The default of Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty, the owners of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, on a $16 million mortgage payment back on January 8th has now given way to the more momentous news that these landlords will relinquish the entire property to their creditors.
On this day of foreboding dark clouds and harsh winds, I want to assure residents and broader community that my colleagues in government and I stand firmly united with this community and remain vigilant in protecting the rights and wellbeing of all who live in the 11,000 apartments affected by this event.
The rights of tenants under State law will not change as a result of this or any future change in ownership. I call on the creditors who are now taking ownership to work with me and the other elected officials representing the residents and with the residents themselves, their great Tenants Association, and their attorneys to plan for the future of this community. Anyone who would take ownership of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village must not replicate the mistakes of their predecessors, who sought profits that were to be based on aggressively eliminating affordability and displacing long-term tenants in ways that were contrary to the spirit – and often the letter – of State law. And during any transitions that will take place, the owners must ensure continuity in maintenance, security, and proper operation of the property.
There was a time when Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were pervaded by a sense of stability and security throughout the community – when individuals and families could live here without fearing that an extraordinarily aggressive landlord would eventually succeed in its relentless efforts to push them and their neighbors out of the community. We’ve been through a lot in the past few years in this community, and there’s still a long road, over uncertain terrain, ahead of us. But it is my sincere hope that we will reach a place of relative peace, stability, and long-term affordability for residents of this community in the not too distant future – and we may some day look back upon today’s events as a step forward.