Stuy Town to end ZogSports events

On Wednesday, Stuyvesant Town’s management told Town & Village that the company ZogSports, which had been holding events in playgrounds that at least in one instance shut out residents, would no longer be doing so.
The company was cut loose from the property following a flurry of complaints from residents about one woman being shut out of Playground 3, while she was with her children.
The woman, Stephanie Smith, had posted about the situation on the STPCV Tenants Association’s Facebook Page on Tuesday.

“I went with my children to play ping pong this evening,” Smith wrote. “We were told the playground is closed because an organization called ZogSports was using it. Not a single ping pong table was being used; it was only basketball and volleyball. When I protested that we were residents and should be allowed to use the open tables, the rec employee told me that the Zog people ‘pay a lot to use this space’. He also told me to talk to his boss if I have a problem with it. I did bring my kids into the playground and we did play some games, but it felt uncomfortable. I left an irate message at the rec office with my name and number but I was wondering if there was anything else I can do. Is it really ok for a private, paying organization to take over our public playground? Thanks for any suggestions.”
In response to the complaints, Joe DePlasco, a spokesperson for CWCapital, said the company hadn’t been renting out the space but was permitted to hold events in a few different playgrounds for a few nights a week in exchange for sports equipment that would be donated to the property. Residents could participate in the programs by signing up through Zog, he added.
However, by late Wednesday, that arrangement, which predates CW’s control of ST/PCV, was no more.
“They reviewed park usage based on complaints and given concerns they will discontinue Zog usage of their facilities,” said DePlasco.
Meanwhile, the shut-out had triggered enough attention that even Council Member Dan Garodnick made an inquiry into the issue.
On Thursday, he told T&V, “We appreciate CWCapital’s attention to this issue. Playgrounds must be available for residents and their guests.”
Along with Stuyvesant Town, ZogSports, which calls itself a charity-focused league on its online bio, holds events at a number of locations around the city. Washington Irving High School, the playground used by Simon Baruch Middle School and the playground used by P.S. 19. are just a few.

Letters to the Editor, July 12

A place this community is happy to call home

In the T&V’s recent article about the arrival of Sean Sullivan as the new general manager for the property, Mr. Sullivan was quoted as stating that he hoped to: “make PCVST a place this community is happy to call home.”

All of Mr. Sullivan’s recent predecessors have voiced the same or similar sentiments. None have actually delivered on it as building cleanliness and quality of life issues have continued as a major source of concern for residents to whom ST/PCV is home or those who seek to make ST/PCV their home.

In my opinion, one of the reasons for the failure of Mr. Sullivan’s predecessors is that none of them since the Insignia days, and for the most part, none or their senior staff, actually calls this community their home. To them, this community has been a paycheck, a place to come Monday through Friday, generally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to earn a living and then retreat to wherever it is that they call home.

They do not raise their children here; they do not experience laundry rooms that are dirty and laundry machines that don’t work; they do not have to live next to apartments overstuffed with students or recent graduates, many of whom (not all) think they are still living in a fraternity or sorority house, or next to apartments that are illegal hotels; and they do not have to experience in front of their homes a constant stream of events, particularly loud concerts or Sunday 8 a.m. Farmers’ Market wake-ups, that pierce calm of what was once a quiet oasis in the city.

If the general managers, like most of their pre Insignia predecessors, lived here, were our neighbors and part of the community instead of just representatives of the landlord, perhaps things would be different.

Perhaps the focus would be on quality of life issues and not marketing efforts that are thinly disguised as amenities and perhaps security would not wait four years before enforcing the rules. Perhaps Mr. Sullivan will be different.

I wish him well, hope he is successful in his endeavors and invite him to consider taking up residence in and becoming an integral part of the community.

James Roth, PCV

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