Workers plant a tree on Friday morning in Stuyvesant Town, as part of a project to bring one tree to the property per day in June. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Throughout the month of June, 30 new trees will arrive in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
The “30 Trees in 30 Days” program began on the first of the month, with a new tree being planted each day.
In an official statement, StuyTown Property Services, Blackstone’s management company, said the new arrivals are replacing a significant number of trees on the property that have been lost due to old age, attrition and extreme weather conditions.
Chuck Hartsell, director of landscape and horticulture, mentioned that a major factor was the difficulties of being in an urban environment, as he passed some trees in the complex that he noted were on the decline.
Under current law, landlords can oust tenants from a building by claiming they’re going to be demolishing it.
However, the owner wouldn’t necessarily face any penalties if that demolition never ended up happening, and State Senator Brad Hoylman has said he is looking into changing this.
The topic of ousting tenants, particularly lower rent paying ones under this scheme was recently covered in an article in The Real Deal. The article focused on a talk given by landlord attorney Michelle Maratto Itkowitz in which she discussed the practice, saying that as far as she knew, building owners have not faced penalties for not making good on a demolition plan following the evictions. That said, she warned an owner might be sued “by a nasty person with a grudge,” yet also stressed that landlords who try to harass tenants out of their homes were looking for trouble, like the recently arrested Steven Croman.
After seeing the article, Hoylman, told Town & Village he was “researching the issue” and noted that in his district, on the East Side as well as the West Side, he’d seen demolitions and questioned their legality due to their having been done “without appropriate permits.”