All playgrounds in ST/PCV to be renovated

To celebrate the fitness playground opening on Tuesday, Stuy Town management reps ran a 40-yard dash from one side of the playground to the other. (Pictured L-R) Jonathan Foux, director of marketing; Dominick Gagliardotto, landscaping; Joe Tedone, landscaping foreman; Benny Truncali, masonry supervisor; Rick Hayduk, StuyTown Property Services CEO; Walter Ramirez, landscaping; Omar Mercado, landscaping; George Ubry, landscaping; and Peter Walterspiel, senior vice president of leasing and marketing (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday morning, during the opening of a new fitness playground in Stuyvesant Town, StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk announced that all of the property’s 15 playgrounds would be renovated within the next five years. Additionally, like the fitness playground, which is the first playground to be accessible only by residents’ key-cards, the other playgrounds will also be outfitted similarly. Hayduk said this wasn’t in response to any security issue but about making tenants feel safer.

The next playground to be renovated is Stuy Town’s Playground 1. The fitness playground (Playground 7) previously had no amenities and had been used mostly for roller hockey. To accommodate the hockey players, Playground 1, which currently has a rough terrain, will be smoothed over and renovated sometime in 2018. Key-card readers at the playgrounds are expected to be installed even before the renovation work begins.

According to Hayduk, improving playgrounds and recreational facilities was one of Blackstone/Ivanhoe Cambridge’s priorities after acquiring Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village in 2015.

Meanwhile, he touted the new fitness playground as being suitable for a multigenerational crowd.

“Regardless of age, anyone can use this playground,” said Hayduk. “We said it’s got to be able to function for a 25-year-old American ninja wannabe as well as a 70-year-old who wants to improve their balance and strength.”

The fitness playground

The playground’s features include a looped track, stationary cardio machines, upper body training tools, core and abdominal exercise benches and an obstacle course with tires and a wall climb. There are also lockers and a place where playground users can fill bottles with filtered water. The space was designed by the architectural firm Starr Whitehouse. Part of the preparation on the new playground, which now has a spongy, colorful surface over newly poured in concrete, included beautifying the surrounding landscaping.

Located near First Avenue behind the leasing office, Playground 7 was the first playground in the complex to be renovated after management found that it was underutilized.

“It was an asphalt box. It was used for some activities, but it was used by very few residents just because of the format,” Hayduk said.

Following Hayduk’s statements, made to the dozens of SPS employees who’d been involved in the project, in lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting, Hayduk and a few others in management ran a 40-yard dash from one end of the playground to the other. A Stuy Town logo-covered banner served as the finish line.

As part of the grand opening, SPS announced on Tuesday that there will be some complimentary fitness workshops and demos conducted by NFC Amenity Management, the company that manages the Oval Fitness gym. The gym’s personal trainers will also offer personal assistance to seniors who want to use the equipment on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from August 7 to October 2 from 10-11:30 a.m.

12 thoughts on “All playgrounds in ST/PCV to be renovated

  1. Is Rick going to comment on the assault and robbery in front of 531 East 20th?

    Talk about deflection and manipulation at its finest, that is Tick and SPS for ya.

  2. Also, I do think it’s great that they are renovating some of the playgrounds that desperately need to be redone, but it seems unnecessary for most of them. I believe that all but ST 1 and 6 have been renovated in the past 10 years, and seem to be in good shape. For a financial giant like Blackstone, you would think they would be smarter with their money than they have been so far (think unnecessary signs, plantings, and now playgrounds). I wonder what their shareholders would think!!

      • Exactly. If they are trying to increase the value of the property, which I assume they are, it does nothing for the appraised value of the property if you have all these nice things but a high crime rate at the same time.

        Having a little experience in real estate appraising, I can tell you that crime is the absolute top indicator of land and property value, even more so than the actual property itself. Without an increase in security all of these other improvements are a waste of time and money.

  3. Does this mean, finally, that we will see all the rules of the complex being enforced? Or is the dash meant to serve as prep for running away from a mugger. LOL. I think enforcing what is already part of the rules is a priority. People will want to live in the complex once they know that everything is working the way it is supposed to work and the way it is said on the website it is working, but, unfortunately, it is not. Once the rules are enforced, I will gladly champion this place.

    • I agree with that! I truly do love this place, but it is so hard to not speak up when I see so many bad things taking place on and around this property.

      I think if they started with these five things, this place would be on the right track to being a great place to live once again, and I too would champion it to the moon:

      1) Security – hire more, and get them back on foot patrol. Reinstate vertical checks. Basically just let them do their job.

      2) Dog enforcement – dogs are here to stay, but dog owners have to be punished for not picking up poop. Use the cameras if needed. Also, keep outside dogs out.

      3) Get the trash situation in order – mattresses and garbage thrown everywhere is the new norm. This place looks more like a pig sty than an oasis these days.

      4) Better communications – I will give this to Rick and staff, they are doing a great job with communicating. So great, that they are able to sweep some pretty important things under the rug (like crime). I would prefer to hear about crime directly from my management, and not hear about it in T&V or on the Citizen app.

      5) Keep it simple! This place was a goldmine for 60 years before greed took over. This place can still make a ton of money for Blackstone if they lower rents to the point where desirable tenants can afford to live here for more than 1 year, thus reducing the obvious churn that this place has become accustomed to. This would create stability and an overall safer community.

      Also, why am I writing this?? Isn’t this something the TA should be taking care of?

  4. Sabina Mollot, you need to issue a correction to this article. As per Management’s latest email and signage on this playground, it’s for ages 15 and up with ages 12-14 allowed to use the facility only with parental or guardian supervision. It’s not for anyone of any age as the article misquotes Rick Hayduk as saying.

  5. It is an outrage that all these superfluous, so-called, “amenities,” many of which add profits to Blackstone’s bottom line as Capital Improvements, and/or increase are rents, are forced upon us without regard for input/consensus through the TA and the actual residents. “Steve’s'” comments were spot on, except, he left out the major issue of quiet enjoyment within the development. I must REITERATE that if Playground #11 is to be “renovated,” it needs to be “repealed and replaced” with anything that does not generate yelling, screaming, shouting, cursing, howling, or dribbling, e. g. an easy to maintain garden area with sitting benches, another fountain, a lawn area for Yoga or Tai Chi, etc.. Once again, this is not a college campus, a day camp, a dog park, or a recreation facility. KEEP THIS DEVELOPMENT SAFE, QUIET, AND SERENE. REMEMBER, HAYDUK AND HIS POWER BROKERS DO NOT TRULY CARE ABOUT THE AFOREMENTIONED, SO WE MUST….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.