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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.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you do, STR. Please enjoy your mini-vac and recharge your batteries. We look forward to your return when you feel ready. No wonder Lux Living got burnt out! Lotta work for one person to bear the burden of, but we really do appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

ahhh STR, you are fed up and tired. I don't blame you. Was woken 3 x last night from upstairs tenants, no carpets, heels clicking all over and wooping it up.

I'm going to move out. I can't fight anymore either.

Anonymous said...

I certainly understand that the blog can monopolize your time, so taking a break from posting might be good for you. But... there will be a lot of things going on in the next few months. Look for a finalization of the Roberts settlement (It's likely that a lot of people will be quite disappointed), and when that's all sorted out along with the base rents, perhaps there will be news on a conversion.

In the meantime it seems like the strategy for those tenants facing abusive noise problems is to document your issue thoroughly. Call security when necessary and keep copious notes. I say this because when and if it comes time to purchase, you'll need evidence in order to move to a more suitable apartment.

The weather is getting nicer... the coffee truck should be back real soon.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is he doing laying on the floor in the middle of the night????

A comment on the TA's Facebook says the tenant who found him tried to wake him and had to step over him in order to leave his apartment. It makes perfect sense that at some point the kid came to and began calling a friend to get him.

STR I'd take a break too is ROSE was whispering clarifications in MY ear! SHUT UP ROSE! DO YOUR JOB!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Oh, my break won't be for months, just a couple of weeks, I'd think. Depends on my work load. And, yes, I fully expect that when the Roberts "numbers" become known, people will be disappointed. And, yes, I fully expect the Green Market and coffee trucks to make a return, right where they were before.

Anonymous said...

The man was roused when the woman had to step over him with her bag to get to the airport at 6am. Please amend your comment. The woman requested her identity not be shared. The incident was reported to Public Safely.

Anonymous said...

Instead of your random speculations about the photo, why not pick up the phone and find out exactly what led up to it and exactly what is happening in it? The TA's in the book.

Looking forward to your update.

Anonymous said...

Adam R. Rose doesn't deserve this break. Come back soon, STR.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Looking forward to your update.<<

Done. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Do what you have to do to get back on your game!

Better to not burn out OR fade away!

TTYL!

Anonymous said...

"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.""

Let's not kid anyone here. Kyle Freedman had every intention of making it appear as though he had a deal with Stuy Town. Baruch didn't fabricate the 2,000 number and T&V didn't fabricate the 300 number. Kyle Freedman provided these numbers to make his startup look impressive and it blew up in his face. According to him everyone is lying and none of this is his fault. I have a feeling he hasn't learned his lesson and will continue to make the situation worse for himself. Last week the My Student Apartment Facebook page claimed he had properties available with NY INN, which was also a lie. I hope Rose, CW and T&V sue him for slander.

Anonymous said...

"This summer they will have close to 2000 elevator accessible properties available in Stuyvesant Town in the East Village.
They currently receive $3,000 to $4,500 in commissions for each Stuy Town property they rent out. Starting this summer they will be implementing a plan where they will give back $1,000 from each property to a student to help pay their rent, which is something unique to the industry."

The quote is from the Baruch article. It's clear what Kyle Freedman's intention was when giving this interview.

Anonymous said...

STR:

You don't look so tired that you need to rest. If you can stand up and walk away from your desk like that, then you can remain seated working for us until you collapse exhausted and slumped over your keyboard.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your hard work STR! Come back soon! Without Lux or you we're screwed!

Anonymous said...

Hey STR, when you come back, why don’t you go to a Monday-Thursday schedule like Jeremiah Moss announced for his Vanishing New York blog. Your blog is a service that is greatly appreciated by this community. Thanks again. A couple of comments regarding the current STR posts. STPCV, like the EV, the Bowery, LES, Murray Hill, etc., all of these neighborhoods, are being stripped of the middle class and being replaced by the 18-25 “dormitory” crowd. The vast majority (90%?) of the renovated apartments here are being marketed and rented to this crowd. The short term strategy of CW Capital is obvious here. Rose Associates has in place carpeting and noise regulations. It is up to us to be relentless about them enforcing these regulations. I may be spitting in the wind but I’m not going down without a fight. Finally, the TA seems to have realized that this dormitory issue trumps the conversion, for now, and the limited resources of the TA (hey, at least pay your dues), can focus on this issue and hopefully get some answers on why this BS is allowed under the current RS laws. Hey Cuomo, this is a state issue, I’m talking to you! By the way the pending MCI’s have not gone away and are percolating as we post. Also, sad to say, I agree with you, the green market and food trucks will be back. And those concerts that are supposedly restricted to “residents and their guests”. Hah! To paraphrase Leona Helmsley, zoning laws are only for the “little people” to follow. As long as Bloomberg is mayor, we are screwed.

Anonymous said...

STR - Enjoy your spring break. If anyone is interested, Rose has a new video channel on YouTube called My First NY Apartment. It's must-see TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEi4NXgZftY&feature=digest_mon.

Anonymous said...

It is not a good thing that you are taking a break as your blog is some of the only transparency available to residents. We will live in a near vacuum without some of not only your insights, but those of our neighbors.

While I admit to not agreeing with some of your opinions including the green market, food trucks, ice rink, oval amenities, etc., your blog allowed the only discourse so people could see both sides of issues affecting us. The comments section contains a rich vein of information of use to a large number of residents. Loss of such forums - previously provided by LuxLiving and even our (opaque) tenants association - has been a blow to each of us.

Hope we are able to welcome you back soon.

Hippo said...

Enjoy your "break", STR.
You do a great job and are truly admired for your work and efforts to make Stuy Town a better place for all. Hurry back!

Anonymous said...

How can the 55+ and over communities all over the country be legal if we're not allowed to restrict age limitations?

Anonymous said...

Hey, you have no idea what you're talking about. Why don't you get a life and stop trying to distroy some else's. Kyle freedman is a very smart young man whom was going to work with nyinns but since people like you harrasssed them, Kyle has no choice but to work with other landlords.

Anonymous said...

Is that guy walking away from the computer a real likeness of you, STR? If so: Gee, you're cute!

frustrated with haters said...

I just want to say thank you so much for this blog. It really made me feel good to find your blog when I was so upset about the ice skating rink. I have to say that I will miss your postings since I check your blog every day for the latest (but usually not-so-greatest) news about what's happening to ST. T&V is great- but I'm slowly discovering that so much here is shrouded in secrecy. So enjoy your break and I hope you decide to return soon!

Anonymous said...

Finally, the TA seems to have realized that this dormitory issue trumps the conversion, for now, and the limited resources of the TA (hey, at least pay your dues), can focus on this issue and hopefully get some answers on why this BS is allowed under the current RS laws.

Pay your dues? You have to be kidding, right? Why on earth would ANYONE pay the TA a nickel. They have been absent for years (which you are admitting when you say Finally...) They are now and for the past 5 or so years have been nothing to the tenants here as they sat back and watched/allowed this place go to hell in a handbasket so they could push their conversion agenda and look like heroes. Only problem is the vast majority of tenants saw right through their plans. They are nothing more than cheerleaders and sales associates for Brookfield. I have joined with other RS people to fight against the TA's plans up to and including suing the TA to get them to cease and desist. No one has done more harm to PCV/ST than the TA. They should be returning the dues that they have collected over those 5 or so years. In fact, one of the members in our group suggested a class action suit seeking those dues back, plus punitive damages of course. Pay your dues....LOL. Just how stupid does a person have to be to do that.

Anonymous said...

"How can the 55+ and over communities all over the country be legal if we're not allowed to restrict age limitations?"

That is a old legislative exception based on income and age and the ability to afford housing. BUT that has to be funding through a particular HUD mortgage program, that no longer exists. And some have to admit younger people, some do not, depending on when/with what funds the project was built. But the Fair Housing law which was subsequently passed bars any discrimination based on race, sex, etc and FAMILIAL status (and age in all other cases besides these senior housing situations).

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/groups/358760671689/

Anonymous said...

Great letter in T&V today about how the student population is ruining the quality of life and depreciating the value of the property, whilst putting a huge burden on the property. If Adam Rose has even half a brain he will take note of that letter. If the TA has a brain cell between them they will take note. Buy into this place as it becomes more and more a horrible, badly run student dorm? NO WAY!!!

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned the only really useful thing the TA has done and earned the few dollars a year dues we send, is to fight the MCI increases.

Anonymous said...

damn, now we have no where to post.

MarkHand the Catchman said...

Hope your vacay is restful... I left after my lease was up in October2011// Thought about subleasing -as long as it was legal- but I livd in he "gypsi" building and that pretty much scared me off.... 1500 a month wasn't worth it
All I ask if you do ever want to just stop... let us know and don't dissapear like other....

Anonymous said...

I could reallly use some advice on a huge increase in our rent renewal which just arrived. Is there anyone who has had such? Who can I call? I thought there was a cap on renewals of 5-6%?

Anonymous said...

If anyone had any doubt as to how hard the push is to get students into Stuy Town - and young transients - take a look at CW/Rose's NEW WEBSITE!!!

http://myfirstnyapt.com/

Unbelievable.

These people's core beliefs are not in line with those in STPCV that want a long term, stable, family community.

Self-ownership is the only way out of this mess.

Anonymous said...

put some comments thru! please

Anonymous said...

If my apartment complex, which I've been living in as an actual apartment complex for the last 30 years, is going to be now a dorm, then I want - DEMAND - a reduction in rent in keeping with the lowering of QOL and as compensation for the shitty laundry conditions, shitty recycling room conditions and, most of all, the round-the-clock noise pollution which invades my apartment from the partying sub-adults who are now my neighbors. When is the TA going to address this? Who is responsible for dealing with this blight at the DHCR?

Anonymous said...

STR, we need you! St. Patrick's Day/Night in the Dorm is no fun for those of us who don't care to get loaded and wonder why we are paying good money to live with OMG girls and their braying dudes! Is this what Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village has come to now? Why isn't the TA organizing a rent strike? Buy my apartment here? No way! Not at the lowest insider price imaginable. I really resent the way this place has deteriorated to the level of an actual dorm. I have nothing against students per se (was one myself once), but they do not belong in an apartment complex like this. It is a total outrage and we have every right to be upset. Adam Rose should try spending a weekend here and see how he likes it. This is harassment totally and unequivocally.

Anonymous said...

you're not coming back ar eyou?

Anonymous said...

Call out to STR and LL (if still around and cares): T&V reports 2 fires in ST this past week. One was set deliberately by two teens and the other was an accidentally caused by an old lady using an ancient stove. At least the elderly lady had the presence of mind to close her door and call 911. The teens, on the other hand, fled and left the elevator and hall to burn. I gotta get outta this place! I'm paying $3k pm to live in a death trap. Parents out there: do you know where your kids live while they are at college? Not a safe place at all. A DEATH TRAP.

Anonymous said...

Come back soon, STR! Please! We miss you and boy do we need you!

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Your two week vacation is now one month old.

What gives?!?

Anonymous said...

Please come back soon, STR. We miss you so much!

Anonymous said...

"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?"

You are so damn right, STR! Where are our political representatives when it comes to this egregious misuse of the rent stabilization laws. Our so-called representative, Dan Garodnick, is now running for Comptroller and he has the nerve to do this when he has never taken on CW and Rose about this issue! A fine Comptroller he will make. Chicanery is going on right under his nose in his constituency and he doesn't seem to notice. Liu has never noticed either. I don't think Garodnick will be any better than Liu, especially when it comes to addressing the crooked real estate cabal which has thrived like flies on a dung heap under Emperor Bloomberg's totalitarian autocracy. Sure he wants the property improved so it will sell to his pals, but as far as the skirting of RS laws by CW and Rose, I don't think it has even occured to him to address this issue. I certainly will not vote for him no matter what office he is running for.

MarkHand the Catchman said...

Damn, its been over a month since you were taking just a "couple of weeks off"... At least you could have left the comments auto approved.
Is this blog as dead as Luxies, time will tell

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who commented above about the HORRIFIC noise caused by students here, and the call for a rent strike and/or the TA to address this problem. We've lived here over 20 years, and never heard a peep from our neighbors until the black day when students moved in both next door and below us. We are lucky now if we sleep 4 hours each night with the constant noise pollution, which includes constant parties, yelling, screaming, furniture pushing, odd banging, dropping heavy obvjects on the uncarpeting floors at 3:00 AM, woo-hooing, stomping, and other bizarre, loud sounds coming from both apartments 24/7. Until they address these issues, the majority of reasonable, non-zombie human beings won't be interested in purchasing their apartments in this horrible dorm atmosphere, must less even staying here.

Anonymous said...

The students and their noise are part of a concerted effort on the part of Rose and CW to harass longterm tenants into moving out. The fact that they do absolutely NOTHING to resolve these problems (only pay lipservice, if that) makes this so transparently obvious.