Peter Cooper Village tenants will have five extra days to move their property out of storage areas

The following email was sent to residents this morning by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

The TA’s legal committee has been negotiating with management  for the last week over removal of property that may be damaged  or contaminated in the storage areas.  All tenants who have not  signed releases and who still have property remaining in their storage spaces should receive a notice from management by today (Friday 11/30) granting five additional days to seek  relocation of their property by management and an additional period of time to retrieve their property at the relocation site.

 

It is vital that you review and respond to the notice from management in a timely way. If you have any questions about it contact the TA message center at 1-866-290-9036 or follow

  this link to contact us electronically.

 

The TA’s counsel has recommended against signing any release  or waiver forms at this time. All negotiations and actions taken  by the TA are without prejudice to any rights tenants may        continue to have with respect to property losses.

 

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PLEASE: WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Your Tenants Association is run exclusively by volunteers.

Please help defray the cost of legal, professional, communication, and meeting expenses. To save time and effort, donate online. Or mail a check payable to: ST/PCV TA, P.O. Box 1202, Stuyvesant Station, NY 10009-1202.  Thanks.

 

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Tenants, Stuy Town reach ‘Roberts’ settlement, which provides $68.75 million in damages, total tenants’ rent recovery to exceed $146.85 million

Tenants' "Roberts" attorney Alexander Schmidt in Stuyvesant TownPhoto by Sabina Mollot

Tenants’ “Roberts” attorney Alexander Schmidt in Stuyvesant Town
Photo by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, a settlement was finally reached in the “Roberts v. Tishman Speyer” class action that will compensate the involved tenants and former tenants to the tune of $68.75 million for rent overcharges from January 22, 2003 through December 31, 2011.

“Once finally approved, today’s $68.75 million settlement agreement, when combined with past refunds and rent savings the tenants have already received, will bring the total recovery in the lawsuit to at least $146.85 million,” said Alexander Schmidt of Wolf Haldenstein, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, in a written statement.  “There will also be future benefits,” he added.

The settlement was preliminarily approved by Justice Richard B. Lowe, III, the chief Justice of the Appellate Term, First Department.  The agreement requires final court approval. A hearing on final approval is scheduled for April 9, 2013.

Ronald Aranoff of Bernstein Liebhard, another of the tenants’ lead attorneys, said that the settlement includes a “generous legal rent formula” for the past rent overcharge claims, which yields damages of almost $10,000 per leasehold and average damage awards of $3,200 for the 21,250 class members.

As for the nine named plaintiffs in the suit, they will each receive at least $25,000, a New York Times report also noted. Schmidt defended the higher payouts though, saying such payments are not unusual in class actions and that each one of the nine plaintiffs did a lot of work on the case.

“They were very actively involved in the case every step of the way,” he said, adding that they initially filed the suit “at tremendous personal risk. What if we’d lost the case? They could have been blacklisted. A lot of people had that opportunity and didn’t take it.”

Four of the nine plaintiffs still live in Stuyvesant Town.

Aranoff added, “We believe this settlement provides an extraordinary recovery for our clients, and we couldn’t be happier for them.”

The current owners of ST/PCV (senior lenders represented by CWCapital, who in court papers are referred to as “PCV ST Owner LP” and “ST Owner LP”) contributed $58.25 million of the $68.75 million settlement. Metropolitan Life, the owner until November 2006, contributed $10.5 million.

The settlement also continues rent stabilization through June, 2020 for each of the 4,311 formerly decontrolled Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartments the suit represents. June, 2020 is when the residential complexes’ New York City “J-51” tax benefits expire.

Along with the protections rent stabilization offers, such as automatic lease renewal and succession rights, the court decision is also a win for tenants who hoped to eventually buy their units. The reason is that CWCapital, which initially supported the idea of a conversion to co-ops or condos, had refused to even discuss a possible deal with the Tenants Association until Roberts was settled.

In what has already concerned some tenants however, rents going forward may go up after the settlement is finally approved, subject to the preferential rent formula caps.

In response, Schmidt said it was a tradeoff.

“We don’t have a duty to future tenants,” he said. “We only have an obligation to members of the class. ”

The ST-PCV Tenants Association, which was not a party to “Roberts,” is planning to hold a tele-town hall to discuss the various aspects of the settlement, the Association’s president, John Marsh, said on Facebook on Friday. He also said the Association’s legal committee was analyzing the situation.

Council Member Dan Garodnick, a Peter Cooper resident who is affected by the class action since he is a former market rater, also held off on cheering the settlement.

“We will reserve judgment on the fairness of this agreement until we have had a chance to consider the aggregate impacts on current and former tenants,” he said. “Tenants had overpaid for years as a result of illegal rent deregulation, and they have been waiting a long time for relief.  I am concerned that a significant number of tenants may be subject to rent increases under this agreement, and that will be a point of interest to members of the class who will have an opportunity to object.  In the bigger picture, the Roberts settlement has been hanging over our heads for a long time as a barrier to tenant ownership of the property, and that barrier is now removed.”

Meanwhile, class members (current and former leaseholders who’d paid market rate rents between January 22, 2003 and December 31, 2011), shouldn’t expect checks to come in the mail any time soon.

Along with the final court approval needed, there is also a period through February 18 in which class members will have the opportunity to appeal or opt out. This, said Schmidt, could delay the process by “12 months, 24 months, who knows.”

Naturally, Schmidt said he hoped no one would do this. “They should not appeal. They should not object, because all that’s going to do is delay people from getting paid by a year or two.”

If things go as scheduled though, after the hearing on final approval is held in April, class members will have until May 1 to file their claims and get their money in a period of around 30-60 days. Class members will be receiving a mailing on their options by January 3.

The past rent savings and refunds resulted from an interim agreement that was reached in 2009. Under that interim agreement $2.4 million in rent was refunded to tenants in 2010, and the tenants saved an additional $75.7 million in rent over the past three years.

Additionally, according to Schmidt, the $146.85 million amount could significantly increase in the future because the settlement sets future rents based on a “preferential rent” formula that will save tenants at least another ten to twenty million dollars, and potentially more than a hundred million, over the next eight years. The exact amount of future rent savings under the formula will depend on future rental market conditions and tenant turnover rates.

Also part of the settlement is that the total number of vacancy increases between the date of deregulation and December 15, 2010 the owner can charge for has been capped at three, even if the apartment turned over every year.

“And those are big increases,” said Schmidt. “It’s 17-20 percent every time a tenant moves out.”

In a statement on the settlement from CWCapital, the company said it has agreed that any additional vacancy increases beyond three within that time period will be treated as renewal increases.

Lead plaintiff Amy Roberts in Stuyvesant Town in 2009Photo by Sabina Mollot

Lead plaintiff Amy Roberts in Stuyvesant Town in 2009
Photo by Sabina Mollot

CWCapital also said all tenants who lived in their apartments before the Appellate Division decision on “Roberts” was made, in March 2009, and any tenant who signed a market rate lease during the escrow period will be offered the lesser of modified legal rent or their original contract rent with all applicable Rent Guidelines Board increases.

“We are committed to improving one of our city’s most unique properties,” Andrew MacArthur, managing director of CWCapital, said in the statement, “and that includes making sure Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town remains attractive for individuals and families who see it as a long-term community.”

In his statement, released late Thursday, MacArthur made sure to note that when the special servicer took over operations in ST/PCV from Tishman Speyer, it was nearly four years after “Roberts” was filed.

“Since then we have worked hard to try to balance the interests of residents and bondholders, recognizing that our fiduciary responsibility to investors must respect the concerns of tenants who call Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town home,” he said.

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, found in October, 2009 that the apartments had been removed improperly from rent stabilization while the complexes were receiving J-51 tax benefits, which are available only for rent stabilized buildings.

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29

Thanks, ST/PCV management and neighbors

I would like to say “Thank You” to the staff of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for their visible and diligent work during our cleanup process. I would also like to thank CompassRock for providing lunch for their most deserving employees.

I would like to send individual “thank yous” to: the Ireland family, who rang my bell shortly after the lights went out, on 10/29/12 and lent me a flashlight; the deGhellinck family, who visited the following morning and provided updates of our city, neighborhood and transit situations; to the MTA for their “no-fare” policy on Wednesday, when I traveled north for food, cash and batteries; to the taxpayers of The City of New York for holding doors and offering seats; to the Stuy Town employee who checked in on me, later that same day; to the Brothers’ family for offering to run errands for me; to the invisible volunteer corps that walked 14 flights, daily, to deliver updates from CompassRock; to Johnnie’s Pizza for opening on Thursday; to Verizon for lending a land-line on Friday; to FEMA for leaving a loaf of rye bread, and four army-style meals at my door; to Access-A-Ride for taking me to Queens on Saturday.

A very, very special “Thank you!” to the Carpio family, who cleared their only bathroom of their now four-year-old sextuplets long enough for me to take a shower and wash my hair! Another special “thank you” goes to an unnamed neighbor, who lives on the 9th floor of 285 Ave C, for carrying my groceries up the stairs that night.

We would all like to thank Otis for getting one elevator running on Sunday and the letter carriers who also delivered a week’s mail.

I boiled enough water to bathe, before going to the dentist on Monday and would like to thank all concerned citizens for getting out to vote on Thursday.

My heat and hot water, were restored just before our first snow on Wednesday.

I borrowed DJ Mozer’s phone on Thursday and the Queens Midtown Tunnel reopened on Friday. On Saturday, I shopped for fruit and vegetables in Queens, as our farmers’ market would be well missed on Sunday.

On Monday, I learned that DJ Mozer had passed away.

On Tuesday, I got some laundry done; on Wednesday Con Ed turned off our gas. Tenants on Avenue C were advised not to make plans to cook on Thanksgiving.

I would like to thank Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the ability to reach out and touch someone (as of this writing I still don’t have a dial-tone) and Ralph Nader, now 78, for warning us not to use plastic decades ago.

I would like to thank everyone with whom I have crossed path these past two weeks for reminding me why I live, and will never leave, New York City.

Lastly, I would like to thank Mother Nature for reminding us, once again, that she is a strong woman – one that should be respected and not abused.

I am delighted to learn that the ice skating rink opened, and being without Con Ed’s gas connection I look forward to the re-opening of Oval Cafe!

Respectfully yours,
Margaret Anne “Peg” Donohue, ST

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Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village gas update from CompassRock

The following notice, first published at Council Member Dan Garodnick’s website,  is the latest gas update from CompassRock.

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Update (11/28)Gas Service Restoration Update – November 28, 2012 

We are writing to provide you with updates concerning the restoration of gas service. Following our communication on Wednesday, November 21st, several buildings and specific apartment lines had gas service restored ahead of schedule and some on schedule. However, gas service for a number of buildings and apartment lines has not yet been restored due to additional issues identified, and we also remain dependent on the availability of ConEd to complete testing prior to each restoration. We are actively working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.
We continue to work diligently with the hope of restoring gas service to the remaining buildings by end of day Tuesday, December 4th. In the meantime, here are the updates detailed by building and apartment lines.
Gas service has been restored to specific buildings and apartment lines, as follows:
315 Ave C: Gas service was restored to the A, B, C, F and G lines last Wednesday, November 21st.
319 Ave C: Gas service was restored to the A, B, C, F, G and H lines on floors 3-8 Wednesday, Nov 21st. Service was restored to the first and second floors of those apartment lines on Friday, November 23rd.
410 E20th St: Gas service was restored to the entire building on Saturday, November 24th.
330 First Ave: Gas service restored to the A and H lines on Saturday, November 24th and to the F line this morning, Wednesday, November 28th.
We continue to work on restoring gas service for the following buildings and apartment lines:
315 Ave C: D, E and H lines.
319 Ave C: D and E lines.
321 Ave C: All apartment lines
400 E20th St: All apartment lines
We will continue to provide you with updates as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

It’s official: Garodnick out of comptroller race

Borough President Scott Stringer and Council Member Dan Garodnick at a Stuyvesant Town press conference in 2009

By Sabina Mollot

On Wednesday afternoon, Council Member Dan Garodnick officially dropped out of the race for city comptroller, a little over a week after Borough President Scott Stringer said he would be throwing his own hat in the ring.

Political insiders are saying they didn’t see the move by Stringer, who’d previously been running for mayor, as a surprise, and initially Garodnick said he’d continue to run. However, he changed his tune this week when he decided to throw his support behind Stringer and instead run for a third term in the Council.

“The challenges (facing the city) are significant,” Garodnick said shortly before his official announcement, “and I didn’t want to distract from those issues with a contentious campaign for comptroller against a friend.”

According to Garodnick, when he decided to run for the position, it was because he thought the city was in need of “independent leadership,” but now, “with Scott we have that opportunity,” he said. At that time, Comptroller John Liu, who is running for mayor, was caught in a scandal relating to his campaign employees and improper fundraising.

Getting reelected shouldn’t prove too tough for the popular Democrat, and Mark Thompson, a Stuyvesant Town resident who’d previously announced he was running to fill Garodnick’s seat, said on Wednesday that his own campaign has been put on hold.

“It’s Dan, so I’m okay with it,” said Thompson, who said he’ll just try again for the 4th Council District seat in another four years.  “Dan Garodnick has been great in the City Council and I support his run for reelection,” he added.

Stringer has so far managed to raise more in his campaign war chest than Garodnick, and has been campaigning longer. Garodnick amassed about $1.25 million at the time of his last filing in July. He said he has raised more since then though and hasn’t changed plans, made prior to his announcement, to hold another fundraising event on Saturday morning at Percy’s Tavern.

Garodnick also commented on unfinished business in his district he’d like to work on in the Council, such as the “continuing challenges in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper and Waterside.”

There and in other areas, he noted, “There are land use challenges like flooding of our infrastructure. We’ve got the East Side rezoning that’s coming up. These are some top priorities.”

In published reports on Tuesday about his then-rumored dropping out of the comptroller race, it was mentioned that Garodnick was eyeing the Council’s speaker position.

However, in response, Garodnick said that while, “I’ve read that too, I haven’t looked at it.”

That position is now occupied by mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn, who many believe to be the frontrunner, especially now, according to a recent New York Post report.

A spokesperson for Stringer’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment by Town & Village’s press time.

ST-PCV Tenants Association: Think twice before signing storage waiver

The following notice was emailed from the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association to residents on Friday night regarding a waiver residents are being asked to sign if they want to be able to retrieve items from storage units or their bicycles from flooded Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village basements.

Tenants Association to Residents with Flooded Storage Units:  Think Twice About Signing Waiver

Recently, management advised tenants that they would provide access to basement storage areas so that residents with items in NTT storage or bicycles stored in basements in certain buildings.  Management’s notice is as follows:

Residents will have limited access to 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 441, 541, 601, 620 E20th St; 420, 440, 510, 530 E23rd St. Residents may retrieve personal property (NTT Storage or bikes) from these basements on weekdays from 5:30PM to 9PM and weekends from 10AM-2PM through November 30th. Any personal property not removed by November 30th will be discarded. Residents should go to the tent by PCV Playground 1 to be escorted into the basement.

What the notice did not say is that to gain access, residents would be required to execute a release.  The release is very broad and all encompassing.  It releases management, NTT and others involved in basement restoration from any claim whatsoever relating to or arising out of the tenant’s access to the Basement including, but not limited to, any actual or alleged injuries to (i) the tenant or any person(s) under the tenant’s control caused by or resulting from entering and being in the Basement; and (ii) any personal property located in the Basement.
While the Tenant’s Association cannot and is not providing residents with legal advice, we do believe that residents should think very carefully before signing this release.  The basements of many of these buildings have suffered serious damage and may well be contaminated with mold, among other possibilities. Workers in those buildings have been observed wearing protective suits and masks.  Management is asking you to sign this waiver and completely release them from any harm you may suffer without having made full disclosure to tenants of the extent of contaminants, if any, which may be in those basements.

In addition, the release waives any claim you may have for damage to property that is stored in the NTT lockers or the basements.  You should be aware that the Tenants Association has been consulting with its attorney regarding the possibility that tenants may have valid legal claims against management and NTT, as well as Quik Park, for losses incurred by tenants as a result of the flooding, notwithstanding any exculpatory language that may be contained in the storage and garage agreements.

Lastly, we are exploring with our attorney legal actions that may be taken to prevent management from requiring this release and from discarding your property on November 30 if you refuse to execute the release.

To see a copy of the storage/waiver release click here.

CompassRock issues resident alert: All buildings have electric power, some, but not all will have gas in time for Thanksgiving

On Wednesday afternoon, CompassRock sent out a resident alert to follow up on the one issued last Friday. To sum up, the memo, sent via email, gives a list of which Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village buildings will have gas restored ahead of schedule in time for Thanksgiving, and which ones won’t, and offers an explanation into the generators outside Peter Cooper buildings with flooded basements. Other included topics are Quik Park, Oval Fitness, trunk rooms and rental storage units.

RESIDENT NOTICE – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19                                            

Following last week’s comprehensive communication, we are writing to provide you with additional updates and a summary of progress made over the weekend and the past few days.

Since our last update we have made the following progress:

  • Restored permanent utility power to 6 Peter Cooper Road.
  • Restored gas service to a number of buildings. The remaining buildings are still on schedule for restoration by Saturday.
  • Repaired management office phone lines. You can now reach Resident Services directly at the restored (212) 420-5000 number and Security at (212) 598-5233.
  • Expanded work order repair service into the evening hours when more residents are home.
  • Restored access card readers to 13 of the impacted buildings.
  • Provided access to storage units and bikes for 12 of the 16 building basements impacted by flooding.
  • Restored dryer service in the remaining nine buildings that had outages.

Electricity: As of this morning, Con Edison’s electric utility service has been restored to 6 Peter Cooper Road and the back-up generator will no longer be required for that location. We are happy to report that all 110 buildings now have normal electric power.

Gas Service: We are pleased to report that the following buildings have had gas restored ahead of schedule and in time for Thanksgiving: 285, 287, 309 Avenue C. and certain lines in the following buildings –

–          410 E20th St.: the G line

–          330 First Avenue: B, C, D, E and G lines

We expect the following building lines to have full gas restoration by the end of today:

–          315 Avenue C: lines A, B, C, F and G

–          319 Avenue C: lines A, B and C

Unfortunately, we will not have gas restored in time for Thanksgiving for the following building lines, though they are on schedule for restoration by this Saturday, November 24th:

–          315 Avenue C: lines D, E and H

–          319 Avenue C: lines D, E, F, G and H

–          321 Avenue C: ALL lines

–          400 E20th St: ALL lines

–          410 E20th St.: lines A, B, C, D, E, F and H lines

–          330 First Avenue: A, F and H lines

We will continue to work with Con Ed through the holiday weekend to restore gas service as quickly as possible. Our staff will require access to all affected apartment homes over the next few days (except Thanksgiving) between the hours of 9AM and 7PM. If you have installed your own top lock, please remember to unlock it daily.

Heat Service: We continue to assess the damage caused to the electronic system which helps to regulate apartment temperature in PCV. The extent of the damage is substantial and it will take time to procure all necessary parts and complete repairs. We will provide a more detailed timeline as soon as possible. In the meantime, our engineers continue to monitor and manage the heat distribution process manually, which means that some apartments may continue to experience above normal temperatures.

Elevators: After having further assessed the damaged elevator cars in 7 and 8 PCR and 440 E23rd St, we have found that due to the significant damage to the cars resulting from the flooding, the restoration will take longer than initially expected. The damaged elevators will have to be rebuilt before being returned to service. We will provide a more detailed timeline as quickly as we can. In the meantime, each building has one running elevator.

Resident Services:

  • Our phone lines have been repaired and residents may now reach Resident Services representatives directly via the (212) 420-5000 number.
  • The Public Safety phone number has also been restored. Residents should call (212) 598-5233 to reach Public Safety. In case of emergency, please call 911.
  • To reach Resident Services via email, please use residentservices@pcvst.com.
  • Resident Services is now located at Oval Study Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm; and Sat-Sun, 8:30am-6pm.
  • As promised last week, we expanded evening maintenance service to accommodate work order requests during hours when more residents are at home. Masons and carpenters will remain until 8pm. We have also increased the number of electricians, plumbers and handymen working through midnight. Engineers remain available around the clock to address heat issues. The expanded evening service is a temporary measure until we are able to fully resume repairs during the day for residents who provide permission to enter when they are not at home.
  • Important email addresses to know, depending on the nature of your inquiry:

Resident Services:              residentservices@pcvst.com

Accounting:                          accounting@pcvst.com

Legal:                                     legal@pcvst.com

Leasing:                                leasing@pcvst.com

Access Cards & Keys: We are pleased to report that the access card system has been restored for: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 420 530, E23rd St.; 431, 441 E20th St., 350, 360, 370, 390 First Ave. The remaining buildings will take longer to restore and include: 440, 510 East 23rd St; 511, 531, 541, 601 E20th St and 7, 8 PCR. Key locks have been installed on entrance doors to all of these buildings to allow resident access. Residents should use their carriage room keys to access their respective buildings. If you are not able to find your carriage room key, we are providing residents a copy of the key at no additional charge, at Oval Study. Security guards will remain posted at these buildings.

New key cards may be requested at the new Public Safety Office at Oval Studio. Key requests are also available through Resident Services and may be picked up at Oval Study.

Intercoms: In Stuyvesant Town, the intercom systems are operational from the lobby of the building to your apartments. We continue working to reestablish communication between the lobby intercoms and the new Public Safety Office so that residents can once again access Public Safety directly through the intercom system.  We will notify you once this has been restored. In PCV, we remain on schedule for the week of November 26th to restore intercom service within the building for: 431 and 441 E20th St; 2, 3, 4, 5 PCR; 350, 360, 370, 390 First Ave. As explained last week, a longer timeline is expected for: 420, 440, 510, 530 East 23rd St; 511, 531, 541, 601 E20th St and 6, 7, 8 PCR.

Sanitation:   Recycling bins will be removed from the exterior of PCV buildings affected by flooding.  We have set up two temporary recycling bins on each floor, which will be emptied daily by the porters.  Please continue to place household trash in compactor chutes, which are operable in all 110 buildings. We also ask residents to refrain from parking on both sides of the loop roads so that the DSNY can remove all waste from the curbs.

Basements: We continue to dehumidify buildings which were impacted by the flood waters. You may have seen additional generators and fans which are helping with the de-humidification process. These generators will remain operational from 7AM-10PM on weekdays and from 9AM-10PM on weekends. The generators will not run on Thanksgiving.

The basements in 16 buildings in PCV sustained significant damage. Access to those buildings is limited as noted below:

  • Limited Access:  Residents will have limited access to: 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 441, 541, 601, 620 E20th St; 420, 440, 510, 530 E23rd St. Residents may retrieve personal property (NTT Storage or bikes) from these basements on weekdays from 5:30PM to 9PM and weekends from 10AM-2PM through November 30th.   Any personal property not removed by November 30th will be discarded. Residents should go to the tent by PCV Playground 1 to be escorted into the basement.
  • No Access: Residents may not access basements in 511 and 531 E20th St. and 7 and 8 PCR for the foreseeable future. Bicycles from these four buildings have been removed and are now available for residents to claim at the tent inside PCV Playground 1 every day from 9am to 10pm. Please bring your resident ID and either your key or combination for your bike lock.

Trunks: Trunk retrieval remains suspended throughout the property. Salvageable trunks located in the basements of the 16 flooded basements noted above are being relocated offsite. We will update you soon regarding the process to claim those trunks. Residents will have 30 days to claim their trunks once the process is announced.

NTT Storage: NTT has already communicated directly with all customers in impacted basements. If you have a storage locker in one of the 16 limited or no access basements and have not heard from NTT, you should contact NTT directly at (212) 253-2435.

Parking Garages: While garages 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are all open for business, customers may experience heavy delays when parking their vehicles. This is due to the large number of damaged vehicles that have yet to be towed while customers who have replaced their damaged cars are also looking to park their new cars. We remind you that all damaged cars not removed by December 15 will be towed by Quik Park at the vehicle owner’s expense. To contact Quik Park, please call (212) 832-2066.

Laundry Service: We will provide a timetable for the restoration of full laundry service in buildings impacted by the flood as soon as we can. In the meantime, dryers in the following buildings have been restored: 285, 287, 309, 315, 319, 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; and 330 First Avenue. For additional information, please call 1-800-MAC-GRAY. For a list of Laundromats in the area, please visit pcvst.com. For your convenience we have provided access to the laundry room in 2 PCR, accessible via the basement entrance, for residents in buildings without functioning laundry machines.

Oval Fitness: As we mentioned in our last communication, we hope to reopen the Oval Fitness facility within six months, if not sooner.

  • Billing has been suspended indefinitely. Fitness Members will receive refunds within the next 2-3 weeks via credit card or check mailed to the address American Leisure has on file.
  • Refunds will include: paid-in-full memberships, pre-purchased but not fully used training packages and pre-purchased guest pass packages. For inquiries please email living@pcvst.com.

In the meantime, we are partnering with New York Health & Racquet Club, which is offering PCVST residents a month to month membership of $99 per month (min. 2 month required), $0 initiation fee and access to all locations. Membership can be canceled with 30 days advance notice from billing date. Once Oval Fitness reopens NYHRC will automatically cancel your membership at the end of your current billing cycle. To contact NYHRC, please call (212) 220-0758 or email pledesma@nyhrc.com.

Message from Manhattan’s Kid’s Club II: The school is scheduled to reopen Monday, November 26th. For additional information, please contact Beth Garcia at (212) 677-0608.

We will continue to provide you with updates and post information on pcvst.com. Thank you again for your patience and we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We also hope that you have had a chance to stop by or skate at the ice rink which reopened last Saturday and we look forward to seeing you at next week’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29th followed by the ice sculpting performance with brass band on December 1st.

Fundraiser tonight for non-Sandy related disaster – the East Yoga fire

Firemen respond to East Yoga on November 4.

East Yoga, a studio located on East 13th Street, was destroyed in an electrical fire on November 4. However, owners are hoping to reopen and a benefit will be held tonight, Sunday, November 18 from 6 p.m.-closing time at Pouring Ribbons. Pouring Ribbons, a new cocktail lounge, located at 225 Avenue B, has donated the space (on the second floor) for the occasion and at least 10 percent of all food and drink sales will be donated to East Yoga’s rebuilding efforts. There will also be a silent auction featuring everything from homemade scarves to Adirondack getaways.

At this time, there are still plenty of ways to get involved, like donate a product or service to the auction or offer legal and or real estate assistance at reduced rates for the reopening effort. To help, contact info@eastyoga.com. Organizers are hopping to meet a $10,000 goal by December 9 to cover expenses related to the fire.

In the meantime, classes are being held at various temporary locations, including Alphabet City Sanctuary. Check East Yoga’s website for the latest updates.

To donate, visit East Yoga partner Lucky Ant. Free classes are being offered as a reward for donations.

Inside the studio

 

CompassRock sends alert: Some buildings won’t have gas service until after Thanksgiving, Bikes and trunks to be removed from buildings, Guards stationed at some PCV buildings

On Friday evening, management sent out the following email alert to residents with updates on many of the different issues of concern to residents since the hurricane. To sum up, topics include utility services (all buildings have power except for 6 Peter Cooper Road which is still on a generator) and heat (all buildings have it restored though due to ongoing repairs, some residents may experience excessive heat. As for Amenity spaces, Oval Fitness is not expected to reopen for another six months. Additionally, American Leisure is no longer involved. Various management departments are still stationed in the other Amenities spaces on the Oval. In other topics, bikes are being removed from flooded basements as are trunks from the trunk rooms wherever possible, and in both cases, residents will have 30 days to claim their property. On Quik Park-related matters, management has been pushing the company to communicate more with residents.

Read on for the full communication:

RESIDENT NOTICE – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 12

We are writing to provide a comprehensive update on the status of repairs and services at the property.  Since our last update we have made significant additional progress including:

  • Restoring  gas service to two buildings ahead of schedule
  • Restoring elevator and  handicap lift service in all  Peter Cooper Village buildings
  • Opening garages for insurance adjusters and encouraging Quik Park to increase communications with its customers
  • Repairing the electronic heat regulation system in Stuyvesant Town
  • Restoring four water pumps in Peter Cooper Village to increase water pressure
  • Relocating management staff so normal work orders and other resident business can continue

Restoring services to our property as safely and quickly as possible remains our top priority.   We have made a lot of progress in restoring services since the storm and are keenly aware that our job is not yet complete.   Critical priorities going forward include: Restoring gas service to all buildings,  returning utility fed power to 6 PCR, fixing key card access and intercom systems in impacted buildings, repairing the electronics that control and monitor our heat distribution system in PCV, repairing the damaged water pumps in PCV and helping residents gain access to their personal property located in basements.   At the same time, we are also working hard to return a sense of normalcy to our community, particularly around the holiday season.  While life at PCVST will go on, please understand that this work is being done separately with separate resources from the restoration efforts.  Restoring services to our property as safely and quickly as possible remains our top priority.

In the update below, we have tried to provide the most up-to-date and complete information that is available.  In some cases, we are still not yet able to provide estimates due to the extent of damage and complexity of the required repairs, but we are aware of these issues and are working to resolve them. We continue to work through the challenges the storm has caused and will provide updated information and timelines as they become available.

We want to extend our continued thanks for your patience, understanding, and support during the last few weeks.   We have all been faced with a difficult set of circumstances as a result of the storm and we are incredibly proud of how our entire community pulled together to support one another.

UTILITY SERVICES

Electricity:  All 110 buildings have had full power restored. 6 Peter Cooper Road is the only building currently running on generator power due to the damage sustained by the manhole explosions.

Unfortunately, Con Ed has found that the damage to their systems was worse than anticipated and as a result, 6 PCR will remain on generator power for an additional week.  As a preventative measure, we have taken the following additional steps to ensure consistent electricity from the generator:  we are manning the generator 24 hours a day; we have increased fuel delivery to maintain the generator and are keeping back-up fuel available at all times; and we are keeping an additional backup generator onsite in the event of any malfunction with the current generator. We ask residents to be mindful and conserve energy wherever possible, especially during morning and evening peak times, in order not to overload the temporary generator.

We will notify you in advance of the conversion from generator to permanent utility power which will necessitate a temporary power shut-down of several hours. Elevators will be checked and shut down prior to shutting down power for the conversion.

Gas Service: We remain on or ahead of our previously published schedule to restore gas service.  We are happy to report that gas service in 7 Peter Cooper Road and 531 East 20th Street has been restored.  In the event there are any delays in restoring gas to the remaining buildings, we will notify you immediately.

Please note that in order to complete the restoration of gas service, it is necessary for our staff to access all of the impacted apartment homes throughout the coming two weeks (except Thanksgiving) between the hours of 9AM and 7PM.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide advance notice as we are dependent on ConEd.  Access to apartments in the impacted buildings is necessary to complete service restoration and your cooperation in the matter is essential to the restoration of gas service. A security guard and locksmith assist with entry into all apartments.  If you have installed your own top lock, please be sure to leave it unlocked daily during these times until gas service is restored in your building.  If we need to access your apartment and the top lock is locked, we will have no choice but to drill through it.

We continue to expect gas service to be restored by Saturday, November 24th for the following buildings:  309, 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; 330 First Avenue.  At this point, our assessment indicates that gas service will not be restored for these buildings in time for Thanksgiving and we apologize for that inconvenience.  However, we remain on track for the restoration schedule published on November 3 and we will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

Unfortunately, we also experienced new gas service interruptions earlier this week in two Stuyvesant Town buildings, 285 and 287 Avenue C, due to shut downs required by ConEd as a result of pressure issues in their systems offsite. Initial assessments indicate that gas will be restored to these buildings within three weeks. We will continue to keep you informed as we get additional updates from ConEd.

Regarding buildings which sustained damage to gas meters and were flagged for a “Potential Shut-Down,” our assessments thus far lead us to believe that the shut-down will not be necessary. We continue to monitor these affected buildings: 441, 511, 541, and 601 E 20th St; 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 Peter Cooper Road. We will alert you in case of any change in status.

Heat Service: Heat service has been restored to all 110 buildings. The electronic system which controls the distribution of heat, and therefore regulates apartment temperature, was damaged by the storm. The system which supports Stuyvesant Town has been repaired; the system which supports PCV remains under repair.  As a result, in PCV, valves must be opened and closed manually by our engineers, which means that for the time being, some apartments may experience excessive heat.

Water Service: Hot water service has been restored property-wide, though the motors for the water pumps which support water distribution to all of PCV are still undergoing repair. Of the 12 pumps in PCV, only two functioned after the storm. We now have six pumps working but the additional six remain out of service. We continue to procure the necessary parts to fix the motors and restore all 12 pumps.  In the meantime, these six pumps have been providing increased water pressure, nonetheless we ask everyone to continue to be mindful and conserve water, particularly during peak hours in the mornings and evenings.

Elevator Service: Elevator service has been restored property-wide, with only three PCV buildings, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 E23rd Street, still undergoing elevator repairs to one passenger elevator. 6 Peter Cooper Road has one elevator in service while it remains on temporary generator power. We remain on schedule to have these elevators fixed by November 21st.   In PCV buildings affected by flooding, the elevators will not go to the lower levels until the basements are fully restored.

Handicap Lifts:  All handicap lifts in affected Peter Cooper Village buildings have been restored and were operational as of last night.

Cable Service: If you are still experiencing outages for cable service, please contact your provider directly. Below is information we have received regarding specific providers –

–          RCN completed repairs to their on-site to equipment damaged by the storm.

–          Verizon crews are on-site working on repairs to their equipment damaged by the storm.

–          Time Warner Cable has not contacted us since the storm concerning any repairs.

 

 

PCVST MANAGEMENT OFFICE & SERVICES

Due to the extent of the damage to the PCVST Management Office, we have relocated most of the staff to various locations throughout the property, as well as certain functions such as Accounting and Legal to temporary offices off-site. We have restored access to our IT systems; continue to repair the phone system, and to provide staff with supplies and equipment so that they can resume full business operations.

We are also working on more suitable, long-term plans for the relocation of the Management Office staff throughout the property. We appreciate your understanding while we work under these constraints. Below you will find updates about various departments from which you may require assistance.

Resident Services: Resident Services has been relocated to Oval Study from Oval Kids due to a building-specific flooding issue. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am to 6pm. Contact information for Resident Services is provided below, as well as how to reach PCVST staff members concerning accounting, legal or leasing matters.

In addition to responding to emergency Work Orders (toilet/drain stoppages and non-functioning refrigerators and stoves), we have also resumed servicing normal work order requests. Residents may request maintenance repairs either via the PCVST Resident Portal, accessible viapcvst.com or by calling (888) 885-8490 and leaving a voice message with detailed contact information and the nature of the issue. While we continue to restore our normal operations, we are limited in our ability to complete repairs when residents are not home, even if they provide permission to enter. To address this issue, we are working to expand service capacity during evening hours when more residents are at home. We will notify you once this is in effect.

Public Safety: The new headquarters for Public Safety can be found at Oval Studio. We will continue to supplement our security team as necessary over the coming months as we complete restoration efforts. Security cameras have been restored and the property key room remains secure and has been relocated.

Management Office Contact Information: While we work to repair our phone system, we have set up email addresses in order to make it easier and faster to reach the appropriate PCVST staff member.  When sending emails, please include your name, contact information, and the nature of your inquiry.    We will respond to email submissions within 24 hours between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

Resident Services:                 living@pcvst.com

Accounting:                           accounting@pcvst.com

Legal:                                    legal@pcvst.com

Leasing:                                lease@pcvst.com

You may also call (888) 885-8490 to leave a voice message with your contact information and the nature of your call. A staff member will get back to you within 24 hours between 9am to 5pm.  We continue to work on complex phone system repairs required due to the damage caused by the storm to the Verizon equipment. We hope to restore our phone lines in the next week.

For Public Safety, please continue to call (347) 680-2212. In case of emergency, please call 911.

Access Cards & Keys: All Stuyvesant Town Card readers are operational at this time. In PCV, card readers are currently out of service in a number of buildings due to damage to the card reader control panels located in the basements caused by the flood. In the meantime, security guards are posted at these doors checking IDs and controlling access. The buildings affected include the main entrances to 511, 531, 541 and 601 E 20th Street; 440, 510, and 530 E 23rd Street; 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road; and the basement entrances to 441 E 20th Street; 420 E 23rd Street; and 3, 4, 5 and 6 Peter Cooper Road.  We are working with our third-party security contractors to restore the system as quickly as possible and will keep you informed of progress on these repairs.

As an interim solution, all buildings with damaged card key access will have new cylinders installed on the entrance doors which can be unlocked using the carriage room key for that address. We will provide keys, free of charge, to any resident who may require a key.

We are now able to provide new building access cards, which can be requested at the Public Safety office in Oval Studio. Residents may also request to have keys made by contacting Resident Services and picking up the keys at Oval Study. Please do not share access cards or keys with others.

Intercoms: The intercom systems at Stuyvesant Town are operational, except that at this time they cannot reach Security through the intercom due to the flooding of the Security office on Avenue C. We are working to re-route the security lines to the new security office and expect that to be completed by early next week.

The system which supports intercom service in several of the buildings in PCV has been damaged by the storm. We continue to work with the intercom system manufacturer to repair the service.  We expect intercom service to be repaired by the week of November 26th for the following buildings:  431 and 441 East 20th Street, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Peter Cooper Road, and 350, 360, 370 and 390 First Avenue.  Other intercom systems in Peter Cooper Village sustained greater damage and will take longer to repair.   The intercom company is working to expedite those repairs but is not yet able to provide an estimated timeline.  These buildings are:  420, 440, 510 and 530 East 23rd Street, 511, 531, 541 and 601 East 20th Street and 6, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road.  We will provide an estimated timeline as soon as it is available.

Sanitation:  The trash chutes are now operational in all 110 buildings. In PCV, bins placed outside of buildings affected by flooding should no longer be used for household trash, but rather for recyclables until further notice.

Basements:  Basements in PCV and the terrace level of Stuyvesant Town buildings were impacted by flood water and sustained significant damage. We remain focused on restoring and repairing all of the basements and will continue to work with our professional contractors, our environmental engineers and our professional restoration crews to complete the work as safely and as quickly as possible.  Residents should be comforted to know that there is no common ventilation system between basements and the upstairs residential and common areas in any of our buildings.  As a preventative measure, we are in the process of sealing off some of these basements and dehumidifying these areas to remove excess moisture from the concrete and to help us restore these basements to their original conditions.

While we have engaged professionals in large scale restoration efforts, we would also advise our residents to review the information laid out by the New York State Department of Health which addresses questions regarding flood recovery including how to handle personal property that may have been stored in flooded areas. Please refer to: http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hurricane/faq/docs/faqs.pdf

Limited Access: In some cases we have closed basements for ongoing restoration work. We will soon begin providing controlled access to some buildings, where residents will have the opportunity to retrieve personal property from their NTT storage units and remove bicycles.  Residents will have until November 30th to retrieve their property and any items left behind will be discarded. The controlled access schedule is as follows:  Weekdays between 5:30PM and 9PM and weekends from 10AM-2PM. Controlled access begins this afternoon at 5:30PM.  Tenants wishing to access these basements should report to the tent outside of PCV Playground 1 at these times and they will then be escorted by security to the basements.  Only residents who reside in the buildings or have an NTT storage locker in the buildings will be given access.

The affected basements with limited access are as follows: 3, 4, 5, 6 Peter Cooper Road; 441, 541, and 601 and 620 East 20th Street; 420, 440, 510, and 530 East 23rd Street.

No Access: Residents may not access basements in 511 and 531 E20th Street and 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road for the foreseeable future due to the extensive damage in these areas.

–          Storage: NTT Storage will communicate to customers with storage units in those buildings with further details by Saturday.

–          Bicycles: To the extent that we are able, we will remove bicycles and securely store them in  Playground 1 in PCV where residents can claim them over a period of 30 days, after which, unclaimed bikes will be discarded.  To claim your bicycle, please be sure to bring the key or combination to your bike lock.

Trunks: Trunk retrieval has been suspended throughout the property. We will remove all trunks located in buildings impacted by flooding. Those which are salvageable and intact will be moved to a warehouse where residents will have the opportunity to claim them over a thirty day period.  As soon as the trunks have been relocated, we will provide additional details.

Peter Cooper Road: Peter Cooper Road has been reopened following repairs completed due to the storm. The 30-minute parking rule is back in effect.

Playgrounds PCV1 and PCV2: These playgrounds are currently closed while we assess and repair the damage that may have occurred to the surface area during the storm. We will inform you once they are reopened.

Local Law 11 Project / Façade Work: Despite the on-going property wide restoration efforts, the on-going façade work in PCV and façade work planned in ST remains on schedule and in compliance with Local Law 11 which mandates the inspection and repair of all building facades every five years. In Peter Cooper Village 7 PCR and 601 E20th Street the work has been restarted and should be completed by end of January. The initial phase of work in Stuyvesant Town has commenced at 2, 4, 6, and 16 SO. Over the next couple of weeks start of work notifications be communicated to residents in the following additional building: 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 Stuyvesant Town Oval; 610, 620, 622, 624, 626, and 628 E20th Street; and 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C.

RENT ABATEMENT

Tenants without heat, elevator service, or electricity following the storm will not be charged rent for any day in which they were without one or more of those services. Residents will receive a communication advising of your abatement amount. Unfortunately, due to the damage of our technology equipment we will not be able to provide the credit in the December bill.  We expect to be able to offer the credit in time for the January billing cycle.

 

THIRD PARTY SERVICES

Parking Garages: Quik Park has reopened garages 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 for business.  Customers whose vehicles were in Garages 2, 3, 4, or 5 during the storm will not be billed for November and for December 1-15.  Please contact Quik Park directly to work out your accommodations concerning your vehicle. The Garage Manager will be available at Garage 1, located on 20th Street. Please also note that all damaged vehicles not removed from Garages 2, 3, 4 or 5 by December 15 will be towed by Quik Park at the vehicle owner’s expense. QuikPark sent a more detailed update to all customers earlier this week.   For additional information, please see the Manager in Garage 1 or contact Quik Park at 212-832-2066.

Laundry Service: We are working with MacGray, our laundry service contractor, on a detailed plan to restore laundry rooms flooded during the storm. Buildings with laundry rooms damaged by the flood include: 441, 511, 531, 541, 601 and 620 E20th Street; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road; and 420, 440, 510 and 530 E23rd Street; and 319 Avenue C.  Additionally, the dryers will not work in buildings currently experiencing gas outages: 285, 287, 309, 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; and 330 First Avenue. We will provide a timetable for the restoration of full laundry service in those buildings as soon as we can.

In response to inquiries we have received, we cannot provide access to buildings with functioning laundry rooms at this time. In the meantime, Oval Concierge offers free pick-up and delivery for laundry service. All residents are welcome to use this service. In the buildings where laundry rooms were not affected by the flood, we are aware that laundry card machines are currently taking cash only. This is due to the damaged phone lines and hope to have the issue resolved upon the restoration of our phone system. For additional information, please call 1-800-MAC-GRAY. For a list of laundry rooms in the neighborhood, please visit the pcvst.com Alerts page.

NTT Storage: Please refer to the updates regarding basements detailed above concerning access to storage units in buildings which sustained flood damage. Billing has been suspended for customers of affected units as of Monday, October 29, 2012. NTT Storage will provide tenants with individual notifications regarding their storage units shortly. For additional information, please contact NTT Storage directly at (212) 253-2435.

Oval Fitness: The fitness facility sustained significant damage from the flood. We are working to remove equipment, clean out the space, and rebuild the facility as quickly as possible and we hope to reopen within six months, if not sooner. Members will receive individual letters in the coming weeks providing the necessary details for their accounts, including information about refunds. Also, please note that because of the extensive damage and the extended downtime for the facility, American Leisure will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations.  They have provided us with all of their records, so please email living@pcvst.com for any questions related to Oval Fitness.

Oval Kids, Café, and Study: These amenity spaces, which are currently operated by American Leisure, are closed indefinitely. We will update you when these amenities are scheduled to be restored. All Oval Essentials memberships have been suspended indefinitely and refunds will be applied. Members will receive individual letters with details about their accounts. For additional information, please visit the Oval Essentials office adjacent to Oval Café.

Oval Concierge: The Oval Concierge remains operational with standard operating hours (Mon-Sat from 8am to 8pm) and is available for package delivery and receipt, laundry, housekeeping, and other services. Shuttle service is running on its usual route and schedule.

PCVST Ice Rink: PCVST’s seasonal ice rink, operated by Ice Rink Events, will open this Saturday, November 17th at 11am. Residents are invited to enjoy free admission all day this Saturday. For operating hours, lessons, and other details, please visit pcvst.com. For additional information, please contact icerink@pcvst.com.  The completion of the ice rink was accomplished using separate outside contractors and did not impact any of our on-going restoration efforts.

Community Center: The Community Center has resumed its standard operating hours and basic daily programming has resumed (including card and board games and Friday movie screenings), with the exception of the senior fitness classes due to the lack of available space (now that 300 First Avenue is occupied by PCVST staff).

Greenmarket: Due to the restoration efforts underway and the Local Law 11 work that has begun, the Greenmarket will not be returning to Stuyvesant Town for the remainder of this year. We will notify you if the market gets set up in a location near the property.

We thank you again for your understanding and patience throughout this restoration period. We will continue to provide you with updates and post information on pcvst.com. We also invite you to celebrate the holiday season among neighbors and friends, starting with the Tree Lighting ceremony on November 29th, followed by a number of other festive events in the coming weeks.

Quik Park finally speaks about Stuy Town garages with this memo.

November 14, 2012

Dear Quik Park Customer,

We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you may have experienced with your parking at PCVST due to Hurricane Sandy. While we work hard to bring the garages back to normal business operations, we wanted to provide you with some important information.

Garages 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are open however there will be limited availability until all damaged vehicles are removed.

Garage 3 will be closed indefinitely. Any customer previously assigned to Garage 3 should see the Manager in Garage 1 for reassignment options.

If your vehicle was located in Garages 2, 3, 4 or 5 during the storm, Quik Park will not charge you for November’s rent. If you already paid for November and your vehicle was located in Garages 2, 3, 4 or 5 during the storm, we will refund your monthly payment. If you have any questions about your bill please e-mail IZarytskyy@quikpark.net

Please report vehicle damage to your insurance carrier immediately if you have not done so already.

Quik Park is not responsible for any personal items damaged due to the storm.

All damaged vehicles must be towed from the garages by December 15, 2012. Please note all tow trucks must be below 6’8” in height for entry into the garages.

If your damaged vehicle is not removed by December 15, 2012, Quik Park will hire a towing company to remove the vehicle at the vehicle owner’s expense.

If your vehicle was damaged, and you already have a new replacement vehicle and wish to park in the garages, please see the Manager in Garage 1 for space options.

Self-parkers in Garages 1 and 6 will continue to be allowed to self-park; all self-parkers in Garage 2, 4 and 5 will temporarily be valeted by Quik Park staff due to the space constraints.

Beginning in mid December, Garages 2, 3, 4, and 5 will be power washed.

Please be aware of the following information made available to the public by the New York State Department of Health:

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hurricane/faq/docs/faqs.pdf.

Again we apologize for any inconveniences you may have experienced this month and we look forward to resuming normal business operations as soon and safely as possible.

If you have any questions, please e-mail info@quikpark.net or you can call 212-832-2066 ext 210 and 202.

 

Thank you for your cooperation and continued patronage.

 

QUIK PARK MANAGEMENT

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 15

Clarification, please, on stock market stats

Re: Letter, “The undecided voter,” T&V, Nov. 1

I read Mr. Cappelletti’s letter and would ask him to clarify one of his 15 points.

Number seven reads “Comparing the stats of the stock market four years ago to the stats today, would you say the economy has improved?”

(Hint: ask those who invest in, or have their pensions invested in, the stock market.)

So I looked at the three New York City stocks that I own or have owned during that period:

Verizon is up 42.0 percent (today, November 8, 2012) since President Obama’s election on November 4, 2008.

Bristol Myers is up 57.3 percent and Con Ed is up 34.8 percent.

More important, at the time of President Obama’s election, the dividend yield was greater than 5 percent for each of them.

So if all of us had reinvested all of our investment monies and reinvested the dividends in these NYC juggernauts four years ago, we’d all be way ahead of the game.

Accordingly, can Mr. Cappelletti please be more specific about the stock market statistics he’s referring to because companies located in New Jersey and Connecticut made money for their stockholders during President Obama’s first term, too.

Billy Sternberg, ST

Continue reading

Superstorm Sandy in Pictures

Here are more pictures taken by T&V and area residents during last month’s storm and of its aftermath. Click the pictures to enter the gallery.

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 8

A view from the waiting room

Managing the emergency department at the only hospital operational below 57th Street during Hurricane Sandy provided me with a unique perspective on the spirit of New Yorkers.

Many people literally ran into our ER.  They were anxious, scared, panicked and desperate for medical and emotional care. It was hectic and frenetic, even by ER standards. But during this crisis, something inspiring emerged as well: People came together.  Injured police officers left the hospital to hail a cab for released patients. Family members of sick patients interpreted for non-English speaking patients in the stretcher next to them. Friends and neighbors came to the ER to get help for a loved one stuck at home. Sick patients who left the hospital one day came back the next to volunteer.  And our hospital employees – many of whom live downtown and were themselves victims of Sandy – worked endless hours and cared for patients with grace and compassion.

Amidst the pain and concern caused by this catastrophe, our ER was a place where the true spirit of New Yorkers came through.

John M. Samuels
Administrative Director
The David B. Kriser 
Department of Emergency Medicine
Beth Israel Medical Center


Thank you, Con Ed and CompassRock

The following letter was sent out to numerous ST/PCV residents via email from the author, Eileen Togashi, on Monday, November 5.

To all ST/PCV neighbors:

One week ago, at this precise moment, it all happened…9 p.m. Monday, October 29, 2012…we heard an explosion around 8:30-ish; lights dimmed and returned and then at 9 p.m. another loud explosion followed by a total blackout.  The predicted high tide and full moon was occurring around 8 p.m. and I was alerted that the Avenue C Loop was flooding… We ran down the 11 flights and stopped in our tracks to see high water overtaking the cars parked on the loop. We didn’t wade through it but ran back through the Oval and out to Avenue B and 14th Street…

Con Ed trucks and fire engines were already there as the East River was gushing up 14th Street and rushing around the Avenue B corner and around the AlphaBet Cafe. People poured out of the buildings, too, and we all stared in dismay and snapped photos like mad.  Speechless.  Little did we know what lay ahead. But we all now know the rest of The Tale of Two Cities and a few hours ago, 8 Stuyvesant Oval discovered hot steam pipes and hot water flowing out of the faucets!  Hooray! I, for one, never expected it so soon.

Bravo and thank you to Con Ed! How can we get our thank-you letters to them for their Herculean work? And I know we also want to thank CompassRock for their daily and complete updates.

We pray for the rapid return of all services to the buildings that are still without!

Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village residents to get rent abatement for days without heat, power

On Tuesday afternoon, Andrew MacArthur, managing director of CWCapital, issued the following email to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village residents announcing there would be rent rebates (via credit) for days without heat, electricity and elevator service.

Dear Residents,

I am writing after one of the more tumultuous weeks in the long and storied history of this community. I want to express our sympathy for all that you have endured over the past 7 days and to express my thanks and appreciation for all that our staff has done since last Monday to ensure resident safety and the fastest possible restoration of services.

I know some of you still remain without some utility services and that our job is not finished until everyone is back to normal. As a demonstration of our commitment, and in appreciation for all that you have been through since last Monday night, I am announcing that anyone who has been without heat, elevator service or electricity will not be charged rent for any day in which they were without one or more of these services.

While this last week has been extraordinarily trying, it also highlighted all that is special about our community. Our younger residents kept careful watch over their elderly neighbors and our elderly residents provided us all with an example of how to overcome adversity with good humor and fortitude.   Our political figures pitched in and the various resident groups have done their part. Finally, our staff has demonstrated a commitment to this community that is extraordinary.  During this last week, PCVST showed what it means to be part of a community you should all be proud to call home.

I want to extend a particular note of thanks to the building engineers, Public Safety officers, executive staff, and the many volunteers who helped our community get through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I personally witnessed several of our engineers working, at significant personal risk, to secure damaged electrical equipment in order to maintain safe conditions in those buildings directly effected by the flood waters. I watched as our Director of Operations had a manhole cover explode next to him as he struggled with workers from ConEd to restore power. I am aware of several staff members that chose to stay here and assist this community despite having lost their own homes to the flood. Many of our executive staff slept onsite for the past week, leaving their own families in cold and darkness elsewhere, while they lead the effort to restore normalcy here.  Our Public Safety officers carried over 200 elderly residents down from their apartments and checked on over 500 additional residents at the request of concerned relatives. I also want to extend our appreciation to the Tenants Association and Councilman Garodnick who responded to our request for additional volunteers to assist in our efforts to check on all residents without power and to help with the food distribution efforts. Everyone involved in this effort should be proud of their participation.

We still have work to do to restore services and return normalcy to this community. We will continue to work tirelessly until that job is complete.

With respect,

Andrew MacArthur

Managing Director – CWCapital

Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town Rent Abatement

Due to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, we are instituting the following rent abatement measures for all residents of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town:

  • We will abate rent for residents for any period their building was without an essential service (electric, elevators, heat).
  • We will abate rent for any resident with a scheduled move-out date from that date until the date they are actually able to move out.
  • We will abate rent for any resident with a scheduled move-in date from that date until the date they are actually able to move in.
  • We are trying to include the abatements as rent credits in the December rent bill, however we may not be able to include until January depending on how quickly our systems are able to be restored.
  • If you have a move-out scheduled in November, please email hurricanerentabatement@pcvst.comto discuss how your abatement will be handled.
  • Please pay your normal rent amount until the credits are reflected on your rent bill.