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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. They tend to be ignored, despite "the rules." So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change. Sorry.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lawyers in the Roberts Settlement Case Charged up to $890 an Hour



If you read the proclamations of joy coming in about court approval of the settlement of the Roberts case, be aware that the joy may be because the lawyers on the case were charging up to $890 an hour.  (This according to the recent Town & Village, who had this info on the last page of their lead-off story, "Court Approves 'Roberts' Settlement. Justice praises both sides for turning 'slug fest into love fest.'")  No wonder the lawyers weren't all that eager to get the case resolved as quickly as possible.  It's almost shocking that they still are not going at it.

I was not part of this settlement, but I do wonder how anyone can say with a straight face that the settlement does anything positive for affordable middle class housing and the sanctity of rent stabilization laws, which have been abused and raped by the landlords here ever since Met Life stock went public.  It's great that a portion of tenants will be getting refunds (average check: $3,200), but their newer rents may erase those refunds very quickly.  And paying $4,500 for a two-bedroom apartment is not affordable middle-class housing.

Once again, the people making out the best are the lawyers.  But you knew that would happen.

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I do have to note that our Councilman Dan Garodnick was pretty slimy in his official statement about the court approval when he wrote that there were "no objectors" to the final settlement.  Well, there were, but they eventually removed their objections, probably due to some pressure for them to do so or opportune "second thoughts."

Here's the objectors original contention:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-02-28/stuyvesant-tenants-object-to-68-dot-8-million-settlement

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that is just about the going rate and, remember, this was a very labor-intensive, arcane case. No, I'm not a lawyer, but I used to work at a law firm that handled this kind of stuff and it really is a lot of work and those rates are just about the "market rate."

Anonymous said...

I'm not affected by Roberts, but I've been following the case closely. It seems to me that the resolution did nothing meaningful to roll back rents (that is, undo the various landlords' nefarious actions), and an average of $3,200 isn't even a spit in the ocean compared to what rent refunds should be. As far as I can tell, the big deal is going forward, that is, determining that landlords now know they can't deregulate apartments while taking J51 benefits (and let's not forget that this helps all other RS tenants in the state). Also, former MR rents can't go up more than what the RGB determines each year. I've gotten the sense, though, that many former MR tenants have been getting preferential rents (rents lower than legal RS rents), so such tenants aren't benefiting meaningfully. Am I misreading the situation, or are the lawyers the true beneficiaries here?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, what happened to Jack Lester? He was always the TA's attorney. I voted for him against Garodnick. Too bad he didn't win because I think he would have done (or tried to do) a lot for us. Maybe he wouldn't have been any more successful than Garodnick, but he would have given it his best shot. I think Garodnick caved to corporate pressure.

Hippo said...

Truly Danny Boy Garodnick is a slimy little pol. He is running for a THIRD-term contravening the will of the people.
Clearly he is in the bag of the real estate lobby. Wonder how much Bloomberg "contributed" to his campaign to buy his vote for a third mayoral term...as much a coup d'etat as in a banana boat republic. Not a peep from the Councilman about the outrageous screwing of the tenants under the Roberts decision. No mention of the commercialization of this dump. Elevators don't work, laundry machines will give you dysntery, dog doo all over the place, loud, obnoxious transients, condoms and beer cans in the stairwells...hey, this place is great.
But you know as long-term tenant I ain't going nowhere.
A royal f-you to Compass Cock, I mean Compass Rock, CW Capital, and, of courde, Real Estate Man of the Year, Robbie Speyer.
Millionaires, billionaires they may be, but ,truly they are bankrupt, without spirit, goodness or heart.
A happy Spring to you all! Can't wait for the concerts to begin!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Just a correction that Garodnick voted against allowing third terms, which makes his current run now for a third term curious.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I think that is just about the going rate<<

Well, Justice Lowe, who approved the settlement, didn't think so. He made a comment, quoted in T & V: "I would just like to know if any of you guys know what my hourly rate is. I don't know if it's $100 an hour."

Lowe thought of capping the rate at $700 per hour, but didn't want to "nickel and dime" the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a website where it can be seen who donated, and how much, to a politician's campaign funds. Can't remember what it's called though. I'll have to search it out when I am no so tired.

I agree. Garodnick is a big disappointment. I won't vote for him again.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Here's my post on donations to Dan from a while back:

http://stuytownreport.blogspot.com/2012/01/dan-garodnick-and-vornado-realty-and.html

Anonymous said...

Danny and Christine sitting in a tree.......

.......You folks know the rest.

Anonymous said...

I plan to donate to NYC is not for sale and Tenants and Neighbors. I know no corporation or real estate entity will donate to them!

Anonymous said...

This is the first day this week I've had an opportunity to walk around the property. There's more piles of dog shit in stuytown than when walking around the east village (no freakin' lie). That may be one positive of a conversion: reversing the dog policy (at least it's a possibility).

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I don't think it would be possible to reverse the dog policy. Even if there were a moratorium on new dog ownership, residents would still get them and keep them "hidden," if need be, for that period of time after which, legally, the dog becomes permanent. Even now, with the dog policy in place, Public Safety has become completely slack in enforcing the rules. The other day I was passing by the guard booth and not far away a woman was letting her Fido relieve himself in the garden area marked "no dogs." I motioned to the Public Safety officer inside the booth, he saw me, saw what I was pointing to, and then ignored it. They don't want to be bothered, and there's no will from the main office to press Public Safety to bother.

Anonymous said...

"don't think it would be possible to reverse the dog policy. Even if there were a moratorium on new dog ownership, residents would still get them and keep them "hidden," if need be, for that period of time after which, legally, the dog becomes permanent."

You are quite right STR, however, this wouldn't apply to dog owners who buy their units. They would no longer be protected under the auspices of RS. Believe it or not, most people would like to buy into this dump. Yes, the people who don't buy will remain protected. If it were decided to eliminate dog ownership after conversion, buyers could be made to sign documents to that effect (i.e. they understand that dog ownership is no allowed). It will be harder, as you elucidated, to remove them from the homes that remain RS. Certainly there would be a grandfather clause, but as you say these people will probably game the system.

Anonymous said...

People from the EV come in and let their dogs shit all over the place. Until Campus Joke figures out what they are doing, the place will be covered in shit.

Anonymous said...

Here's the said truth about the dogs here. They aren't owned solely by new tenants with young kids. From what I can see, about 50% of the ownership is by old timers. Twice last week I saw dog mess on the sidewalk near our building. The lawns behind our building are destroyed. Given the choice between dreck-free sidewalks and beautiful lawns, half the people here, young & old, will opt for the dreck.

Anonymous said...

I love the dogs... different strokes.

Anonymous said...

"I love the dogs... different strokes."

What does that have to do with the fact that shit and piss is all over the property due to the allowance of dogs in stuytown? I love dogs too, but what's your point? Why does it follow that when residents take exception to raw sewage all over the property that they hate dogs? Do explain......

Anonymous said...

I don't see the shit and piss you keep yapping about. You are overblowing it and it's just not a problem for me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.48 AM-It’s the same mantra and logic from people who post on this blog and the TA FB page who say “I love the Greenmarket, “I love the Ice Rink” , “I love the Concerts”, " I love the Oval CafĂ©", “ I love Airbnb”, "I love the Oval movies", all the other bread and circuses/dog and pony crap and the soon to come "I love the Super Soccer Stars”. A self-absorbed/selfish mindset that always refuses to face the underlying issues (zoning laws, community regulations, RS law,etc.) and their overall impact on the QOL here.

Anonymous said...

Re the PCVST dog regulations, this is direct from the new official website: “Walk your dog on sidewalks and walkways. Dogs are not permitted on the grass, in the flower beds or on the playgrounds.“ Like it says NOT PERMITTED ON THE GRASS. Looks like they have gone back to the original dog walking regulation. I know, LOL, a regulation is only as good as the enforcement of.

Anonymous said...

From Bagli's book, p. 53:

"The red brick facades are relentless, save for the green framed casement windows, especially along the outer borders of the complex where they formed a fortress wall against the surrounding neighborhood. As Ecker planned it, there are no stores or schools inside the complex that might attract outsiders."

Anonymous said...

"I don't see the shit and piss you keep yapping about. You are overblowing it and it's just not a problem for me."

With all due respect, you need to look. It's there. I see it, as do many others, just about every day. Whether it be a pile of shit near the base of a tree, a shit smear ALL OVER the place, or just puddles of piss that one must constantly negotiate while making one's way around the property. If you said that this stuff just doesn't bother you I would understand, but to say that you don't see it is just disingenuous. I get that you have a dog, but there is no reason for you to revise reality. The damage is done, and no one is going to take your dog away from you.

Anonymous said...

People are letting their dogs poop on the sidewalks and not picking it up either. It's disgusting. A huge smear of poop between the "L" station and Associated has already been stepped in by many. Poop doesn't smear by itself, it needs to get stepped in a lot to look that big and that bad. IT has nothing to do with whether or not you like dogs. Stepping in their poop and living with it surrounding you is just gross.

Anonymous said...

That's right, it's everyone else who is making this place miserable. It's not your attitude or your anger, no, not that.

Anonymous said...

I have found feces in my stairwell twice in the past 2 years. Before that, as a lifer here, none. To the clueless who think everything in fine and lovely here, denial ain't just a river in Egypt. The substantial deterioration of the QOL across the board here that began with TS and now CWC is undeniable. The official PCVST FB page is pretty pathetic when they post a picture of budding tress in PCV but leave out the huge dumpsters, filled with rotting tenant property, that deface the PCV landscape. But the hicks click “Like”. Fools. This town was once cool. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

9:22 p.m. Then MOVE to Boulder or Seattle if you want cool. Get the hell out of here.

Anonymous said...

We need to get together after conversion and put it to a vote. It's as simple as that. I think there are more people at this property who desire a fecal free property than not. It won't be easy, but I don't think it's impossible.

Anonymous said...

No, 8.27 AM, I ain’t moving but you just revealed yourself as the typical flyover state rube that you are by using the classic transient "move to __________ if you don't like it here" line. I guess you think apartments jammed with 3-4,5 (?) 20 something transients with no rugs, who don’t know how to use a compactor chute, migrating in screaming Bro/OMG herds on the property at night, dog shit and piss everywhere (all demos responsible for this), discarded furniture left everywhere, is a good thing? As usual, don't address the substance of my comment that the QOL has gone to the shitter. But these Flickr photos speak for themselves. Like, Yah!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/STPCV

Anonymous said...

That Flicker photostream is perfect! Unfortunately, I find it perfectly revolting & the newbies find it perfectly acceptable (lookin' at you 8:27AM). Sadly, CWCapital clearly finds it perfectly inconsequential since it seems NOTHING can shame them-- so our endless squalor persists, no end in sight.

Perhaps the author of that FLICKER photostream should send its link to the T&V; to DNA Info; Curbed; EVGrieve; the NYTimes; etc.. The buffoons who are "managing" this place ONLY respond to humiliation. Otherwise, NOTHING will be done about it.

Time to think about some random QOL flashmobbing at the rental office... Scare those kiddies away... It could work...

Anonymous said...

The picture of the pile of dog shit in the hall is truly disgusting. Come on now dog owners, even you have to concede: there were no piles of dog shit before we allowed dogs here! Come on, even you guys would concede that......wouldn't you?