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Monday, March 5, 2012

What a Mess... And Taking a Break

First off, due to an overwhelming work load of late (no, I'm not a retired senior who spends his days walking around Stuy Town taking photos!), I will have to take a break from posting on this blog for a while. I don't know how long, and something could always compel me to post sooner than expected, but I need a break. I will still monitor and pass through comments, and make my own brief responses, but it may take me a day or so, if not longer, to get to them.

Now to tie up some loose ends. The brouhaha over My Student Apartment got messier this past week, with updated info via the latest Town & Village. The CEO of My Student Apartment, Kyle Freedman, found himself banned from ST/PCV, and the newspaper stated that he had only "completed one leasing deal at Stuy Town." Also, quoting Freedman's email to T & V, "We never claimed that we had partnerships with any specific management companies, leasing agents or brokerage house." The article further stated that Freedman had been "terminated at his request from Kian Realty."

Mr. Freedman contacted this blog to note that T & V made erroneous statements and suppositions in their articles about him and his start-up business. About those 2,000 apartments becoming available in the summer, quoting Freedman: "In truth, the apartments mentioned in the article were not exclusive to my firm; we were simply able to gain access to them. As it says in the Ticker article, 2,000 apartments were available via mystudentapartment, not exclusively through."

Freedman also addressed his relationship with Kian Realty: "Another misconception that the article perpetuates is that I was forced to resign from my previous brokerage. Again, I must deny this allegation in full, and without caveat. I voluntarily left Kian Realty in order to forge a partnership with Ezra Realty. I remain a former employee in good standing and with close colleagues at Kian Realty."

Whatever the situation, it does appear that a lot of apartments will become available in the summer, and given that the Stuy Town leasing office is chiefly filled with young people who look like students and not professionals, one can expect an influx of new student residents this coming year and all those moving trucks along the loops and discarded mattresses from students leaving the complex. We already know what the story is and what this place will look like.

Both the TA and councilman Dan Garodnick took advantage of all the noise made by the My Student Apartment situation to issue statements about student housing in Stuy Town. The TA had published a full page ad in Town & Village, addressing their concerns and stating certain obvious facts. "What is behind this rental strategy? It seems obvious that it is the patent desire to rapidly fill vacant apartments with the expectation of rapid turnover, thus affording the landlord incremental rent increases under the rent stabilization laws."

My question is: Why hasn't anything been done about this crafty misuse of the intent of rent stabilization laws? Where are the city's politicians to stop this type of leasing behavior? Why is it that we are looking at this, living through this, when such rapid turnover rentals should have been made illegal years ago?

The TA also placed the following photo in its ad:

[Note: My previous comment about this photo, removed now, was based solely on the photograph itself, which shows the person checking his cellphone and technically, at this point, not "passed out," as I presumed in the TA's text below the photo. I have since been told what led up to the photo being taken, and that this guy was indeed "passed out" when first spotted.]

I do have to add one more thing before I take my mini-vacation from this blog. There should be a housing law in the city and certainly in particular for ST/PCV, a voluntary one for now in the latter case: Partitions should be illegal unless the partition is for the use of a family that occupies an apartment. This would stop the accumulation of students in this complex real fast or at least make it impossible to sell a one-bedroom as a two-bedroom, and a two-bedroom as a three-bedroom. And surely there must be some Certificate of Occupancy issues in these cases where alterations are made to add rooms to an apartment.