc. before getting worked up....if it doesn't work for most of us the whole plan will fall apart. Brookfield isn't stupid enough to take on say 80% of the apartments as rentals - I suspect we will be offered a pretty enticing deal.

MBaaar said...

Under any plan, as the rental apartments vacate they'll all be sold at market rate. In 20 years this place will change; it's unstoppable.

There's a legal requirement that 15% of existing tenants must indicate an willingness to buy for a plan to be accepted. The greatest incentive for any developer is to eliminate competition through any means (like getting the TA endorsement & political endorsements) and to work things so that the apartment prices get them as close to a 15% tenant buy-in as possible so they can sell the rest of the apts at market rate as the vacate (the more apts they have to sell at market rate, the more money they make). The only power the tenants have is to influence and somewhat control how the buyer voting occurs. Without that kind of discussion and control, the voting might go like this: Plan A (higher price) - 18% indicate they will buy; Plan B (lower price) - 40% indicate they will buy. Plan B benefits more tenants, but Plan A will render more money to the developer so he offers more money to CW. So CW chooses Plan A. But if tenants KNOW how to control their vote, then the voting goes like this: Plan A gets 5% buy-in and Plan B gets 40% buy-in. This way CW has to go with Plan B because Plan A doesn't meet the 15% buy-in legal requirement.

Right now the TA Board & Garodnick are not enabling sufficient communication & discussion. Terrible process!!!