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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.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Public Safety Can't or Won't Enforce the Dog Rules

There's a current discussion on the TA's Facebook about the dog rules in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The comments are all correct. The bottom line is that Public Safety can't or won't enforce the dog rules. Everyone who is awake in this community knows this. Either PS has been told by management to turn a blind eye to:

1) Dogs over the weight limit
2) Dogs that are banned in ST/PCV
3) Dogs that have no proper ID tags (in most cases, dogs coming in from outside with their owners)
4) The number of dogs a tenant is allowed

...or PS just doesn't have the manpower to clamp down on the many infractions of the dog rules I see here continually.

About the only time I see a Public Safety officer approach a dog owner is when that dog is in the Oval Fountain area--if there is a Public Safety officer around and if he's not looking at his cellphone in the nearby guard booth.

Just recently I've seen a dog sniffing around in the no-dog area where the Greenmarket is held and a Public Safety officer was standing not far away, looking, but did nothing. And forget about the Security booth at the 1st Ave entrance to Peter Cooper Village. The PS guys inside see, or should see, dogs being brought in from outside and they do nothing.

So what's the deal, Chief?

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Deal is Done: City Council Approves 63-story Skyscaper near Grand Central


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/council-approves-63-story-skyscraper-grand-central-article-1.2237986

Two great comments on that page:

"I guess the idea of constructing affordable housing for regular hard working people is but a lost dream now."

"I miss the old NY so much, this town is as plastic and corny as it gets.  No more character or culture or soul left.  Everything looks the same, major chain stores dominate the landscape, no more mom and pop shops where you can go in and have a conversation with the old man behind the counter.  More high rise 'glitzy' ugly sky scrapers being built for wall street types and trust fund babies.  My friend from Portland came to town last month, he hasn't been here since 1999, he was here for 2 days, he calls me and says 'what the hell happen to this place?'  When somebody from Portland says your city is dull and boring, something is wrong."

And:

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/05/27/sl-greens-one-vanderbilt-gets-council-approval/

The money quote, italics mine:

"The Council also approved a rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor, a five-block stretch in the area of the tower. The rezoning is intended to spur commercial development and will make it easier for landmarks to transfer unused development rights. It is seen as the first step toward a potential rezoning of the entire East Midtown neighborhood."

Congratulations, Dan!


I guess the idea of constructing affordable housing for regular hard working people is but a lost dream now.
I guess the idea of constructing affordable housing for regular hard working people is but a lost dream now.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Onslaught of 4 and 5 Star Yelp Ratings Continue



Check out the recent reviews on Yelp. You will find that even people who have complaints are giving 4 stars! Gotta get those Community Rewards prizes!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/peter-cooper-village-stuyvesant-town-new-york

Here's what Yelp says about a company asking for reviews (click on graphic to make bigger):


Yelp on attempts to mislead the consumer:

http://officialblog.yelp.com/2014/05/attempts-to-mislead-consumers-not-on-our-watch.html

Note: "For example, some businesses try to bias reviews in their favor by incentivizing people to write positive reviews."

What to do if you think a review has been solicited:

http://www.yelp-support.com/article/Can-I-report-a-review-if-I-think-someone-paid-to-have-it-posted?l=en_US

More on flagging a review you think has been solicited:

http://www.yelp-support.com/article/How-do-I-flag-a-review?l=en_US

Friday, May 22, 2015

CW Capital/CompassRock Hires Company That Illegally Disposed of Toxic Equipment To Handle Asbestos Removal in Stuy Town

This appeared on the TA's Facebook page from a member:


The asbestos removal company in charge: PAL Environmental Safety Corp, which found itself in the news about eight years ago:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/daily-news-probe-finds-wtc-contractors-mob-ties-fraud-article-1.244416

 There will be outside monitoring by Hillman Consulting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Busted? CWCapital Using "Community Rewards" to Get Residents (and Others) To Spread the Message on Social Media, including Yelp



And CW/CompassRock is being very open about it. On May 15, they promoted on their StuyTown Facebook the "Community Rewards game," which offers prizes for generating points. Spreading the word on social media generates points....


"Community Rewards" is set up by a Texas company called Modern Message. Here are some of the perks Modern Message offers companies that set up an account with them (click on graphic to make larger):


As you see, Yelp is listed.

Also note when CW/CompassRock posted their Facebook message about Community Rewards: May 15. On May 16, a wave of positive reviews started being posted on Yelp.

Hmm... "Negative reviews slowing you down?"....


I wonder how Yelp will feel about their reviews being part of a "rewards" program that offers prizes as an incentive?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yelp Shenanigans: Is Management, or the Brokers Who Work for It, Paying for Good Reviews?



I know a few things about Yelp, and so I smell a rat. Big time.

For those who don't know, Yelp is a place where members can review restaurants, bookstores, services--and apartment complexes like Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. The Yelp page for ST/PCV has traditionally shown an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, so much so that it must be an embarrassment for CWCapital and CompassRock. As many people check Yelp, these negative reviews are sure to dampen the interest of prospective renters.

A few months ago, banners around Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper invited residents to go on Yelp, in the hope that the page would get positive reviews. Well, that didn't happen.

So now a different tactic is being used. If you check recent reviews, you will see that a number of them are four or five star reviews, something that's never happened in a brief span of time--like two days (May 16-May 17)! Also check where some of these reviews are coming from: Astoria, Brooklyn!!!

Given my knowledge of the Yelp world, I can figure out what is probably happening.

While it may be that individuals related to management or management itself is posting these, I suspect the use of a special service (several like these exist) that use Yelpers on their payroll to post positive reviews for companies that are struggling with negative ones. I work for a company that was once contacted by one of these companies, and they promise to up your positives without the posts being bounced by Yelp.

Reviews such as:

"Stuy Town is a great place to visit. I have many friends who live there and I have heard nothing but positive reviews. The park is always clean and the apartments are updated and spacious. Definitely a great bang for the buck!!"

Or:

"Absolutely love it here! Spacious renovated apartments. Clean, green and quite oasis in the heart of east village. Great fast maintenances service."

Or:

"Love the community vibe! PCVST is a clean, well kept community where people of all ages can live together peacefully and happily. I'd stay here forever if I could!"

Or:

"It's a great community here. Wish it was a bit cheaper, but I guess you pay for the extras that you get. The grounds are kept very clean and there are a lot of events each month including movies, fitness classes and a farmers market. If I had kids, this would be these place to live- a lot of cute playgrounds and a lot of kids live here."

... are give-aways that the reviewers are not that familiar with the complex or are purposefully misleading. (ALL were posted on the same day, too!)

Again, the source of these outrageously positive reviews does not have to be management itself. It could be the brokers. But I believe that there is a concerted push by someone or some entity to start getting positive reviews onto Yelp to balance out the negative ones and ultimately overwhelm them. (The only way you can comment on these ridiculous reviews is to click on "funny" under the review.)

One more thing about Yelp. As you may notice there is a link to post photos on the upper right side. While the vast majority of photos are from management, several have gotten through from tenants. It's obvious which ones these are. So you are always welcome to post photos there, if your reviews do not make it.

This About Says It All For Newer Tenants

If you are a relatively new tenant (meaning you don't have a real rent-stabilized apartment, but are at the mercy of what happened after the Roberts decision), then you are probably aware by now of the difference between your real, base rent and your preferential rent. Upon lease-renewal the landlord has the ability to raise your rent up to your real rent, and there's nothing you can do about it. So it can be an extra $200, $400 or more, per month, which can force out people who are living here at the edge of financial stability. Tenants have been able to have a portion of these rents raises softened by management, but I've no idea by much, if, for certain tenants, at all.

Apparently, it was not enough for this tenant and her family, who posted on the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Tenants Facebook page that's not run by the TA a simple message that says it all:

"We decided to not fight our lease renewal. Its just not worth it for the quality of living. We are moving to Bergen County NJ. Could anyone recommend a good moving company? Thanks a lot."

So families who wish to live here in this complex, and who currently do, have to make these type of decisions upon lease renewal time.

ST/PCV: Less families, more students.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thank you, Dan!


And City Council members....

Up, up, up and away we go!

http://nypost.com/2015/05/03/save-central-park-from-the-attack-of-the-monster-buildings/

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/12/new-york-toronto-san-francisco-skyscrapers-shadows

Rally at Foley Square Today, Thursday the 14th, 5PM

Stuy Town Resident Rachel Jacobs



I'm sure we all send our sympathies and condolences to the Jacobs' family on their loss of Rachel in the Amtrak train disaster that occurred on Tuesday. I didn't know Rachel personally, but I certainly may have seen her walking in the complex and enjoying times with her family. Such a tragedy.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rachel-jacobs-7-dead-amtrak-train-derailment-article-1.2221247

Rent Laws Expiring June 15

New York's rent laws are set to expire June 15. While I would be shocked to see no renewal (a real revolution would follow if so), I do think it is important to keep pressure on our legislators and press for more tenant protections and a reversal of some of the perks landlords get, like MCIs in perpituity.

To this end I do support the TA's request to send letters to Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie and Assemblyman Kavanagh, which can be printed at this link. Better yet, you can write your own letters to these gentlemen, both snail mail and email.

There is also this petition to Governor Cuomo and NY State legislators, set up by Kavanagh, which just needs 500 signatures but is only about half way there.

I know many residents are jaded in these kind of endeavors (as I am), but we need to keep up the fight, even if we don't feel politicians are responding to us, aside from their expected platitudes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New TA?

The following is a comment made in a recent thread. I'm uploading it on this main page for interested parties. I don't know this person, by the way, but am certainly willing to give attention to the project.

Ok, so obviously the time has come for a change. I am willing to help with that. I am a 35 year old male that has lived in PCVST for 35 years. My family has lived here since the complex opened. I work for the US Government in a real estate role, so I don't have any ties to DG or anything the REBNY says.

I am not looking for anything from this blog... just support. I used to work for PCVST, so I know my fair deal around the situations that are upcoming based on my experience. I have set up an email for our new TA. Please email me at pcvstta@gmail.com if you have an interest.

Riverton's Residents Succeed Against CWCapital and CompassRock

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/keith-wright-calls-nyc-rent-regulation-fight-personal-article-1.2219977

Wright and hundreds of rent-stabilized residents at Harlem’s Riverton complex won an extraordinary — and barely noticed — victory in a lawsuit they filed against CWCapitalAsset Management, owner of the 1,232-unit complex, and CompassRock, its management agent.

More at the above link.

Question: Why is there barely any news about this "extraordinary" victory?

2nd Question: And our councilman Dan Garodnick and our TA are inspired by this victory to do what?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

No Surprise: Garodnick Votes For 63-story Vanderbilt Tower; Zoning To Be Changed



I knew this would happen. Dan shows his true colors:

A key city pol threw his support behind plans for a glitzy 63-story skyscraper next to Grand Central — all but guaranteeing approval for the massive tower.

Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan) and developer SL Green said they’ve reached a deal for the modern office building dubbed One Vanderbilt under which the developer will kick in $220 million for transit improvements at Grand Central.

“East Midtown is back. For too long this area has been stuck. It is still an important commercial center, but zoning rules have kept much from happening,” Garodnick said.

The Council zoning subcommittee voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the tower and zoning changes that could allow other buildings up to the same size along Vanderbilt Avenue from E. 42nd to E. 47th Street, though developers will have to get approved for a special permit for each one.


More at this link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/vanderbilt-zoning-premilimanarily-approved-article-1.2211178

That's it. Watch the super towers being built all over Midtown east. More disruption, more congestion, more mega chain stores, more rent to be paid--and more money for big real estate and more donations to our politicians. Less air, less sun, less mom & pop stores, less affordable housing, less feeling like a human being.

But, perhaps, we'll get a mini-park with a waterfall wedged in somewhere.

Dan's friends at the REBNY must be very pleased.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Same Old, Same Old: The Filthy Peter Cooper Village

It used to be that Peter Cooper Village was considered the deluxe "neighborhood" of the ST/PCV complex. But that was back in the old days. Nowadays, it is a filthy, dog piss and crap strewn area, with cracked sidewalks and roadways. It looks like a pigsty, as these photos, taken this morning prove:







Amazingly, people still can't comprehend that this place is, at its core, projects for white people (and a growing body of Asian students). For this, the "new stabilizers" are paying $5K plus for their apartments? You're being gypped!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Outrageous Possiblity of MCI Charges for New Intercoms

David Sorise, ST/PCV General Manager and CompassRock University Graduate

In this week's Town & Village newspaper, in an interview with ST/PCV general manager David Sorise, T&V's Sabina Mollot indicated the possibility of a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) for the installation of a new intercom system to replace the new intercom system we acquired under Tishman Speyer. "Since it's a capital project that does mean it could be applicable for a major capital improvement (MCI) increase," wrote Mollot. It's not clear whether Mollot spoke to Sorise directly on this issue.

Though some tenants have bitched about the TS intercom system, if it is not working properly why should tenants pay for an upgrade? Shouldn't the onus be on Tishman Speyer who installed supposedly crappy intercoms?

If a MCI possibility exists (and some MCI rules would have to be bended to make it a reality), this would be a scam, pure and simple, and should be fought by tenants and, obviously, the TA.

The interview also raises a red flag over other possible MCIs for other "improvements," though it doesn't address their possibility. But hallways will be fitted with a motion-activated "dimming feature" and stairways with LED lights. That "dimming feature" will undoubtedly cause problems, I predict.

Meanwhile, tenants should feel secure to know that David Sorise is a graduate of CompassRock University, the "university" that's housed in a former cigar factory in Tampa, Florida. Or he teaches there...or runs the place...or accredits ST/PCV building managers in the fine art of running residential properties...