More ‘Roberts’ money on the way for some Stuy Town residents

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Council Member Dan Garodnick discusses the payouts. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot 

Nearly 2,000 residents of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village who were part of the “Roberts vs. Tishman Speyer” lawsuit, which proved apartments were illegally deregulated, will soon see another round of checks.

Attorneys on the case said there was about $450,000 left in unclaimed damages from the suit, which in 2013 resulted in a $173 million settlement for tenants ($68.75 million of that amount being cash and the rest in rent reductions).

On Saturday, the checks were discussed by City Council Member Dan Garodnick at a meeting of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

Garodnick, who’s a resident of Peter Cooper Village, told neighbors that in order to be eligible for the money, the class action suit’s plaintiffs would have had to file as current, not former, tenants, and have received more than the minimum payout, which was $150. They also would have had to deposit their original check.

In this case, “The checks should be coming in the next few weeks,” he said. Residents will then have 120 days to deposit the money. After that, any unclaimed money, if less than $100,000, will be split evenly between two local nonprofits: the ST-PCV Tenants Association and the Peter Stuyvesant Little League.

According to Garodnick, there are 1,973 people who are eligible for the payout, which would make the average check around $228. This time, no one has to file any paperwork to get their damages.

“This was a big tenant win for our community and for the city,” said Garodnick, who was a member of the “Roberts” class action suit. “I am glad that those who were harmed continue to see compensation.”

Lawyers for tenants said there were over 27,000 tenants and former tenants who were awarded damages from former landlords Tishman Speyer and Met Life. The damages were 100 percent of what the tenants overpaid based on calculations from a very complicated settlement formula, minus 30 percent for legal fees and other fees.

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Kavanagh, Mendez leave First Avenue office building that’s getting cleared out

By Sabina Mollot

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez have both recently left their longtime offices, which were located at a building at the southwest corner of First Avenue and 14th Street. The building has been getting slowly cleared of its commercial tenants, with Mendez leaving a few weeks after Kavanagh. He and Mendez are both temporarily working at their legislative office building at 250 Broadway, near City Hall. Kavanagh said he is still looking for a new permanent space within the district, which runs from Delancey Street to the United Nations building, but plans to stay in the same neighborhood.

News of the exodus was announced by Mendez to constituents via email.

“This suite on the fifth floor has served constituents of Council District 2 for over two decades and the displacement is sad news to Team Rosie,” she said. “As the exhausting search for affordable space within the boundaries of the district continues, we will be sure to keep you updated when we relocate.”

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