Garodnick, TA say guest keycards should not have time limits, also question occupant fees

Council Member Dan Garodnick

Council Member Dan Garodnick

By Sabina Mollot
A Stuyvesant Town policy that limits the time guest keycards can be active to up to three months has been challenged by Council Member Dan Garodnick and the Tenants Association President John Marsh, who say it’s inconstant with a 2006 order from the state housing agency.

“According to the HCR (New York State Housing and Community Renewal) Order, keycards for guests should not have an end date,” they wrote in a letter to CWCapital Managing Director Andrew MacArthur last Wednesday.

In the letter, they also questioned a separate policy in which apartment occupants have been made to pay a $150 fee, and submit to a background check. Garodnick and Marsh said that the policy appears to violate the Real Property Law.

“It appears that charging $150, and subjecting people to background checks, functionally serve to restrict occupancy of these units to tenants of record,” they said. “Even if the background check is never used to deny an occupant, is it acting as a roommate charge, which is not permitted under the law.”
Occupants are residents who haven’t signed leases and are therefore not tenants of record.

CWCapital Mangaing Director Andrew MacArthur

CWCapital Managing Director Andrew MacArthur

However, CWCapital responded on Wednesday to say the owner strongly disagrees with Marsh and Garodnick on both points.
In CW’s response, which also came as a letter, MacArthur stated, “We are fully in compliance with the law and are acting in the best interest of Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town.”

As for the occupant charge, MacArthur said that as long as the tenant wishes to have a roommate within the limits of the law there is no charge and as far as he knew there had never been a charge. It is only when a resident wants an occupant added “in excess of the number of roommates required by the law, we do so at our sole discretion,” said MacArthur. This helps management recoup costs that include a background check, he added.

On the topic of guest key-cards, MacArthur said permanent guests cards are issued to close friends and family members expected to visit on a regular basis, especially if they’re needed to care for a resident.

But, he added, “We do not believe the DHCR (HCR’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal) ever intended to create a permanent guest status for anyone who ever visits PCVST.” He went on to say if a guest needs continuous access to an apartment for more than three months, “then that guest is clearly an occupant… Restricting the duration of our visitor cards ensures that we won’t have thousands of ‘blank keys’ circulating around the city.”

The idea, he said, is to keep the community safe and prevent illegal hotels.

After seeing CWCapital’s letter, Garodnick said that he still believes the policy isn’t consistent with the HCR order.

“Their reading of the law for guests is not correct in my view,” said Garodnick. “The DHCR allows permanent, unrestricted keycards for families and friends who visit on a regular basis. Guest is defined as family members and friends who can be expected to visit on a regular basis. They’re narrowing the definition in a way that is not consistent with the DHCR order.”

As for the occupancy charge, the Council member said he and the Tenants Association would be reviewing their interpretation of it with CWCapital directly. Garodnick explained that the instance he and the Tenants Association had heard about involved a man having to pay a $150 charge to add his girlfriend as an occupant.

“The situation we heard about was not consistent with that. We’ll try to find out what happened,” he said.

The Tenants Association also responded to the letter.

“The Tenants Association has always believed that the decision of who has access to a tenant’s home and building is solely that of the lawfully abiding Tenant of Record, and not that of the Owner or Manager,” the TA said in a written statement.

“We firmly believe that access permitted by a key card should not be revoked until the Tenant of Record explicitly directs the Owner or Manager to do so, or as otherwise directed by a court or law enforcement official – and only after due process has been served.”

The TA went on to say it understands management’s challenges in dealing with short-term rentals and “over-occupancy… or what some characterize as student apartments. However, we feel that these issues should never impede access to a tenant’s home.”

On the occupancy fee, the TA said it had encountered two tenants who reporting being the sole tenant of record, and were still charged the fee when registering a single occupant.
The Tenants Association said it also welcomed the response from CWCapital.

Resident town hall gets heated

Stuyvesant Town Security Chief Bill McClellan and General Manager Sean Sullivan address residents at a town hall meeting on Tuesday. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town Security Chief Bill McClellan and General Manager Sean Sullivan address residents at a town hall meeting on Tuesday.
Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

General Manager Sean Sullivan hosted a town hall meeting for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents last Tuesday, the first such meeting in a number of years. Sullivan noted at the beginning of the meeting that its purpose was an informal gathering to talk with seniors about residential programming and the community center, but it quickly became clear that residents had other things on their minds. Security issues, Sandy-related problems and the rising student population were some of the main concerns of tenants at the meeting.

In light of the keycard failures during Sandy, one resident asked Sullivan at the beginning of the meeting if it would be possible to put regular cylinders with physical keys back on apartment doors.

“You may not like some of my responses but I’m going to try to be straight with you tonight,” Sullivan said. “The short answer is no. It’s a system that we put in place and it works. (Sandy) was an extraordinary moment in time and we took extraordinary measures.” Residents responded to this, frustrated, saying the system obviously does not work if it failed for so long after the storm, but Sullivan noted that Sandy was not a typical scenario. “Battery backup for the keycard system will work in a typical outage,” he said.

In addition to the keycard failures, other residents noted that the emergency lights in the stairwells failed as well. Sullivan said that there is a battery backup for these as well but they did not last as long as the outage because they were only meant to be used for hours at a time, not days. When tenants specified that there were cases in which the lighting did not even last for hours after the blackout, Sullivan said that he wasn’t aware of this issue and would look into it.

Many Peter Cooper Village residents were on hand at the meeting to express frustrations about the lack of laundry services, as well as the partial elevator service that still exists in some of the buildings.

“My husband is in a wheelchair. We waited two and a half hours because the one elevator was out (a couple weeks ago),” one resident said. “You can keep your memos about the landscaping. Restoring elevator service should be your number one priority. All we’ve got is reassurances and no definitive information.”

After heckling from other meeting attendees about the lack of a concrete date, Sullivan said the hope is that all elevator service will be restored by the end of this month, and attempted to explain why the process has been so lengthy.

“They’re not broken, they’re gone,” he said. “The workers are rebuilding the elevators in the shaft from scratch. We were fortunate to get in the queue. There were a lot of manufacturers that stopped taking orders because the need was just so high (after Sandy). There is no profit for us to move any slower on this.”

As for laundry, service for residents without it in Peter Cooper Village will still have a few months to wait.

“We’ve said that laundry service would be fully restored by September of this year. I’m not changing their timeline but we are trying to do better than that,” he said. “We’re focused on restoring these services. We don’t want you to be frustrated, but the damage was significant and severe. I understand the level of frustration and I don’t want to diminish it for a moment. We’re working on it. It’s not a great solution but we’re doing our best.”

Although noise and late-night rowdiness from the community’s younger population has been a recent complaint of many residents in this newspaper’s letters to the editor, residents at the meeting were more bothered by the transient nature of students in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The constant moving in and out of short-term tenants was a point of concern for those at the meeting. Some residents noted that it even becomes a frustrating security issue because building doors have been propped open while people are moving. “It happens every month, sometimes in the middle of the month as well,” one resident said at the meeting. “When I bring it up to them, security says, ‘oh it’s fine.’ But it’s not fine. It’s a safety issue.”

ST/PCV Security Chief Bill McClellan said that alarms are set to go off if a door has been propped open for three minutes. They’ve also sent people to close doors and tell movers that they can’t prop the doors open, but residents at the meeting were frustrated that this was not helping, one noting that she had told movers herself not to prop the door open and the mover cursed at her.

A resident of 541 East 20th Street said that she was concerned about safety issues as well after maintenance had entered her apartment to install an intercom without notice or permission, and was especially disturbed after hearing about the reports of burglaries in the community.

Sullivan said that maintenance is supposed to reach out to tenants beforehand and for tenants that don’t respond, maintenance may come back multiple times to deal with these exceptions. After not specifically addressing the resident’s situation, other attendees at the meeting became frustrated, yelling while Sullivan attempted to move on to another question.

In response to concerns about the thefts possibly being related to recent maintenance work, Sullivan added that public safety is supposed to escort outside contractors to the apartments to supervise but otherwise had no information about why this incident occurred at the building on East 20th Street.

In some of the less contentious moments of the evening, Sullivan did announce that the gym is expected to reopen in just a few weeks.

He also noted, to the appreciation of the tenants at the meeting, that the doors in the community center would be replaced by automatic sliding doors, similar to those in supermarkets, because there have been issues with seniors walking into the doors or having difficult getting them open.

Alert for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village: Tenants will get an extra 15 percent on rent abatement

The following is a property alert emailed to residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village by CompassRock this morning. The memo includes status reports on ongoing repairs and also said tenants will get an extra 15 percent on their rent abatement for days without heat and power. It also warns tenants their last rent checks may have been destroyed by the storm and not processed.

PROPERTY UPDATE     12.5.12

We continue to work diligently on restoration efforts throughout the property. Below please find updates of recent progress. We will continue to update you on additional progress and restoration timelines.

Gas Service: We are pleased to announce that all gas service was restored as of last Friday.

PCV Heat Distribution System and Water Pumps: Parts of Peter Cooper Village are still experiencing above normal heat at times and reduced water pressure due to the damage sustained to these systems. Necessary parts to repair these two systems are expected to arrive on-site by next week. We will provide a more detailed timeline as soon as it becomes available.
Rent Abatement: In addition to the previously announced abatement for days without electricity, heat or elevator service, we will also be providing a 15% rent abatement for each additional day a unit did not have gas service beyond when all other utilities were restored. Rent abatements will appear on your January rent bill.
Rent Bills: Your opening and closing balances may be higher than anticipated in your most recent bill since checks you remitted previously may have been destroyed by flooding during the storm and not processed. Please confirm with your bank that these payments were not processed, and issue payment for your total outstanding balance. If you cancel your prior payment and provide documentation of the bank fee for this service, we will refund the bank fee by issuing a credit on your next month’s rent statement. For all additional questions, please email accounting@pcvst.com.

Resident Services: Some of you may have experienced issues in trying to get through to us at the (212) 420-5000 number during peak times. We apologize for the inconvenience. Due to the storm, our phone capacity was reduced to one third of our standard capacity. As of the end of last week, the capacity for our phone lines was restored to pre-storm standards, which should resolve these issues. You can also reach the various departments via email:
residentservices@pcvst.com
accounting@pcvst.com
legal@pcvst.com
leasing@pcvst.comKey Card Access: We continue to work with third-party contractors to restore access cards in 440, 510, 530 E 23rd St.; 441, 511, 531, 541, 601 E 20th St.; 7 & 8 PCR. In some cases, this work is further complicated by the conditions in the basements. Once the basements are able to be demolished, restoration efforts should accelerate.  Contract security guards will remain posted in these buildings to provide access to residents who do not have carriage room keys for the entrance doors.

Intercoms: Intercom service was restored to the following buildings on schedule last week, with the exception of being able to contact Public Safety directly: 431 E 20th St; 2, 3, 4, PCR; 350, 360, 370, 390 First Ave. The intercoms in Stuyvesant Town buildings are operational but cannot access Public Safety at this time. We continue to work on restoring the connection between the intercoms and Public Safety and will notify you as soon as this has been completed.Two addresses which were scheduled to be restored with inter-building intercom service last week, 441 E 20th St and 5 PCR, have experienced worse damage to their infrastructure than initially realized. A timeline for the restoration of intercom service will be provided as soon as possible for these two buildings , as well as the other buildings that experienced extensive infrastructural damage: 420, 440, 510, 530 E 23rd St; 511, 531, 541, 601 E 20th St; 6, 7, 8 PCR.

Basement Access:  In the impacted basements, we continue to use dehumidification machines to help keep the basements dry until demolition is complete. These machines are being powered by generators which operate from 7AM-10PM Monday-Friday and 9AM-10PM on Saturday and Sunday.

·         Limited Access: Residents in the following buildings were granted access to those basements over the past several weeks during specific hours: 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 441, 541, 601, 620 E 20th St. (ST); 420, 440, 510, 530 E 23rd St. Access is no longer permitted to these basements as of December 1st. As previously explained, any property not removed is being discarded.

·         No Access: Access remains restricted to 511 and 531 E 20th St. and 7 & 8 PCR.

Demolition is expected to begin as soon as possible. At the request of the Tenants Association, demolition work was delayed by five days past the November 30th deadline to allow some residents extra time to access the storage areas. Once demolition is complete, we can begin to restore the laundry rooms, repair the electrical equipment and rebuild the basements in the affected buildings.

Trunks: We will be re-commencing trunk retrieval for trunks located in Stuyvesant Town beginning today. Please be aware that because of the backlog from the last month and the limited staff we are able to allocate given all the other priorities on the property, it may take longer than usual to schedule an appointment. We appreciate in advance, your patience. Please help to minimize the volume of requests and only request your trunk if it is absolutely necessary.

As previously reported, we continue to remove trunks from the flooded basements and store them securely. We are still working to identify a location and process to allow retrieval. As soon as that has been finalized, we will advise residents immediately and will provide you with 30 days to claim your trunks.

 

Parking: We remind you that all damaged cars not removed by December 15th will be towed by Quik Park at the vehicle owner’s expense. To contact Quik Park, please call (212) 832-2066.

CompassRock issues resident alert: All buildings have electric power, some, but not all will have gas in time for Thanksgiving

On Wednesday afternoon, CompassRock sent out a resident alert to follow up on the one issued last Friday. To sum up, the memo, sent via email, gives a list of which Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village buildings will have gas restored ahead of schedule in time for Thanksgiving, and which ones won’t, and offers an explanation into the generators outside Peter Cooper buildings with flooded basements. Other included topics are Quik Park, Oval Fitness, trunk rooms and rental storage units.

RESIDENT NOTICE – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19                                            

Following last week’s comprehensive communication, we are writing to provide you with additional updates and a summary of progress made over the weekend and the past few days.

Since our last update we have made the following progress:

  • Restored permanent utility power to 6 Peter Cooper Road.
  • Restored gas service to a number of buildings. The remaining buildings are still on schedule for restoration by Saturday.
  • Repaired management office phone lines. You can now reach Resident Services directly at the restored (212) 420-5000 number and Security at (212) 598-5233.
  • Expanded work order repair service into the evening hours when more residents are home.
  • Restored access card readers to 13 of the impacted buildings.
  • Provided access to storage units and bikes for 12 of the 16 building basements impacted by flooding.
  • Restored dryer service in the remaining nine buildings that had outages.

Electricity: As of this morning, Con Edison’s electric utility service has been restored to 6 Peter Cooper Road and the back-up generator will no longer be required for that location. We are happy to report that all 110 buildings now have normal electric power.

Gas Service: We are pleased to report that the following buildings have had gas restored ahead of schedule and in time for Thanksgiving: 285, 287, 309 Avenue C. and certain lines in the following buildings –

–          410 E20th St.: the G line

–          330 First Avenue: B, C, D, E and G lines

We expect the following building lines to have full gas restoration by the end of today:

–          315 Avenue C: lines A, B, C, F and G

–          319 Avenue C: lines A, B and C

Unfortunately, we will not have gas restored in time for Thanksgiving for the following building lines, though they are on schedule for restoration by this Saturday, November 24th:

–          315 Avenue C: lines D, E and H

–          319 Avenue C: lines D, E, F, G and H

–          321 Avenue C: ALL lines

–          400 E20th St: ALL lines

–          410 E20th St.: lines A, B, C, D, E, F and H lines

–          330 First Avenue: A, F and H lines

We will continue to work with Con Ed through the holiday weekend to restore gas service as quickly as possible. Our staff will require access to all affected apartment homes over the next few days (except Thanksgiving) between the hours of 9AM and 7PM. If you have installed your own top lock, please remember to unlock it daily.

Heat Service: We continue to assess the damage caused to the electronic system which helps to regulate apartment temperature in PCV. The extent of the damage is substantial and it will take time to procure all necessary parts and complete repairs. We will provide a more detailed timeline as soon as possible. In the meantime, our engineers continue to monitor and manage the heat distribution process manually, which means that some apartments may continue to experience above normal temperatures.

Elevators: After having further assessed the damaged elevator cars in 7 and 8 PCR and 440 E23rd St, we have found that due to the significant damage to the cars resulting from the flooding, the restoration will take longer than initially expected. The damaged elevators will have to be rebuilt before being returned to service. We will provide a more detailed timeline as quickly as we can. In the meantime, each building has one running elevator.

Resident Services:

  • Our phone lines have been repaired and residents may now reach Resident Services representatives directly via the (212) 420-5000 number.
  • The Public Safety phone number has also been restored. Residents should call (212) 598-5233 to reach Public Safety. In case of emergency, please call 911.
  • To reach Resident Services via email, please use residentservices@pcvst.com.
  • Resident Services is now located at Oval Study Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm; and Sat-Sun, 8:30am-6pm.
  • As promised last week, we expanded evening maintenance service to accommodate work order requests during hours when more residents are at home. Masons and carpenters will remain until 8pm. We have also increased the number of electricians, plumbers and handymen working through midnight. Engineers remain available around the clock to address heat issues. The expanded evening service is a temporary measure until we are able to fully resume repairs during the day for residents who provide permission to enter when they are not at home.
  • Important email addresses to know, depending on the nature of your inquiry:

Resident Services:              residentservices@pcvst.com

Accounting:                          accounting@pcvst.com

Legal:                                     legal@pcvst.com

Leasing:                                leasing@pcvst.com

Access Cards & Keys: We are pleased to report that the access card system has been restored for: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 420 530, E23rd St.; 431, 441 E20th St., 350, 360, 370, 390 First Ave. The remaining buildings will take longer to restore and include: 440, 510 East 23rd St; 511, 531, 541, 601 E20th St and 7, 8 PCR. Key locks have been installed on entrance doors to all of these buildings to allow resident access. Residents should use their carriage room keys to access their respective buildings. If you are not able to find your carriage room key, we are providing residents a copy of the key at no additional charge, at Oval Study. Security guards will remain posted at these buildings.

New key cards may be requested at the new Public Safety Office at Oval Studio. Key requests are also available through Resident Services and may be picked up at Oval Study.

Intercoms: In Stuyvesant Town, the intercom systems are operational from the lobby of the building to your apartments. We continue working to reestablish communication between the lobby intercoms and the new Public Safety Office so that residents can once again access Public Safety directly through the intercom system.  We will notify you once this has been restored. In PCV, we remain on schedule for the week of November 26th to restore intercom service within the building for: 431 and 441 E20th St; 2, 3, 4, 5 PCR; 350, 360, 370, 390 First Ave. As explained last week, a longer timeline is expected for: 420, 440, 510, 530 East 23rd St; 511, 531, 541, 601 E20th St and 6, 7, 8 PCR.

Sanitation:   Recycling bins will be removed from the exterior of PCV buildings affected by flooding.  We have set up two temporary recycling bins on each floor, which will be emptied daily by the porters.  Please continue to place household trash in compactor chutes, which are operable in all 110 buildings. We also ask residents to refrain from parking on both sides of the loop roads so that the DSNY can remove all waste from the curbs.

Basements: We continue to dehumidify buildings which were impacted by the flood waters. You may have seen additional generators and fans which are helping with the de-humidification process. These generators will remain operational from 7AM-10PM on weekdays and from 9AM-10PM on weekends. The generators will not run on Thanksgiving.

The basements in 16 buildings in PCV sustained significant damage. Access to those buildings is limited as noted below:

  • Limited Access:  Residents will have limited access to: 3, 4, 5, 6 PCR; 441, 541, 601, 620 E20th St; 420, 440, 510, 530 E23rd St. Residents may retrieve personal property (NTT Storage or bikes) from these basements on weekdays from 5:30PM to 9PM and weekends from 10AM-2PM through November 30th.   Any personal property not removed by November 30th will be discarded. Residents should go to the tent by PCV Playground 1 to be escorted into the basement.
  • No Access: Residents may not access basements in 511 and 531 E20th St. and 7 and 8 PCR for the foreseeable future. Bicycles from these four buildings have been removed and are now available for residents to claim at the tent inside PCV Playground 1 every day from 9am to 10pm. Please bring your resident ID and either your key or combination for your bike lock.

Trunks: Trunk retrieval remains suspended throughout the property. Salvageable trunks located in the basements of the 16 flooded basements noted above are being relocated offsite. We will update you soon regarding the process to claim those trunks. Residents will have 30 days to claim their trunks once the process is announced.

NTT Storage: NTT has already communicated directly with all customers in impacted basements. If you have a storage locker in one of the 16 limited or no access basements and have not heard from NTT, you should contact NTT directly at (212) 253-2435.

Parking Garages: While garages 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are all open for business, customers may experience heavy delays when parking their vehicles. This is due to the large number of damaged vehicles that have yet to be towed while customers who have replaced their damaged cars are also looking to park their new cars. We remind you that all damaged cars not removed by December 15 will be towed by Quik Park at the vehicle owner’s expense. To contact Quik Park, please call (212) 832-2066.

Laundry Service: We will provide a timetable for the restoration of full laundry service in buildings impacted by the flood as soon as we can. In the meantime, dryers in the following buildings have been restored: 285, 287, 309, 315, 319, 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; and 330 First Avenue. For additional information, please call 1-800-MAC-GRAY. For a list of Laundromats in the area, please visit pcvst.com. For your convenience we have provided access to the laundry room in 2 PCR, accessible via the basement entrance, for residents in buildings without functioning laundry machines.

Oval Fitness: As we mentioned in our last communication, we hope to reopen the Oval Fitness facility within six months, if not sooner.

  • Billing has been suspended indefinitely. Fitness Members will receive refunds within the next 2-3 weeks via credit card or check mailed to the address American Leisure has on file.
  • Refunds will include: paid-in-full memberships, pre-purchased but not fully used training packages and pre-purchased guest pass packages. For inquiries please email living@pcvst.com.

In the meantime, we are partnering with New York Health & Racquet Club, which is offering PCVST residents a month to month membership of $99 per month (min. 2 month required), $0 initiation fee and access to all locations. Membership can be canceled with 30 days advance notice from billing date. Once Oval Fitness reopens NYHRC will automatically cancel your membership at the end of your current billing cycle. To contact NYHRC, please call (212) 220-0758 or email pledesma@nyhrc.com.

Message from Manhattan’s Kid’s Club II: The school is scheduled to reopen Monday, November 26th. For additional information, please contact Beth Garcia at (212) 677-0608.

We will continue to provide you with updates and post information on pcvst.com. Thank you again for your patience and we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We also hope that you have had a chance to stop by or skate at the ice rink which reopened last Saturday and we look forward to seeing you at next week’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29th followed by the ice sculpting performance with brass band on December 1st.

CompassRock sends alert: Some buildings won’t have gas service until after Thanksgiving, Bikes and trunks to be removed from buildings, Guards stationed at some PCV buildings

On Friday evening, management sent out the following email alert to residents with updates on many of the different issues of concern to residents since the hurricane. To sum up, topics include utility services (all buildings have power except for 6 Peter Cooper Road which is still on a generator) and heat (all buildings have it restored though due to ongoing repairs, some residents may experience excessive heat. As for Amenity spaces, Oval Fitness is not expected to reopen for another six months. Additionally, American Leisure is no longer involved. Various management departments are still stationed in the other Amenities spaces on the Oval. In other topics, bikes are being removed from flooded basements as are trunks from the trunk rooms wherever possible, and in both cases, residents will have 30 days to claim their property. On Quik Park-related matters, management has been pushing the company to communicate more with residents.

Read on for the full communication:

RESIDENT NOTICE – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 12

We are writing to provide a comprehensive update on the status of repairs and services at the property.  Since our last update we have made significant additional progress including:

  • Restoring  gas service to two buildings ahead of schedule
  • Restoring elevator and  handicap lift service in all  Peter Cooper Village buildings
  • Opening garages for insurance adjusters and encouraging Quik Park to increase communications with its customers
  • Repairing the electronic heat regulation system in Stuyvesant Town
  • Restoring four water pumps in Peter Cooper Village to increase water pressure
  • Relocating management staff so normal work orders and other resident business can continue

Restoring services to our property as safely and quickly as possible remains our top priority.   We have made a lot of progress in restoring services since the storm and are keenly aware that our job is not yet complete.   Critical priorities going forward include: Restoring gas service to all buildings,  returning utility fed power to 6 PCR, fixing key card access and intercom systems in impacted buildings, repairing the electronics that control and monitor our heat distribution system in PCV, repairing the damaged water pumps in PCV and helping residents gain access to their personal property located in basements.   At the same time, we are also working hard to return a sense of normalcy to our community, particularly around the holiday season.  While life at PCVST will go on, please understand that this work is being done separately with separate resources from the restoration efforts.  Restoring services to our property as safely and quickly as possible remains our top priority.

In the update below, we have tried to provide the most up-to-date and complete information that is available.  In some cases, we are still not yet able to provide estimates due to the extent of damage and complexity of the required repairs, but we are aware of these issues and are working to resolve them. We continue to work through the challenges the storm has caused and will provide updated information and timelines as they become available.

We want to extend our continued thanks for your patience, understanding, and support during the last few weeks.   We have all been faced with a difficult set of circumstances as a result of the storm and we are incredibly proud of how our entire community pulled together to support one another.

UTILITY SERVICES

Electricity:  All 110 buildings have had full power restored. 6 Peter Cooper Road is the only building currently running on generator power due to the damage sustained by the manhole explosions.

Unfortunately, Con Ed has found that the damage to their systems was worse than anticipated and as a result, 6 PCR will remain on generator power for an additional week.  As a preventative measure, we have taken the following additional steps to ensure consistent electricity from the generator:  we are manning the generator 24 hours a day; we have increased fuel delivery to maintain the generator and are keeping back-up fuel available at all times; and we are keeping an additional backup generator onsite in the event of any malfunction with the current generator. We ask residents to be mindful and conserve energy wherever possible, especially during morning and evening peak times, in order not to overload the temporary generator.

We will notify you in advance of the conversion from generator to permanent utility power which will necessitate a temporary power shut-down of several hours. Elevators will be checked and shut down prior to shutting down power for the conversion.

Gas Service: We remain on or ahead of our previously published schedule to restore gas service.  We are happy to report that gas service in 7 Peter Cooper Road and 531 East 20th Street has been restored.  In the event there are any delays in restoring gas to the remaining buildings, we will notify you immediately.

Please note that in order to complete the restoration of gas service, it is necessary for our staff to access all of the impacted apartment homes throughout the coming two weeks (except Thanksgiving) between the hours of 9AM and 7PM.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide advance notice as we are dependent on ConEd.  Access to apartments in the impacted buildings is necessary to complete service restoration and your cooperation in the matter is essential to the restoration of gas service. A security guard and locksmith assist with entry into all apartments.  If you have installed your own top lock, please be sure to leave it unlocked daily during these times until gas service is restored in your building.  If we need to access your apartment and the top lock is locked, we will have no choice but to drill through it.

We continue to expect gas service to be restored by Saturday, November 24th for the following buildings:  309, 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; 330 First Avenue.  At this point, our assessment indicates that gas service will not be restored for these buildings in time for Thanksgiving and we apologize for that inconvenience.  However, we remain on track for the restoration schedule published on November 3 and we will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

Unfortunately, we also experienced new gas service interruptions earlier this week in two Stuyvesant Town buildings, 285 and 287 Avenue C, due to shut downs required by ConEd as a result of pressure issues in their systems offsite. Initial assessments indicate that gas will be restored to these buildings within three weeks. We will continue to keep you informed as we get additional updates from ConEd.

Regarding buildings which sustained damage to gas meters and were flagged for a “Potential Shut-Down,” our assessments thus far lead us to believe that the shut-down will not be necessary. We continue to monitor these affected buildings: 441, 511, 541, and 601 E 20th St; 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 Peter Cooper Road. We will alert you in case of any change in status.

Heat Service: Heat service has been restored to all 110 buildings. The electronic system which controls the distribution of heat, and therefore regulates apartment temperature, was damaged by the storm. The system which supports Stuyvesant Town has been repaired; the system which supports PCV remains under repair.  As a result, in PCV, valves must be opened and closed manually by our engineers, which means that for the time being, some apartments may experience excessive heat.

Water Service: Hot water service has been restored property-wide, though the motors for the water pumps which support water distribution to all of PCV are still undergoing repair. Of the 12 pumps in PCV, only two functioned after the storm. We now have six pumps working but the additional six remain out of service. We continue to procure the necessary parts to fix the motors and restore all 12 pumps.  In the meantime, these six pumps have been providing increased water pressure, nonetheless we ask everyone to continue to be mindful and conserve water, particularly during peak hours in the mornings and evenings.

Elevator Service: Elevator service has been restored property-wide, with only three PCV buildings, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 E23rd Street, still undergoing elevator repairs to one passenger elevator. 6 Peter Cooper Road has one elevator in service while it remains on temporary generator power. We remain on schedule to have these elevators fixed by November 21st.   In PCV buildings affected by flooding, the elevators will not go to the lower levels until the basements are fully restored.

Handicap Lifts:  All handicap lifts in affected Peter Cooper Village buildings have been restored and were operational as of last night.

Cable Service: If you are still experiencing outages for cable service, please contact your provider directly. Below is information we have received regarding specific providers –

–          RCN completed repairs to their on-site to equipment damaged by the storm.

–          Verizon crews are on-site working on repairs to their equipment damaged by the storm.

–          Time Warner Cable has not contacted us since the storm concerning any repairs.

 

 

PCVST MANAGEMENT OFFICE & SERVICES

Due to the extent of the damage to the PCVST Management Office, we have relocated most of the staff to various locations throughout the property, as well as certain functions such as Accounting and Legal to temporary offices off-site. We have restored access to our IT systems; continue to repair the phone system, and to provide staff with supplies and equipment so that they can resume full business operations.

We are also working on more suitable, long-term plans for the relocation of the Management Office staff throughout the property. We appreciate your understanding while we work under these constraints. Below you will find updates about various departments from which you may require assistance.

Resident Services: Resident Services has been relocated to Oval Study from Oval Kids due to a building-specific flooding issue. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am to 6pm. Contact information for Resident Services is provided below, as well as how to reach PCVST staff members concerning accounting, legal or leasing matters.

In addition to responding to emergency Work Orders (toilet/drain stoppages and non-functioning refrigerators and stoves), we have also resumed servicing normal work order requests. Residents may request maintenance repairs either via the PCVST Resident Portal, accessible viapcvst.com or by calling (888) 885-8490 and leaving a voice message with detailed contact information and the nature of the issue. While we continue to restore our normal operations, we are limited in our ability to complete repairs when residents are not home, even if they provide permission to enter. To address this issue, we are working to expand service capacity during evening hours when more residents are at home. We will notify you once this is in effect.

Public Safety: The new headquarters for Public Safety can be found at Oval Studio. We will continue to supplement our security team as necessary over the coming months as we complete restoration efforts. Security cameras have been restored and the property key room remains secure and has been relocated.

Management Office Contact Information: While we work to repair our phone system, we have set up email addresses in order to make it easier and faster to reach the appropriate PCVST staff member.  When sending emails, please include your name, contact information, and the nature of your inquiry.    We will respond to email submissions within 24 hours between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

Resident Services:                 living@pcvst.com

Accounting:                           accounting@pcvst.com

Legal:                                    legal@pcvst.com

Leasing:                                lease@pcvst.com

You may also call (888) 885-8490 to leave a voice message with your contact information and the nature of your call. A staff member will get back to you within 24 hours between 9am to 5pm.  We continue to work on complex phone system repairs required due to the damage caused by the storm to the Verizon equipment. We hope to restore our phone lines in the next week.

For Public Safety, please continue to call (347) 680-2212. In case of emergency, please call 911.

Access Cards & Keys: All Stuyvesant Town Card readers are operational at this time. In PCV, card readers are currently out of service in a number of buildings due to damage to the card reader control panels located in the basements caused by the flood. In the meantime, security guards are posted at these doors checking IDs and controlling access. The buildings affected include the main entrances to 511, 531, 541 and 601 E 20th Street; 440, 510, and 530 E 23rd Street; 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road; and the basement entrances to 441 E 20th Street; 420 E 23rd Street; and 3, 4, 5 and 6 Peter Cooper Road.  We are working with our third-party security contractors to restore the system as quickly as possible and will keep you informed of progress on these repairs.

As an interim solution, all buildings with damaged card key access will have new cylinders installed on the entrance doors which can be unlocked using the carriage room key for that address. We will provide keys, free of charge, to any resident who may require a key.

We are now able to provide new building access cards, which can be requested at the Public Safety office in Oval Studio. Residents may also request to have keys made by contacting Resident Services and picking up the keys at Oval Study. Please do not share access cards or keys with others.

Intercoms: The intercom systems at Stuyvesant Town are operational, except that at this time they cannot reach Security through the intercom due to the flooding of the Security office on Avenue C. We are working to re-route the security lines to the new security office and expect that to be completed by early next week.

The system which supports intercom service in several of the buildings in PCV has been damaged by the storm. We continue to work with the intercom system manufacturer to repair the service.  We expect intercom service to be repaired by the week of November 26th for the following buildings:  431 and 441 East 20th Street, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Peter Cooper Road, and 350, 360, 370 and 390 First Avenue.  Other intercom systems in Peter Cooper Village sustained greater damage and will take longer to repair.   The intercom company is working to expedite those repairs but is not yet able to provide an estimated timeline.  These buildings are:  420, 440, 510 and 530 East 23rd Street, 511, 531, 541 and 601 East 20th Street and 6, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road.  We will provide an estimated timeline as soon as it is available.

Sanitation:  The trash chutes are now operational in all 110 buildings. In PCV, bins placed outside of buildings affected by flooding should no longer be used for household trash, but rather for recyclables until further notice.

Basements:  Basements in PCV and the terrace level of Stuyvesant Town buildings were impacted by flood water and sustained significant damage. We remain focused on restoring and repairing all of the basements and will continue to work with our professional contractors, our environmental engineers and our professional restoration crews to complete the work as safely and as quickly as possible.  Residents should be comforted to know that there is no common ventilation system between basements and the upstairs residential and common areas in any of our buildings.  As a preventative measure, we are in the process of sealing off some of these basements and dehumidifying these areas to remove excess moisture from the concrete and to help us restore these basements to their original conditions.

While we have engaged professionals in large scale restoration efforts, we would also advise our residents to review the information laid out by the New York State Department of Health which addresses questions regarding flood recovery including how to handle personal property that may have been stored in flooded areas. Please refer to: http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hurricane/faq/docs/faqs.pdf

Limited Access: In some cases we have closed basements for ongoing restoration work. We will soon begin providing controlled access to some buildings, where residents will have the opportunity to retrieve personal property from their NTT storage units and remove bicycles.  Residents will have until November 30th to retrieve their property and any items left behind will be discarded. The controlled access schedule is as follows:  Weekdays between 5:30PM and 9PM and weekends from 10AM-2PM. Controlled access begins this afternoon at 5:30PM.  Tenants wishing to access these basements should report to the tent outside of PCV Playground 1 at these times and they will then be escorted by security to the basements.  Only residents who reside in the buildings or have an NTT storage locker in the buildings will be given access.

The affected basements with limited access are as follows: 3, 4, 5, 6 Peter Cooper Road; 441, 541, and 601 and 620 East 20th Street; 420, 440, 510, and 530 East 23rd Street.

No Access: Residents may not access basements in 511 and 531 E20th Street and 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road for the foreseeable future due to the extensive damage in these areas.

–          Storage: NTT Storage will communicate to customers with storage units in those buildings with further details by Saturday.

–          Bicycles: To the extent that we are able, we will remove bicycles and securely store them in  Playground 1 in PCV where residents can claim them over a period of 30 days, after which, unclaimed bikes will be discarded.  To claim your bicycle, please be sure to bring the key or combination to your bike lock.

Trunks: Trunk retrieval has been suspended throughout the property. We will remove all trunks located in buildings impacted by flooding. Those which are salvageable and intact will be moved to a warehouse where residents will have the opportunity to claim them over a thirty day period.  As soon as the trunks have been relocated, we will provide additional details.

Peter Cooper Road: Peter Cooper Road has been reopened following repairs completed due to the storm. The 30-minute parking rule is back in effect.

Playgrounds PCV1 and PCV2: These playgrounds are currently closed while we assess and repair the damage that may have occurred to the surface area during the storm. We will inform you once they are reopened.

Local Law 11 Project / Façade Work: Despite the on-going property wide restoration efforts, the on-going façade work in PCV and façade work planned in ST remains on schedule and in compliance with Local Law 11 which mandates the inspection and repair of all building facades every five years. In Peter Cooper Village 7 PCR and 601 E20th Street the work has been restarted and should be completed by end of January. The initial phase of work in Stuyvesant Town has commenced at 2, 4, 6, and 16 SO. Over the next couple of weeks start of work notifications be communicated to residents in the following additional building: 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 Stuyvesant Town Oval; 610, 620, 622, 624, 626, and 628 E20th Street; and 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C.

RENT ABATEMENT

Tenants without heat, elevator service, or electricity following the storm will not be charged rent for any day in which they were without one or more of those services. Residents will receive a communication advising of your abatement amount. Unfortunately, due to the damage of our technology equipment we will not be able to provide the credit in the December bill.  We expect to be able to offer the credit in time for the January billing cycle.

 

THIRD PARTY SERVICES

Parking Garages: Quik Park has reopened garages 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 for business.  Customers whose vehicles were in Garages 2, 3, 4, or 5 during the storm will not be billed for November and for December 1-15.  Please contact Quik Park directly to work out your accommodations concerning your vehicle. The Garage Manager will be available at Garage 1, located on 20th Street. Please also note that all damaged vehicles not removed from Garages 2, 3, 4 or 5 by December 15 will be towed by Quik Park at the vehicle owner’s expense. QuikPark sent a more detailed update to all customers earlier this week.   For additional information, please see the Manager in Garage 1 or contact Quik Park at 212-832-2066.

Laundry Service: We are working with MacGray, our laundry service contractor, on a detailed plan to restore laundry rooms flooded during the storm. Buildings with laundry rooms damaged by the flood include: 441, 511, 531, 541, 601 and 620 E20th Street; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Peter Cooper Road; and 420, 440, 510 and 530 E23rd Street; and 319 Avenue C.  Additionally, the dryers will not work in buildings currently experiencing gas outages: 285, 287, 309, 315, 319, and 321 Avenue C; 400 and 410 E20th Street; and 330 First Avenue. We will provide a timetable for the restoration of full laundry service in those buildings as soon as we can.

In response to inquiries we have received, we cannot provide access to buildings with functioning laundry rooms at this time. In the meantime, Oval Concierge offers free pick-up and delivery for laundry service. All residents are welcome to use this service. In the buildings where laundry rooms were not affected by the flood, we are aware that laundry card machines are currently taking cash only. This is due to the damaged phone lines and hope to have the issue resolved upon the restoration of our phone system. For additional information, please call 1-800-MAC-GRAY. For a list of laundry rooms in the neighborhood, please visit the pcvst.com Alerts page.

NTT Storage: Please refer to the updates regarding basements detailed above concerning access to storage units in buildings which sustained flood damage. Billing has been suspended for customers of affected units as of Monday, October 29, 2012. NTT Storage will provide tenants with individual notifications regarding their storage units shortly. For additional information, please contact NTT Storage directly at (212) 253-2435.

Oval Fitness: The fitness facility sustained significant damage from the flood. We are working to remove equipment, clean out the space, and rebuild the facility as quickly as possible and we hope to reopen within six months, if not sooner. Members will receive individual letters in the coming weeks providing the necessary details for their accounts, including information about refunds. Also, please note that because of the extensive damage and the extended downtime for the facility, American Leisure will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations.  They have provided us with all of their records, so please email living@pcvst.com for any questions related to Oval Fitness.

Oval Kids, Café, and Study: These amenity spaces, which are currently operated by American Leisure, are closed indefinitely. We will update you when these amenities are scheduled to be restored. All Oval Essentials memberships have been suspended indefinitely and refunds will be applied. Members will receive individual letters with details about their accounts. For additional information, please visit the Oval Essentials office adjacent to Oval Café.

Oval Concierge: The Oval Concierge remains operational with standard operating hours (Mon-Sat from 8am to 8pm) and is available for package delivery and receipt, laundry, housekeeping, and other services. Shuttle service is running on its usual route and schedule.

PCVST Ice Rink: PCVST’s seasonal ice rink, operated by Ice Rink Events, will open this Saturday, November 17th at 11am. Residents are invited to enjoy free admission all day this Saturday. For operating hours, lessons, and other details, please visit pcvst.com. For additional information, please contact icerink@pcvst.com.  The completion of the ice rink was accomplished using separate outside contractors and did not impact any of our on-going restoration efforts.

Community Center: The Community Center has resumed its standard operating hours and basic daily programming has resumed (including card and board games and Friday movie screenings), with the exception of the senior fitness classes due to the lack of available space (now that 300 First Avenue is occupied by PCVST staff).

Greenmarket: Due to the restoration efforts underway and the Local Law 11 work that has begun, the Greenmarket will not be returning to Stuyvesant Town for the remainder of this year. We will notify you if the market gets set up in a location near the property.

We thank you again for your understanding and patience throughout this restoration period. We will continue to provide you with updates and post information on pcvst.com. We also invite you to celebrate the holiday season among neighbors and friends, starting with the Tree Lighting ceremony on November 29th, followed by a number of other festive events in the coming weeks.