Mayor Bill de Blasio, Councilmember Dan Garodnick and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer along with Tenants Association members during a 2015 press conference to announce Blackstone’s purchase of Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The owner of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, has confirmed it will not purposely keep rent-regulated apartments vacant following criticism from local elected officials after reports that the company was doing so, Gothamist reported last Friday.
The position was a shift from earlier last week when the owner, Blackstone, would not commit to leasing all the regulated units, a strategy often referred to as “warehousing.” Gothamist also noted that the promise came after Mayor Bill de Blasio said that city officials would need to have “some serious conversations” with the company about the agreement it signed to keep the units affordable.
“We are renovating and leasing all vacant units, and we will continue to fulfill our commitment to voluntarily preserve 5,000 affordable apartments,” Blackstone spokesperson Jennifer Friedman told Town & Village, although she added that the company will still have to make “difficult choices” and “scale back certain investments” in light of the recent legislation.
Blackstone is now actively renting out all vacant units, although the company has spent the last several weeks working through how to conduct renovations, especially in recently-vacated apartments that have been occupied for decades.
How sweet it is. The new ice cream truck in town will be operated by Mikey Likes it. (Photos by Thomas Rochford)
By Sabina Mollot
Stuyvesant Town residents who were out and about on the First Avenue Loop on Friday afternoon may have seen the newest vehicle to enter management’s fleet, only this time it’s not a security SUV or contractor club car, but an ice cream truck.
The baby blue and white van, which was parked on the side of the road, has the words, “Peter Coop’s Scoops” and the Peter Cooper logo on its side.
Asked about this, Stuyvesant Town general manager Rick Hayduk said that is really an ice cream truck and it will be open for business in Peter Cooper and Stuy Town (where legally allowed to operate), on June 19. It may also, where allowed, Hayduk stressed, pop up at public events in the city, and it will also appear at another Blackstone-owned property, Kips Bay Court.
The truck is part of Stuy Town Property Services’ recently announced re-branding efforts such as the new, minimalist property logos and last year’s apartment-in-a-box van that drove around the city. It’s being operated independently by Mikey Likes It, an ice cream shop owned by a Stuyvesant Town resident, Michael Cole. The business has a location in the East Village on Avenue A as well as on Fredrick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. In exchange for having the ST/PCV wrap as a form of advertising for the property, management gave Mikey Likes It the truck to use.
“We’re not in the ice cream business,” Hayduk clarified.
Posted in Businesses, East Village, Kips Bay, Peter Cooper Village, Stuyvesant Town, Uncategorized
- Tagged businesses, ice cream, Mikey Likes It, Peter Cooper Village, Rick Hayduk, small business, StuyTown Property Services, Stuyvesant Town
A new leasing office is under construction in Peter Cooper Village. (Photo by Thomas Rochford)
By Sabina Mollot
In response to the latest branding efforts by StuyTown Property Services, which have included new logos for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village and a new leasing office now being built in Peter Cooper, some residents have been worried this was an attempt to treat the two complexes differently.
Council Member Keith Powers, who said he’d been hearing from neighbors on this issue, sent a letter to ST/PCV general manager Hayduk last Wednesday, asking him to clarify that the branding wouldn’t mean Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village would no longer have access to the same amenities.
Powers also asked if apartments in both complexes would still be available through the lottery system for reduced rents. He also wanted to know if all the marketing would mean existing tenants should now expect diminished benefits and if management planned to reduce staff levels at either complex. Powers also had a question on apartment finishes, asking if Stuyvesant Town apartments would end up looking different from those in Peter Cooper.
“As a lifelong resident who has lived in both Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, I am concerned that current plans are to put the two properties on a separate path in the short-term and long-term,” Powers wrote.
A new leasing office is under construction in Peter Cooper Village. (Photos by Thomas Rochford)
By Sabina Mollot
Earlier this week, residents noticed that a new leasing office was being advertised in Peter Cooper Village in the corner space previously occupied by the Petite Abeille restaurant. The slick-looking posters show smiling individuals of various ages, and the property’s very new logo for Peter Cooper.
Asked about the advertisements, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village general manager Rick Hayduk confirmed there is a new leasing office under construction just for Peter Cooper, but it will be housed in the neighboring 350 First Avenue. This is where another leasing office, primarily a center for brokers’ use, used to be until closing last year. The new leasing office was briefly mentioned in an e-blast to neighbors last week that also mentioned the Stuyvesant Town leasing office would be getting “a refresh,” as would signage and employee uniforms.
“Since our acquisition in late 2015, StuyTown Property Services’ and Beam Living’s focused attention has been on improving a resident’s experience (resident communication, situational response time, exterior aesthetics, quality of life issues, playgrounds, etc.), and we felt it was time to reset the ‘public’ image of the two communities,” Hayduk said in a written statement. Continue reading
Posted in Blackstone, First Avenue, Peter Cooper Village, ST/PCV ownership, Stuyvesant Town
- Tagged Blackstone, businesses, First Avenue, Peter Cooper Village, Peter Cooper Village leasing office, Petite Abeille, restaurants, StuyTown Property Services, Stuyvesant Town, Stuyvesant Town leasing office, Vamos!
The recently reconfigured 20th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
Update: Wednesday at 9 a.m.: In addition to painting work, there will also be a film shoot taking place on East 20th Street.
In an e-blast to residents on Tuesday evening, StuyTown Property Services said, “The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has posted notices today on East 20th Street asking that all cars parked between 1st Avenue and Avenue C be moved by tomorrow, April 10th at 6pm. Per these postings, any questions should be directed to the location scout: Gayle, reachable at 347.762.4009.”
By Sabina Mollot
Due to a bike lane painting project happening later this week on East 20th Street, parking will be temporarily suspended along the street.
The announcement was first made via an email blast from StuyTown Property Services on Monday evening after management was made aware of the project.
“We do not have an exact date yet but are expecting the work to be started later this week,” general manager Rick Hayduk said in the email. “Signage is being posted along 20th, please make sure to follow all directions so that no cars are towed. More updates will follow as we have them.”
Peter Cooper Village burglary suspect
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Stuyvesant Town management sent a newsletter around to residents earlier this week warning about an increase in building break-ins throughout the complex and warning against allowing non-residents to “piggy-back” inside.
StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that none of the incidents mentioned in the email were new and had all been reported in the last six months. The incidents included the assault of a woman who had been hired by residents and was attacked after security buzzed her into the Stuyvesant Town building and a man followed her inside, in addition to a teenager who was mugged in a Peter Cooper Village vestibule last fall.
One incident that Town & Village did not learn of at the time was an apartment break-in that occurred within the last few months where a man followed a resident into the building and started checking for open doors. Finding one, he began taking things from an apartment and was leaving as a teenage resident was returning. The resident wasn’t harmed and the suspect hasn’t been arrested.
This incident wasn’t publicized at the time because the resident requested that it not be made public, although Hayduk noted that it was reported to the NYPD.
Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman also noted at the 13th Precinct community council’s most recent meeting on Tuesday evening that package thefts have been up in the neighborhood, with two suspects being arrested for a string of six incidents in Stuyvesant Town on Christmas after they managed to get into multiple buildings. Hayduk noted in the email that package thefts have increased on the property and often occur when non-residents manage to piggy-back into the buildings.
Posted in 13th Precinct, Crime, Peter Cooper Village, Stuyvesant Town
- Tagged 13th precinct, assault, burglary, crime, Peter Cooper Village, Rick Hayduk, ST-PCV Tenants Association, StuyTown Property Services, Stuyvesant Town, theft
By Sabina Mollot
By now, there is probably not a single New Yorker, or even a single person living in the country with a phone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of some sort of scam pitch. The popular ones being Con Ed, the Department of the Treasury, the IRS and Microsoft.
But some callers seem more plausible than others in their attempts to get money from their marks, in particular those who spout names of familiar companies that are actually used by the victims and find out the names and sometimes other information about the people they’re calling.
For those reasons, Peter Cooper Village Josef Schreick believed it at first when someone claiming to be an Apple employee called his landline, warning him his computer had a virus that was putting all his other Apple devices at risk.
So he called back the number the caller gave him as instructed, and a heavily accented man who introduced himself as Chris Morris answered. Shreick’s phone number is listed publicly, so “Chris” knew Schreick’s address and also knew (or guessed correctly) that he subscribed to Spectrum, making him seem more legit. After informing him his devices were at risk of being infected, the man told Schreick the cost for repairs would be $200, to be paid in Apple iTunes gift cards.
By Sabina Mollot
Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.
Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.
One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.
The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.
New section of fence in the forefront, older fence behind it (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Local residents noticed a recent change in the neighborhood at squirrel-level: new fencing around the grassy areas and tree pits in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
Stuy Town resident Jerry Alperstein saw the old wire fencing rolled up on the grass with a new, shorter fence installed along the 18th Street Loop near his apartment at the end of last month and ST-PCV general manager Rick Hayduk confirmed that the fences on the interior of the property are being switched out.
“It’s more decorative than what’s there now and it’s more like the original fence that was up,” Alperstein said when he noticed the new fence.
Hayduk confirmed that the new iron wickets were indeed a bit of a throwback, but “we feel they are architecturally appropriate for Stuyvesant Town in 2018 and beyond,” he said.
The Space Cadets (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday afternoon, Stuyvesant Town held its annual Halloween festival for children, after the event was delayed due to a storm on Saturday.
Fortunately, the weather was dry and mild on Tuesday.
“I’m glad we invested all our money in bribing Mother Nature,” joked Robert Vazquez, Stuy Town’s director of lifestyle services. “She cost a lot but it was worth it.”
This year’s event was packed as usual with costumed revelers enjoying bounce houses, an arts & crafts table, a pumpkin patch fashioned out of balloons and a corn maze. Kids also got to dance to the music of the band Space Cadets and take pictures at a display of skeletons.
The Petite Abeille in Peter Cooper Village opened in 2004.
By Sabina Mollot
Belgian restaurant Petite Abeille closed the last of its locations on Sunday night, which operated in Peter Cooper Village since 2004.
The owners announced the closure on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Friday, blaming rising operational costs. However, in recent years, Yves Jadot, who owned the restaurant with his brothers David and Christophe, said it was hard to operate a restaurant anywhere in the city unless it’s very cheap or very expensive. Last year, the original Petite Abeille, on West 17th Street in Chelsea, closed. In 2015, the Tribeca location closed with Jadot saying at the time there was too much competition from food trucks for the local lunch crowd. At one time there were four locations of Petite Abeille in Manhattan, the first one opening in 1995.
On Facebook, the owners said, “New York has undergone many changes in the 22 years we’ve been in business and unfortunately the rising cost of operating a neighborhood restaurant is one of them. As a small local business, we are simply not able to carry the hefty costs any longer in order for our business to be financially viable.”
Halloween display in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
StuyTown property Services presents the following free Halloween events for residents. Guests are asked to bring their resident IDs.
Family Halloween Fun-Fest
On Tuesday, October 30 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on the Oval, families are invited to come in costume to the annual fair, which this year will feature five bounce houses for various ages, carnival snacks, a craft area with rubbed art, buttons, crowns, puppets, murals, a balloon-filled pumpkin patch with mini pumpkins for decorating, live music and guest entertainers with magic and mayhem.
Editor’s note: This event has been rescheduled from October 27 due to a predicted nor’easter.
The raccoon spotted in Peter Cooper Village
By Sabina Mollot
In recent years, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village has had some surprising animal visitors, including a lost coyote and an injured bat. Rumors of raccoons have abounded, but on Sunday, Peter Cooper resident Suzanne Silber got photographic evidence of one such masked marauder in broad daylight, as it scarfed down a snack.
Silber said the raccoon was eating what appeared to be Veggie Booty or similar dried stick snacks that were scattered on the lawn. Asked about this, ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk said the food had been thrown on the lawn by someone, attracting the attention of the raccoon. He added that management’s environmental services partner has set some traps to try and catch the critter. The traps will only be out for a week or two, though since the raccoon has already appeared to move on from the property on its own.
Silber originally posted the photo on the ST-PCV Tenants Association’s Facebook page, where another commenter reported seeing the little guy on Monday night near 3 Peter Cooper Road, coming from the fountain area. Yet another TA account poster snapped a photo of presumably the same raccoon spotted Monday night on East 22nd Street between First and Second Avenues.
Stuyvesant Town’s public safety command center will soon look like this, following the installation of nearly 1,500 new cameras around the complex. (Pictured above) a similarly upgraded security office with technology installed by the same company that’s working with Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Fortress Security)
By Sabina Mollot
As part of an ongoing effort aimed at making Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village safer, management will soon be replacing all 1,332 of the surveillance cameras on the property with newer models that offer higher-resolution images. Another 161 cameras will also be installed in other places, including each building’s laundry room and carriage rooms, where bikes are stored. This will bring the total to 1,493 cameras onsite.
The project will cost close to $2 million. However, according to Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk, the cost will not be passed on to tenants through a major capital improvement (MCI) rent increase.
According to Rei Moya, director of operations in ST/PCV, the new cameras will offer significantly better image quality, similar to that of a TV show, as opposed to the somewhat choppy grainy footage that’s currently available. (The resolution is 1,080 as opposed to the current 480.) It will also be available through an ethernet connection, allowing public safety department and management employees to access images on their phones, which hadn’t been possible previously. The new technology will also enable a photo to be taken any time a person passes through certain thresholds, like near carriage rooms. While this means every resident will have his or her photo taken on every trip to retrieve a bike, it will also capture individuals looking to steal bikes. The purpose of the photos is that they will save a lot of time as compared to the current process of scrolling through what can amount to hundreds of hours of footage to find a theft suspect.
“If someone hops a fence and runs, with the technology this system has a threshold so anyone jumping a fence gets their photo taken,” Hayduk explained.
Florence Friedman on her 100th birthday (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
The first female president of Town & Village Synagogue died on Friday, September 28, about a month before her 102nd birthday. Florence Friedman, a Peter Cooper Village resident and previously an original tenant of Stuyvesant Town, was also one of the founding members of the local temple, attending services there before the congregation had an official physical presence in the neighborhood.
Around the time of her 100th birthday, Friedman told Town & Village about the early days of the synagogue, when services were held above a liquor store south of East 14th Street and meetings were held at a dairy on First Avenue.
Friedman was born on November 7, 1916 in Brooklyn and grew up in the Bronx. Democratic incumbent Woodrow Wilson was reelected on the day that Friedman was born and at the time, women still didn’t have the right to vote.