Garodnick questions Blackstone about crowded apartments

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Following years of Stuyvesant Town residents complaining of dorm-style apartments, or more specifically, young people packing into apartments with pressurized walls, Council Member Dan Garodnick asked Blackstone to address the issue before taking over the property.

Garodnick made the request via a letter to Jonathan Gray, the Blackstone Group’s Global Head of Real Estate, that was sent on Monday.

In it, he noted the “persistent and troubling issue for many tenants: overcapacity apartments.”

“The city’s Housing Maintenance Code restricts a single dwelling to ‘not more than three unrelated persons,’” Garodnick said. “It is clear the number of unrelated residents may exceed that number in many apartments throughout the complex.”

He went on to note that it’s often students from New York University and other schools moving into these apartments, and because they aren’t staying in the complex long term, tend to be the source of noise complaints from neighbors. “This behavior is especially common when there are more individuals in an apartment than the law allows,” Garodnick said. “As you take ownership of the property, I am hoping you will take immediate action to correct this situation — including additional steps to keep apartments from being blocked off as dorm rooms — throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.”

Garodnick told T&V he thought this issue “should be a top priority for Blackstone, to not only assess but also to develop a game plan to deal with it.”

While he said he didn’t know how many apartments currently have more than three unrelated tenants, he cited other factors, like the existing block leasing arrangements with institutions like NYU (which has 100 apartments) as creating “a dorm-like environment in the community.

“Which,” he added, “needs to change.”

In response to the letter, Christine Anderson, a spokesperson for Blackstone, said the company was “aware” of the concerns.

“We appreciate the letter from Councilman Garodnick and are aware of the issue he raises,” she said. “We are studying it and will have more to say after we take over ownership.”

Previously, Nadeem Meghji, Blackstone senior managing director, said student apartments were a subject brought up to him by tenants more than any other. When asked about dorm apartments at a public meeting in October, Meghji didn’t say the owner wouldn’t continue to rent to students, but said Blackstone wanted to keep the property conducive to long-term residents.

A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a request for comment on over-capacity apartments.

8 thoughts on “Garodnick questions Blackstone about crowded apartments

  1. I am glad to see we are raising these issues to Blackstone as the new management company. It gives us residents an insight as to how the new management company will address issues.

    We should also raise previous issues we’ve presented to CW –one in particular to management’s current guest card policy as management still wants to charge me $150 to do a background check on my Fiancé. Guest cards should not have an expiration date if the tenant on record allows for a key to be made.

  2. The greedy grifters who have been running this place (into the ground) for the last few years are focused on the extra gelt they get from stuffing the apartments with more bodies than they were designed to accommodate. At the same time, they have ignored the fact that they are breaking laws concerning occupancy, fire safety AND the fact that they are putting so much extra strain on the aging infrastucture of the property. Anybody noticed how the frequency of floods, backups, overflows and every kind of pluming problem possible has increased?

    To add insult to injury, the greed-addled lowlifes who call themselves “management” have cut back on plumbers, maintenance and the cleanliness of the property.

    You can be knee-deep in raw sewage and the dolt on the phone will tell you the next available appointment is 6 weeks away. GET RID OF COMPASS ROCK, THE WORST AND NASTIEST POOR APOLOGY FOR A MANAGEMENT COMPANY EVER!! Let’s face it, the company was put in place by CWCapital, who owns it, so they could pay themselves the management fees while ripping off the tenants. Anybody checked out Compass Rock University? Makes Trump University look like Harvard! It’s a backstreet operation! The Sheldon Silver School of Ethics!

    • You are so damned right! He waits until now to question management about their illegal chopping-up and overcrowding apartments? This has been going on for years!

      Garodnick is a two-faced, self-serving, ruthlessly ambitious career politician who will do anything and screw anyone to get what HE wants – which is not the same as what his constituents want or need.
      He has done nothing but damage to this community, maybe the worst thing being his hijacking of what was once a legitimate tenants’ association. He has used them to accomplish his own agenda and they were stupid and vain enough to be led along by him.

      The sooner he is consigned to the garbage pail of history, the better.

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