Kavanagh Speaks to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Residents at Jam-Packed Tenant Association Meeting
March 13, 2010
On March 13th, over 1,100 residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village packed Baruch College’s Mason Hall for a Tenant Association (TA) meeting. The resounding theme of the meeting was unity, as numerous speakers emphasized the importance of solidarity in the tenants’ pursuit to gain a seat at the table regarding the apartment complex’s new ownership. Residents were invited to sign a non-binding “Unity Pledge” requesting the Tenant Association and its advisors to research options for purchasing the property and to negotiate in the restructuring of the complex. The elected officials present at the meeting had signed a similar pledge-which was included in the package given to attendees–to support the residents. Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh spoke about various housing bills the he and Senator Tom Duane are working on in the State Assembly and Senate, and highlighted strides that he and Senator Duane had made in researching future legislation that could remedy issues regarding the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer decision and facilitate any potential tenant bid in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village or a similar community. He then introduced the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and investment banking firm Moelis & Company. Both firms are new additions and will serve to advise the tenants as the complex moves toward restructuring and new ownership. The Association had only hired Moelis a day before the meeting, but the investment firm came prepared to answer the audience’s questions about a potential tenant-sponsored restructuring plan. The meeting also reintroduced a familiar face: Adam Rose, of Rose Associates, which managed the complex on behalf of Met Life before Tishman Speyer became landlord and owner. Rose has been retained to provide services during the transition to a new owner. Councilmember Dan Garodnick described the Tenant Association meeting as a first job interview for Rose Associates, and Mr. Rose expressed an intention to stay on as management under a new owner. Also addressing the audience were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who discussed federal legislation regarding Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac; Borough President Scott Stringer; attorney Alex Schmidt, discussing the implications of the lawsuit that halted Tishman Speyer’s unlawful use of J-51 federal tax breaks to remove apartments from rent-stabilization status; and Rafael Cestero, Commissioner of the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, who talked about the department’s role as a watchdog over maintenance spending and answered some tough questions about Mayor Bloomberg’s role. Please visit the TA website to view the pledge and frequently asked questions from the meeting; and join the unity movement by finding a TA volunteer or elected official at pledge drive events in the Oval and around the complex’s grounds on April 17th, 24th, and May 1st from 10am to 2pm.