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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cafe Edison - Another Victim Falls


At first, I didn't know if I've ever been there, but I realized that, yes, quite a few times in the past. Whatever the case, the story is all too familiar nowadays. The money quote:

"We fought hard, but the forces of greed are too strong in this city, and our small businesses are completely unprotected. The soul of New York, once again, is being destroyed, piece by piece."

http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2014/12/cafe-edison-is-closing.html

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Open Letter to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Community from Coucilman Dan Garodnick


I wanted to take this opportunity to give an update on where things stand regarding the future of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

As you all know, I have spent much of the past nine years of uncertainty working to make sure that the Tenants Association is in the strongest possible position to fight for this community, and to deliver a positive outcome from the mess left from the last sale. I am not going to rehash it. You know it, you have lived it.

I will, however, take a moment to bring you up to speed on what has and has not happened, and give you a sense of where things stand.

Recent History

Let's pick up in June of this year. You will recall that CWCapital announced that it was going to conduct a UCC foreclosure on June 13 -- and by doing that, wipe out all of the mezzanine loans, and formally transfer ownership to the bondholders.

To ensure that nobody forgot about the interests of the 25,000 people who live here, we showed up strong on the steps of City Hall on June 13 -- in the rain -- to demand fairness for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper tenants. We were joined by many of our friends -- Congresswoman Maloney, State Senator Hoylman, Assemblymember Kavanagh, Comptroller Stringer, Borough President Brewer, and our senior Senator Chuck Schumer, all united to make sure that Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village remains an affordable, stable community -- and free from predatory practices, designed to push rent stabilized tenants out of their units, like what we just experienced.

CWCapital decided to call off the foreclosure, and instead transferred the deed of the property to the bondholders in a procedure called "a deed in lieu of a foreclosure." The outcome was the same -- the bondholders (the lenders in the $3 billion first mortgage) now own the property, and for better or worse, CW continues to represent their interests.

One result that CWCapital did not want, however, was that they got sued by one of the mezzanine interests -- another lender in the initial transaction (now owned by Centerbridge) -- which said that the process that CW employed was not consistent with the agreement between the lenders. This lawsuit is for monetary damages only and likely would not result in any reversal of the action they took.

A few weeks later, I hosted a meeting with tenant leaders, elected officials and Mayor de Blasio in my Peter Cooper apartment, where we pushed the Mayor for his support, and he reiterated his commitment to preserving the long-term affordability of this community. He expressed a strong desire to be supportive here, a rather stark difference in the approach from his predecessor. We shared some cannolis from Veniero's, and I can report that the Mayor is a lovely houseguest.

Positions of the City, the Tenants Association and CWCapital

After that time, CWCapital had several meetings with City Hall, and several meetings with representatives of the Tenants Association. Most meetings that have taken place have been preliminary, to share preferences and to reiterate positions.

Let's review what those positions are at this point:

CW's position -- CW has a desire to deliver a full recovery to its bondholders, and there has been some public suggestion that they believe they would achieve that at $4.7 billion. They are open to conversion, but only if it allows them a full recovery.

The City's position -- maximize long term affordability. They are neutral on most other points, including our plans for conversion.

And of course, our position has not changed -- we want to first protect the rights of long term rent stabilized tenants, so that they are not again subject to the same sorts of predatory actions that we saw in 2007 and 2008. In support of that goal, I co-founded and built built a City-wide coalition against predatory equity to fight back against these sorts of practices -- and in an early success, we got a commitment from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they would not lend to any bid for the property that is not supported by the City and the tenants. Thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Maloney for their support of that effort.

Second, we want to maximize tenants' choices by offering them a chance to buy their units if they wish. We continue to push this point with both City Hall, and with CWCapital. My impression is that while both the Mayor and CWCapital are open to a conversion as a conceptual matter, they are far from sold, and we have work to do.

It bears noting that a unit's sale price would be dependent on the sale price of the entire property. And if CWCapital can get $4.7 billion -- a far cry from the less than $2 billion when we initially started this conversation -- that means that in a conversion, the cost of units would inevitably go up. And if the units are all to be sold at levels that are unaffordable to the people who live in the community, that is not the outcome we want.

Third, we want to protect the long term affordability of this community -- for the next generation of tenants. To that end, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Housing Commissioner, and staffs, have all made it directly clear publicly and privately that they want the City to participate here. We will hold them to that.

How could that happen? To achieve long term affordability for future residents, it would require City support in terms of tax abatements or subsidies It would mean that once long-time rent-stabilized tenants vacate their units, there would be a mechanism to allow another New Yorker to move in, provided that they meet a certain -- perhaps middle income -- threshold. I should again note that all of this is a change from the last Administration, which viewed our issues as purely private, and without any need for City involvement as a policy matter.

Finally, we continue to be determined to protect the historic configuration of the property, and to not allow anyone to build on our playgrounds or other open spaces. This has not changed, and our position on this is well understood and recognized.

Given the complicated issues facing this property, whatever we negotiate will probably not be a simple, off the shelf solution to our situation.

Potential timing for next steps

So what is the timing for resolution of all of this? While CWCapital has said they plan to sell sometime in the next year, there is no legal requirement forcing them to do so. The law allows for CW to represent the bondholders -- a REMIC trust -- for up to 6 years. This includes an initial three year period, beginning from the date of the deed in lieu transaction (June 2014), with an option to renew for an additional three years.

Now, we don't necessarily think that they would really want to use all of those six years - and as a term-limited Council Member I certainly hope they move it along already. But if CW wants to take their time on these negotiations, they can do that.

Some scenarios that might unfold

How might this all go down? As I see it, there are three possible scenarios here:

First, the tenants, the City, and CW could agree on a package of outcomes that we would want to see -- like conversion, long term affordability, etc -- and then that structure could be put out for bids. Doing that would ensure the outcome, but not the owner. That could even be a point where Brookfield, which has stood ready to assist us since the beginning, could participate.

Second, all negotiations could fall apart, and CWCapital could just put the property up for a straight up auction. Much like we saw last time.

A third - unlikely, but possible - scenario, would be CWCapital simply sponsoring a conversion themselves, and disposing of unsold rental units after six years.

Of course, there are variables like the Centerbridge lawsuit that could change these expectations.

I think the best opportunity for us is a pre-negotiated deal where we know the outcomes, we have tenant protections built in, and the core questions are resolved before an auction. And that is what we are working toward.

Conclusion

The most important takeaway here is that we have been working for years to use our leverage to get a seat at the table. We are now finally there, and nobody is going to shut us out of this process.

We don't know what the final product will look like here - but what the Tenants Association is calling for, and what I support, has not changed. We all realize we may need to be flexible or creative to find the best possible resolution for this community.

We may need to show up and make some noise, and remind the powerful interests out there that we are not messing around. And we will call on you for that. It is an important weapon in our arsenal because the real estate world knows that this community is organized, and it is committed to this cause.

But we now have more tools, and more allies, and I am more optimistic than ever about our ability to deliver a positive outcome here. So, I thank the Tenants Association for its leadership, and I thank all of you for the time and for your patience as this process unfolds.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is This Legal?

Check this out. On RentHop.com there is a listing of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village apartments. Note that many have the same photos as others, and I suspect all are not photos of the actual apartments being rented. I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that such ads for apartments have to contain photos of the apartment being rented, rather than some generic photo.

Anyway, interesting to see the price differences at least.

http://www.renthop.com/nyc/stuyvesant-town-peter-cooper-village-apartments

P.S. Unless a new law is in the books, apparently it is legal:

http://www.nakedapartments.com/blog/apartment-photos-stock/

Friday, December 12, 2014

The "Poor Fence"


Unbelievable. I heard of this, a New York addition to "poor doors," but to actually see a photo! And it's happening in De Blasio's NYC, which tells you where the real power is.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/10/nyc-luxury-building-installs-poor-fences-to-separate-middle-income-renters-from-wealthier-residents/

Monday, December 8, 2014

Housing Projects to be Sold to Developers

Of course, these developers won't ask for anything in return and will keep the projects "affordable"....

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/city-sell-stakes-housing-projects-developers-article-1.2037359?cid=bitly

The New Christmas Tree

Days of yore, Stuyvesant Town had a real Christmas tree. Brought in like they bring in the tree at Rockefeller Center. Big and fresh. Impressive. Dazzling at night. Then, several years ago, came the "green" tree, a planting off to the side that was supposed to remain at the Oval year round and used as a Christmas tree during the holidays. That tree looked perpetually sickly; never got better, only worse. Now we have an artificial Christmas tree. Progress?

One of the old trees:

 The "Green" Tree:

 The new artificial tree:

Merry Christmas from CWCapital and CompassRock!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The TA Still Dreaming of Conversion While Ignoring Major Tenant Issues


It's sad really. While the TA is mum, and therefore by its silence acquiescent, on matters like the commercialization of the Oval with Playground 11 turned into a pay-to-play area, and refuses to respond to questions about the legality of CWCapital crafting extra rooms out of ST/PCV apartments with work permits that state no change in occupancy (and all the shenanigans and bonuses that go along with garnering an extra room), while the TA is mum on other pertinent issues and is not putting up any vigorous fight for affordable housing, it is still pursuing conversion as a viable goal at the expense of all else, it seems.

Seriously, does the TA think that CWCapital will hamper itself in the sale of the complex by restricting the options a buyer can pursue, to include, at some point in the future, razing these old project buildings and replacing them with the most modern highrises? Does the TA think that CWCapital will restrict the potential profits a future landlord can garner from owning ST/PCV and dictating a course that will maximize the major investment?

There may be a 1% chance, or less, that conversion could happen, but it will only happen if CW doesn't see a solid sale in the future or if the economy starts seriously tanking. And as has already been said to me by an insider, conversion is NOT going to happen. So dream on, TA and those who are holding on to living here for the potential of buying an apartment.

There is going to be a tenant meeting this coming Saturday, December 6th, at Middle School 104, where conversion will once again be brought to the fore, among a couple of other matters. Chances are good that I will sit this one out, as by now, despite the cold, I'm not willing to put up with hot air.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Enemy - Part 2

He's on the list!  Funny, I thought he was a Republican.

Bill de Blasio picks 101 member host committee in push to win 2016 Democratic National Convention


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/de-blasio-picks-101-member-host-committee-2016-dnc-push-article-1.2017142

Must be a very important person with a lot of influence.

The Enemy - Part 1



It will become apparent who I am talking about soon.

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/11/24/rob-speyer-reportedly-tried-to-broker-election-deal-for-cuomo/

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

3 people now live no problem roommate need 1-2 for both sexes

Obviously the Google translation is screwed up, but I wonder if what this actually states is that 3 people are living in the Stuy Town apartment currently, and there are openings for 1 or 2 more of any sex. Well, if that's not what the original message says, it's still provides fodder for the imagination!

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://www.cssanyu.org/bbs2/forum.php%3Fmod%3Dviewthread%26tid%3D89117%26extra%3Dpage%253D1&prev=search

The original message:

http://www.cssanyu.org/bbs2/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=89117&extra=page%3D1

Do note it's an NYU forum.

Where is Lo Rhent when you need him!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

That "After Hours Construction" Noise Bill


...is, of course, languishing with the City Council.

http://chelseanow.com/2014/11/after-hours-construction-still-rattling-residents/

Some money quotes:

"In an interview with Chelsea Now, Mendez said that the bill is undergoing revisions, though she did not name specifics. 'Organized labor expressed concerns that limiting AHVs would affect members work opportunities,' she said."

"Officials from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) said the proposed restrictions are too broad." [Our disgraced former landlord, Rob Speyer, is chairman of the REBNY, btw.]

And what did I notice this Sunday when looking through a gap in the wooden high-fence barrier at the new Management Office construction site?  A guy working with a grout gun!  No work permit needed, it seems.

Of course, we already have noise codes, but, as you will read in the article, the DOB (Department of Buildings) hands out After-Hours Variances very freely. So the necessity for "new legislation," which, if passed, will probably be so diluted that it may well be like the old legislation. So the game continues....

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another Attempted Rape In Stuyvesant Town

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141105/stuy-town/deliveryman-tries-rape-woman-after-asking-use-her-bathroom-nypd

STUYVESANT TOWN — A deli worker tried to rape a woman after delivering food to her Stuyvesant Town apartment, NYPD said.

Luis Corpeno, 27, who works for Fraiche Maxx on Park Avenue South, brought an order to the victim’s East 20th Street apartment just after midnight on Nov. 1 and then asked if he could use her bathroom, police said.

When he returned from the bathroom, Corpeno grabbed the 26-year-old woman's face and told her to kiss him. When she refused, he threw her on the couch, tried to take off her shirt and groped her, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney's office. 


More at the above link.

If CWCapital and CompassRock think we're going to keep quiet about these type of instances, they are mistaken.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dan Must Be Pleased: The Progressive Vision of Manhattan Continues!


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/realestate/new-condos-coming-to-midtown-east.html

From the above article:

"Spurred by the success of trophy skyscrapers like 432 Park Avenue, developers are planning luxury residential towers that could reshape the area between Park Avenue and Second Avenue from 57th Street to 60th Street."

Seriously, what are we waiting for? ST/PCV should have trophy skyscrapers, too. One on each current building site in this community.

Dan, please facilitate this here as you've done for the above neighborhood.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

About Tenant Free Access to "The Courts"

First off, I hate the "street" name some suit gave what's at Playground 11--"The Courts."

"Yeah, we going down to 'The Courts'!"

But onward....

It seems that "The Courts" will have limited free tenant access. The first two weeks of "The Courts" will have little paid programing, but after that a deluge of paid activities will take over.

Here's the schedule of "Court 1" beginning the week of November 30:

The colored blocks are paid activities, the gray ones aren't. "Court 2" has a more openings for free play, but paid activities arrive in greater number on the third week.

(Here is the complete schedule for a few weeks.)

Now, you may wonder about access to "The Courts."

For that we head over to the online CompassRock FAQ and find out that:

"A Recreation Department staff member will be onsite checking IDs during Open Time." (Open Time is, obviously, when "The Courts" are not occupied by paid activities.)

Which means that during non-Open Time, there will be no ID check except for the staffing from the companies doing business at "The Courts": "...each company will provide staffing and qualified instructors for their activity who will check registrations and monitor the activities of all participants." One wonders, since Stuy Town/PCV IDs won't be checked during these paid activities if some activities, like the NYC Basketball League, will have members/players who are not residents (or their guests). BTW, if you sign up for the League, it will cost you about $2,000 for playing a lucky (!) thirteen games.

What about when "The Courts" are not in use by these companies? Will residents (and their guests) be able to use them. The answer:

"Sometimes - there will be designated blocks of time for open basketball play when there is no programming."

I'm very tempted to say something about the commercialization of the Oval, Dan the Man, and our TA, but it would be purposeless, wouldn't it?

Friday, October 31, 2014

CW Capital Hopes to Get These Type of Tenants

They could be students. Or, perhaps, Young Urban Professionals. No one over 30. No families.

Party Time in ST/PCV!!!


Alternate PCVST Tenant Referral Program ads posted in the halls of NYU:


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Breaking News: Dan Wants You to Know...

Dear Neighbor,

I wanted to share the news that I was just selected as one of twelve leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL, a national network that seeks to promote pro growth progressive leaders at the state and local levels.  The group is co-chaired by Senator Mark Begich of Alaska and Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland, and I believe it will be a great opportunity to share ideas with like minded leaders from across the country.  I am honored to join the group, and you can read more about them here.

All the best,

Dan

Friday, October 24, 2014

Let the Circus Begin


Perhaps if we don't want to start a panic, the news helicopter(s) that hovered this early morning over Bellevue, waking up light sleepers in ST/PCV after 6am, should disappear. Is it really that important to get aerial shots of the hospital where NYC's first Ebola patient is being cared for?

Sending positive thoughts for a full recovery for the patient.

(On a side note: Look into Governor Cuomo's eyes. The man has superior powers of hypnosis.)

Say Goodbye to 57th St and the View from Inside Central Park


In case you don't get out much to the rest of Manhattan, you should know that it's over for the picture postcard area around 57th Street and Central Park South. Be thankful for your memories of being in the Park or walking along the classy "Breakfast at Tiffany's" 57th Street. Part of this area falls under Councilman Dan Garodnick's realm, though the fault lies much deeper and wider than with one councilman, but rests with city planners, zoning regulations, and the politicians who let all this happen. (May the name of Michael Bloomberg be forever emblazoned in the appropriate Hall of Shame for what he allowed Manhattan to become.)

Weep while you read this:

Why 57 Street is the Supertall Tower Mecca of New York.

And check this out. A website for 432 Park Avenue, which will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, at least for a while. Note which language follows English.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"The Courts" at Stuy Town - Just Another Way to Take Your Money


Who are they fooling? Yeah, sure it's free... But you'll have to move aside when the events that won't be free will be occurring during "programming hours." Like:

"Keep your kids active with youth baseball clinics & batting cages by Peter Stuyvesant Little League, soccer clinics from PCVST favorite Super Soccer Stars, instructional basketball leagues from Dribbl, and even youth golf clinics from Kate Tempesta's Urban Golf Academy. Play basketball throughout the cold months with the NYC Basketball League, running organized games for adults."

At Playground 11. Another gimmick with a cost attached to it. Approved by the Tenants Association and our councilman, Dan Garodnick.

Meanwhile, we learn that Management refused to let the police distribute flyers alerting residents to thefts taking place in ST/PCV and never alerted residents about the sex assault suspect that tried to rape a woman in Stuy Town last week.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Attempted Rape in Stuy Town

TA email:

At about 4:00 a.m. on Friday, October 17, a 20-year-old woman was assaulted by a would-be rapist who followed her into the elevator of her Stuyvesant Town building on the 600 block of East 14th Street. She fought him off, and he fled. The man's image was captured on security cameras in the Terrace and Main lobbies, the elevator, and then later in the street. He was seen climbing down a tree to get to street level.
  
  
The suspect is described by police as a male Hispanic wearing a dark hoodie, a dark T-shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers.


The woman was badly injured and treated at Beth Israel Medical Center.

SAFETY REMINDER TO ALL TENANTS:
  1. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  2. Do not let anyone into the building that you don't recognize.
  3. Shut the security door behind you so that no one can sneak in behind you. Don't just proceed to the elevator.
  4. Don't get into the elevator with anyone you have any doubt about.
  5. If you are concerned, contact Public Safety via the lobby intercom.
  6. Do not worry about offending someone--your safety is the most important thing.

Although our neighborhood is generally safe, we have had incidents--most recently the StuyTown Groper--so it's important for everyone to stay alert, not just for themselves but for their neighbors and the security of the building.

---------------------

UPDATE:  More info here.

The suspect:


Enjoy It While You Can!

Let's see.... Too much green space in ST/PCV....  I got it!  Let's make this a playground! More basketball courts!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Never on Sunday... Except in Stuy Town

So this Sunday morning work crews were out at the soon-to-be Ice Rink banging, sawing, making a racket. No work order around allowing this on Sunday. I guess no one cares. Another day, even Sunday, in Stuy Town.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Follow the Trail to Find Whether Councilman Dan Garodnick Voted for NYU's Controversial Plan to Remove Current Park and Playground Space

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/henry-stern-de-blasio-side-villagers-nyu-article-1.1962540

From the above opinion piece by Henry Stern, former city parks commissioner:

LaGuardia Park, LaGuardia Gardens and Mercer Playground are in NYU’s crosshairs for development. The university claims they’re not really parks — based on the fact that they’re technically overseen by the city’s Department of Transportation.
 
That argument holds no water. Not every slice of open public land is technically part of the city’s official park portfolio, but it’s how the space is used by the community that determines its status.
 
In this case, even though the strips of land in question were never formally turned over to the city’s Parks Department — as Parks Commissioner for 14 years, I tried repeatedly to make this happen — they have been used by the community as parks for decades.
 
A recent decision in state court set back NYU’s plans — by declaring that LaGuardia Park, LaGuardia Gardens and Mercer Playground are, in fact, entitled to basic protections as public space.
 
The city is now appealing that court’s decision, fighting in court on the same side as NYU. If successful, not only could the already scant open space available in the area become greatly diminished, it would be a continued violation of the Public Trust Doctrine.
 
That doctrine, which dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, is a crucial part of America’s common law tradition. It maintains that the government holds the titles to certain waters and lands in trust for the people. 

This has evolved to extend protection to scenic resources, open space in general, energy generation and preservation of ecosystems and historical sites.
 
In New York State, if an entity wishes to develop or remove a parcel of parkland from public ownership and use, it must follow a legal process called “alienation,” which, among other conditions, requires approval from the state Legislature.
 
Not only did NYU fail to take these steps, but our City Council then blatantly disregarded its obligations.

Naturally, I'd like to know how our City Councilman Dan Garodnick voted on the issue. It took a bit of time. Click on "Action Details" on the line that has City Council to find the answer:

 http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1154264&GUID=6B49A1B7-9F3D-49EF-8BE1-807DB445FB09&Options=ID|Text|&Search=Ulurp

The petition against the City Council, among other person and entities, which Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills ruled on:
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills rule

http://www.gvshp.org/_gvshp/preservation/nyu/doc/petition-09-24-12.pdf

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beauty and peace can still by found in Stuyvesant Town at certain times of the day

Click on photo to make larger

TA Still Hopes for Unaffordable Condo Conversion to Save Affordable Housing in ST/PCV

According to this week's, T & V newspaper, our Tenants Association is still hoping that condo conversion be will actualized in ST/PCV so that affordable housing can be saved here. I guess that's the logic that's at work.

Susan Steinberg, chair of the TA, is quoted: "What we would define as affordable would depend to some degree on median income, what is considered middle class. Three thousand for a one-bedroom, five thousand for a two bedroom is not affordable. I'm of the mind that affordable is not market rate, so a fireman could live here, a nurse could live here, a teacher could live here. Not five students crammed into a one-bedroom apartment."

Of course, only tenants with money to spare will be able to afford to purchase a condo in ST/PCV and their "rent" will surely be at least, or over, $3K for one-bedroom or $5K for two, taking into account mortgage payments and maintenance fees.

One also wonders that if Ms. Steinberg, and the rest of the higher-ups at the TA, believe that students are cramming into apartments here, why does the TA not take CWCapital to court over this illegal rental situation?

The likely explanation is that the TA, having been so long fixated on the idea of condo conversion, will not take CWCapital to court over anything major because a court battle would hold up the remote possibility of condo conversion for years. So tenants are being bludgeoned by the landlord daily, monthly, yearly, but little is done by the TA, except complaints on such matters as laundry machines--and so far without success on even that!

There's even worse news for tenants in this week's T & V--our market-rate tenants. Quoting the paper:

"Reps for the mayor have previously said tax incentives or subsidies were a possible solution to keep affordable apartments affordable while also admitting there's no turning back the clock for 'Roberts' tenants and others paying higher rents."

It's over.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

One Reason Why Your Rent May Be Going Up

Your air-conditioning....

Click on image to make larger.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Letter from Gerald Guterman


To the Tenants of STPCV from Gerald Guterman

I have been reading the Stuyvesant Town Report for a few weeks now, without making a single comment about any subject or concern of the residents.

I am sick to my stomach and completely disgusted, by the mis-information "floating" around the community and the latest round of actions taken by CW and Compass Rock. 

There appears to be a deliberate attempt by the No Knowledge or Experience Tenants Association ("NKETA"), to create the false impression that they, the NKETA, have any power or authority, to agree with, make deals with, or represent directly or indirectly, the interests of any tenant of STPCV, except those very few tenants who have joined the NKETA and signed a specific representation agreement. NO POWER, NO AUTHORITY, NO EXCEPTIONS, Period!!       

Unless you actually agreed in writing to be represented by the NKETA, you are NOT represented by the NKETA. No agreement between the NKETA and CW, or Compass Rock, Fortress, Moellis & Company or Paul Weiss, et al, has any force or effect on you as an individual tenant, if you did not sign an agreement with the NKETA  to represent you, or you did not specifically agree (in writing) with CW or their "gang," to a specific matter. NO POWER, NO AUTHORITY, NO EXCEPTIONS, Period!!

I have now explained the power of the NKETA twice in the last two paragraphs and several other times, in several previous statements made on this Blog. 

I am not an attorney and I do not practice law.

I am one of the most experienced New York City Landlords in the history of New York City rent regulated housing, as well as probably the single most experienced condominium and cooperative converter of  rent regulated housing in New York City's history.

That's it. That's what I bring to the table. Just knowledge and forty-four years of pragmatic experience in the Trenches...    

When I speak or write, my message is coming from my experience. after I have given thought and consideration to the subject at hand. Usually, I will have had discussions with my partners and in some cases, my attorney and legal partner, who himself has about forty years of experience in New York City rent regulation law.   

 I don't believe that speech or worse, actions, taken without full, experienced consideration of the possible and (in the hands of professionals) very probable results, has any merit.

The speech and actions of the Tenants Association and the continuing actions of CW or their management subsidiary Compass Rock, are not based on long term, practical, "on the ground" experience, with New York City's Rent Regulated Housing.

CW and its property management subsidiary are "green" service organizations without the New York City Rent Regulation experience "under fire", that would normally govern their actions. 

I  believe that the significant portion of the rent and management decisions taken by CW and their subsidiary, Compass Rock,  will ultimately fail and be reversed, when properly tested through the New York State legal system.

·         I have previously explained to you, that expecting any positive, meaningful results from the Department of Buildings or any political representative, is simply a waste of good ink and paper.

·         I have previously explained to you, that we believe the significant portion of the MCI charges can be successfully challenged and reversed.

·         I have previously explained to you, that we believe the use of STPCV for dormitory housing can be successfully challenged and reversed. 

·         I have previously explained to you, that it will take a sophisticated and extensive legal challenge (as I specifically explained in a previous letter), to obtain the desired results.

·         I have previously explained to you, that while this challenge is going forward in the legal system, there are additional actions that may be taken to protect the Tenants, during this period of stress.

·         I have previously offered to advise you, as Tenants of STPCV.

·         My Offer stated that you may cancel our consulting agreement at any time and for any reason or no reason.

·         My Offer included a charge of $10.00 per quarter and stated that you would be billed separately and later. 

·         I have explained to you in a previous letter, that the substantial portion of the funds ($10.00 per quarter) would be used to pay initial retainer fees for the legal and engineering professionals required to successfully litigate the Tenant positions. 

·         I have previously indicated to you, that I would meet with Tenants in New York, to introduce myself and answer questions about where you stand as Tenants of STPCV.

·         I have previously explained to you, that I expected at least a few hundred Tenants (who read Stuyvesant Town Report) to read, sign and return the Consulting Agreement.

·         I have not made any arrangements for a meeting in New York, because as I previously told you, only one Tenant returned a signed Agreement.

As it currently stands, Guterman Partners, LLC, withdraws from our offer to provide Rent Regulated Housing advice and consultation.

Thank you for your consideration,

Respectfully,

Gerald Guterman                 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Would you prefer to live in a community that feels like an extension of a college campus or a suburban community?

Click photo to make larger.

The question isn't answered in this Street Easy listing for 3 Stuyvesant Oval #MD. Note the recessed AC unit, which I believe that apartment does not have. Nor would an M apartment have such a view. The broker is Citi Habitats, which is the "exclusive" broker for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. Really, the chutzpah of implying that our community feels like a suburban one and not an extension of a college campus! Why is it that everyone who deals with ST/PCV on a business level has no shame or is a comedian?

http://streeteasy.com/building/stuyvesant-town/md

Also note the "Price History" of this apartment:


Steep increases for a "rent-stabilized" apartment!

This Was the 1st Clue that ST/PCV Would Change Forever

The plaque. Situated on the West Side of the Oval path. Honoring Met Life Chairman Frederick H. Ecker. Removed in 2002 by Met Life in advance of an eventual sale of ST/PCV.  The words on the plaque were the reason for the removal (not ST/PCV's early racist rental policy). Left there, the words would have made a mockery of what was to come.

These are the words, the vision, that no future landlord of ST/PCV could leave standing:

"... who with the vision of experience and the energy of youth conceived and brought into being this project, and others like it, that families of moderate means might live in health, comfort and dignity in park-like communities and that a pattern might be set of private enterprise productively devoted to public service."



The removed plaque has never been seen again. No one knows where it is.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

While it Falls Apart, Let's Listen to Stuy Town's Musical Celebrity

Garland Jeffreys, the only artist approved by the Stuy Town Report blog to hold a concert here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TA Please Take Notice. Can We Ever Get to the Bottom of This???

I'm going to try again on a subject that's been raised here before....

Partitions have been put in by the landlord for years now.  What are these partitions?  Are they partitions that convert, say, a two-bedroom apartment into a three bedroom apartment, as we see in the diagram below? (Click on any image to make larger.)


This is the type of DoB application that is filled out by the builder to create partitions, presented here, for our purpose, in its more important three sections:




Please note that the alteration type checked off is Type 2 and not Type 1.  A Type 1 alternation contains a check mark area for "Change in Room Count/Dwelling Units" and one for "Change in Occupancy/Use".

So if the partitions created in this application for three Stuy Town apartments are partitions to create an extra bedroom, as in the diagram above (which is not of any of these apartments, btw, but just an example), how is it possible that these partitions were legally put in, as the paperwork was not properly filled out?

These partition applications are very numerous in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village and can be accessed at the DoB site:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/home/home.shtml

From there, go down to the left and see "Buildings Information"... and fill in.

It's obvious that the creation of extra bedrooms serves the landlord very well, particularly in renting out apartments to hordes of students. This complex may now have 5,000 more tenants thanks to the creation of extra bedrooms.

So, TA, have you looked into this at all?  And, if so, what is the outcome of your research?

UPDATE: 9/19/14:

The info below I found on a site that is not official, but it tries to explain "Alteration Type". The insertion of partitions to create a new bedroom (if that's what those partitions are for) is considered by CW and before them, TS, as Type-2. Here's the info:

An Alteration Type-I Application is required when there is a major change to the Certificate of Occupancy of a building, such as converting it from commercial to residential, an interior conversion of the building or a space within a building, or due to a building addition. Most commonly, an Alteration Type-I Application will be used to change the Maximum Number of Persons for a space, to change the Occupancy or Use Group of a space, and/or to change the Description of a space.

Alteration Type-II Application is an alteration that doesn’t change the use or occupancy of the building but requires several types of work, such as plumbing and construction. An Alteration Type-II Application may be used when there is no change to the Certificate of Occupancy due to the proposed alterations, such as with an interior fitout or alteration. When an Alteration Type-II is filed under Directive-14 (such is the case 99% of the time), the Applicant or other NYS Registered Professional Engineer or Registered Architect may signoff the application with a Directive-14 Final Inspection.

Alteration Type-III is a minor alteration that involves only one type of work, such as a curb cut or a construction fence. ALT-1s and ALT 2s must be filed by a registered architect or licensed engineer; some ALT3s don’t require detailed plans and can be filed by a non-professional.

UPDATE: 9/24/14:



UPDATE: 9/25/14:

Meet the New Official Mascot of ST/PCV: NUTS



Well, that's not his name yet, but can one hope?  So, the complex is filthy, dog and human crap here and there, including in elevators; there's noise to wake the dead at all hours of the night (partying, Con Ed work, etc), many of the laundry rooms are not working at full capacity; not all buildings in Peter Cooper Village have fully recovered from Hurricane Sandy; the construction of the new management office is not yet finished and has created a nightmare for those living nearby; the complex is becoming more and more of a dorm; residents are in the dark about the future of this place....

So what is CWCapital/CompassRock's latest effort?

A toy squirrel mascot for the complex that residents are urged to name!!!

So let's name it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Good luck, guys!

And I mean it.

Tenants at Riverton (the brother complex to ST/PCV) sue their management company. And guess what company that may be?

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140915/central-harlem/tenants-at-riverton-complex-sue-management-company-over-rent-hikes

There should be several lawsuits arising from what's going on in ST/PCV, but that surely would hold up the dream of tenant ownership, so no go.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rezoning the East Side for Massive Towers is Going to Happen. Thank you, Dan.

How did I miss this?

http://ny.curbed.com/tags/1-vanderbilt-avenue

http://therealdeal.com/blog/tag/midtown-east-rezoning/

If you thought that rezoning of the East Side to allow for massive towers and huge windfalls for Big Real Estate was not going to happen, you were wrong. Mayor de Blasio (!) and Dan Garodnick, the councilman in whose district this will be happening, have agreed to a "reincarnated" zoning plan that is currently limited in scope, but which will pave the way for a thorough transformation of the East Side that will please Big Real Estate very much while giving us peons perks such as new subway entrances, stairways, entrances/exits, etc., all to get workers moving efficiently (it is hoped) from outside of the castle where they live (the outer boroughs) to inside of the castle to work for the nobility who will be the only ones left to afford living in Manhattan.

First up is One Vanderbuilt, which, when built right next to the stately Grand Central, will be the second tallest building in the city. You may as well squash Grand Central and be done with it.

Pardon the cynicism, but it seems Dan's previous contrariness toward our former mayor, Mike Bloomberg, on this zoning issue may just have been a case of "let's wait out the rezoning until I get more clout" or "let's wait out the zoning until after election time."

With the massive development of this area (which, despite the perks, will create even more nightmarish congestion in Midtown), here's another neighborhood that true New Yorkers will be staying away from. Soon, only Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village will be left to remind people of the real New York.  And, yes, that is a joke.

Out of Service

Not even when all residents were paying rents that were truly rent-stabilized was this acceptable. How does a management company treat its residents like this? How does a management company try to impress prospective tenants that ST/PCV is a fine place to live? How does a management company take any pride in a result like this? Or does the management company agree that we have project living now and that everyone should be content with this result?

Click on image to make larger.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stuy Town is Now Shit Town

Pardon the bluntness, but it needs to be said and it needs to be that shocking.

This morning I took a walk from the Oval to 23 Street, through Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. As I walked I came across five areas of dog turds or dog turd splats (dog turds already stepped on). Five. And I didn't deviate from my walk, so I wasn't walking through the many other areas of the complex.

Here's the evidence:






To make matters worse, two reports came to the TA Facebook that HUMAN TURDS were left in the lobby of a building and in an elevator.  Yes, human shit.  And today we received a report of a plastic bag filled with stinking shit of some kind left in the stairwell of a building.

This is what living here has come to. We are overwhelmed by dog shit and human shit.  I've walked through the projects on the Lower East Side and haven't come across the amount of shit laying on the ground as I've come across here. And now we have people taking a crap in lobbies and elevators.

To you who are newbies to ST/PCV, let me assure you that Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village was NEVER like this. NEVER. And a message to the person who thinks the rain cleans it all away.  Perhaps if it were a deluge, but otherwise it turns turds into mud pies, as I've seen when passing one of the areas above after the rain in the afternoon.

Congratulations, CWCapital and CompassRock, on a splendid job excellently done!  You surely must be proud of the way you are managing this complex.

UPDATE 9/14, Sunday Morning:

On the east side of the 20th St Loop, this morning.  I guess this is what some dog owners consider "curbing your dog"... on the sidewalk...  Of course, the law requires a pick up of these turds.


Dan the Real Estate Man

http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-councilman-daniel-garodnick-faces-tough-tests-in-real-estate-battles-1410569682

A generally positive article on Dan, but I couldn't help but notice these tasty sentences:

"In January, about a week after City Councilman Daniel Garodnick lost the race for council speaker, he was the belle of the real-estate industry's annual ball. Mr. Garodnick sat on the stage with other dignitaries at the New York Hilton, two seats down from Alicia Glen, a powerful deputy mayor who oversees housing and economic development. No one at the Real Estate Board of New York's banquet attracted a bigger cluster of executives and lobbyists waiting for a word than the 42-year old councilman for Manhattan's East Side" 

"The city's real-estate world continues to open its wallet to Mr. Garodnick. In the most recent election cycle, he received more than $200,000 of contributions from the industry, out of about $1 million, according to a Wall Street Journal calculation."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Public Safety Absent?

I assume CWCapital/CompassRock wants to save money, that's why there's not ONE Public Safety officer around the Oval right now, nor half an hour ago, an hour ago, etc.

So residents can do anything they like. Two dogs sitting on the Oval Fountain plaza, one person in the fountain, guys playing football on the Oval Lawn....

Enjoy, everyone, because Public Safety is gone for the day!

Papers, Papers, Come and Get Your Papers (Either on T or M Level)


Perhaps the New York Times is giving away their newspapers, or perhaps this is just a new delivery method, or perhaps "whatever," but the Times is now being dumped on the M or T levels, and today, not even in the hallway, but outside. Pictured is the weekend edition which still needs the Sunday news of the day, so perhaps tomorrow someone will come around to work that into the weekend edition and deliver appropriately to each resident who orders the Times. Perhaps. I know if I were a subscriber and if one of those papers were mine, I'd be furious. Another example of luxury living at its finest.

UPDATE 9/7/14

NY Times subscribers have to rummage through the papers to find their own:


This can't be approved by CWCapital. Newspapers are not supposed to be dumped like this in front of the building door. Another instance of "project living."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sex and S@%T at the Oval

My response to the recent Guterman letter is taking a bit of time, as it's quite lengthy.  Meanwhile, I just couldn't hold back from uploading these photos taken this morning.

Yes, sex is occurring around the Oval....


And be careful where you walk. I almost stepped into this due to the surrounding camouflage of leaves. Note the trail of urine that accompanies the crap. If you dare, click on photo to see the captivating details!



What a pig stuy!!! Luxury living at its finest!

Meanwhile, a STR reader sent in this photo that should be filed under "Entitlement." Yeah, it's a cute dog... but, it's off leash and in a playground, both no-nos as stipulated on the sign. The person being so attentive to her iPhone just makes the photo more priceless.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A New Letter from Guterman



GUTERMAN PARTNERS, LLC

Gerald Guterman
stpcv@gutermanpartners.com\

September 3, 2014

To the STPCV Tenants:

It has now been several weeks since I made my Consulting proposal to everyone on this blog. I have explained what my partners and I will do several times and have answered questions both on this blog and in private emails.

While I didn't expect 5,000 signatures just from this blog, I did expect several hundred of you to take the time and make the specific effort, to print and sign the Agreement and send it back to me.

I even gave you all a separate email address, to maintain confidentiality.

The result of all of your talk, your condescending remarks and your know-it-all attitude, is exactly one signed Agreement. One signed Agreement.

Tonight, I read on this blog that I am expecting too much from too many of you. Nonsense....it is you that reads this blog night after night and continues to just "blubber" about the injustice that has befallen you, that is to blame for the ongoing, negative changes to your community.

My partners and I have offered our services for "nothing" and the services of a special group of professionals, each of whom has agreed to accept a small on-account "retainer" from my firm, with the balance paid only from a success based, conditional fee. The fee is payable only from a Court award or Settlement Agreement. Still, a number of you continue to make condescending, anonymous  remarks.

The next comment I expect to read, is that my firm is not working for nothing, but is being rewarded with the handsome, substantial fee of $10.00 per participant per quarter....$40.00 per year. Even with 5,000 participants paying, it doesn't cover the retainers to be paid out to the professionals and a small amount for my firm's overhead costs for this matter. 

If you want to realize changes for the better in this Community, all of you will have to come together and force those changes. You will have to physically copy the Consulting Agreement, sign it for yourself and bring one to your neighbor. You are all intelligent people. You can explain what we are doing and what your neighbor can do to help.

Absent this effort from all of you, we will withdraw.

Gerald Guterman