Kavanagh, Garodnick, Maloney, and ST-PCV Attorney Address Tenant Concerns During Teleconference

December 18, 2009

On December 18, 2009, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, and Councilmember Dan Garodnick joined Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association (ST/PCV-TA) Vice President John Marsh as co-hosts of a J-51 teleconference, which was also sponsored by State Senator Tom Duane. Attorney Alex Schmidt, of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, the firm that has represented the ST/PCV tenants in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer and subsequent negotiations, also participated in the teleconference, the second such forum that ST/PCV-TA has organized.

The teleconference addressed the interim agreement reached with Tishman Speyer to adjust rents in each market-rate apartment affected by the recent Court of Appeals decision to an estimated rent-stabilized level for January and February 2010. The rent adjustment is to be reflected in the January invoices that were sent to residents in late December and early January. During the interim agreement, each previously market-rate tenant will also be afforded certain rights available under the Rent Stabilization Law, including the rights of renewal and succession.

Schmidt explained that counsel had also reached an agreement with Tishman Speyer and BlackRock on a more inclusive, six-month agreement covering a broader spectrum of unresolved issues. The longer agreement, which will hopefully achieve an expedited resolution to the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case, will require the consent of CW Capital, the special servicer acting on behalf of the property’s senior mortgage lenders.

The teleconference was structured to enable the elected officials, TA Vice President, and plaintiffs’ attorney to respond to tenants’ questions submitted both prior to and during the teleconference. Kavanagh addressed the issue of the extension of the Rent Stabilization Law beyond its 2011 expiration as well as the rights afforded by rent stabilization and other concerns. Other topics discussed included the future negotiations that will be needed to determine possible rent overcharges and class definitions as well as the status of the nation’s two largest mortgage finance lenders and senior investors in Tishman Speyer’s securitized mortgage for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A transcript of the teleconference should soon be available on the ST/PCV-TA website.