Blackstone, Ivanhoe Cambridge take ownership of Stuy Town

Jon Gray smile

Jon Gray, Blackstone global head of real estate (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge announced that they closed on the $5.3 billion deal to purchase Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. This means that the companies have assumed ownership and CWCapital, the special servicer since 2010, no longer has any ownership interests in the property.

“We are proud to have entered into long-term partnership with the PCVST community and the City of New York,” said Jon Gray, Global Head of Real Estate for Blackstone, in an official statement. “We look forward to working together with them to preserve what makes this community so special.”

Daniel Fournier, chairman and CEO of Ivanhoé Cambridge said, “We are honored to share with Blackstone the responsibility of the future of PCVST. This investment is a win-win for the community of 30,000 residents, for our investors and for New York.”

The deal, touted as “the mother of all preservation deals,” by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will preserve affordability at 5,000 of the complex’s apartments for the next 20 years. There are also some protections for the 1,400 “Roberts” tenants while for market rate residents, the deal maintains the status quo.

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How straphangers can save hundreds of dollars a year, starting in January

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks at an event in Union Square to promote the Community Benefits Law, which will save commuters an average of $443 a year in monthly MetroCards. (Photo courtesy of Riders Alliance)

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks at an event in Union Square to promote the Community Benefits Law, which will save commuters an average of $443 a year in monthly MetroCards. (Photo courtesy of Riders Alliance)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

To help commuters estimate how much they could save on transit as a result of the new Commuter Benefits Law, City Council Member Dan Garodnick joined representatives from the Rider’s Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Union Square subway station on Sunday with a giant calculator and an oversized tax chart.

Garodnick had originally proposed the legislation in the spring of 2014 and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the legislation that October, but the councilmember held the event in Union Square last weekend as a reminder that commuters should take advantage of the benefits because the law officially goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

The new law will require businesses with 20 or more employees to offer workers the opportunity to use pre-tax dollars toward transit. Garodnick said that there was previously no requirement for employers and once the law goes into effect, the Department of Consumer Affairs will have the power to enforce it. But he emphasized that he wants to let both employers and employees know about the program’s advantages rather than worry about consequences of non-compliance.

“At this moment we’re really trying to educate,” he said. “We want people to know it’s a benefit that will be available and encourage employers to set it up.”

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