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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. Things like the carpet rule or outsider dogs. These "rules" tend to be ignored, on purpose it seems. 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, though the "selling" of this place is intense. Few of the "rules" will be enforced, as Management doesn't want to lose customers or potential customers. Where personal integrity is a hallmark of an excellent management style, this integrity is not seen in enforcing some of the rules.

Our Tenants Association is, basically, null and void. Oh, it is still around, but it lacks the will power to confront much of anything. The TA will ask for your dues, however. By now, the TA is a charade.

About those "club cars" we see going this way and that way, and outside of Stuy Town or Peter Cooper Village:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Sign That Real Estate Literally, Psychologically, Politically and Socially Owns NYC - The Despicable Rob Speyer Hosts Mayor De Blasio Birthday Party

How did one of the most despicable characters to cross the threshold of the perimeters of PCVST, who fucked up our community big-time, and who had to leave with his tail between his legs as a Big Failure, get into such positions of power and influence that he can co-host a birthday bash for the "Commie" Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio?

Read it and weep:

And while your there, read this and weep, too:

Bloomberg's NYC continues.


Anonymous said...

The Horror.......The Horror!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Sorry, if I spoiled anyone's dinner by posting photos of Robbie.

Anonymous said...

What goes up must come down.

Human scum.

Anonymous said...

Sickening. Absolutely sickening.

Anonymous said...

Obviously there because of the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. I don't think brains explains it. More like this line from Citizen Kane: "It's no trick to make a lot of money, if all you to make a lot of money."

Anonymous said...

Of course our new mayor hangs with the best of them. Par.

So glad I didn't vote for him. Yet most of ST did.

Anonymous said...

You just made me puke, STR. Not that it was your fault. I will never, ever vote ever again. They are all filthy, scumsucking garbage. DeBlasio can go fuck himself because he is nothing but a big phony.

Anonymous said...

"So glad I didn't vote for him.""

I hope you are referring to the Dem. primary, I voted for Bill Thompson. And in the 2009 general general as well. Or did you vote for Joe Blow in the 2014 general? And Bloomturd before for his 3 terms?

Anonymous said...

Daddy's a billionaire.
No other credentials required.

Anonymous said...

democratic party is 100% phony and full of BS. Anyone who thinks differently has been FOOLED.

Anonymous said...

Send birthday greetings here: The truly creative could insert the mayor's and Robbie's face in a JibJab greeting. I'm sure they have one of two guys dancing together. Now must wash hands after typing Robbie's name. Oops--I did it again.

Anonymous said...

what's going on with the StuyTown/Roberts decision distribution of the settlements money?

Berdon Claims says they have done all their work, and money is ready to be sent out, but that the lawyers, and Liskow havent given the green light.

Lawyers says, MCIs and other claims need to be deducted from the money owed to people before money can be sent out,

Dan's office knows jack nothing and doesnt care.

Berdin claims says they have the money ready but that the class action lawsuit lawyers are delaying them because CW capital wants money back for retro MCI's

Everytime I call the class action lawyers for the last 2 months they also have no clue. the money was supposed to be dispersed in March April and now for the last 8 weeks they keep saying they have no clue as to when the money is going to be dispersed

Also dan g's office and his stuytown..liason haven't returned any of my calls over the last 4 weeks regarding this issue. His office also seems to know nothing.

What I don't understand is how this isn't a bigger issue and why the TA isn't all over this the money was supposed to have been delivered to the class by now

what can we do to build pressure?

stuy town resident

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You're probably doing the most "pressure" that you can. Others in your situation should also make calls to the appropriate people who represent this community, Dan included.

I'm sure your situation is extremely frustrating.

Anonymous said...

file a complaint with the ny ag. get as many complaints in and on record as possible. keep filing them.

file as many different types of complaints as this crosses over lots of types of offenses and schemes.

try this. then ask them for others ways to file complaint too.

Have a tip regarding a public #corruption scheme? Report it to my office at 1-800-996-4630 or @NYSComptroller at 1-888-672-4555. #integrity

Anonymous said...

This article applies to this post too.

"You are always better off in Albany when you have a stronger and more diverse coalition, and having unlikely bedfellows can certainly be effective," Ms. Krueger said.

Check it out to see what Ms Krueger's referring to.

Anonymous said...

Is Rob Speyer still buggering goats?

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out (no help from DHCR mind you) why my rent is $3476.00 per month when prior tenant of 3/2013 (he passed away and unit renovated) was $1101.00 per month.

WHY CAN'T ANYONE TELL ME HOW THEY GOT TO THIS. The calcuations are bogus.

Anonymous said...

Typically one would scribble horns/beard or other types of ads to deface the appearance of the enemy, to capture the evil that the person is. But with this guy's mug,nothing needs to be done. Imagine having to walk through life with that face!!!

Anonymous said...

STR, I have to thank you for the clear color photos of Speyer, Cuomo, et al. The reason: I print them out and line my kitchen cabinets with them. I haven't seen a mouse, roach, ant or even any flies since I started doing that.

Another use for them: If anybody in my family gets constipated, we just take a copy of Speyer's photograph into the bathroom. The result is instant relief. Sometimes a stomach-churning sight can be useful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

May 8, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Vacancy decontrol.

The landlord got a automatic rent raise of 20% when the apt flipped. At $1100/month that would be $220. $1100 + $220 = $1320. $3476 - $1320 = $2156. How did they "legally" raise your rent another $2156? Under vacancy the landlord needed to spend $60,000 for every $1,000 increase (Now it's $80,000). That means the landlord had to spend over $120,000 on renovations to get that additional $2156. That's because ST-PCV apts are all rent stabilized, so "high rent" vacancy decontrol, which destabilizes over $2500/month rent to market rate does not apply here.

I believe the new rent regulations allow you to audit the renovations supposedly done. You could check with the DHCR about that. The landlord would have to give those numbers to them.

Anonymous said...

STR, I just about threw up when I saw the photographs of that Rob Speyer creature. His face is a reflection of his soul. Ugly, cold, heartless, godless, avaricious and cruel. The face of a man who would evict an elderly person (even one with CP) from their lifelong home in order to make a couple of bucks off it. His father no doubt is just as bad because the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.

Anonymous said...

ghouls! All of them!

Anonymous said...

HAHA there is no way they did $120,000 worth of renovations! Definitely get DHCR to review your apartment. File an overcharge complaint and they will audit it for you. You are definitely being overcharged. WOW! I didn't realize it was this bad. That is so blatantly overcharging.

Anonymous said...

7:59 are you saying that this actual apartment has no stabilization then since it is over the $2500?
I think this incorrect.

i.e. the tenant paying $3476 can be charged another $600 at renewal (assuming that 3476 is the 'legal' rent?

I think that all apartment here , at any price point, are still subject to annual increases set. so this unit would be $3476 + a 3% or 5% two year increase on renewal.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2014 at 6:16 AM

Your whole post seems a little confused. I actually said the opposite.

Because of Roberts, we are all rent stabilized, for now. Therefore, as I wrote, "so 'high rent' vacancy decontrol, which destabilizes over $2500/month rent to market rate does not apply here.

What $600 are you referring to? Every rent stabilized apt in NYC, May 8, 2014 at 1:55 PM included, is subject to an increase upon renewal of the lease. The amount of the increase is set yearly by the mayor's Rent Guidelines Board (RGB). Under Bloomberg, those increases were steep. This year, de Blasio's RGB is considering a rent freeze.

Anonymous said...

Note: When I wrote this, "so "high rent" vacancy decontrol, which destabilizes over $2500/month rent to market rate does not apply here." -- I was referring to vacated apts only.

And again, because of Roberts, high rent vacancy decontrol does not apply to ST-PCV, for now. The landlord cannot destabilize apts while accepting tax breaks from the city that incentivize rent stabilization.

You can find out about another not lovely thing the GOP did to rent regs via Luxury Decontrol here. And again, because of Roberts, this too does not apply to ST-PCV for now.

Anonymous said...

That's because ST-PCV apts are all rent stabilized, so "high rent" vacancy decontrol, which destabilizes over $2500/month rent to market rate does not apply here.

This is your sentence. Which, makes no sense and is contradicting.

Anonymous said...

Everyone or someone here keeps posting the DHCr is helpful but take it from me, btdt, they are not.

I'm nots rue how you get the proper numbers on a rent from there and if you've been there (again, btdt) you talk behind a glass wall, you are told to come back another time, they don't have that info, file it in the mail. HAVE YOU OR ANYONE ACTUALLy been down town? It's not TENANT FRIENDLY.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM

if that was your experience, did you contact an elected rep about it? That's what they're for.

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Thanks, you're right. My hastily written comment should have read that because ST-PCV apts currently cannot be taken out of rent stabilization (thanks to Roberts), high rent vacancy decontrol didn't automatically kick in in May 8, 2014 at 1:55 PM's case. So the landlord had to get that additional $2000+/month increase under rent stabilization law via the 1/60th renovation loophole in the law (now 1/80th).

Under current rent law, tenants can request an Individual Apartment Improvements Audits from the new Tenant Protection Unit of the DHCR. If you havde a less that satisfactory experience with them, I'd let our Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman hear about it.

Anonymous said...

I've been to DHCR but not recently. Was a few years back, just after Tishman came on board. My time at DHCR was helpful. If they are being distant now there must be under new directions to the staff to delay or push back on tenant actions while the property is moving towards a sale. If you are having a bad time at DHCR then report it to anyone and everyone who is involved in tenants rights from advocacy groups to politicians (even though we all now know the politicians are probably causing the problems).

Anonymous said...

Not the original poster, but can you request an audit on line from DHCR of your current rent or where is the form? I am on the site & googling, for the record.

Anonymous said...

Contact the Tenant Protection Unit:

You are requesting an Individual Apartment Improvements Audit.

This unit was set up, and these audits were instituted, specifically because of landlord fraud. They'll audit the cost of your apartment renovations to determine if those costs were inflated.

Anonymous said...

10:55 am. Thank you. Is this the first thing one does in this case? We are pretty new tenants.

Anonymous said...

10:55 am You're welcome. I've never had to do this, but I would either contact the TPU directly via the email address provided or leave a message with the Tenants Association and they or their attorneys could help you with it. TA message center: (866) 290-9036

Anonymous said...

Re. the distribution of the Roberts settlement funds: These monies were stolen from "overcharged" tenants and from taxpayer. Every taxpayer subsidizes property owners awarded J-51 and other generous tax abatements/exemptions. MetLife and Tishman defied the rent regulation terms of these generous abatements, thus stealing from tenants and taxpayers. The use of the term "illegal overcharges" is just a euphemism for for theft.

The law firm negotiated a tragically poor settlement on behalf of the Roberts class. They gave away almost all the remedies and penalties stipulated in the J-51 regulations for circumstances where property owners are found to have defied the rent stabilization regulations tied to these generous abatements. The lawyers allowed phony individual apartment improvement charges to stand with no investigation. Perhaps most critically, the J-51 statute provides permanent rent stabilization status for tenants victimized by landlords who defy the J-51's regulations. Permanent stabilization status was also given away by our lawyers.

Our elected representatives and lawyers touted this terrible settlement as a "victory" for tenants, then pressured tenants in the class to sign on to it, claiming it was the very best outcome that could be negotiated and making false promises of prompt settlement distribution. In reality, tenants and taxpayers were screwed in this settlement. The only victors were the real estate cabal and the lawyers.

Three different promised settlement distribution dates from Sept. 2013 to Dec. 2013 to Feb./ March 2014 have come and gone. Requests for information on distribution from our elected representatives, the lawyers and the claims administrator are Stonewalled or met with vague excuses about the "unexpectedly complex calculations".

Once again, tenants and taxpayers have been screwed and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Sad, but that's about it.

Anonymous said...

A whole boatload of pols touted the Roberts 'decision' as a victory for tenants, which it was. However, I do not recall ANY elected officials describing the Roberts 'settlement' that way. Please provide citation.

Anonymous said...

Can't we file criminal charges? I was disgusted when the Pols and TA were lying about it being a victory and the lawyers pocketed millions. Everyone involved in the Robert's settlement robbed us all over again and robbed Justice. They should be arrested. Our rights and money should be returned to us making us whole plus more for our suffering. All of these guys are gross.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>A whole boatload of pols touted the Roberts 'decision' as a victory for tenants, which it was. However, I do not recall ANY elected officials describing the Roberts 'settlement' that way.<<

A distinction without a difference? One followed the other as night follows day.

Question: Did the politicians lambast the settlement?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Garodnick had his reservations about the settlement, but in the "bigger picture" felt the resolution would mean that tenant ownership of the property could proceed:

"We will reserve judgment on the fairness of this agreement until we have had a chance to consider the aggregate impacts on current and former tenants," said Council Member Garodnick. "Tenants had overpaid for years as a result of illegal rent deregulation, and they have been waiting a long time for relief. I am concerned that a significant number of tenants may be subject to rent increases under this agreement, and that will be a point of interest to members of the class who will have an opportunity to object. In the bigger picture, the Roberts settlement has been hanging over our heads for a long time as a barrier to tenant ownership of the property, and that barrier is now removed."

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Also Garodnick seemed to want all the members of the class action lawsuit to accept the settlement. He took pride in the fact that eventually all of them did. (There were two initial holdouts, I believe.)

Stuy Town Reporter said...

December, 2012:

Question: What will be the single most important development for the downtown community in 2013?

Garodnick: With the Roberts settlement announced, 2013 will be the year Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village tenants get management to work with them on a condo conversion, and begin the process of taking ownership of their community.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

My impression of those times was that Dan had his eyes on tenant ownership of PCVST and wished the Roberts settlement out of the way, which is why he pushed for all members of the lawsuit to accept it. He accepted it, too, as he was a member of that lawsuit, too.

I also suspect that the goal of tenant ownership has been behind the recent MCI settlements and the unwillingness to fight them in protracted court battles.

Anonymous said...

What is TPU?

No one is going to help us. The property will go to another sleaze landlord. Poor Dan and company, the powers that be must have been playing them for so long now. How could they be so naive though? Tsk.

Anonymous said...

May 12, 2014 at 12:06 AM

A distinction with out a difference? Bullshit.

Everybody, politicians (including Brian Kavanagh and Liz Krueger), Tenants rights advocates including Mike McKee, and regular ST-PCV people applauded the Roberts decision. TS thought it was a victory for tenants too -- Roberts was the final nail in the coffin that drove them to default on their ST-PCV purchase. The RE industry thought it was a victory for tenants too. Chas Bagli wrote in his book that Joe Strauss and the RSA were practically apoplectic over Roberts. They got the GOP to introduce bill S5763 to the State Senate which tried to undo Roberts by allowing landlords who get J-51 tax abatements and illegally deregulate stabilized apts to allow landlords who illegally deregulated rent stabilized apartments to keep the rent that they overcharged tenants. It died in the Assembly.

What happened in court was another story entirely. That result was not lauded by anybody.

Anonymous said...

May 12, 2014 at 6:18 AM

TPU refers to the Tenant Protection Unit. One of the things they do is audit landlord renovations on vacated stabilized apts to see if costs were inflated. That said, you don't know what the TPU is but that doesn't stop you from spouting off about something about which you know nothing, with a tsk thrown in for good measure. Take your faux world-weary condescension and piss off.

Anonymous said...

Re. the Roberts settlement funds distribution, many questions are unanswered:
Who is benefitting from these repeated distribution delays?
Why did the tenants' legal team permit CW to dig their claws into this pool of stolen funds? CW has at their disposal the same legal remedies as any property owner who claims a current or ex-tenant owes them back-rent. Why is CW being permitted to make claims on the settlement funds, thus delaying the distributions?
Why won't anyone answer our questions regarding an updated distribution date?
The sad fact is that PCVST residents have been thrown to the wolves in this and so many other situations here. Our corrupted elected representatives, "our" highly compensated legal team and the press (with the exception of STR) would prefer to sweep this scandal under the rug.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>A distinction with out a difference? Bullshit.<<

You're missing my point. Yes, there is a difference between the decision and the settlement. Clearly. But a settlement HAD to follow the decision. And the push was for all members of the class action lawsuit to agree to the settlement. Garodnick himself agreed to the settlement and considered it an important step in tenant ownership of the property. In effect, Dan and others (we can include the TA here) did not rebel against the settlement, but accepted it with open arms.

Dan could easily have told the class action members (and previously, the TA lawyers) that the settlement was poor or inadequate and that the lawyers should continue to work on it. He didn't.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Dan's own words about the final settlement. He doesn't seem upset at all and thanks the TA lawyers (who took millions for themselves) for their "persistence, advocacy and hard work":

I wanted to share the news that Justice Lowe today signed the final settlement in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case. This is a historic moment for the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village community, and for all rent stabilized residents who were unfairly overcharged by landlords receiving J-51 tax abatements across the City.

This case has always been about protecting the integrity of the rent stabilization system. The victory in Roberts sends a clear message that the rent stabilization law cannot and will not be circumvented. It is fitting that the case originated in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, a community ravaged by the excesses of the housing boom that fought back. The impact of this case has been felt far and wide—from the 21,250 members of the class, of which I am one, to residents in all J-51 buildings citywide. It was through the persistence and courage of our neighbors that many tenants around the City have been able to clarify their rights under the law, and for that, I am extremely proud.

The settlement delivers $68.75 million in direct payments to tenants who were overcharged for rent between January 22, 2003 and December 31, 2011 and $105 million in rent savings during the time since the Roberts case was won, when rents were rolled back as part of an "interim agreement." It also re-establishes all of the units in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village as rent stabilized, and sets their legal rents. (For more detail on the settlement, read my plain language guide to the settlement here.)

It is our hope that the final settlement, to which there were no objectors, will present a new opportunity for CW Capital to now embrace the plan put forth by the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association to ensure the long term affordability and stability in our neighborhood.

I want to thank the attorneys at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz and Bernstein Liebhard who worked on this case for their persistence, advocacy and hard work, and the tenants who lent their names to this class action lawsuit for their courage.

I encourage all class members to file their claims by the May 15 deadline. For more information on the claims process, please visit Berdon Claims' website at or call 800-766-3330.

Dan Garodnick

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Roberts lawyer, Alex Schmidt:

“Class members will realize substantial additional benefits by retaining the full protections of the Rent Stabilization Law for the next eight years, including, most importantly, the rights to automatic lease renewal and succession. The settlement is eminently fair and reasonable, and a very good result for the tenants.”

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Dan could easily have told the class action members (and previously, the TA lawyers)<<

I meant the Roberts class action lawyers for tenants, as these were not officially the "TA lawyers"....

Anonymous said...

The settlement was accepted, yes. It is the "with open arms" that I disagree with.

Anonymous said...

Since when do public officials "tell' members of a class action what to do? Nobody forced class members to accept the settlement. They had a right to object to the terms of the settlement. One family did object out of the entire bunch, but later dropped their objections.

Anonymous said...

The intentionally opaque and dense legal terminology in the Robert settlement, along with the high praise of same by our elected representatives misled most, if not all, members of the Roberts class. Now that the true and horrid details of this scandal have been revealed, many of us understand that we've been screwed, once again.

Almost none of the penalties stipulated in the J-51 regulations were assessed against MetLife and Tishman for their defiance of the rent regulations obligations attending their generous abatements. When lawbreakers are given just a slap on the wrist for their actions, they and their ilk are emboldened to continue their illicit activities, secure in the knowledge that they will never be punished.

Corrupt government and business institutions will continue to pick the flesh off the bones of the working and middle classes until we put a stop to their behavior. What means might become necessary to force vultures to operate within the law and with transparency?

Anonymous said...

I'm calling bullshit on your first sentence 1:54 PM.

First. Nobody misled anybody. The Roberts' class action was just a Hail Mary pass that nobody really expected the State Court of Appeals to rule in our favor on. So when it did, pols and tenants groups celebrated and rightly so because we won a major battle that many of them had written amicus briefs on our behalf for.

Second. What elected representative gave high praise for the Roberts' settlement that clearly wound up raising rents on most of the apartments involved? Please provide a citation for your contention.

If anything, I'd call any so-called acceptance by tenants and politicians of the settlement grudging acceptance because the time and money involved in litigating an objection to the settlement would have been daunting. I am guessing that's why the one family out of the thousands in the Roberts' class who filed an objection eventually dropped it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I, at least, am not stating that politicians and others were glowing about the settlement, but these are the very words of Alex Schmidt, a lawyer for the tenants:

"The settlement is eminently fair and reasonable, and a very good result for the tenants.”

A statement like this does not fit in with the concept of "grudging acceptance."

Stuy Town Reporter said...

It seems that in winning a noteworthy, historic pro-tenant decision in Roberts, the lawyers for the tenants didn't press to make the most of that win. How can one seriously cheer the fact that all apartments in PCVST are now rent-stabilized when tenants are paying $4,000 plus, $5,000 plus, to live in these "rent-stabilized" units? Where else in the city do RS tenants pay so much for an apartment?

If such pressure would have taken time and money, so be it. That's what the next fight should have been about. The lawyers just gave up after their own $20 million was secure. And, as I already proved, Garodnick and others had hopes that a settlement would pave the way for tenant ownership of PCVST. They were eager for the Roberts affair to be done with and urged everyone in the class action lawsuit to sign on the dotted line.

Anonymous said...

Answering Anon. 3;16-

Please see STR's posts above for the exact language Dan G. and Alex Schmidt used in reference to the settlement. In my opinion, these statements and others made in the initial push to convince class members to approve the settlement, can be characterized as "praise".

NYC's leading tax and tenant/landlord law firms (and many affected tenants) fully expected the court to rule in favor of tenants and taxpayers in this case. The specific language and stated intent of a property owner's rent regulation obligations tied to the J-51 is crystal clear.

No one knows why the one family who initially objected to the settlement dropped their objection.

I maintain that the lack of transparency, repeated delays and obfuscation regarding disbursements of tenants' stolen monies and minimal penalties assessed against property owner(s) who defied the J-51 regulations have victimized many law abiding citizens.

Many citizens today are heartbroken that we can no longer trust our business institutions to obey the law. We can no longer trust our elected representatives to tighten regulations and enforcement to protect citizens from those who break the law. We can no longer trust that our media will monitor and report on corruption and back room dealing. In fact, many citizens are waking up to the fact that in many cases our business, government institutions and media conglomerates are collaboratively working against our interests We must move from heartbreak and victimhood to citizen action to combat the cancer of corruption that is destroying our society.

Anonymous said...

I saw STR's posts, 4:01.

Of course Alex Schmidt tried to paint it as a huge win. As for Garodnick, his statements on the settlements don't read like "praise" to me. They read more like a politician trying to carefully say WTF happened? He was a class member like anyone else and had absolutely nothing to do with the settlement. Although he did try to explain it in plain English.

Read the Bagli book. It is not at all true that our side "expected" a win. I quote: "Privately many tenant advocates and lawyers had been pessimistic about the (Roberts) lawsuit's chances of success." And there's this also: "Tishman Speyer, and practically the entire real estate industry had expected the appellate division to dismiss the (Roberts') case, upholding a lower court decision in favor of the landlord."

Schmidt was confident that the law was clearly written to favor our interpretation of the statute but what apparently made his case was a recovered transcript of the J-51 statute's debate in the state senate. During the debate, the GOP sponsor of the bill clearly stated in the transcript that at "no point" could decontrol provisions be applied to buildings getting J-51 tax exemptions.

You're right no one know why they dropped their objection. I personally thought the settlement stunk. I didn't take a poll but it's a safe guess that a lot of members of the Roberts' class thought the same. Why do you think no one else objected to the settlement? Probably for the reasons I gave above. The class action was settled and going to court with objections meant spending your own money and years of your time on a case with an unclear outcome. At that point what other options were there? Please, tell me what else could Garodnick or anyone done? None that I know of. So some class members made out but the vast majority bit the bullet and moved on. Blaming elected officials for the outcome of a courtroom settlement is demagoguery, plain and simple.

You can maintain anything you want, but unless you're a judge or a legal scholar I can maintain that your claim that the settlement approved by the judge in the case is illegal is fantasy.

You finally made some sense in your last paragraph.

Anonymous said...


• What pressure? And who exactly do you think was gonna apply it? As far as I know, only the original (9?) Roberts' litigants were privy to what Schmidt was thinking and doing in the case.

• Who the hell are we to tell Roberts' members what they should have done after the crappy settlement came down? Who they hell are we are we to say "so be it," and insist that individual members should have spent years of their lives and a lot of their hard earned money battling financial titans in court?

• No one is cheering the fact that RS apts in PCVST are going for $4,000, $5,000+ a month except for CW Cap, thanks to the settlement and lax rent regs. The only good thing that came out of the settlement was that it finally cleared the way for a sale. And that's about all. It's been made perfectly clear that the TA/Brookfield's not in the running, if they ever were.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You're right. I had no dog in the fight financially. But who exactly did "pay" for the lawyers' time? Whose "hard earned money" was it?

Anonymous said...

7:11: Yes, I've read Bagli's book. And no, I never posited that the settlement was illegal.

I have a great deal of personal experience as a tenant advocate volunteering on behalf of affected residents in J-51 and 421-A buildings where property owners were in non-compliance of rent regulations. Although I am not a legal scholar, I have spent many long hours with the top tax and legal teams in this area. My colleagues and I did expect that the Roberts case would be won. Bagli obviously spoke to other advocates who felt otherwise.

It should surprise no one that some in the real estate industry believed that they would never be held accountable for defying regulations. History and the industry's well-documented influence with our elected officials may have made this group feel that they were immune to the law. However, a thorough reading of J-51 regulations reveals no loophole when it come to the J-51's rent regulations. Most J-51 and 431-A property owner recipients comply with these regulations because their legal teams advise them of this.

I'm sorry that you feel my expectations that our elected officials truly stand with citizens against businesses that defy laws and regulations can be characterized as demagoguery.

Anonymous said...


The law firm repping tenants only got got paid if Schmidt won the Roberts' lawsuit. He did so they got a percentage of the settlement.

Anonymous said...

10:25 PM

You're right, my mistake, you didn't say the settlement was illegal.

Your last paragraph mischaracterized what I wrote.