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.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Associated Open Letter to its Customers

Flyers with the information below are located at the 14th Street Associated Supermarket. I've copied all the info. It is vital that the Small Business Jobs Survival Act gets passed. As you will read, Dan Gardonick, our councilman, has so far refused to support this legislation, which not only affects Associated, but the remaining Mom & Pop stores in the city. Though our Tenants Association took a welcome proactive part in supporting Associated, it has likewise not taken a decisive step to publicly support this legislation, priding itself, instead, on getting, with Garodnick, a "promise" from our future landlord that some type of affordable supermarket may replace Associated.

Dear Customer:

We need your help to survive in business. Even though we are willing to pay a reasonable rent increase and our customers want us to stay in business, our landlord refuses to give us a new lease.

In NYC residential tenants have rights and protection when their leases expire; unfortunately for us and other business owners there are no rights to renewal for commercial tenants when our leases expire. For every business owner, their future and the future of their employees is solely in the hands of the landlord. With long established small businesses being forced to close in record numbers due to exorbitant rent increases or landlords refusing to negotiate with them, the majority of progressive Council Members sponsored a bill, The Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), which gives rights to business owners to negotiate fair leases and survive. Every Manhattan Council Member, except one, is a strong sponsor of the SBJSA and committed to stopping the closing of small businesses. The Council Member who refuses to support any legislation to give small business owners rights is CM Dan Garodnick. While CM Garodnick claims he is concerned about The Associated closing, the only action he has taken is reaching out to the landlord who "promised" him that in the future, another supermarket will be at this location.

This is not what the public wants, empty pledges from landlords. Instead of investing energy in making deals and promises with landlords, CM Garodnick could easily join the Manhattan delegation by adding his name to the SBJSA that would literally save The Associated, and every other local Mom & Pop in NYC. Please contact CM Garodnick and demand he sponsor the SBJSA, a bill that will save your supermarket, and demand he ask Speaker Mark-Viverito to hold a Public Hearing and vote on this vital bill. The very few remaining small business owners in CM Garodnick's distrcit who are struggling to survive and are at the mercy of greedly landlords deserve and are entitled to a full vote by the City Council.

E-Mail: dgarodnick@council.nyc.gov
Call: 212-818-0580


Leaf-blowers out in Full Force on Thanksgiving Weekend


Dear Residents,

We hope you are having a pleasant and peaceful Thanksgiving Weekend with your friends and/or family.

Happy Thanksgiving from CWCapital and CompassRock!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Yorkers for a Human-Scale City

http://www.humanscale.nyc/

Whereas:

1) We are angered when developers seize our commonly shared light, air, gardens, and iconic views for private consumption.

2) We are aggrieved when we see developers plunder our historic neighborhoods and bury them in a sea of glass, all for luxury housing that destroys more affordable apartments than they create.

3) We are dismayed that small businesses are being hounded out of their premises by an army of banks and chain stores.

4) Many parts of our city are already too dense such that the public infrastructure in those places cannot support more people without a decline in the quality of life, destruction of historic fabric, and deterioration of the urban experience that makes New York so great.

5) Economic growth and affordable housing are indisputably compatible with both a human-scaled city and the preservation of our historic neighborhoods and architecture.

We conclude that reform must take place or the unique character of New York City will be lost forever.


More at the above link, including a link to sign a petition.

I wonder if our councilman Dan Garodnick will sign this petition?

There's also a long list of sponsor organizations. Perhaps the TA can be induced to join this effort???

(If your organization would like to be a co-sponsor, please email coordinator@humanscale.nyc)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

After 20 years "the entire Stuy Town-Peter Cooper complex can be converted into market-rate apartments, or for any other purpose at the joint venture's discretion."

A lot to read here and think over, including conflicts of interest by some important parties:

http://www.progressqueens.com/news/2015/11/7/officials-with-conflicts-of-interest-in-the-blackstone-ivanhoe-purchase-of-stuyvesant-town-peter-cooper-village

Basically, after reading this, you will realize that, long-term, it's over for affordable housing in ST/PCV. The impetus behind creating ST/PCV ("that families of moderate means might live in health, comfort and dignity in park-like communities"), the goal that was met for decades, officially expired with the "deal" with Blackstone. Everyone lied to us while they went about their business.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Congratulations, New York!

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/nyregion/half-of-new-yorkers-say-they-are-barely-or-not-getting-by-poll-shows.html?_r=0

"51 percent of New Yorkers said they were either just getting by or finding it difficult to do so."

I wonder how many live in our community?

Monday, November 16, 2015

TA Board of Directors Had a Meeting With Blackstone

It happened Thursday, November 12. Of course, tenants didn't know about it until after the fact, but whatever.

http://www.stpcvta.org/post/blackstone-and-ta-leaders-discuss-resident-concerns-in-a-meeting-held-novem

One issue appeared solved:

"One current issue raised by board members was addressed: Blackstone confirmed a commitment to keeping an affordable supermarket in the 14th Street space, even if the tenant is not Associated."

I wonder why not a commitment to keep Associated?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Former TA President Welcomes an MCI for A/C Configuration Upgrade

Former president of the Tenants Association, John Marsh, posted on the TA Facebook: "I would happily pay and [sic] MCI to have my a/c's relocated to below my window. I would pay because I value light and the ability to open more windows in the fall."

Thankfully, admin "Peter Stuyvesant" replied: "There are many people here who can't afford another MCI, and the A/C through the wall MCI would be huge, especially if it's done in every room that can accommodate an A/C. The TA, as you well know, has fought every MCI large and small, and the community has been behind that. Be careful what you wish for."

Also of concern is the issue of forcing tenants to have this upgrade (placing A/C units in the wall below a window). I don't think this is in works from the landlord, but who knows? So far this upgrade has only been done to an apartment whose tenant has vacated and in preparation for a new tenant. (I'm not sure if a tenant can request such an upgrade, but it's possible.)

This reminds me that in the Spring or early Summer, I saw a couple of young people studying the exterior of buildings and jotting things down on pads. Were they investigating how many A/C units there were? Obviously, management knows how may apartments have A/C, but perhaps this was a study to verify the number. Of course, this activity could have been completely unrelated. I just thought it strange.

Friday, November 13, 2015


"The Oval is a Great Resource"


The suits arrived this morning. Lots of laughter amid the talk. The suits stopped at the Oval and one was overhead saying, as he gestured about: "The Oval is a great resource."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Temporary Housing While Owner Renovates or Repairs Tenants' Units

Apparently this is part of the deal between the city and Blackstone.  Page 6:

http://therealdeal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Blackstone-Stuy-Town-Agreement.pdf

"...nothing herein shall prohibit Purchaser from using units at the Property to temporarily house tenants while such tenants' units are being renovated or repaired."

Now for this to make complete sense, it would mean that the tenant would already have to be an existing tenant. I don't know of a case where a repair would necessitate the removal of a tenant (unless something like a flooding disaster or fire occurs), so I'm zeroing in on the "renovated" aspect. So the agreement allows temporary housing, but also, by inference, allows the renovation of apartments either not renovated or not fully renovated (such as the installation of an AC unit in a wall). I'm not that concerned about the AC aspect (which shouldn't necessitate a tenant's temporary removal from the tenant's apartment), but what concerns me is the temporary removal of a tenant from a non-renovated apartment, one that is fully under rent stabilization, pre-Roberts, so that the Purchaser (Blackstone) can renovate the apartment, thereby dramatically increasing the unit's "base rent." (Rent for the current tenant would still have to be within RS guidelines, of course). This renovation could also include the merging of apartments that would provide extra space for tenants who wish to significantly enlarge their current apartments. (More noise! More dust and debris!) Unless the tenant's temporary removal is voluntary from the tenant's perspective (yes, a tenant may wish to "upgrade" and pay more!), in no way can a forced temporary removal be acceptable!

I AM NOT STATING THAT THIS WILL OR COULD HAPPEN, BUT THAT THERE MUST BE SOMETHING IN WRITING STATING THAT IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

Opinions?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Met Life's Memo for Prospective Buyers of STPCV

http://therealdeal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Stuy-Town-offering-book.pdf

And remember, this was back years ago, before Tishman-Speyer bought the property! Matters have progressed far more to tenants' detriment.

"We believe ongoing deregulation will continue to allow new ownership to fully leverage the unparalleled competitive advantages of the Complex and take advantage of the soaring rental market."

"Over $320 million in capital improvements and apartment renovations since 2002 have reinvigorated and refined the image of the Complex."

"New ownership has infinite opportunities to personalize, improve and transform the Complex into the city's most prominent market rate master community." (Emphasis mine.)

"Building upon the Complex's unmatched name recognition, the PCV/ST 'brand' is being gradually transformed into Manhattan's most desirable market rate master community. The City's dramatically appreciating residential rental market is aiding in this transition, as is the comprehensive capital improvement plan undertaken by current ownership. New owners will have the unique opportunity to put their personal stamp on the City's largest and most famous apartment complex, utilizing a variety of creative strategies to maximize investment returns."
(Emphasis mine.)

After you read this, you will understand that the downfall of STPCV started with Met Life. Tishman-Speyer just picked up the ball and ran with it big time.

This will make it plain that NO ONE who purchases this property is interested in long-term rent affordability for people of moderate means.

Petition to Support Saving Associated as Our Neighborhood Supermarket

If you shop at Associated on 14th Street and wish it to survive, please make sure to sign the petition at Associated. There's also an online petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/blackstone-group-tell-blackstone-we-need-to-save-our-associated-supermarket?recruiter=422425722&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink


If Associated disappears, residents who live nearby will not have an affordable supermarket ever!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Murky practice" of Stuy Town's "Flex Rentals"




We've been howling about this for some time:

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/11/05/flex-apartments-boosting-stuy-towns-growing-bottom-line-trd-analysis/

WHY, WHY, WHY have the TA and our Councilman Dan Garodnick not taken a serious look at what is going on with these "flex" apartments and the DOB filings of "no change" in use or occupancy???

A potential massive scandal may be looking us straight in the face, and the politicians and our TA do NOTHING

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Undoubtedly the worst landlord we have seen, but CW doesn't care: It made out GREAT!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/stuyvesant-town-how-one-firm-is-reaping-a-windfall-where-investors-lost-billions-1446546780

This is all that really matters to these folks. As the saying goes, they are laughing all the way to the bank.The TA and our man Dan were absent from aggressively combating what was, and still is, going on here.

Will things be different, now that Blackstone is coming up?