Streams

Rally to Save Stuyvesant Town's Cheap Apts

Friday, June 13, 2014

WNYC

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village tenants, along with a slew of elected officials and affordable housing advocates, are rallying in front of City Hall on Friday to demand protection for thousands of affordable housing apartments if the massive complex is sold.

"We’ve seen property change hands once, and it was a very big mess for tenants," said City Council member Dan Garodnick, who lives in the complex.

The approximately 11,000 unit complex sold in 2006 to Tishman Speyer and Blackrock for $5.4 billion. "The owner took out so much debt, that the business plan was designed to raise rents as fast as possible. How? By getting rent-stabilized tenants out," said Garodnick.

But the owners defaulted when the market crashed.

But another new owner, CWCapital Asset Management, which managed the debt, took title to the property last week. At first, it announced it would foreclose on the debt, which would have allowed the property to be resold, perhaps at a frantic pace. Which means the affordable housing would have been at risk.

But the city worked hard to avoid that scenario, said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.

She also worried that the foreclosure process wouldn't seem transparent.

The de Blasio Administration has a goal to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. So it's important to the city to save the approximately 6,000 affordable units left at the complex.

One route to that end game would be to structure a deal that would allow the owner to receive, in this case, a tax exemption for the sections of the property subject to affordable housing restrictions; in return, the owner would be required to keep those units restricted and affordable for about 40 years.

But the deal could take longer than the city hopes.

"To think this is going to happen next week or the week after is pretty aggressive," said Manus Clancy of real estate data and analytics firm Trepp LLC. He expects a new buyer won't emerge until the end of this year or the beginning of 2015.

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Comments [3]

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

First of all neither rent control or stabilization is subsidized. If anything rent is being subsidized, it's mostly public housing. Many of those living in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village will have no other places to live considering their income, and places with rents like this are all they can get. Also, it will be very convenient to have them live close to their work so that they won't have to make such long commutes, and I know that many of you who are higher up won't be the ones taking low level jobs. The real reason why the rents can't be raised is mainly because whoever owns this can either do this or get a tax break, but they can't have it both ways, so Tishman Spreyer goes with the tax breaks. Not every space in Manhattan has to be a playground for the rich. I just don't see what's wrong with diversity of incomes living there, but I guess to some, it really is an issue to them.

Jun. 13 2014 08:13 PM
Libby Bassett

I take issue with the headline calling ST rent-stabilized apartments "cheap." We've lived here 30 years and over that time our rent has tripled into the thousands. Our rent would get us a good-sized house almost anywhere else in America.

Jun. 13 2014 03:54 PM

Those so called "affordable units" have been off the market for decades.
As anyone who had attempted to get an apartment in the complex can attest.
Why should we use Public Money to prop up a selected group of entrenched people?

Jun. 13 2014 10:07 AM

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