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Saturday, August 4, 2012

TA Exposes Unauthorized Use of Tenants for STPCV Advertisements

If you've been anywhere near the "events" happening in Stuyvesant Town for the last couple of years, you will have seen signs on occasion that stated:

"The Stuyvesant Oval and surrounding areas will be videotaped. If you walk in this area you may be on film. By entering the Oval area during this time period, you grant Rose Associates, Inc. and its representatives the right to take video footage of you and you agree that Rose Associates, Inc. may use such video for any lawful purpose, including, for example, such purposes as advertising, publicity, illustration and Web content."

Afterward, photos and video of these events, and whatever tenants would participate or stray through the event, wound up in advertising and promotions for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

Guess what? This use of tenants, even with those signs, was a misdemeanor according to the New York Civil Rights Law, which states that written consent must be given by a person who will be use for advertising purposes.

Okay, so another case of the powers that be ignoring, or being naive about, the law. (One wonders what other laws are being broken here--like, perhaps, that law in the Housing Maintenance Code that states that three unrelated people cannot live in a single apartment....)

Now, thanks to the efforts of the TA, which has recently stepped up its game in regards to what goes on around here, management has agreed to stop this photographing and videotaping, and has taken down from official sites previous advertising that included residents. A meeting between the TA and Sean Sullivan, STPCV general manager, facilitated the solution after the TA sent this letter to Sullivan.

From the TA webpage:

Tenants Association Board Chair, Susan Steinberg commended Mr. Sullivan for his “quick and decisive” response. “This ends an uncomfortable, and potentially illegal, practice which meant that anytime you attended an event, strolled through the Greenmarket, or even just went home, you could find your image used in promotional materials. That had to end, and we thank Sean Sullivan for his thoughtfulness and responsiveness in working with us on this.”

And so ends another uncomfortable situation in how this place is being run.

Thank you, John Marsh and the TA.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for the TA. I always thought that the photographing/videoing of tenants was a bit off. I have friends who own an assisted facility for elderly people out on Long Island and they have advertising and informational brochures about their facility and, as happy and content as their residents are, they are not allowed to photograph them for these materials. They have to pay models to sit in the wheelchairs, sun themselves in the gardens, etc. when they prepare or update their brochures. They told me that even though their residents would not mind being photographed, they (the owners) are not allowed to do that. It's amazing how "naive" Rose is about basic laws. No wonder we have so many fire hazards! I wonder what other code violations and broken bylaws we have that we aren't even aware of!

Anonymous said...

Ironic how ignorant they are of laws considering Adam Rose is a retired cop.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Apparently the info that Rose is a retired cop is faulty.

Anonymous said...

Rose isn't ignorant or naive. The laws aren't for Rose. Look around.
Great job, TA!

Anonymous said...

He's an active cop???

Stuy Town Reporter said...

No, he's not now, nor ever was, a cop. But he's been associated with the police.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job TA and bravo for the residents speaking out. I can't imagine seeing my children in Stuy Town ads. How scary.

Anonymous said...

Associated in what way???

Anonymous said...

What exactly is the relationship between Adam Rose and the 13th Precinct? Is there any truth to the rumors they cover up / don't file reports on what takes place here and purposely mislead the press by calling us Gramercy?

Hippo said...

Question: Does Stuy Town have to get the permission of the dog owner to take a photo of the huge pile of shit left in the elevator of 447 East 14th Street?
Does management have to do a DNA check before posting pics of the used condoms dropped in the stairwell? What about the garbage left by the doorway of the carriage rooms by the slobs who live here? Does Adam Rose have to get written permission before posting these photos on Facebook and their advertising elsewhere?
Jus' askin' that's all!
Have a peaceful and quiet concert-less Saturday all!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>What exactly is the relationship between Adam Rose and the 13th Precinct? Is there any truth to the rumors they cover up / don't file reports on what takes place here and purposely mislead the press by calling us Gramercy?<<

Well, those have been the rumors. Whether they are true, I don't know. I don't think it's wise to speculate more on this or Rose's connection (if any) to the 13th Precinct, and extend those rumors by inference into the truth.

Anonymous said...

All that money spent on photographers, videographers, editors and marketing right down the drain. The bond holders must be SO pleased with Andrew MacArthur this month. Between illegal hotels, fire doors, bed bugs and illegal advertising his phone must be ringing off the hook! lol

Stuy Town Reporter said...

There's a lot of money being thrown down the drain here--and all of it for the Big Sell.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Just a note that people's private lives are off limits on this blog and in the commentary section. Thanks for understanding.

Anonymous said...

The recycling and laundry rooms are so gross and filthy and mice-ridden that I wouldn't be surprised if someone comes down with pulmonary hantavirus. The people who have to work in those areas are particularly susceptible.

Anonymous said...

STR - you're right. every bit is for the big sell. the more high-end people they get in here before finally selling, the more people who will be willing to pay more to buy their apts. Note the contradiction in the TA's behavior. They stop CW from using tenant images to sell to the high-end people that CW & Brookfield want in here...and yet they support an alliance with Brookfield. Makes no sense. That's why the TA ought to back out of this. Its loyalties are misplaced. It's formed a bad alliance.

Quiet Oval said...

Great work TA! Thank you!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>It's formed a bad alliance.<<

Perhaps, perhaps not. Let's wait until we see reality blossom.

Gracie said...

"They stop CW from using tenant images to sell to the high-end people that CW & Brookfield want in here...and yet they support an alliance with Brookfield."

I wouldn't want my kids to be used in advertisements either, no matter who buys the place. A legitimate marketing campaign doesn't exploit the people who live here. Rose and CW should know better, but it's always been their strategy to act first and think about consequences second.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the 1-3 gets "Roses" and all we get is a bunch of cabbage.

Anonymous said...

I for one am very happy to see the TA showing leadership on the tenant exploitation, fire doors, bed bugs, and illegal hotels. Thank you for your dedication to the community and all of the hard work!

We are nothing more than a spreadsheet to Rosie and Andy Mac.

Anonymous said...

STR- wait and see? Wait & see and it will be too late. The die will be cast. Make enough noise now & Brookfield will think twice about what will fly down here. Stay quiet & they'll think they can get away with anything. There are many soft aspects to real estate that can affect a sale. Imagine...Brookfield wins the bid at a high price. What are your options if you really wanted to buy? Just this...Brookfield is depending on selling to high-end customers but who wants to buy if there is open discord in the community...i.e. people who really wanted to buy who are boxed out by the high prices openly demonstrate against Brookfield and against the alliance struck by the TA. Now...we know from the past that there have been a lot of feisty people in this community. But are there still? Have many of them moved out or died? Without the real estate community hearing voices right now and for the next 1-2 years, it will lock itself into a position which may cause more strife. What is wrong in advocating now for prices in the neighborhood of $315 psf?

Anonymous said...

The TA feels that it has to partner with someone it can rely on to get out ahead of the curve, but TA President John Marsh, what kind of legal measures are going to be put in place to prevent Brookfield from doing whatever the hell it wants to once it gets in here?????

Because, as far as I can see, the TA has exactly ZERO legal standing and some sort of a handshake deal is going to be meaningless. Anyone remember the lies that Tishmam Speyer told us about how they appreciated our grand history and nothing bad was going to happen to us with them now in charge? Sounds like something out of a fairy tale, right? Too good to be true, right? It sounded that way because it was too good to be true. Mark my words. As soon as Brookfield gets in here, you will see them for the snakes they really are. And by then it will be too late to do anything about it.

And anyone who thinks they're getting a cheap apartment is stupid, crazy, naive or all three. Do the math, people do the math.

Tommyboy said...

Just another scenario whereas it's ok until I get caught. Great job TA on this one, keep the ball rolling. This drunken sailor spending spree mgt. is only is a shameless money grab. A real tenant tour should include the laundry room museum where the relics sit, the carriage rooms where bike theft is the norm, the un-regulated storage shanties, etc.

I'm still waiting on all that Zogster donated equipment to reach the playgrounds. All these abuses of the law, and no one seems to be punished. When is the new manager going to be held accountable or is he taking a break at the Oval Cafe?

Anonymous said...

If you people don't think that Adam Rose of Rose Associates and Andrew MacArthur of CW Capital knew EXACTLY what they were doing and that it was ILLEGAL, you're either nuts or naive. They have zillions of lawyers working for them with whom, I am sure, they consulted before they dictated to tenants that they would be filmed or photographed if they entered an area where filming and photography were going on. But, as others posters have said, they believe that the rules don't apply to them. And, unfortunately, with the help of Councilman Dan Garodnick, among others, the rules don't apply to them, which is why the Oval is being pimped out so unmercifully. Well, you know what Adam and Andrew: GOTCHA THIS TIME!

Kudos, TA! Great work!

Anonymous said...

"And anyone who thinks they're getting a cheap apartment is stupid, crazy, naive or all three. Do the math, people do the math."

Err....ugh....the math says we're getting cheap apartments, assuming of course we don't spend 5.4 billion for the dump. People in the real RS apartments will get an even better deal, that is, according to the math.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the Sanitation Department to fine them for all the filth that goes into what is supposed to be recycleable stuff. Maybe they have a sweetheart deal with the Sanitation Department? Nothing would surprise me as to the depths that Rose and CW can sink. Absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

5:09 am "Do the math". I have done the math & will do it again right now. Using the plan Guterman put forth:
$315 psf X 1000 sf avg X 11,232 units X 95% = 3.7B.
(95% assumes a 5% vacancy rate at closing.) $3.7B pays off the bondholders. This plan (which should be subject to open question) anticipates a high participation rate which is more than likely at $315 psf & also proposes that any units that choose to remain rent stabilized will be bought by a non-profit agency (the plan says that this relationship has already been procured). I'm not saying there aren't elements here all of us wouldn't want to question. I'm saying that the reason the prices will actually be much higher has little to do with the "math" and has much more with Brookfield's desire to maximize its profit for the investment & risk that it's going to take.

Anonymous said...

I just looked on the official ST website at the apartments that are available for rent. The prices are absolutely outrageous! Some (3bed one bath) are close to $6k per month. Who in their right mind would rent a three bedroom apartment with only one bathroom, in a non-doorman building with filthy, malfunctioning "washing" machines, rats and mice and roaches infesting the laundry and recycling room and to add to the "bargain," the apartments are non-soundproofed and you could have River Dance being performed right over your head! Anybody who rents here for those kind of prices is absolutely out of their mind. A sucker born every minute, as P.T. Barnum used to say. SMFH.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Correction to my prior comment. "Do the math". The total is about $3.4B.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 5:09. Nobody is getting a cheap apartment here.

Anonymous said...

5:09 am "Do the math". I have done the math & will do it again right now. Using the plan Guterman put forth:
$315 psf X 1000 sf avg X 11,232 units X 95% = 3.7B.

The average apartment is not 1,000 sf. The average PCV apartment is 1,000 sf but the average in ST is lower and represents a larger portion of the apartments. You are likely overstating gross square footage by between 10-20%.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 5:09. Nobody is getting a cheap apartment here.

But by agreeing with anon 5:09 you're disagreeing with the math! Facts can be stubborn things as they say. Real RS residents still make up about 50% of the population here. No cheap apartments=no successful conversion. They need more than just the overpaying tenants to make this thing work.

Anonymous said...

ST: 1BR-755sf; 2BR-943sf; 3BR-1161sf;4BR-1349sf
PCV: 1BR=947sf; 2BR-1223 sf; 3BR-1500sf.

Not to quibble but taking 1000 sf as an avg does not seem unreasonable. In addition, using a 5% vacancy rate, there would be 562 vacant units that could be sold at market rate. 562X1000 sf avg X 630 (double the 315 rate) = $354MM...which some might consider low. Which brings us to over $3.7B in total. More than enough to pay off bondholders and provide and immediate profit...and this doesn't include ownership of the commercial space which will go to the sponsor. So $315 psf provides plenty of profit incentive for the CW-Sponsor side. But when you consider what Brookfield is hatching, there is an opportunity to bring in another 1-3 billion more by keeping down insider buying and selling more units over time at market rates. So the reason for the delays from Brookfield is clear. There won't be any announcement from this summer that tells you anything about price. When CW decides it is ready to settle, it will tell Brookfield in advance. Then just before or after Roberts is settled, Brookfield will announce its bid, CW will pick Brookfield as winner, end of story. This way tenants will have little time to react and in 1-2 more years, there will be more affluent tenants in here ready to buy at higher prices.

Anonymous said...

been in the RE business in manhattan my entire life, ita. Not going to be cheap here. i don't care how long you or i have been here. Nonsense, imho.

Anonymous said...

I am real RS in a nice real one-bedroom and, much as I love my apartment, I would not pay you one red penny over my real RS rent to live here!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I don't think that this place is going to sell for the price that you think it's going to sell for. I think it will sell for more. That's why I don't agree with your math.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, but I don't think that this place is going to sell for the price that you think it's going to sell for. I think it will sell for more. That's why I don't agree with your math."

If it sells for more than the conversion will not be successful. If the conversion is not successful, it will be a losing proposition to whomever buys the dump. This is why I believe it will sell for around 3 bil. Why do you believe it will sell for more? Why would some entity buy at a significantly higher price?

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the Sanitation Department to fine them for all the filth that goes into what is supposed to be recycleable stuff. Maybe they have a sweetheart deal with the Sanitation Department? >>>

Wouldn't be the only City Department Rose has a "sweetheart" deal with!

maxschactman said...

The buying price is not the issue.The TA Board plans a "two-tiered" pricing plan that intentionally plays games with whatever equity is made available by the conversion.
Few residents seem to even be aware of that unique wrinkle to the board's plan.

They plan an upper pricing tier that offers little equity but full property rights.And a lower priced tier that's cheap to buy but denies property rights IE a 1940's style co-op [they call a "condo"!} that's cheap to maintain but can on be sold back to the co-operative [condo-operative?!?] and for no profit.

In other words - a socially engineered "conversion" plan.That HAS to be a first in the long history of non-eviction conversions.So to inviting a landlord {Brookfield} to have a permanant stake in management.

Virtually all resident who are serious about buying want the same thing.They want the board to buy as low as possible and pass that pr. sq. ft. price along in the form of an offering.If it's 330,350 even 400 pr. sq. ft. everybody would understand that's the "at-cost" price based on the winning bid.So I think it's safe to say the TA Board is cruising towards a major conflict with many residents.

Meanwhile,the politicians,JP Morgan and the rent reg. lobbysists are all nodding like bobbleheads in approval of the Brookfield/TA deal.Yet the TA Board keeps insisting they haven't finalized a deal so they have nothing to say.So,all those entities are nodding in approval and Brookfield is ponying up billions for 85% of the financing but they don't know what they're getting?? That might fly at the flat earth society but it treats residents like they're idiots - never a good sign from the people who supposedly represent you.