Blackstone takes ownership of ST/PCV

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

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

By Sabina Mollot

Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge announced on Friday that they closed on the 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.

The property wound up with a price tag of $5.45 billion, the New York Times reported, which would make the cost even more than that of the historic sale to Tishman Speyer. However, according to a spokesperson for Blackstone, the net price paid was still the previously reported amount of $5.3 billion. The previous figure includes full payment of transfer taxes. Prior to announcing the deal in October, the city had agreed to provide Blackstone with around $225 million in tax breaks and a loan that will be forgiven.

Meanwhile, the closing was rushed in order to prevent yet another pesky lawsuit against CWCapital, this time threatened by commercial landlord SL Green, according to the Times. SL Green was involved the 2006 sale of the property, having lent and lost about $200 million. But perhaps more importantly, the article noted, a real estate investor whose partners include Fortress, CW’s parent company, had challenged a midtown skyscraper SL Green wanted to build. “Fearing that the suit could delay the closing, the company offered SL Green what it considered a token amount, $10 million.”

This reported threat came on the heels of another suit against CW, this one by a group of lenders led by hedge fund Appaloosa, being withdrawn. That group had filed suit over CW being able to walk off with a reported $566 million in fees from the sale and other services rendered at Stuyvesant Town.

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Ess-a-Bagel should open in February

By Sabina Mollot

This past week, a couple of residents of Stuyvesant Town told Town & Village they were concerned that Ess-a-Bagel, which recently inked a lease in the complex, wasn’t going to open or might be having some problems. This, they explained was due to the fact that no work appeared to be going on in the space, which is now marked by a “coming soon” banner in the window. This appeared to be in contrast with what an onsite worker told T&V two weeks ago, that the place could open “hopefully” by the end of January.

Meanwhile, according to one of the owners, Muriel Frost, things are proceeding at the new space, despite having to wait for some permits and other paperwork issues. The new location, she added, could be open by February 1. Or, she admitted, “it could be February 10.”

She’s been fielding plenty of questions on that subject at Ess-a-Bagel’s Third Avenue location, where some regulars of the old shop on First Avenue will sometimes travel for their bagels on weekends.

“Customers come up on Sundays and ask,” said Frost. “God willing everything will be okay.”

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 24

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

‘New system’ for plumbing service stinks!

Re: Story, “Garodnick: Stuy Town plumbing service has gone down the toilet,” T&V, Dec. 17

The reduction of our plumbing service is just the latest, most blatant example of what CompassRock (CWCapital) has been getting away with during the past few years in order to enrich themselves further. I say it is the most blatant because so many residents feel the effects as soon as there is a problem which is typically several times a year, while other service cuts including in pest control and security may be less obvious but nevertheless still noticed by many.

I currently have a problem with my bathroom sink being completely clogged, and therefore unusable. When I called management services to arrange an appointment I was very disturbed when they told me the earliest appointment they could arrange for me was in three weeks! When I replied that this is something that used to be resolved in a few days, they responded that they now have a new system. They wouldn’t explain their “new system,” but it obviously meant saving more money by cutting our services even more. I did call the Blackstone hotline at (221) 655-9870 to report it and was told that they have been flooded with similar complaints.

I guess it’s not enough that CW is receiving over a half billion dollar windfall from the upcoming sale but obviously they feel they need to squeeze out a few thousand dollars more at the expense of their tenants.

At least when the sale is completed we can likely expect CompassRock to depart, and I’m sure I express the sentiment of many tenants when I say to them “Goodbye, and good riddance!”

Ed Lee, ST

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