Comment Policy

All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved. NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Concert Noise - What to Do About It


From the TA website:

Stuyvesant Town Oval Concerts Agonize Many Tenants

The TA received angry complaints about the thunderous noise level from the concert in the Oval held Thursday, July 24. Most recently, as in the past, when the Tenants Association brought this issue to the attention of management, management countered that the concerts are a wanted amenity and enjoyed by many.

That is inconsistent with the complaints we received and which were posted online on several sites. Tenants have also complained about the decibel level of sound checks in the afternoon.

In their own Facebook post after the concert, in response to tenants with legitimate complaints, management dismissively said: "This is a once-a-year concert series we put on for our residents. The atmosphere yesterday was amazing, as everyone was smiling, laughing and enjoying their evening in their backyard."

The atmosphere in the hundreds of apartments facing the Oval, and even in many that don’t, was also amazing—but no one was laughing or smiling. It was unpleasant. Night workers who sleep during the day or evening couldn’t. Babies and small children couldn’t fall asleep. Our neighbors far from the Oval couldn’t hear their televisions, couldn’t eat dinner in peace.

The number of tenants seriously inconvenienced was far greater than those at the concert—which was not that well attended.

We need to convince management that the Oval is not The Great Lawn in Central Park. We need you to participate by registering a complaint by any of the following means:

● Call Resident Services at 212-420-5000. Use option #3 for Maintenance Requests.
● Provide feedback via management’s website: http://www.pcvstliving.com/contact choose, I am a resident, then choose the category, Recreation.
● Comment on management’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PCVST .
● Tweet a comment: hashtag #PCVSTLiving and #Stuytown.

In case we cannot persuade management to stop sponsoring concerts, call 311 to register a complaint, and remember to note your reference number for follow-up. If many people call, an NYC Department of Environmental Protection inspector will be sent to investigate the noise level.

If scores of tenants complain effectively, management will not be able to wave us off as they did the people who complained publicly on management’s Facebook page.

Council Member Dan Garodnick advises us that he too heard from residents who were upset and that he shared their concerns. In response, he sent a letter to management, along with State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh. The text of that letter appears below.

Via Electronic and U.S. Mail

July 25, 2014
Andrew MacArthur
Managing Director
CWCapital Asset Management
CW Financial Services LLC
810 Seventh Ave. 40th Floor
New York, NY 10019

Dear Mr. MacArthur:

We write to you to express our concern over the sound levels from this summer’s concerts in Stuyvesant Oval. Our offices received more complaints than usual, and wanted to make you aware that people complained from as far away as 272 First Avenue and 524 East 20th Street, despite their efforts to tune it out.

While none of us was physically present for the concerts, we felt that the complaints were significant enough for us to bring it to your attention. Further, it is also apparent that there is no way for a concerned resident to make a complaint by calling "resident services." On this, and on other issues, we would welcome a more user-friendly mechanism for residents to raise a concern with management.

We are of course aware that concerts for this year have just ended, and do not know yet whether you intend to bring them back. We ask that you or members of your staff sit with us and the Tenants Association in the coming year to discuss the timing and amplification of these performances so that we might mitigate these concerns.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Daniel R. Garodnick
Council Member
Brian Kavanagh
State Assembly Member
Brad Hoylman
State Senator
cc: John Marsh, President, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sound Familiar?

On the TA Facebook a link was posted to an article about a multi-millionaire landlord possibly using illegal tactics to get out his rent-stabilized tenants from apartments he wants to turn into market rate paying ones. The state attorney is investigating.

What I found of interest is one of the comments on that story:

Same thing is happening in my building. Landlord is converting studio apartments into 2 or 3 bedrooms & 2 bedroom apts. into 4 bedroom apartments. Quadrupling the rent & renting to Columbia students. This can't be legal & has to stop.
 "Same thing is happening in my building. Landlord is converting studio apartments into 2 or 3 bedrooms & 2 bedroom apts. into 4 bedroom apartments. Quadrupling the rent & renting to Columbia students. This can't be legal & has to stop."
Same thing is happening in my building. Landlord is converting studio apartments into 2 or 3 bedrooms & 2 bedroom apts. into 4 bedroom apartments. Quadrupling the rent & renting to Columbia students. This can't be legal & has to stop.
Same thing is happening in my building. Landlord is converting studio apartments into 2 or 3 bedrooms & 2 bedroom apts. into 4 bedroom apartments. Quadrupling the rent & renting to Columbia students. This can't be legal & has to stop.

Same thing is happening in my building. Landlord is converting studio apartments into 2 or 3 bedrooms & 2 bedroom apts. into 4 bedroom apartments. Quadrupling the rent & renting to Columbia students. This can't be legal & has to stop.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rain Dance

Play it today. And you know why.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yes, Another Post About Dogs

This week I had the experience of walking out of the M entrance of my building and passing by a young male tenant going in with a pit-bull mix, a breed not allowed in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The dog didn't have the blue ST/PCV tag on him (or her), either.

Is is just me or has there been a growing influx of banned breeds in our community? Some are being walked in from outside, some are here as the dogs of tenants, and of those, some have no ST/PCV tags while others, remarkably, have them, even though the dogs are banned in the complex!

It's been my experience that Public Safety is now completely ignoring the dog issue. I've seen banned dogs walked right into Peter Cooper, past the guard booth, with zero interference or comment from the Public Safety office inside. And, by now, I've seen dozens of banned dogs being walked around the Oval, right in front of that amazing, glowing new Public Safety office, with almost zero interference or comment from any Public Safety officer there or at the Oval guard booth. (Just once did I see a PS officer talk to such a dog walker, though I don't know what was the outcome. I guess not much because I saw the same dog walker still on the property at a later day.)

And talk about the balls of a male pit bull!  Here is a dog trainer who not only uses the grounds for his work (with banned breeds, among others), but who lives in Peter Cooper and runs his business out of there!


This is one of the photos he presents on his own Facebook.  In your face with your dog rules, ST/PCV!  But then again, perhaps he gets a special dispensation from the powers that be, who at this point, don't seem to care at all about banned breeds in the complex.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gerald Guterman to the Tenants of ST/PCV

Gerald Guterman made the following comment today on the blog in response to a query about what can be done to help the tenants of this community. I'm placing this response here also, front and center on the blog. If you wish to comment on this, please make your comment pertinent to the matter at hand. And no personal attacks, please, if you disagree. Thanks.

To the residents at STPCV:

It is painfully obvious, that the only way to achieve any sort of economic stability for the community or its residents, is to use the enormous, insurmountable, economic and political power of the 11,232 families currently living in the community. There is no private owner, mortgage lender or manager in New York, that can withstand the full force of a monetary, legal and political attack by the organized and combined economic might of the STPCV community.

I have stated before, that the changes necessary to bring about stability in the community as well as economic protection for it residents, will only happen when you, the residents, properly organize yourselves into one laser focused force and use that force, with very experienced legal representation who has a long history of landlord tenant success.

Additionally, there are several other large communities in New York, that are undergoing similar, if not identical problems with the same management company.

I would suggest that combining the power of these very large residential communities into a single negotiating force, will help to draw and maintain the attention of these insufferable, egotistical and know-it-all managers, who believe that enjoying a reasonable "quality of life", is restricted only to them and their families. These same managers, believe that their only responsible to STPCV, its residents and the resident's quality of life, is when a court rules that it is their responsible.

I have written before, that with strong enough economic force and laser focused litigation, this community can be stabilized and the quality of life made better for all of the residents.

The following matters must be concluded:

• The Roberts litigation must be re-settled,
• Prior MCI increases must be re-settled, with further increases moderated,
• conversion of STPCV apartments to dormitory housing must be immediately stopped and reversed,
• The Oval must be restored,
• all open spaces in the communities must be kept permanently open, without construction of any type or manner.
• Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper village must be combined into one distinct community,
• the STPCV community must be converted to "ownership" housing, with the purchase price to tenants in occupancy, not more than 60% of the market price for the same or similar apartments,
• Financing for all tenants in possession who purchase, loans must be pre-approved for 85% to 95% of the purchase price,
• All tenants who purchase their apartments, must be free to resell those apartments at the market price, beginning the earlier of one year after the sponsor has sold all the apartments or forty-eight months from the date of conversion,
• A capital reserve fund in the amount of: the lesser of 1% of the gross sales price of the residential units or $50million must be established for the community's use after conversion,
• A pre-arranged contract to sell the "un-sold" apartments to a non-profit organization with an agreement that specifies that said apartments will remain as rent stabilized, rental apartments for approximately twenty years must be accomplished.

Gerald Guterman

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

De Blasio and Other Politicians Meet at Garodnick's PCV Apartment

This could be very significant.  I do note, however, the line which states: "...keep rents low on some of the apartments..." [Italics mine.]  My impression from reading the article is that MR-paying tenants are going to be out of the loop on any plan for maintaining affordable housing in ST/PCV.  As for the apartments that are still affordable, let's hope all of them are secured for the future as affordable.

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/real-estate/2014/07/8549000/mayor-meets-stuy-town-tenant-leaders

UPDATE. More info here:

http://town-village.com/2014/07/16/de-blasio-meets-with-pols-tenants-association-on-the-affordability-of-stuy-town/

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Approximately 5,000 More People Live in ST/PCV Than Ten Years Ago

And our landlords admit it!

Here's what Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village's official website stated back in 2003. (Try not to laugh too hard at the sentence that follows, which I have not edited out due to comedic value.)

Today over 25,000 people call Peter Cooper Village/ Stuyvesant Town home, as countless others have done throughout the past 50 years. The values that built this complex - family, friends, cooperation and community pride - continue to make PCV/ST a unique and wonderful place to live. (Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20030207122650/http://pcvst.com/History.html)

 And now?

PCVST encompasses 110 buildings, 11,250 no-fee rental apartments, and is home to approximately 30,000 people.  (Source: http://www.pcvstliving.com/about-nyc-apartments .... Note: no mention of "the values that built this complex....")
   

Is this a story of partitions and the ever-growing student body in these apartments? 

Here is a photo that has been judged to picture 5,000 people:


Now, ask yourselves, if the landlord increases a property's population by 5,000, doesn't that take a toll on the infrastructure and the resources available? If it does, how is it possible that the landlord can request and get an MCI for replacing something that has outlived its "useful life" if the landlord, by his own policy of increasing the tenant base, has degraded such "useful life" more expeditiously than it would have been degraded otherwise?

The Complaint

Not sure if a link to this has been posted on pertinent Facebooks, but here's the complaint against CW (and others) from the property's Junior Lenders.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=UNTjtbjCpgs6qRmDRA36HQ==&system=prod

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Do you know what a ST/PCV apartment looks like?

Not sure if this is one.... the bottom photo....

Doesn't resemble my apartment exactly.  Beams are there, but the hallway is way too small.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Lawsuits Start

This was expected.... The bloody battle begins. Who will survive? Who will win?

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-03/cwcapital-wachovia-bank-are-sued-by-stuyvesant-lenders

CWCapital Asset Management and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US) were sued by lenders claiming they are being cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars in the takeover of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village development in Manhattan.

CW, which has managed the 11,000-unit apartment complex on bondholders’ behalf since 2010, took title to the property June 3 by exercising a deed in lieu of foreclosure. CW canceled an auction and indicated it will put the complex up for sale.

CW and Wachovia engaged in “a continuing pattern of misconduct designed to keep CW in control” of the property and “reap an unjust windfall” of $1 billion that should go to lower-level lenders who have received nothing, according to the complaint filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.


(Hat tip: Lo Rhent at STPC Tenants Facebook)

Outrage: The New Management Office

Okay, now I'm angry, really angry. I've just been reading on the TA Facebook page that residents around the construction of the new management office are being woken up at 6am due to work being started early in the morning on the building--sorry, "cellar extension." I don't live in the affected area, but I certainly feel for the tenants there, as I'm sure we all do. According to NYC noise codes, construction can only begin at 7am, unless there is a special authorization from the Dept of Buildings that authorizes otherwise. I know that management has received such authorization for work beyond 6pm, but I'm not aware of any authorization before 7am. I've also never heard of DoB authorizations allowing work so early in the morning in a residential area. Does anyone know if such a new authorization has been posted on the site? (I'm at work and can't go to the site myself.)

And look at this monster "cellar extension"!!!  (Photo from TA Facebook.)


I'm going to add more content here later, if I can, including a review of what CW/CompassRock promised about the noise and disturbances arising from this work (promises that I knew were bullshit), the TA and Garodnick's responses, etc.

Sorry I can't deal with this expeditiously, but I have to deal with work now.