UPDATE: Following Town & Village’s Wednesday afternoon press time, the de Blasio administration has discussed options being explored in the effort to keep Stuyvesant Town affordable with the press.
Following weeks of silence regarding a reported $4.7 billion bid being prepared by Fortress, CWCapital made a decision to take ownership of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village itself. This was a defensive move, and it remains to be seen how long this arrangement will last. (The company did not respond to a request for comment on that one.)
Council Member Dan Garodnick said last week he’s seeing this as an opportunity for tenants to buy some time to consider the next moves, but so far CW hasn’t even given a hint as to whether a tenant-led bid is something that will ever be considered. Also mum is the mayor who, while still a candidate, crowed at Stuy Town that “over my dead body will this place be privatized.”
The de Blasio administration has since ignored multiple requests by T&V on what the mayor’s thoughts are on the now-canceled foreclosure sale as well as the Tenants Association’s plan to rally on Friday, the 13th of June, over concerns about the future. While Garodnick has said he’s gotten the sense the mayor’s office is trying to be helpful to tenants, considering de Blasio’s declarations on the campaign trail, there really shouldn’t be any question as to whether or not he should get involved in the fight for continued affordability in the complex. Lip service isn’t enough and yet right now there isn’t even any of that. The silence is deafening.
The stalemate in Albany must end
The death last week of former New York Senator Roy Goodman is being seen by those who knew him as the symbolic end to a time when Republicans and Democrats at a state level were actually able to work together in a productive and meaningful way.
While there’s no arguing that local state officials such as Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh have the best interests of the community in mind with their sponsorship of legislation aimed at protecting tenants from getting gouged or evicted, those bills won’t do any good if they’re just collecting dust in Albany. Kavanagh and Hoylman have pointed out, quite accurately, that the Republican-controlled State Senate is where their and other tenant-friendly legislation goes to die. Sadly, tenant-friendly Republicans like Goodman seem to be extinct.
However, as Goodman’s legacy’s reminds us, it’s working across party lines and making compromises, not simply blaming the other side, that’s the way to get results. If nothing changes in terms of cooperation and meaningful dialogue and soon, then we call on the governor to step in and force the issue.