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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dan Garodnick and Vornado Realty and Rising Rents in Manhattan


The future: 15 Penn Plaza or "Vornado Tower"

First, some background. Vornado Realty, according to its website:

Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO)("Vornado") is one of the largest owners and managers of commercial real estate in the United States with a portfolio of over 100 million square feet, primarily located in the New York and Washington, DC metropolitan areas. Vornado's core businesses include: New York Office Properties; Washington, DC Office Properties; Retail Properties and Merchandise Mart Properties.

Its Wikipedia page is more detailed, to include properties the company owns in NYC (a lot): Vornado Realty Trust.

Vornado was at the epicenter of a controversy in 2010 regarding the prospective demolishing of Hotel Pennsylvania to be replaced by 15 Penn Plaza. The controversy involved the height of the proposed building (68 stories), which, being so close to the Empire State Building,would forever change the iconic "postcard" view of Manhattan. Not only was this a controversy on an aesthetic, historical and architectural level, but zoning did not allow for the erection of such a tall building in that area. As is known by now, though, zoning laws in NYC can be done away by the powers that be. (Also term limits, landmark designations, you name it.) The City Council, by a vote of 47-1 granted Vornado Realty the rights to build 15 Penn Plaza.

My lengthy, and angry, post when this occurred is here. Bloomberg News' James S. Russell, in this review of the proposed 15 Penn Plaza building, wrote: "A behemoth office tower that may rise opposite Pennsylvania Station would deface New York City’s skyline and cast a pall over surrounding streets already shortchanged on light and air. " Former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern testified that 15 Penn Plaza "could do irreparable harm" to the city and, writing for the Huffington Post, made a blistering attack on the travesty that occurred with the vote: "This is a case of the city making an extraordinary gift, probably worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to one of its richest and most influential developers."

Dan Garodnick voted in Vornado's favor.

Now we move to the present, and the yet unannounced candidacy of Dan Garodnick for City Comptroller. So far he has received over 1 million dollars in donations, a sizable portion of which come from real estate firms--to include, surprise-surprise, Vornado.

According to NYC's Campaign Finance Board Database, Vornado's CEO, Steven Roth has donated twice, once in 2010, for 1K (before the 15 Penn Plaza vote) and then recently (after the 15 Penn Plaza vote) for whopping $4,950. The latter number is the maximum allowed by law, so unless there is some glitch in the accounting or other mistake, that earlier 1K is suspect, as its addition seems to go over the legal amount allowed for an individual donating to someone running for city comptroller.

It doesn't just end there. Steven Roth's wife, Daryl Roth, has also donated money for Garodnick's campaign. Yes, the max: $4,950. So, one household, with clear ties to Vornado (the CEO and the CEO's wife), has donated almost $10,000 to Dan, and over that amount if we include that suspect 1K.

Though I'm sure Dan Garodnick has his public-relations justifications for voting in favor of 15 Penn Plaza (jobs/a city that can't stand still/whatever), the appearance of a quid-pro-quo is troubling. Garodnick is not the only politician accepting monies from real estate interests come election time. The other City Council politicians, like Christine Quinn (who stated she would NOT accept such donations, but has, including over 15K from Vornado in past campaigns) and Scott Stringer (whose coffers have been one of largest and heftiest with real estate money deposits; the guy's running for mayor, may the Lord help us) have all held out their collective hands.

Why should real estate concerns donating to local politicians be troubling? The fact is that real estate enterprises are in the business of maximizing profits. "Affordable" middle class housing does not maximize profits. Housing for the rich, the sons and daughters of the rich, and for tourists spending big bucks in Manhattan, maximize profits. The middle class are only useful as workers and consumers in Manhattan. Live in Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey, otherwise.

The stark reality is that the middle class is being priced out of Manhattan, both as tenants and as mom-and-pop businesses. And real estate companies, by their very nature, are behind this price-out.


Bloomberg Tower

Let's take a look at Bloomberg Tower, a property developed and owned by Vornado. This NY Times article details the progress of a neighborhood. While the article is very much pro-Vornado, you will find a sentence that hints at another part of the story. The money shot comes near the end of the article: "Other retailers east of Third Avenue, an area that has traditionally had more service-oriented retailing, like restaurants, locksmiths, dry cleaners, cocktail lounges and delicatessens, said they were feeling the pinch of the Bloomberg Tower, either in the form of rising retail rents or more competition for the potential customers in the office tower and in One Beacon Court."

Rising rents.... Rising rents serve only to benefit the real estate entities that own property or build it. When real estate firms maximize profits, rents go up and the middle class gets displaced. Even if the favorable real estate situation goes bust (a pattern when greed runs rampant), the fallout will not bring middle class tenants and mom-and-pop stores back once they have left.

So the real estate people are the major players in what Manhattan is turning into, aside from the influence of a mayor like Bloomberg. And if you had any doubts about these companies lording over Manhattan in a game of real-life Monopoly, actualizing their conquerors' dream of altering a city forever, you may find this of interest, as you recognize some familiar real estate business names. Vornado's CEO, speaking a couple of years ago about the development of mid-town's West Side:

"Much has already happened," Mr. Roth continued, "to increase the value of our Penn Station assets. The Penn Plaza District and the West Side of New York have been discovered and are the beneficiaries of an enormous amount of recent and current activity. A huge swath has already been rezoned as the future growth corridor of Manhattan. Tishman Speyer has won the bidding to develop the Hudson Rail Yards into a 12 million square foot, 20-year, Canary Wharf-type project. Brookfield has announced 5 million square feet…. Vornado was the pioneer here, and owns the best and the lion's share of the real estate surrounding Pennsylvania Station - the gateway to the new West Side….The Hotel Pennsylvania, Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street, generated a best ever $37.9 million of EBITDA in 2007, $10.4 million more than in 2006, a 37.8% increase ….The credit crisis and Merrill's management changes disrupted this deal, but the fact remains that our site was the last man standing in a rigorous citywide search."

To be fair, one must note that some plans for development contain, through political and public pressure, the assurance of middle class housing or rentals "below market rate." So, in such a scenario a real estate entity would be required to provide a percentage of apartments for people of moderate means in any mass development project. How this will play out in reality remains to be seen. We here in Stuy Town/PCV are already getting, possibly, a similar equation brewing with the TA/Brookfield plan which hints at a percentage of apartments being set aside as permanent rentals for tenants of moderate means, with possible financial assistance thrown into the mix. Assuredly, real estate firms will wish to keep this percentage of forced give-aways as low as possible.

The reality was and remains that real estate entities are the natural enemies of affordable middle class housing. Politicians who want to see a different version of Manhattan than the one that we've been speedily heading toward (blocks of high rises w/ground floor banks, chain drug stores, Starbucks), politicians who are 100% sincere about "affordable middle class housing" (a mantra continually repeated by every politician who speaks to Stuy Town/PCV residents), should not be accepting money from real estate companies. If they do, then you know which side they are really on and what their "progressive" vision is for New York.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the Vornado Tower is a great idea. At least it gives us a shot at saving the Empire State Building from the next terrorist plane attack.

Anonymous said...

I think the Vornado Tower is a great idea. At least it gives us a shot at saving the Empire State Building from the next terrorist plane attack.

Right on, especially if all the RE robber barons were inside the Vornado Tower! No loss to New York whatsoever! Long live the ESB!

Anonymous said...

Also, didn't 47 out of 48 council members vote for this (indeed, it may have been a ministerial vote on some sort of permit issue they would have been hard-pressed to avoid a yes). There are some pretty liberal/progressive members of city council, so if they voted yes, it likely was a routine vote. I don't really see how this shows Dan is in bed with big real estate.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

This definitely was NOT some "ministerial vote." A major issue and controversy when it happened. The fact that most council members except one voted on Vornado's side indicates the power of Vornado and what I will gently call the "prejudice" of the city council when it comes to saying yes or no to big-money.

Also don't forget the various scandals that surround members of the City Council, such as Christine Quinn's slush fund....

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/end-the-slush-fund.html

The "well, everyone does it" routine shouldn't be an excuse, unless we let it.

Anonymous said...

Who was the one person who did not vote with the salivating herd?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I forget. But he, or she, voted against Vornado because minority companies were not adequately represented in the building's anticipated construction, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure exactly what your point is here. You don't seem to like Dan or developers. We get that. Why do we give a f--- and what does this have to do with PCVST?

Anonymous said...

As if we did not suffer enough on 9/11, we had to have a Decade of Disaster at the hands of Bloomberg and his buddies. Corporate greed has totally destroyed the very essence of this city and there's nothing we can do about it because even the election process was hijacked by Bloomberg to buy is illegal third term which will surely put the last nails in the coffin. I will never vote for any of these people.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of big real estate, but this is a dog that doesn't bite. This is nothing like say, Atlantic Yards or something. I don't really want our condo conversion to become a political anti-Garodnick negative campaign ad. If you don't like Garodnick for comptroller, that's fine, I'm not sure I even know who I'd vote for yet, but bringing in politics that don't apply here is so divisive and irrelevant.

If all the city council are corrupt, then let's just throw up our hands and give up and never trust anyone ever. And if the one vote against was for minority hiring, that implies that he/she would have voted yes otherwise. Again, I am no fan of real estate developers as a rule, but we can't say no to every building.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I'm not sure exactly what your point is here. You don't seem to like Dan or developers. We get that. Why do we give a f--- and what does this have to do with PCVST?<<

It can have everything to do with us. Please note where I mention ST/PCV in the post. Also, and this is critically important, "affordable middle class housing" is a major fight in the city, and one we are very much involved in, whether we like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Rest easy...I work across the street from the proposed tower site and nothing is going up there for several years...at least. The WTC site is going to dump so many million square feet of rentable space on an already soggy market that the need for a couple million more won't be there for quite some time.

In fact, this site was originally proposed as the new world headquarters of an investment bank (Goldman Sachs was rumored), but then they recently moved into their new West Street bunker/castle...so that ain't happening either.

So I'd plan for the old Pennsylvania Hotel (which is not a very architecturally significant building) to remain in place for the forseeable future.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, STR, for the research. Illuminating.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter that the stinking tower isn't going up (yet); what matters is Garodnick's being in bed with so many real estate dirtbags. I don't trust him. I'm just wondering what his real motive is in pushing this Brookfield deal, especially as it is so secretive and no competing plans are being considered.

Anonymous said...

Buildings along east 14th (street side) street ALSO not receiving notices from TA or any other place regarding property.

just saying!

Roger Roundly said...

Think you've got bees in your penthouse.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

No, sorry, I don't own the penthouse. Your man Dan may own the penthouse. Check with Vornado Realty.

Anonymous said...

I live on 14th and we received TA flyer. I put it where I always put the Oval glossies which is down the chute.

Anonymous said...

You should ask Adam Rose and Abigail Michaels why you aren't getting the TA's information.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Buildings along east 14th (street side) street ALSO not receiving notices from TA or any other place regarding property.<<

It's possible that buildings with no TA captains haven't received the notice.

Anonymous said...

Real estate firms ALWAYS contribute to local politicians. That's because they can't move their buildings somewhere else and want to have some input in regulations and laws. Regarding the TA/Brookfield bid: why would CW accept an offer on something that isn't for sale? When it is for sale, wouldn't they accept NUMEROUS bids to work them up to the highest number? Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

I see that the misleadingly named RSA is putting out its propaganda ads again. They're claiming that tenants in rent stabilized apartments are wealthy and if they have to pay their fair share of taxes (as in if they're millionaires!), then they should pay their fair share of rent too. I don't know any millionaires who live in RS apartments (not counting notorious moochers like Faye Dunaway), but the implication by the RSA clearly is that many, if not most, RS tenants are members of the "1%." I'm the RSA is quite relieved that our Tenants Association is distracted by the ownership discussions and probably won't be taking up the cause for the preservation of rent regulations with the zest that they have shown in the past. Too bad. We need the TA more than ever now to help in this fight. Some of us have no financial ability to purchase our apartments, even if we wanted to - and not all of us want to. I guess we don't matter any more.

Anonymous said...

You should ask Adam Rose and Abigail Michaels why you aren't getting the TA's information.

January 25, 2012 8:14 PM


PLEASE EXPLAIN FURTHER.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I don't see how management has anything to do with the TA slipping, or not slipping, notices under doors.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I'm the RSA is quite relieved that our Tenants Association is distracted by the ownership discussions and probably won't be taking up the cause for the preservation of rent regulations with the zest that they have shown in the past.<<

Yup.

Anonymous said...

You may not realize it STR, but Management might have a lot to do - legally or ILLEGALLY - with the TA's ability to communicate with tenants. And we all know that Management is NOT above breaking the law when it wants to.

Oval Concierge - run by Abigail Michaels under lucrative contract with Management - has been a major pick- up and drop off point for TA communication with tenants for years. If Management feels threatened - and it very well might since it will kicked out of here for sure if the TA and Brookfield are successful - they might have told Abigail Michaels to terminate its relationship with the TA in order to thwart the TA's ability to disseminate information. If they have done that they are gonna be on deep trouble. The TA and Brookfield won't take it lying down. Brookfield has very deep pockets and I'm sure they will pay or help to pay for any legal expenses that might be involved. If it's true it's a very stupid move on the part of Adam Rose. Very stupid, indeed. That's why I asked for a furthur explanation of what is going on.

Anonymous said...

One way for the real estate interests to not benefit is the food and coffee trucks...let's bring them back to the oval.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Oval Concierge - run by Abigail Michaels under lucrative contract with Management - has been a major pick- up and drop off point for TA communication with tenants for years. If Management feels threatened - and it very well might since it will kicked out of here for sure if the TA and Brookfield are successful - they might have told Abigail Michaels to terminate its relationship with the TA in order to thwart the TA's ability to disseminate information.<<

That would be an interesting development. Isn't everyone entitled to use the Concierge, as long as they pay whatever fees are applicable? (Sorry, I know little about the services/fees the Concierge provides.)

Anonymous said...

Someone from the group formerly known as the TA pushed one of those advertisments under my door. I pushed it out, the person pushed it back under, I pushed it back out. They tried to push it back in but I blocked the way. Person rang door bell and asked me to take one or their announcements. I told them I do not take solicitations under my door. She said it wasnt a solicitation. I took it looked at it and handed it right back and said to her, it most certainly was a solicitation from the new sales department at Brookfield, the group formerly known as the Tenants Association. To this minute the paper sits outside my door where it will remain until Adam Rose sends someone to pick up the trash. Another waste of CW capitals money.

Anonymous said...

That would be an interesting development. Isn't everyone entitled to use the Concierge, as long as they pay whatever fees are applicable? (Sorry, I know little about the services/fees the Concierge provides.)

Everyone here is only allowed to do what mega-dictator Adam Rose allows them to do, at least until the TA's lawyers or the legal system intervenes and Mr. Rose is told to back down or else. If he told Oval Concierge/Abigail Michaels to boot the TA, then that's probably what happened. Oval Concierge/Abigail Michaels know what side their bread is buttered on, but, like I said, if that is in fact what happened it's a very foolish and stupid thing to have done and Adam Rose is probably going to have a hell of a fight on his hands and a TON of bad press to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Manny would have delivered them with no problems. And given you a free umbrella.

Anonymous said...

Drop the TA conversion cards off at oval concierge?

Is that weird or what?

Anonymous said...

A rep from Guterman was speaking on the radio this afternoon regarding the proposed conversion. It was a brief interview but the key point made by the rep was that they regretted working through the TA. They felt that they didn't get a fair shake in making a proposal.

Said they "learned their lesson" and they were going to step up direct communications with tenants.

Good.

I hope we see others enter the fray.

The more parties that compete over this deal the better chance we have of being presented with a reasonable deal. Even then, we may be well advised to decline it. That part remains to be seen.

I just hope that Guterman doesn't slide any glossy photos under my door. That's just a waste of paper and it probably ends up embarrassing the women and children they profile...

Anonymous said...

"To this minute the paper sits outside my door where it will remain until Adam Rose sends someone to pick up the trash."

You are my hero. I really mean that!

Anonymous said...

Adam Rose:

or someone. tell me why i can't schedule a fricken appointment for my nonstop plumbing problems? they told me to call back tomorrow .

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I received this message from Adam Rose, which he stated can be posted:

"I am happy to help people with problems working with the Management Office. Please invite the Anonymous writer who can’t get his or her plumbing problem fixed to just email me directly. By the way, I have nothing to do with the owner’s decision to not accept returned forms from a potential bidder at the property and its vendors. The owner has made a decision to remain completely neutral regarding the various potential buyers, a policy that I can understand. Your writers may find it amusing to blame me, but I have nothing to do with the owner’s policies. Blame me for something that I have control over, and I will provide substantive answers, as I have done all along."

Anonymous said...

Your writers may find it amusing to blame me, but I have nothing to do with the owner’s policies. Blame me for something that I have control over, and I will provide substantive answers, as I have done all along."

No one finds any thwarting of the tenants' ability to get out from under the grip of either CW Capital or you amusing, no matter who is responsible, Mr. Rose. Neither of you is good for tenants, or ever will be.

And since you mentioned it, how about a substantive answer about exactly what kind of floor covering is acceptable. That question has been asked numerous times and tenants have never gotten a direct answer. That is something that you have control over, Mr. Rose, and your allowing the poor excuses for floor coverings that you do is a reason for many of the noise problems and complaints that tenants have. And you know it.

Roger Roundly said...

I don't personally find it "amusing" to "blame" Adam Rose for anything. What I find do amusing is his spin on why the special servicer says 'no more' to allowing our Tenants Association to use Oval Concierge as a pick up/drop-off point for tenant-related printed material. Complete neutrality? Telling ST-PCV businesses that they can no longer do business with our Tenants Association looks more like a ham-handed attempt to disrupt a critical line of communication between the TA and tenants. Disrupting that line actually gives the other bidders a leg up on us so so I call BS: CW Capital is really not acting "neutral" in this case. At all.

nyudormquad#4 said...

Boy I wish I could blame my boss for all my customer's problems. Wouldn't that be a sweet job!

Anonymous said...

"Blame me for something that I have control over, and I will provide substantive answers, as I have done all along."

Trash in the basement.
Trash on the sidewalks.
Piles of rotting leaves "composting."
Defective, filthy laundry facilities.
Illegal Oval enterprises.
Short-staffing of building maintenance.
Pressure-walling and student housing.

I think there's a word limit so I'll just stop here and wait for progress on one of these issues before writing more.

No one really expects you to manage the condo perversion process. Just get cracking on the above list and we'd all be impressed. We'd be surprised, too.

You always seem to have an explanation but never a solution.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>CW Capital is really not acting "neutral" in this case.<<

If so, that should tell us something important, no? And, therefore, perhaps we're taking this TA/Brookfield thing WAY too seriously.

Anonymous said...

From NYUdormquad#27

And Mr. Rose, can we thus have the phone number for CW Capital to report noise problems, sanitary problems and other issues?

Anonymous said...

I'd bet a few bucks CW does not accept the TA bid. Anyone else?

Roger Roundly said...

That's only if Adam Rose is telling the truth STR, but leave it to you to draw the wrong conclusions.

If I'm recalling that televised forum (can't remember the name and host) with a panel of real estate moguls and Dan Garodnick correctly, the opinion was unanimous that ANY deal would have to go through the tenants as long as we remained united.

Whopper said...

Stuy Town Reporter said...
>>I'm the RSA is quite relieved that our Tenants Association is distracted by the ownership discussions and probably won't be taking up the cause for the preservation of rent regulations with the zest that they have shown in the past.<<

You mean the kind of zest that the TA used in partnership with other housing groups around the state this past June to successfully strengthen and protect rent regulations? UMM YUP!

The TA deals with many things, conversion is just one and it believes is the only shot at preserving long-term affordability. Without rent protections laws this place would have been sold to the highest bidder and all the RS tenants would be out on their ass.

Anonymous said...

"Disrupting that line actually gives the other bidders a leg up on us so so I call BS: CW Capital is really not acting "neutral" in this case. At all."

Actually, Rog, that says to me that they are acting in a neutral fashion. And let me add that I'm not really sure what you mean by "gives the other bidders a leg up on us."

Who is us? The TA and their supporters?

Have "we" decided that the Brookfield bid is our only viable option?

I've seen precious little going on around here that is worth praising but favoring one bidder over another would certainly not be on that list.

Anonymous said...

"You mean the kind of zest that the TA used in partnership with other housing groups around the state this past June to successfully strengthen and protect rent regulations? UMM YUP!"

I didn't notice any zest from the TA this past June when it came to fighting for strengthening the rent stabilization laws. They were too busy salivating at the prospect of buying. That seems to be all they are focused on.

Anonymous said...

"Without rent protections laws this place would have been sold to the highest bidder and all the RS tenants would be out on their ass."

1. We are ALL RS tenants.

2. I fully expect that this place WILL be sold to the highest bidder. If the bidding gets even mildly frothy, you don't want to win that bidding contest. The last six years have taught us that lesson.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't notice any zest from the TA this past June when it came to fighting for strengthening the rent stabilization laws."

So I guess I didn't notice you when the TA marched with signs to the Rent Guidelines Board hearings. And I guess I didn't notice you on the buses that went to Albany to fight for the renewal of RS. Several TA board members were on it (including one very enthusiastic proponent of ownership), as was Dan. Steve Sanders and Brian Kavanagh shepherded us to various meetings there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 1:01 p.m.!

10:58 p.m--could you be any more ungrateful and clueless? And what did you do?

God, you people are old cranks! All you do is bitch and moan and criticize what other people are or aren't doing. Look to your own behavior. I'm quite sure I hear you walking, see you leaving unwashed recycling, etc. You are NO better than or more entitled to be here than any other tenants. You just aren't.

Whopper said...

@Anonymous January 27, 2012 10:58 PM said:

"I didn't notice any zest from the TA this past June when it came to fighting for strengthening the rent stabilization laws. They were too busy salivating at the prospect of buying. That seems to be all they are focused on:

Perhaps then you are one of those lazy, complacent RSTs living in your apartment with your head in the sand.

Which means you missed that fact that the TA began the campaign for strengthening and renewal in Dec of 2010 carried the torch until the very end when the laws actually expired, but were ultimately renewed and strengthened for the first time in decades.

Its activities included conducting two postcard campaigns which involved two complex-wide stuffings, collecting over 1,100 signatures on a petition to governor cuomo. Participating in rallies outside his midtown office, sending buses to Albany to advocate for renewal, and launched two phone and email campaigns calling on the governor to not just renew but to strengthen rent regulations.

I might add that Council Member Garodnick and Assembly Member Kavanagh were with us all the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi sweetie. Um, no, you or any other neighbor does not hear us 'walking'. we are considerate and never step foot in our place without taking our shoes off. And yes, we clean up after ourselves, not leaving it for our porters to do so in the laundry room and also we happily recycle properly so .

too much trouble for you dear?

Anonymous said...

3:48--The TA really does work hard! Thank you all!

I can't believe the lack of gratitude and appreciation on this site. So grouchy and complaining, no acknowledgement of all the good the TA has done.

Anonymous said...

5:00 p.m. No you don't. I don't believe you. The blanket certainty that you are better than every other tenant makes me believe that you are probably one of the more inconsiderate tenants here.

You are no more entitled to be here than any other tenant. Indeed, your attitude makes you less desirable.

Anonymous said...

Stop posting about others thinking they're better or not. what are you talking about?????? NO ONE SAID THEY WERE ENTITLED TO BE HERE.


moderator: these are ridiculous ranting posts from a troll no doubt.

Anonymous said...

Just because someone doesnt agree with the TA and their approach to things doesnt make one evil as some of the TA's defenders suggest. Other people involve themselves in the issues in different ways.
No, I didnt board a bus and head to Albany. I couldnt, I have a job and people who rely on me to support them. However, I did attend a check party thrown by a group of former TA members. Each person attending the party brought a $50 check made out to one of 3 organizations supporting Rent Stabilization (including the TA, however, not one check was made out to them). Over 30 people attended so over $1500 was raised to help the cause. I also sent hand written letters (not mass produced cards) to legislators. I followed those up with e-mails and phone calls, as did many others.
Remember it was a group of tenants, not the TA that got the zoning issues on the front burner finally lighting a fire under Councilmember Garodnick who along with the TA did nothing about this issue until they saw tenants organizing without them.
I give credit to the TA where credit is due, I do not hold them or Dan Garodnick in awe and think they walk on water.
I do not support their conversion plan. In fact, I do not think that they have any right to hold themselves out as representatives of the tenants in regard to a sale of the property when their membership is only a small percentage of tenants. And yes, I did sign a unity pledge, some 5 to 6 years ago. And no I did not give the TA my approval to negotiate a deal for the sale of my home by signing that form so many years ago. I wonder if one could take the TA to court and have them cease and desist as representatives of tenants in this regard? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Got my new lease and new rent. Roberts case my ass... stabilized renewal rate my ass too.

How the F do they raise us almost 10%?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I think the tardiness in the Roberts situation and the "creative bookkeeping" are real scandals. This is the kind of crap that The Man can get away with.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:05p.m.: If your previous rent was preferential, that is, lower than what RS would allow, on renewal the landlord can bring it up to the full allowable RS amount, even if that is a higher percentage than the RGB guidelines. Did you get a month free on your last lease or some other reduction? You may need to check your rent history. Of course this is all complicated by Roberts not being settled.

Anonymous said...

I just thought of the way in which dog ownership will be controlled and diminished. It can only happen if conversion takes place. Then when owners see people letting dogs to their thing on the lawns they will yell at them because turning this place into a dog run will lower property values. Yelling & harassment stemming from ownership. That will do it. When dog #1 dies, people will think...should I get another one? Then they'll think to themselves...I'd like to, but I can't stand the yelling & the harassment.

Anonymous said...

You are so right STR regarding scandal of Roberts. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

"I just thought of the way in which dog ownership will be controlled and diminished. It can only happen if conversion takes place. Then when owners see people letting dogs to their thing on the lawns they will yell at them because turning this place into a dog run will lower property values. Yelling & harassment stemming from ownership. That will do it. When dog #1 dies, people will think...should I get another one? Then they'll think to themselves...I'd like to, but I can't stand the yelling & the harassment."

Oh how I wish I could agree with you. I agree though that the conversion is the ONLY hope we have at improving things. THe way I see it, there's only so much improvement possible with the dogs. How Are you going to stop them from waking you up in the morning? Disturbing you at night? Perhaps they will build fences around all the lawns to prootect the plantings? I don't know. Isn't it amazing how owners will let their dogs into flower beds and urinate and defecate right on the flowers. I mean, wouldn't common sense dictate not to do things like that?

I'm willing to accept that it's over as far as this being a livable place for the long term anymore, but that's why I support conversion. I will buy, wait for the flip tax regs to disappear and then sell so I can get the hell out of here. With the proceeds I will be able to buy something else in manhattan. It's not the worst thing in the world. Sure I would love to stay. I'll give it a go and see what happens, but I doubt some of these QOL issues will be resolved. Everything comes to an end.