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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.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The TA President Gets Angry

... and chides TA Facebook members for posting about light bulbs and floor plans, rather than the looming sale of the complex.

In the spirit of passing along information relevant to ST/PCV, here's his message, posted today on the TA Facebook.

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

John Marsh:

How can folks in this group be discussing floor plans and light bulbs in the face of what’s looming over us on June 13th? I don't mean to belittle these issues, but are you all aware of the very real threat that on Friday, June 13th Fortress, the parent company of CWCapital, will use a questionable contract clause to instantly become the owners of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village?

Right this instant we all need to start talking about what we are going to do about Fortress and the other sharks circling us. The writing is on the wall. It's about to happen again. Tishman Speyer redux. The financial press is speculating, full of scenarios providing detailed financial road maps to our demise.

Are we going to be a docile, apathetic group of tenants or are we going to fight for our community and our homes now, on June 13th, and after that?

A show of OUR STRENGTH starts at 10:00 am on the 13th, when members of our community will assemble on the steps of City Hall to demonstrate our backing of the elected representatives who right now are working to try to save us from a predatory takeover. Let's show Mayor de Blasio that we are a community worth saving. It’s worth making a serious effort to swell the group that will be bused to City Hall and back.

Adding a third or more debt to the property in yet another over-leveraged buyout will lead to problems for everyone of us in our community. These problems will be similar to, and assuredly worse than, what we have faced since 2006.

Two core groups make up our community and must stay united.

We all need to be aware of the dangers we face and need to start talking with and educating our neighbors.

The first group -- the young families, responsible singles and couples -- I like to call the "New Stabilizers". The New Stabilizers have held on, many by their fingernails, so they can convert their high rents into more affordable long term equity. Members of this group, some of whom are the most vulnerable, have been waiting patiently, even anxiously, to buy their apartments.

To the New Stabilizers, more debt means management pressure to close the gap between lower Preferential Rents and the above-market, high Legal Rents. The point will come when large numbers of them will be driven from a community that has suited their needs. More instability for everyone.

It's heartbreaking that New Stabilizers will have to uproot their children from the fantastic public schools like PS 40 and JHS 104, the schools that I and others here got the opportunity to go to. These parents will have the painful task of explaining to their kids why they have to make new friends as they are forced out of the city to find another home. For this group a takeover by anyone other than the tenants is the tipping point.
To the second group -- long-term traditionally rent-stabilized tenants -- there's a target on your back too. You’re not as easy to hit, but they’ll try. Using the same tactics so ferociously applied by Tishman, it will mean more opportunistic legal challenges to renewing your affordable lease. Demolition of your building is also a possible -- and perfectly lawful -- means for your eviction. Demolition of the the aging structures and development of our green spaces with shiny new towers is one sure way to pay down the debt.

For all of us, a tenant-led purchase is the only defense against a new predatory landlord.

For the long-term rent-stabilized tenant it means the ability to stay in your home and enjoy the same rent stabilized protections you always have.

A new predatory landlord means higher fees (not just for changing your light bulbs), and more bad leasing policies which only expand the number of subdivided apartments, create higher concentrations of roommates in dorm-like occupancy, and more of the inevitable noise that accompanies it.

One of the things we all share is the desire and opportunity for our children and our neighbors’ children to be able to grow up in the same safe, unique, extraordinary city setting many longer term tenants have had.

Churn, transients, predatory speculation are the problems.

The answer is the young stabilizing families, responsible couples and singles vesting in their community and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their longer term neighbors.

If ever there was a time to be vocal and visible that time is now. If we just accept what might happen on June 13th, we and our children will have to face the consequences.

On Friday, June 13th we must fill the steps of City Hall to show prospective buyers they will have deal with us, period.

35 comments:

Stuy Town Reporter said...

So, it seems that the TA response to the looming sale is the dream of tenant ownership. And somehow, by some miracle, prospective buyers will be shaking in their boots because they "will have to deal with us, period."

Stuy Town Reporter said...

And what's with the "New Stabilizers" tag? Stabilizing what?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

"The New Stabilizers have held on, many by their fingernails, so they can convert their high rents into more affordable long term equity. Members of this group, some of whom are the most vulnerable, have been waiting patiently, even anxiously, to buy their apartments."

I can assure you that the New Stabilizers, or a good portion of them, should they ever own condos here, will want to squeeze out the long-time RS tenants as they consider them leeches.

Anonymous said...

We became friendly with a number of young families at the midlease rent increase protests, so I have a pretty good idea what J Marsh is talking about. They don't like CW Cap but are all struggling to hang on because they'd like to stay long term because they think this is a great place to raise families and are hoping for the best when a sale finally happens.

Fortress is going to put in a $4.7 billion bid for ST-PCV in about a month. Can we please quit the usual BS sniping for a minute to consider this:

"...a $4.7bn sale would require the conversion of rent-stabilised units to high prices in order to make the numbers work, said Daniel Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, a firm that had considered buying the property after it defaulted.

"At that price, you can't justify it as a rental project or assume that stabilised insiders will buy many units. You are back to square one with the tenants," he said.

http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/fortress-bid-for-manhattan-complex-could-end-in-court-30293973.html

Fortress saw what happened to TS and are not likely to repeat their errors. We are fucked if we don't stick together to fight this.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Marsh makes it seem like the "New Stabilizers" interest is in converting "their high rents into more affordable long term equity."

Daniel Alpert can state that a sale "would require the conversion of rent-stabilized units to high prices," but that can't happen under current RS laws. It's maintaining those laws that's of importance, I'd think.

Anonymous said...

Yes but he also said "To the second group -- long-term traditionally rent-stabilized tenants -- there's a target on your back too. You’re not as easy to hit, but they’ll try. Using the same tactics so ferociously applied by Tishman, it will mean more opportunistic legal challenges to renewing your affordable lease. Demolition of your building is also a possible -- and perfectly lawful -- means for your eviction. Demolition of the the aging structures and development of our green spaces with shiny new towers is one sure way to pay down the debt.

For all of us, a tenant-led purchase is the only defense against a new predatory landlord.

For the long-term rent-stabilized tenant it means the ability to stay in your home and enjoy the same rent stabilized protections you always have.

A new predatory landlord means higher fees (not just for changing your light bulbs), and more bad leasing policies which only expand the number of subdivided apartments, create higher concentrations of roommates in dorm-like occupancy, and more of the inevitable noise that accompanies it."

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Sorry, but I don't see tenant co-ownership as the solution. It will create problems, different problems, with condo-owning tenants at odds with those who are not condo-owning. The TA will be split in two, also.

Long-term RS tenants will always have a bulls-eye on their back. Besides, from what I hear from reliable sources, tenant ownership is never going to happen. CW doesn't even want to talk to the TA or Dan about it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I realize that Dan and perhaps Marsh also are interested in converting "their high rents into more affordable long term equity." But a lot of long-term RS tenants do not have that financial possibility. That's what affordable housing is about.

Anonymous said...

What a mess. TA prez castigates his people. They talk about triviality because...first, they don't know what to do about Fortress & second, they've fallen in line to what the TA has wanted from the beginning...a docile membership willing to follow.
Then the 'leadership' comes after the castigating. They want to have a rally. Good. There should be lots of rallies. But I'm not going to rally in favor of one predatory developer in exchange for another. Mention Brookfield, Paul Weiss, any that dubious BS and I'm out.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that Marsh emphasizes his 'new stabilizers' much more than the older residents. This has been the TA prejudice from the start, getting involved with Brookfield's condos rather than a less expensive co-op plan. This has been Garodnick's move, too. Looking for support from the new rather than those he sees as fading or easy to mislead. This is why the older residents can't trust the present TA or Garodnick. The reason the older residents cheer Garodnick at meetings? Habit! They should look at what he does, not listen to what he says.

Anonymous said...

This sums up that John marsh has no interest in continuing the rent stabilized community. Period. We knew it all along. Now he says it.

Anonymous said...

John Marsh should have had the tenants backs these past years instead of getting in bed with a predatory RE Brookfield. Brookfield equally bad as Fortress.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, but I don't see tenant co-ownership as the solution."

STR, what do you see as the solution? Given that CW is going to sell the property, what better alternative is there?

As to whether this even has a chance of happening -- is there any chance you can say who your reliable sources are? I believe your reporting of what they say, and I would understand if you can't reveal your sources, but it would be helpful for us to know who are the reliable information sources in the current situation.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR, what do you see as the solution?<<

What I posted on the main page. A community land trust. Or anything where the government is involved proactively to maintain affordable housing here.

>>is there any chance you can say who your reliable sources are<<

I should have made that singular. One source. Can't divulge but he called it way before it was learned publicly that CW was not interested in talking to Dan or the TA or Brookfield about a tenant purchase of this property.

Anonymous said...

"Besides, from what I hear from reliable sources, tenant ownership is never going to happen. CW doesn't even want to talk to the TA or Dan about it."

With all respect STR, I can never understand why you and so many other people posting here view a conversion as having to deal with Danny and the TA. I'm not saying a conversion is going to happen because I don't have a clue as to what's going to happen (unlike the majority of posters here). I would ask that you explain to me how I am in error.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

And, just think, is there any valid reason CW would want to hand over this hot property to the tenants??? I don't care how many tenants you can get lined up along the steps of City Hall.

Anonymous said...

A lot of money changed hands and deals were made in backrooms and politicians paid to make the NYU campus.
Must have touched a nerve to have it called "just floor plans".
There is no mistaking. It is culpable and deplorable.

Anonymous said...

Who ever said that CW was going to "hand over" this "hot property" to the tenants?

Anonymous said...

STR your short sighted/selfish wagon circling call to old school RS tenants is music to CWs ears.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'd bet that a pretty fair portion of the TA board have no interest in buying and, like me, would like to remain RS renters.

Second. Now the solution is a community land trust? Do you know a single thing about community land trusts other than what some guy posted on a FB page?

Anonymous said...

There is a persistence here that somehow RS is going to be fortified, strengthened, and that's the answer. That's a dream. The farther we get from RS' inception, the weaker it will become. I'm sorry that people don't think that tenant ownership is the answer. I say that because I think it makes the most sense. No more rent hikes. You pay your mortgage. Yes, there's maintenance just as there would be for any home owner. Those who would like to buy can evaluate those costs. But I don't believe that RS renters would suffer under tenant ownership so long as the tenant-owners were in immediate control. That's why I thought the Guterman plan was promising, because it aimed for 80% tenant ownership and sought to keep purchase prices pretty close to current rents. The whole key is in base price affordability, Anyway, our options may become clear by the end of the year. I doubt that real estate developers are going to let Fortress and CW walk away with this prize without a serious legal challenge and to be honest, I don't think CW & Fortress are going to win.

Anonymous said...

If the foreclosure is June 13, I think one may want to be on the steps of City Hall before then.

By the way, IMHO, the rally on the steps of City Hall will not deter the CW/Fortress deal. Its a photo op for Dan and the politicians.

As for Johnny M - seems that he is losing it.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR your short sighted/selfish wagon circling call to old school RS tenants is music to CWs ears.<<

I'm not aware that I'm making any kind of "circling call" to long-term RS tenants.

Anonymous said...

What can we all agree on? Strengthening tenant laws is always good policy for us. I have no problem supporting that. Will that alone help us in the upcoming sale? No. Are we all sick of the ongoing disruption and the attempt to drive tenants out? Are long term residents sick of the churn and renting to students? Yes. And as a community do we feel let down by politicians and the media? Yes. So those are the focal points. And the only leverage we is to rally and demonstrate. And we need to start doing that now. Not by mid June. I agree with Marsh to this this extent: that posts not relevant to the upcoming sale take us away from action. Like it or not the STR site has become a focal point in all this. Can you (STR) begin guiding us toward action? A small rally soon would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

Rallying for protection of our homes is rallying for what is right. But Mr Marsh is not doing that.

He is telling people to rally for his Brookfield agenda.

I do not support Brookfield. I do not support this lack of transparency by Mr Marsh. If his deal was a good one it would be in writing, in a written plan, proposal, detailed, all details of what one would be buying into. After learning PCVST is 25% NYU campus I will not be buying my apartment unless that deal is investigated for its illegality and shut down.

That aside if I buy it would not be into a Brookfield deal.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Can you (STR) begin guiding us toward action? A small rally soon would be a good start.<<

A small rally would just indicate how few people are interested. We don't want a repeat of the TA's embarrassing call to action during the mid-lease rent increases, where few showed up at the leasing office (and almost zero tenants actually affected), and even fewer it seems posted those yellow "community not a commodity" placards in their windows.

The only possible hope I see is the involvement of the government, from city on up. De Blasio, at least, has to address the situation soon and prove that he wants to save affordable housing in ST/PCV. If he opts out, then it really is over.

Anonymous said...

STR: Sorry to see your response. If not a rally, then a planning meeting. I expect nothing from any of the politicians. They'll only respond to something not their baby if there is embarrassing coverage in the media that really shows them up. The media crusade over nothing these days. So if we don't give them something to cover, the media will do little, hence the politicians will do little. Without us doing something, then it's game/set/match. We might as well stop blogging.

Anonymous said...

Why would de Blasio support the TA plan? It seems to me Marsh is talking about removing as many of the 11,000+ apartments from the rent stabilized stock as possible.

Listen, I want to own my apartment for as little as possible and I'd rather have the TA/Brookfield as owner. I'm just trying to understand the 'sell' to de Blasio. "Support US and we'll remove a ton of apartments and make your 200,000+ units pledge even more difficult". Does that get de Blasio's support?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Without us doing something, then it's game/set/match. We might as well stop blogging.<<

I believe we're at game/set/match and have been for a while, if not for years, since Met Life sold this place. My main reason in posting on the front page about that 2007 hands-across-ST/PCV affordable housing rally was to show how even with those numbers (I believe about 10,000), nothing really changed around here.

Again, the only possibility for change is the proactive involvement of the government. De Basio is aware of Stuy Town, and as are Garodnick, Stringer, etc. And Maloney and Schumer should be aware of it, too, at least if we go by their speeches.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of John Marsh, to be sure, but I also would like to own. I am a "new stabilizer" in that we moved in during Roberts, and pay WAY more than most of the "old timers." BUT we are at our rent limit, would much rather own so we can leave here feet first.

I would never call you all leeches, and want the old-timers to stay to continue to keep this place stable and cross-generational. But the hateful attitude that comes from certain oldtimers, mostly in this group and the FB incarnations, towards anyone but yourselves is getting old and not very inspiring of unity. By calling in the "new stabilizers," I think Marsh is trying to unify us and undo some of the divisiveness that both CW foments, and that you guys similarly create.

You have to work with us "new stabilizers" and we have to work with you. We need each other. That scenario come 2020 of deregulation is real--including you oldtimer units. MCI after MCI, combined with annual increases, and before you know it, you're at 2500+. A couple of years of good income and, no lease renewal for you. You are out of here whether you want to or not. Less likely the fixed income elderly, but that's just a war of attrition. Then down come the buildings and up go hundreds and hundreds of high rise condos.

Anonymous said...

"And, just think, is there any valid reason CW would want to hand over this hot property to the tenants??? I don't care how many tenants you can get lined up along the steps of City Hall."

STR,
isn't having a CLT similar to handing over the property? Not to tenants per se, but to another entity. Why would CW agree to this and not to conversion then? I honestly don't know the answer and thats why I ask.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I would never call you all leeches, and want the old-timers to stay to continue to keep this place stable and cross-generational. But the hateful attitude that comes from certain oldtimers, mostly in this group and the FB incarnations, towards anyone but yourselves is getting old and not very inspiring of unity. By calling in the "new stabilizers," I think Marsh is trying to unify us and undo some of the divisiveness that both CW foments, and that you guys similarly create.<<

Yes, Marsh is trying to unify us, but there are several key reasons why we are not unified and won't be, except in exceptional cases, which this may be. If you take the entire tenant body of ST/PCV, it has to be admitted right from the start that the students, unless they are politically/socially aware, don't give a damn about any of us or what happens in the long run to this complex. That's already a significant tenant body that's out of the unity business.

I'm glad that you feel that old-time tenants are not leeches, but that's not the attitude coming from a portion of the "new stabilizers." As for the attitude of the old-timers toward the new stabilizers--yes, some may bitch at them, but it's mostly in amusement. I've always been happy to see new families set up roots here and supported the protests held at the leasing office when the new stabilizers were hit with a mid-lease rent increase. Where were the new stabilizers during these protests? A handful, literally, may have turned up, but otherwise it was old-time tenants who stood there and passed out leaflets and spoke to prospective renters about conditions in ST/PCV.

Then there are other reasons why tenants are separated. You have the dog owning crowd vs. those who still have a hard time accepting the presence of dogs and dog poop and urine and noise. Then you have tenants upset at any noise, including that coming from children's playgrounds. And those who don't like the Ice Rink vs. those who do.

The list goes on.

Personally, I don't trust the entity that would be created if this place went condo. I think it would be only natural for those tenants who have not only spent a shit-load of money for their apartment, but who pay a high monthly maintenance fee to feel that long-term RS tenants are getting away "scot free" in what they offer financially to keep the complex going. Human nature rules.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR,
isn't having a CLT similar to handing over the property? Not to tenants per se, but to another entity. Why would CW agree to this and not to conversion then? I honestly don't know the answer and thats why I ask.<<

A CLT is run by a non-profit organization that would have, at least in theory, the interests of the tenants first. CW would never agree to a CLT, which is why the government would have to get involved. Undoubtedly, CW would fight this legally, but so what?

Anonymous said...

It's fine to disagree about ways of living our respective lives--the college students can be annoying, though I don't have the animosity that many here do. The dogs are generally great, even though we don't have one, but sometimes they smell or the owners don't clean up, but that's everywhere, here, Europe, suburbs. I love the farmers market, don't mind the ice rink, though I could see how some find it annoying.

It's more about spending time and page space to rant about these things. It's so not important compared to the real issues.

Anonymous said...

The real issues are the loose leases that we're all (STRESS WE WE WE ) now having.

the rent on my lease is somehow NOW not the amount I agreed to , but more. A lot more. MCI is bullshit as well as having a rent (not me, but same shit) raised in the middle of the lease year.

And we're all supposed to agree to this, live like this and this is stabilized housing??????