Letters to the editor, Mar. 8

Guterman right about concern over walls

Dear Sir,
I was pleased to see in the T&V issue of February 16 the article about Mr. Guterman, who also hopes to buy the complexes, bringing up his concerns about the strain and danger that the pressurized walls and overcrowding of apartments are bringing to the buildings. Lest we forget, ST was built 65 years ago, hardly maintained over the years as those of us living there know, and with no notion that the buildings would end up as human warehouses, sheltering up to four adults in one-bedroom apartments as the case has been since Tishman had the idea to put up the pressurize walls and bring in students.

Quite correctly Mr. Guterman brings up both quality of life and security issues due to sub-dividing the apartments among double or triple the number of adults tenants than was supposed to be originally. Living in a building where we had a real fire on December 10 and had to evacuate, I can say that his concerns are well grounded. Luckily the fire, one that required several firefighters coming up to the 5th floor to extinguish, was at around 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon when many people were out.

However, those of us in the building, once we realized what was happening (I live one floor behind the fire) had to quickly evacuate down stairwell B that had no smoke. What would it have been like if the fire had happened in the middle of the night, with most of us at home, with one set of stairs (A) out of bounds due to smoke and we all had to evacuate through stairwell B? Would space, calculated for a certain number of residents based on the size and occupancy of the apartments, have accommodated double if not triple the number of people rushing out?

We need to get the politicians and authorities on board to stop this indiscriminate warehousing of people in spaces meant for half the number of residents. Where is Brookfield, the TA’s chosen partner for conversion in all this? Don’t they see the dangers and illegality of the pressurized walls and manifold increase in tenants as Guterman does? Don’t they and the TA realize that many of us who could easily afford to buy in case of conversion would never sink our savings into dormitory style living? What normal person over 30 would invest their life savings in student dorms?

Anna Theofilopoulou, ST Continue reading

Tenants Association holds another ‘house’ meeting

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday night, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association held another “house” meeting on its proposed conversion plans, at the home of a woman in Stuyvesant Town.

The meeting was publicized only by the host herself, Ana Lombardo, and a couple of TA volunteers in her building by fliers and word of mouth, in an effort to keep the event small enough (between 10-20 people) to take place in her apartment.

Lombardo later relayed the events of the evening to Town & Village, explaining that many of the questions asked had been heard before at meetings. Naturally, everyone wanted to how much apartments would cost (no answer’s been given yet), but a couple of other questions hadn’t yet been brought up.

One question — which the two TA reps and a P.R. rep for the association who were present — weren’t able to answer, was: Who would get dibs on apartments if residents had requests to size up from one-bedrooms to larger units? Lombardo, whose boyfriend is a teacher and has “a million books,” said that was one of her own concerns and a concern of other couples who were present.

“Would it be someone who’s been here the longest or someone who’s been here a year?” she said. “That hasn’t been decided yet.” Continue reading