CompassRock closes up shop

CompassRock CEO David Sorise

CompassRock CEO David Sorise

By Sabina Mollot

The company set up to manage Stuyvesant Town after it fell into receivership has closed.

CompassRock was originally founded by special servicer CWCapital in 2012 to manage multifamily properties around the country.

However, its two biggest jobs were at the 11,200-plus-unit Stuy Town, and at Riverton Houses in Harlem, where it managed 1,229 apartments.

In January this year, CompassRock lost its contract at Riverton when CWCapital sold the property to A&E.  Then in April, the firm got the boot from Stuy Town when new owner Blackstone replaced it with its own subsidiary company, StuyTown Property Services.

CWCapital declined to comment on the current status of CompassRock, whose website has been down for months. Phone numbers listed for the company had no option to leave a message.

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From laundry rooms to noisy neighbors

Stuy Town’s general manager discusses projects and policy

Apr16 David Sorise

David Sorise, ST/PCV general manager (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier this month, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village’s general manager David Sorise sat with a Town & Village reporter and answered a number of questions about ongoing projects and policy in the property.

The interview, which took place at the gleaming new management office, also centered around CompassRock’s hope of managing Co-op City (which was covered in another article last week).

As for other issues that came up, one was ongoing construction and renovation work.

Stuyvesant Town buildings are now in the process of getting a new intercom system, similar to the ones now used in Peter Cooper Village.

Sorise said every building will be getting the intercoms. “Our old system is difficult to service because it is an old technology,” he explained.

When working on the year’s capital budget, management determined that replacing the system would actually be more cost effective than maintaining it.

“It makes sense — it’s something we had to do proactively. The project should be completed this year.”

Since it’s a capital project that does mean it could be applicable for a major capital improvement (MCI) increase.

Another effort is to become more energy efficient and currently building stairways are getting outfitted with LED lights. The next project is to install the long-lasting bulbs in hallways too.

“The hallways will happen later this year,” said Sorise.

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CompassRock 1 of 3 finalists to manage Co-op City

Co-op City as seen from the east (Photo via Wikipedia)

Co-op City as seen from the east (Photo via Wikipedia)

By Sabina Mollot

CompassRock, which was still a startup when it took over the day-to-day operations of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, has recently set its eyes on an even bigger catch.

Last November, the Denver-based management arm of CWCapital became one of eight companies that put out a bid to manage Co-op City in The Bronx, and now it’s considered one of three favorites.

Jeffrey Buss, an attorney for the co-op, which is known as a company as Riverbay Corporation, said the goal is to pick a new management company by the end of this month, although there have already been delays.

First the 15-member co-op board has to make a decision, but even then Wells Fargo, which has a $621.5 million mortgage with the property, still has a say, and HUD (a major guarantor) and the state housing agency are also key players.

Meanwhile, Cleve Taylor, the president of the board, isn’t sold on CompassRock, explaining that he finds the company’s lack of experience – it formed in 2012 — concerning.

“That is one of my chief concerns,” he said. “It appears in our management criteria that with respect to managing Co-op City, they are supposed to have five years of experience. It appears to me on the surface that CompassRock does not meet that criteria. So that is a major concern of mine. My second concern is that CompassRock does not have sufficient experience managing Mitchell-Lama cooperatives in the State of New York. CompassRock’s relationship is mostly landlord-tenant based.”

He added that he thinks Riverbay might even be better off without a third party manager.

“It is my opinion that if a qualified managing agent is not found that Riverbay Corporation should remain a self-managed entity,” said Taylor, “since our managers have more experience than CompassRock, LLC. It’s just a plain fact.” However, he added, bank documents contain language that says there must be a managing agent or general manager.

Co-op City has been searching for a new managing agent since last October, and its last management company, Marion Scott Inc., has been out of the picture since November. Riverbay and MSI are currently in litigation, with the latter having sued in an attempt to get reinstated. The property, meanwhile has accused its former managers of mismanaging money and labor relations with the property and it is now in the midst of hammering out a $6.4 million settlement to be paid to employees by September. As a result, Co-op City’s residents will likely soon be facing a 4.5 percent hike in their monthly carrying charges in order to pay for it.

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