In preparation for the forthcoming meeting between tenants and Blackstone this Saturday, 1pm, at Baruch College, I will be listing questions that I feel need answering (though, truthfully, we can already suspect the answers or equivocations on a good number of them). This is a fluid list, so if you'd like to add to it, please do so in the comment section, whereupon I will place your questions here if they are pertinent. Also be aware that I will be away periodically from internet access and unable to monitor these comments immediately. But I will get to them eventually! Thanks.
1) The agreement secures a portion of the apartments here as "affordable housing" for the next twenty years. What happens after those 20 years?
2) Is there anything in the agreement that has tenants surrendering their normal RS rights at any time in the future?
3) Roberts case tenants will have a cap placed on their rent after 2020 at 5%. Is this 5% yearly? Is there any cap on rent for these tenants in the years before 2020?
4) Will MCIs continue to be requested on this property by Blackstone?
5) Will another entity replace CompassRock to run and maintain the property?
6) Will Blackstone use the possibility of STPCV's "air-rights" to sell to another entity in the city?
7) Will non-renovated apartments continue to get renovated once their tenants leave or die?
8) Will Blackstone continue to partition apartments with new walls to effectively add a new room to the existing room count?
9) Will Blackstone continue solicit a student population to rent here and market to this population?
10) How will Blackstone make sure that no more than three unrelated people occupy an apartment?
11) How will Blackstone make sure that the dog rules of STPCV are adhered to, particularly in regard to size and breed limits, which have been basically ignored by current management for years now.
12) How will Blackstone make sure that our walkways are properly cleaned and fixed?
13) Will Blackstone continue the practice of unwelcome "wake-up calls" from early morning construction, renovation, leaf-blowing?
14) Will tenants be able to read the full agreement, not just a summary?
15) Will tenants be able to find out just what the dynamics are of the tenant population here; ie, how many tenants live in non-renovated apartment, how many are "Roberts case" tenants, market-rate tenants, how many apartments are currently filled by students?
16) Will there be any additions to existing buildings?
17) Will there be any changes to the Oval area?
18) Will there be retail stores in the Oval area--for "residents and their guests" of course!
19) Will there be any checks that only "residents and their guests" are using the facilities and amenities of STPCV. (Currently there are no such checks at Oval Cafe or the Green Market.)
20) With the mandate to secure a portion of the units here as "affordable," how does Blackstone and its Canadian partner envision achieving a healthy profit from the property after acquiring it for 5.3 billion dollars?
21) Does Blackstone see itself as selling the property within the next 50 years? In other words, how long range is Blackstone's commitment to STPCV?
22) After 20 years, will Blackstone have the freedom to level the current buildings here and build a new complex of high-valued high rises?
23) Will the lottery for new "affordable" housing include current residents or will it be open only to potential new renters?
24) If the lottery is for current residents also, will the winners have to move out of their current apartment to one that is selected by Blackstone?
25) When did the TA know that this deal was in the works and that tenant ownership was a dead issue? When did our councilman, Dan Garodnick, know?
26) Will Blackstone still retain a dog-friendly policy to new renters?
27) Will MR tenants be bearing the burden of higher-than-normal rent
increases to make up for gaps caused by more rent-protected units?
28) Associated Supermarket on 14th Street has been a vital presence in this community, offering affordable goods to our population, some of whom are on fixed incomes. Will Blackstone offer a reasonable lease-renewal to Associated or drive them out for a more deluxe entity with deluxe prices to match?
29) (To the TA/Garodnick) How did we get to this point with a deal to another huge corporation like Blackstone?
30) (To the TA/Garodnick) Why did the effort to convert die without even so much as a whimper?
There are upwards of 30,000 people in this complex that they sold this
idea to. Did they think we'd just forget?
31) How did there get to be a buyer without tenants being given serious
consideration as a buyer? Why would CW Capital prefer one buyer over another if they
both could potentially have the financing?
32) Assuming that apartment renovations and MCIs continue, will the new tenants in "affordable" units have an unpleasant surprise after 20 years with a rent that will be adjusted to reflect the renovations and MCIs and that will go far beyond the previouis $3,200 cap for these apartments?
33) Will there ever be a time when STPCV will be free from construction, renovation and the disruption and noise from these? A time when residents can finally live in peace?
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.