Blackstone halting renovations on vacant units in STPCV

Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Blackstone Group, owner of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village along with Kips Bay Court and other properties in the city, will stop apartment renovations in Stuy Town as the firm considers the impact that the new rent regulations will have on their business.

Crain’s New York Business first noted the change earlier this month, citing a spokeswoman for Blackstone who said the company is “in the process of evaluating capital investments at Stuy Town.”

A source also noted that renovations on vacant apartments at the complex, which has more than 11,000 units, would halt, possibly in addition to larger construction projects on the property. It’s unclear if management is currently in the process of any major capital improvement (MCI) work. The source confirmed that legally-required repairs to fix leaks or hot water service will continue.

STPCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg said that she isn’t sure what precisely this change will mean for current tenants.

“I would imagine that [Blackstone is] evaluating their options,” she said. “It’s just not clear what impact the law will have.”

Steinberg added that she hoped it meant renovations would stop only on vacant apartments and not occupied units that need regular maintenance and repairs, which is required by law. She also speculated that if apartments won’t be renovated, current residents might be interested to know how the rents would be decided on those apartments because the cost might ultimately be cheaper than some tenants’ current rent.

Real Estate Weekly reported this week that the changes to the law mean that landlords can only pass $15,000 worth of renovations to a tenant over 15 years, which works out to an $89 rent increase. Under the previous laws, landlords were able to exploit loopholes by claiming they spent thousands of dollars on renovations to bump apartment rents over the threshold of rent stabilization to make units market-rate.

The new regulations also eliminated the 20% vacancy bonus, further curtailing the amount the landlords can increase the rent on stabilized units.

Steinberg said that one of the main concerns for the TA continues to be charges for MCIs for building-wide upgrades. Under the previous law, the landlords could recoup costs on these projects by increase rents building-wide by as much as 6% but under the new regulations, the increases are limited to 2% a year.

“The Division of Housing and Community Renewal has to come up with what is MCI-able, if I can use that term,” she said of the changes. “They’ll have to see if there are changes and determine the industry standard for the cost so that the landlord can’t just charge anything.”

7 thoughts on “Blackstone halting renovations on vacant units in STPCV

  1. So wait, the ponzi scheme where Tishman bought the complex with rents covering only 58% of the mortgage, with the idea of squeezing more profit out of the place with illegal deregulation and pumped up nickle-and-dime amenities (gym, increase parking costs, concierge services) now these years later is a reason not to renovate, or perhaps even care for, the buildings?

    The worlds tiniest violin is playing for Blackstone somewhere…

  2. If it means not living in a perpetual cloud of asbetos dust and having to endure non-stop noise of a nerve-shattering nature, it is good. MetLife used to paint and clean vacant apartments and people happily moved into them. We lived without cheap, bottom-of-line appliances and having our floors scraped so thin that they could cave in at any minute. If Blackstone would stop jamming the apartments full of several unrelated occupants who use and abuse the ancient plumbing system and put a terrible strain on the entire infrastructure, we would be very happy. These buildings were not built to be stuffed with transients sharing spaces originally designed for families who did not take 10 showers a day between them and clog up the already corroded pipes and drains. Neither were the apartments ever sound-proofed. The 80% rule went by the wayside years ago (although it is still on the books, but never enforced) and neighbors can hear every pee, poo, fart, sex activity as though it was in their apartments and, worst of all, all those high heels and loud music which would be muted by carpets.

    This used to be a very nice place to live. Now, there is little difference between living here and living in a Skid Row tenement. And it is NOT worth the money!

  3. NB . I meant to say “80% carpeting rule.” A rug here and there (at most) does not meet that requirement in any way shape or form.

  4. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the remaining old timers’ apartments that were not re-wired. Anyone want a cheap apartment with no A/C, minimal electric outlets, and a 1950’s kitchen and bath?

  5. Well said. For the first time, the loud noise of making and drilling “new” apartments in ST and PCV is gone. I hope this lasts.

  6. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the remaining old timers’ apartments that were not re-wired. Anyone want a cheap apartment with no A/C, minimal electric outlets, and a 1950’s kitchen and bath?”

    According to Blackstone (see the T&V article link on this) , there are now less than 1400 of these type of apartmenta (No A/C) left. There are around (IMO) a high 30% (out of 11,000 plus) that are non renovated apartments. That % includes the 1400 without A/C. The so called “modern” appliances are low end, they may look high end but they are not.

    The big question is what happens to non renovated apartments once they become available. That needs to be answered ASAP.

  7. Pingback: Blackstone will rent out all vacant units in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village | Town & Village

Leave a Reply

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