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.
ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg
By Sabina Mollot
Language in leases signed by Stuyvesant Town residents indicates that the owner has plans to submeter Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, which would make individual tenants responsible for paying for the electricity they use.
However, according to StuyTown Property Services, there is no plan to submeter the property any time soon.
The issue came up this week after a resident pointed out the language on Facebook and wondered if this meant Blackstone intended for file an application with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to have the property submetered.
In response, a property spokesperson, Marynia Kruk, told us, “The Facebook post (on the ST-PCV Tenants Association’s page) is accurate in that our current lease does have a clause about submetering or direct metering. However, this is not new language. New leases have contained the same language since 2009. Ownership has no current plan for submetering.”
Meanwhile, if Blackstone does eventually decide to submeter, it would be the second attempt by a Stuy Town owner to pass on the costs to renters. Tishman Speyer had planned to do this but then abruptly dropped the project upon losing the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer lawsuit at the Appellate Court level.
Last October, residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village who were represented in the “Roberts v. Tishman Speyer” class action lawsuit saw a second wave of payouts from the initial $68.75 million pool.
Now it’s likely that there will be a third round of checks, according to Michael Liskow, who’s one of the attorneys representing tenants from the firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.
As a condition of the second payout, if there was more than $100,000 left after a deadline for checks to be deposited passed, then there would be another distribution. If there was less than $100,000 left, then the remaining funds would be split among two local nonprofits, the ST-PCV Tenants Association and the Peter Stuyvesant Little League.
The 120-day deadline has already passed for most of the recipients but attorneys won’t know the exact amount that’s left in the pool until around March 15. This is when the deadline will have passed for all eligible class suit members. However, as of this week, there was over $150,000 left, Liskow said.
Three months after taking over the property, Blackstone has announced the name of its own recently formed management company that will handle the day-to-day operations at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. This is following CompassRock’s official exit from ST/PCV on April 1.
Unlike CompassRock, the new company, called “StuyTown Property Services,” will — as its name suggests — just be for the management of ST/PCV, according to a Blackstone spokesperson.
In other management changes, along with four recent plumbing hires, StuyTown Property Services has also added three new people to its resident relations division. Those employees will be responsible for cleanliness inspections, maintenance issues and hands-on resident relations, said Blackstone spokesperson Paula Chirhart.
“The termination of the previous management agreement and the formal establishment of StuyTown Property Services marks a major milestone for all residents,” said Nadeem Meghji, senior managing director for Blackstone. “We are pleased to have Rick (Hayduk) and his StuyTown Property Services team in place and ready to serve the community.”
In January, resort and residential industry veteran Rick Hayduk was hired as Stuy Town’s new general manager. He was also the first person in that role to move into the community since the Met Life days, and is the new company’s CEO.
Meanwhile, this is the second apartment complex CompassRock has lost from its portfolio in recent months. CompassRock, CWCapital’s management arm formed in 2012, had been managing the 1,229-unit Riverton Houses in Harlem while CWCapital oversaw the property following an over-leveraged deal. Then last December, Riverton was sold to A&E Real Estate, and according to a spokesperson, Daniel White, A&E prefers to do its own management of the properties it owns.
Rick Hayduk (right), the new general manager of ST/PCV, speaks with tenants at a meet-and-greet event on Saturday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
The new general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper, Rick Hayduk, has promised tenants that Blackstone is focused on improving services and communication and in particular, said the hiring of four new plumbers should end the two to three week wait times tenants have been experiencing for repairs.
Hayduk made the comments on Saturday at a meet and greet event that was held at the tents at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11.
Around 150 people, mainly seniors and other longterm tenants, attended the event, as did a couple of elected officials, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Council Member Dan Garodnick.
Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.
While at a podium in front of a Stuy Town logo-covered step-and-repeat, Hayduk discussed various tenant concerns, including the recent spike in plumbing repair delays. “Our standard is two to three days and that’s what you should expect,” he said.
Hayduk also said that a hotline for tenants that Blackstone had set up after the company bought the property has been transferred to his office.
“Go through normal channels, but if (a request) needs to escalate, we’re here for that,” Hayduk said. The number is (212) 655-9870.
He also encouraged tenants to slip him notes, gesturing to his pocket while saying that several neighbors had already done so.
On Wednesday, Blackstone announced that it will be forming a new management company to run Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village and that they’ve chosen a new general manager, Rick Hayduk.
Hayduk, who’ll be moving with his family to the complex, started on January 1. However, the new company won’t take over from CompassRock until a transitional period ends. Blackstone hasn’t yet elaborated on the new management entity.
Hayduk has over 30 years of property management and hospitality experience, Blackstone said, and previously worked at the 350-acre Boca Raton Resort & Club as the property’s president. Prior to that he was regional managing director of South Seas Island Resort and the Inns of Sanibel, where he worked with over 20 home owners associations and residents of the resort village and neighboring condominiums. He’s been working with Blackstone properties for almost a decade.
“We are confident he is the right person for this role,” said Nadeem Meghji, senior managing director at Blackstone. Meghji added that Hayduk is “someone we know well and trust.”
Residents will get a chance to meet Hayduk at a meet-and-greet on Saturday, January 9 at 10 a.m. at the tented basketball court at Playground 11 in Stuyvesant Town. Additional meet-and-greet events will be on Tuesday, January 12 at the community center, 449 East 14th Street at 2 and 3 p.m. (RSVP required for both by calling (212) 598-5297 or emailing email@example.com) and on January 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the tented basketball court.
Hayduk wasn’t available for comment by Town & Village’s press time, but issued a prepared statement saying he was looking forward to living in the community.
“Over the years of serving guests, residents and associates, I have seen time and time again how personally engaging customers and residents directly is the best approach in property management,” Hayduk said. “Management must be a part of the community in order to understand the needs of its residents. “My wife Carol, our two daughters and I are excited to join the PCVST community and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors and fellow tenants as well as enjoying the green spaces the community is so well known for.”
Hayduk will be the first general manager to live on the property since the Met Life era.
Over five years after taking control of the property, CWCapital is preparing Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village for a sale, Bloomberg news reported on Saturday.
The article went on to name Blackstone Group LP as a likely bidder, with others possibly in the mix, though not Brookfield Asset Management. That company, which had announced a partnership with the ST-PCV Tenants Association four years ago with a plan for a non-eviction condominium conversion, is no longer involved, a rep for Brookfield said.
Meanwhile, it’s possible a future deal could secure $5-$6 billion. The latter figure would be more than the historic $5.4 billion paid by Tishman Speyer and partner BlackRock in 2006, with the article citing a strong residential market in Manhattan.
Additionally, the report said, “Blackstone’s real estate chief, Jon Gray, said this month that he was bullish on Manhattan rentals because it’s too costly for many residents to buy.”
Peter Rose, a spokesperson for Blackstone, did not immediately return a call requesting comment. Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CWCapital, did not respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE: Joe DePlasco, a spokesperson for CW, issued a statement on Monday, saying, “We are pleased that we have finalized in principle the settlement of the outstanding litigation. CWCapital retained Doug Harmon at Eastdil Secured to advise throughout the process.”
The statement from DePlasco didn’t elaborate on the terms of the settlement.
However, CW’s effort to sell has been hampered by a lawsuit filed by junior lenders represented by a company called Centerbridge Partners. The lenders had hoped for a chance to buy a key piece of the junior or mezzanine debt and accused CW of violating an intercreditor agreement when the servicer took title of the property through a deed last year instead of holding a foreclosure sale.
A spokesperson for EastDil didn’t immediately return a call requesting comment.
Susan Steinberg, the president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, was out of town on Monday, and not available to be interviewed. Council Member Dan Garodnick, a Peter Cooper Village resident, was also unavailable for an interview on Monday morning.
However, he’d previously told Bloomberg, “The tenants are going to insist that the owners work directly with them and with the city to develop a responsible plan to protect the long-term affordability of the place.”
Garodnick has previously met with Mayor Bill de Blasio on a plan to maintain affordability in ST/PCV, that is, in the roughly 6,000 units that are still affordable. On Monday, Wiley Norvell, a spokesperson for the mayor, said the mayor still wanted to preserve affordability.
“Protecting this community’s legacy as a home for New York City’s middle class is a top priority for Mayor de Blasio,” Norvell said. “We will press any owner to preserve affordable housing.”
Andrew Willis, a spokesperson for Brookfield, confirmed that the company was “no longer in the process” of bidding, although he said he didn’t know the reason for the decision.
Johann Hamilton, a spokesperson for the Real Estate Board of New York, whose chair is Tishman Speyer president and CEO Rob Speyer, declined to comment.