By Sabina Mollot
Several months ago, drivers who parked their cars at any of the garages located in Stuyvesant Town found themselves socked with a $20 monthly increase in rent, without prior warning.
Now, Council Member Dan Garodnick is looking to the Department of Consumer Affairs to see if those increases, issued by garage operator Icon/Quik Park, are actually legit. In a letter to the DCA commissioner, Lorelai Salas, late last month, Garodnick wrote about the increases, which he started hearing about from garage customers last September.
“These increases have come without any notice,” he said. “The increases have been unaccompanied by any explanation; garage customers have simply received monthly bills higher than what they have paid previously. Since local law requires a 60 day prior notice of rate changes, it would appear that all of these increases are invalid, and should be reversed.”
Garodnick added that he’d first brought up the issue to the DCA five months earlier and was hoping for the result of the investigation “as soon as it is complete.”
In response to his concerns, Abigail Lootens, a spokesperson for the department, told Town & Village that the DCA had received a number of complaints about the rent increases and has been “actively investigating” the company’s practices.
Marynia Kruk, a spokesperson for StuyTown Property Services, said that management was aware of the issue but reiterated that the six garages on the property are operated by a third party vendor. A call to Rafael Llopiz, CEO of Icon/Quik Park, was not returned.
At this time, monthly rates for four of the Stuy Town garages start at $350 a month although that’s the rate for new customers. Two of the garages have monthly rates starting at $325 for new customers, according to the company website.
In related news, shortly before the New Year, Icon/Quik Park informed customers in the Stuy Town garages that they’d have to pay a fee unless they started paying for their spots electronically. However, the parking giant quickly backed down. Kruk later told T&V that management wasn’t aware of the policy before it was announced and after learning about it, asked the garage company not to put it into effect.