Stuy Town General Manager Sean Sullivan replaced

Sean Sullivan in April at the Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade Photo by Sabina Mollot

Sean Sullivan in April at the Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade
Photo by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

Sean Sullivan, the general manager of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, is no longer employed with the property, Town & Village has learned.

Reached on Thursday morning, Sullivan, who worked in ST/PCV for just 13 months, said he was not at liberty to discuss the reasons why. A former Marine, Sullivan is also a real estate industry veteran, previously having worked at Avalon Bay Communities and Tishman Speyer, though he left the latter company long before the Stuy Town purchase in 2006.

One source said he was let go, but a spokesperson for CWCapital said Sullivan left to “pursue other interests.”

While management employees and tenants don’t always see eye to eye, Sullivan has been described as a straight shooter by tenant leaders in ST/PCV.

Responding to the news of his departure, ST-PCV Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg said she was disappointed.

Although sometimes they’d be in adversarial positions over various issues, Steinberg said, “I felt that Sean had genuine sympathy for some of those issues, but of course he doesn’t work for the TA; he’s a property manager for CWCapital. But we all liked him. It’s hard not to like him. When someone would talk to him about something, he was on it.”

Sullivan came onto the scene last May, replacing then General Manager Jim Yasser. At the time, Sullivan was working under Rose Associates, the management firm CWCapital let go at end of last August when it hired CWCapital’s subsidiary company CompassRock. However, Sullivan remained on board after CompassRock took over.

At the time of his hiring, he told Town & Village, “Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town is celebrated for its strong sense of community within this city. I am very proud and honored to join the effort to make PCV/ST a place that this community is happy to call home.”

When asked for comment on Sullivan’s departure, Brian Moriarty, a spokesperson for CWCapital, said, “Sean left PCV/ST to pursue other interests. As our residents know, Sean led our community through the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and ensured our community was back up and running as quickly and safely as possible. CompassRock and the PCV/ST community are grateful for Sean’s contribution to this property, and we wish him well as he embarks on his next challenge.”

David Sorise, senior vice president of CompassRock Real Estate, has since taken over day-to-day operations in the community.

“David has been involved with operational initiatives at PCV/ST since January 2012,” Moriarty said. “With the assistance of the current onsite executive team, David will continue the improvements that commenced with the transition to CompassRock Real Estate last year.”

According to Sorise’s company bio, he’s a New York registered property manager and receiver and serves on the Rent Stabilization Association, an organization for owners. He began his career in real estate at PriceWaterhouse where he focused on operational analysis and process improvement. Most recently, Sorise was vice president for Laramar Communities and vice president of operations for Dermot Realty, where he was responsible for all capital improvements, budgeting, leasing, staff supervision and business development. He left that company in 2010, according to a Dermot blog post, which referred to Sorise as a “giant of a man — figuratively and literally.” Along with heading the property management group there, he was also, the blog noted, the tallest person at the company.

This article has been revised to include information from CWCapital on Sullivan’s departure and replacement.

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 25

Conversion would bring back stability

To the Editor:

After the ST/PCV Tenants Association’s recent mailing to residents explaining that it will be taking its plan for a rental or purchase conversion plan directly to bondholders, two long-time neighbors asked me why a conversion was needed at all – why Stuy Town and Peter Cooper can’t just go happily on as an all-rental community. The answer is pretty simple: Because MetLife sold us to Tishman Speyer for $5.4 billion dollars (most of it borrowed.)

As Tishman Speyer learned in its brief, turbulent few years as owner – there is no way that the income from rent-stabilized apartments can support maintenance along with payments on that huge debt. So while it’s possible that we could remain an all-rental community, there is no way that we can remain an affordable all-rental community.

Unless we tenants can gain control of our lives – which is the goal of the Tenants Association-Brookfield plan for a condo conversion with the option to remain a stabilized renter – the future looks grim for those of us who love this place.

If CW Capital chooses to sell to another Tishman-like real estate operator, the new owner must make a concerted drive to increase revenues by replacing rent-stabilized residents with those who can pay market rates. Long-time residents would face renewed harassment to drive them from their homes and, if they managed to stay, would be surrounded by crowds of eight or nine young people jammed into the two-bedroom market-rate apartments it takes eight or nine of them to pay for.

The other destructive possibility is that a new owner would view our wonderful parks and playgrounds as potential profit centers with who-knows-what-kind-of commercial development consuming some of these 80 prime New York acres.

I’ve lived here for 51 years and, like many others, would love to recapture those happy days when we were a family-oriented community of rent-stabilized tenants, when there was one porter per building and the parking garages charged $35 a month.

But Met Life built this community as a kind of public service to returning World War II veterans. Met’s little Eden was a unique, historic and not-to-be-repeated event that we lucked into. No profit; they just needed to break even.

We can’t go back to the good old days, so let’s move forward to a return to stability. Someone who understands these things explained to me that the TA-Brookfield conversion plan would produce that stability by lessening dependence on rental income to cover operating costs and debt payments.

In addition to the upfront capital Brookfield can provide, the many current residents and outsiders who would value ownership of their homes would also help produce the capital needed to maintain the property and to lower the size of a new mortgage, making a structurally sound and affordable combined ownership-rental community possible into the future.

Soni Fink, PCV

Note: The author of this letter is a board member of the Tenants Association, though she is not writing on behalf of the TA. Continue reading