Documentary on ST/PCV nearing completion

Filmmaker William Kelly

Filmmaker William Kelly

By Sabina Mollot

It was in 2008 when the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, realizing the vulnerability of the community as its new owner set to work at deregulating as many apartments as possible, decided to push for its preservation via landmarking.

Seven years later, that application for a landmark designation has still not been completed. However, this is only because the effort has shifted towards the creation of a documentary about the complex aimed at arguing its significance both architecturally and socially, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

At this time, according to its two producers, William Kelly and Marie Beirne, the project is around 75 percent finished.

It was over the past three years that Kelly has been doing research that’s included interviews with numerous community leaders of Stuy Town’s past and present.

“The biggest coup,” he shared in an interview with Town & Village last week, “is Lee Lorch. It was the last interview he did.” Lorch, who was the leader in the fight to desegregate Stuyvesant Town in its early years, died last year. The interview was conducted at the former activist and professor’s home in Toronto. Other people interviewed include local elected officials such as Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Dan Garodnick, New York Times reporter Charles Bagli, who wrote a book about the catastrophic sale of the property to Tishman Speyer called Other People’s Money, civil rights expert Maria Biondi, architects weighing on the property’s structural issues and various tenants.

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CW gets tougher with guest key-card policy

By Sabina Mollot

Recently, a Stuyvesant Town resident, who often has a friend from out of town stay with him, learned that guest key-card status for the woman would be rejected — that is, unless she agreed to register with the owner as an occupant. However, the resident, who didn’t want his name published, told Town & Village she doesn’t live in the apartment, and therefore has so far refused to register as an occupant. Along with friendship, she also fills an occasional role of caretaker for some of his health issues, he said. Management, meanwhile, said the tenant, hasn’t budged and has refused to issue a guest card.

A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a comment on this issue, but Council Member Dan Garodnick told Town & Village that he has heard from “a handful” of residents who said CW has become more selective about issuing guest cards lately. Garodnick said this practice seems to run contrary to the key-card policy.

“The rule is that there is no limit to the number of key-cards a tenant can get,” said Garodnick. “Guests should be provided with permanent key-cards and guests include friends who come to visit on a regular basis or as needed to care for a tenant or their apartment. That’s the rule.”

After a tenant acquires four guest cards, additional ones come with a fee of eight dollars, but, stressed Garodnick, “you can get an unlimited number.”

He believes management’s reason for the recent denials has to do with weeding out illegal, short-term rental activity.

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