All Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village security cameras getting replaced

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.

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

New Yorkers for immigrant rights

To the editor,

Today, some of our worst fears are fast becoming reality. In his first days in office, President Trump signed orders attacking women’s rights and environmental protections, and moved to restrict entry to the United States from majority Muslim countries and ban Syrian refugees. He also targeted sanctuary cities like New York City.

The Workmen’s Circle was founded by immigrants who arrived in the early 1900s in a United States that was not always welcoming to them. They had to fight for fair paying jobs, safe working conditions, decent housing, education and adequate healthcare, and the Workmen’s Circle responded by organizing activist communities to successfully work for a better world for all. Many of these same rights are now under attack, and we again pledge to organize and empower communities to fight back.

In New York City, we joined a Vigil with the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), one of a number of rallies across the country. The presence of so many New Yorkers from diverse communities sent a strong message of support for Muslim and immigrant rights.

The landscape ahead will be one of rollbacks to civil liberties and human rights. Here in New York, we can continue to show the country – and world – that we will stand strong against such hate and intolerance.

Ann Toback
Executive Director
The Workmen’s Circle

The Workmen’s Circle is a Jewish educational and social justice organization based out of 247 West 37th Street.

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Letters to the Editor, December 3

 Dec3 Toon Trump balloon

Our future (as witnessed on the 14th St. bus)

Standing in the front of a crowded 14th Street bus on the way to my physical therapy, I looked with envy at all the teens and twenty-somethings packing the seats and thought: “This is the future of America.” But I wasn’t envious because they were young but because they were sitting.

Next to me on this bumpy bus, a frail lady clutched a pole for dear life and an elderly man with a cane struggled to keep his balance. Other white-haired passengers looked on as the laughing youngsters competed for attention, shouting and sharing their latest selfies with their techno-savvy friends who were also busy on their phones, texting or talking animatedly or just staring at something on the screen, oblivious to the reality around them.

I found myself imagining these youngsters as adults standing behind podiums at a televised debate for the President of the United States, competing to get the attention of the TV moderators so they could talk about their many virtues and their life’s goal of helping and caring for the poor and middle class, indeed for all humanity — a verbal selfie, if you will, albeit a bit Dorian Grayish.

When the bus stopped at Union Square, the Future of America finally got up and got off, leaving their warm seats.

Then the elderly and disabled people moved slowly and shakily to the newly-vacant seats, eased their tired bodies down and sighed with relief.
Ah, the future of America!

I hope I’m alive to watch those candidates in a future debate which I think will be exactly like the current debates, just with different faces. I could use a little comedy before my final ride where I’m sure to get a seat or, more exactly, a bed.

John Cappelletti, ST

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Residents mixed on MCI settlement

Those interviewed also question
necessity of improvements made

By Sabina Mollot
Following the announcement last Thursday that the ST-PCV Tenants Association had reached an agreement with CWCapital to reduce the cost of MCIs for some tenants and eliminate them completely for others, tenants have been able to talk about little else. When questioned about their thoughts by Town & Village, a few residents who got the 5 percent reduction of the monthly portion of the MCIs naturally said they wished they’d gotten more shaved off their rent bills. However, mainly what they expressed was their disgust at the system that allows owners to pass the costs of building upgrades onto renters.
“It seems very unfair,” said Katie Bernard, who’s lived in Stuy Town for 10 years. She was especially annoyed that MCIs were charged for the video intercom system, which she said was unnecessary. “I can’t tell you how little it works. I miss the old system. I don’t need a screen.”
Another resident also said she didn’t understand the need for the security upgrades that qualified for MCIs.
“It didn’t make my life any safer,” said Carol Szamtowicz. “These capital improvements, I’m sorry I have to pay for them.” As for the settlement, she thought it was good that the Tenants Association fought the increases, “but,” she added, “five percent isn’t very much.”
Meanwhile, another resident, Bob Novick, said he was glad to hear the retroactive portion of the increases had been eliminated. “They did get the retroactive off and that is significant,” said Novick. However, he too said he didn’t get why the intercom system needed replacing on the tenants’ dime. “We got new intercoms 8-10 years ago,” he recalled, adding that he thought the new ones were “essentially the same. The new ones are more sophisticated, but I’m wondering what the purpose was other than to increase the rents.”
And Bill Oddo, a longtime resident, said he wasn’t impressed with the settlement at all. “I don’t see where the success is when

Tenants Association President John Marsh, pictured last fall (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Tenants Association President John Marsh, pictured last fall (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

we’re only getting 5 percent off on all those items,” he said. “I have to pay $15 a month for video cameras and they don’t do anything. The security cameras don’t make us safe. They only help after the fact. You can’t possibly monitor 1,200 cameras 24/7.” Besides, he added, “For 65 years, this has been one of the safest communities in the city. It’s safer than St. Patrick’s Cathedral.” Oddo added that together he’ll be paying over $50 a month in MCIs, for improvements he thought his existing base rent should cover. “I can’t figure out why tenants have to pay for them,” he said. “I know (the Tenants Association) tried hard, but they’re losing this battle. People are leaving. Older people are dying and they’re just turning these apartments over. I love young people, but it’s a dormitory.”
In contrast, a “Roberts” tenant interviewed said of course he was glad he wouldn’t have to pay the increases following the settlement. “Less is more,” quipped Henry, who asked that his last name not be published. “Obviously if you’re paying less for your apartment, you’re better off.” But Henry added he wouldn’t be celebrating just yet since he’s been dealing with a lack of heat in his apartment. “I’m in the living room with two comforters and sweatpants,” he said.
On the TA’s Facebook page this week, the TA received heaping praise as well as a few complaints about the settlement.
In response, TA President John Marsh said that, though not part of the recent round of negotiations, tenants’ increases had already been reduced by 23 percent as a result of TA action. This was after the TA presented the DHCR with “detailed explanations of deficiencies” on a building-by-building basis for each MCI application, Marsh explained to T&V. This was when the work was done in 2009. After the agency reviewed the TA’s concerns as well as Tishman’s responses to them, “the total of all DHCR Orders were 23 percent less than the total of MCI rent increase applications filed by Tishman Speyer.”

TA blasts CWCapital’s MCI info workshops

Tenants Association volunteers John Sicoransa, Judith Preble Miller and Anne Greenberg hand out fliers that urge tenants not to sign CWCapital's offer while outside 360 First Avenue, where an informational workshop on MCIs was being held. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Tenants Association volunteers John Sicoransa, Judith Preble Miller and Anne Greenberg hand out fliers that urge tenants not to sign CWCapital’s offer while outside 360 First Avenue, where an informational workshop on MCIs was being held. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Following a contentious meeting held earlier in the month by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, during which the group’s attorney advised tenants not to accept an MCI reduction offer from CWCapital, the special servicer reached out to tenants to discuss terms.

In letters slipped underneath doors in ST/PCV on Friday, CW offered to reduce the cost of the retroactive portions of recently issued MCIs (major capital improvements) by 35 percent, as long as tenants agreed not to try to challenge them. There was also an offer to reduce $15 million on other costs. However, the letter then went on to indicate that CWCapital could end up backing out of the deal.

“It is important to understand that under the Rent Stabilization Laws a small number of MCI appeals can impact the entire community,” the letter stated. “In the event that such a minority of residents seeks to undo the effect of this settlement, we may have no option but to permanently withdraw this offer as the owner will then be forced to defend its rights.”

This letter was swiftly responded to by the Tenants Association’s attorney Tim Collins. In his own letter, he addressed CW’s attorney Sherwin Belkin to say he thought the offer was “disturbing” because “it appears to be an attempt to intimidate those tenants who support the TA’s challenge to the MCIs, by penalizing or diminishing their rights, in direct violation of…. The Real Property Law…”

The Tenants Association, meanwhile, has also taken issue with a series of MCI information workshops being held this week by CW representatives at 360 First Avenue in Peter Cooper Village. In an email to neighbors, the TA blasted the workshops as a ruse to get tenants to sign CW’s agreement rather than inform them about how MCIs work.

“The proposed agreement is illusory, deceptive and unenforceable,” the TA wrote on its website. “The language of the form encourages acceptance while the owner holds a trump card of unilateral termination.”

The TA also noted that CW hadn’t mentioned that the retroactive portions of the MCIs, which for some residents can total thousands of dollars, get paid on a monthly basis (rather than a lump sum), with payments capped at six percent of the tenants’ rent in 2009. As for the $15 million in costs CW offered to waive, the TA said this was “almost meaningless — it consists of sales tax, which can never be included, and other costs DHCR almost never approves.”

On Monday evening, the first of the series of workshops on MCIs saw only a trickle of tenants coming in and out, as well as a few volunteers for the Tenants Association standing outside the building, hoping to talk neighbors out of signing any deal with the de facto owner.

One reason for this is that as of Friday, the state housing agency, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), has agreed to the TA’s recent request for reconsideration of MCIs for five projects that were authorized by the agency.  This means tenants are not yet responsible for paying the retroactive portion, though they will be expected to pay the monthly cost that’s added to their rent in perpetuity until the agency makes a decision.

Three of the MCIs are for Stuy Town residents, and the other two are for Peter Cooper residents. The

Tenants Association volunteer John Sicoransa talks to a neighbor on First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Tenants Association volunteer John Sicoransa talks to a neighbor on First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

MCIs are for work done in 2009 by Tishman Speyer on security upgrades, resurfacing, doors and water valves and tanks. All the MCIs are added to the tenants’ monthly rent with costs varying based on the room count of apartments and whether they’re in PCV or ST, and all have retroactive portions that date back to 2009.

The TA is hoping to challenge the MCIs based on the fact that Collins’ arguments made against them to the DHCR last year were not even acknowledged in the recent awarding of the increases to CWCapital. Additionally, Collins cited violations in some of the buildings, student housing in some apartments and shoddy workmanship on the resurfacing work as well as other factors.

The reconsideration means the TA will not yet be filing a petition for administrative review (PAR), as it had previously planned to do. However, the group is still collecting signatures from neighbors for pledges that would authorize the TA to represent tenants if it does file a PAR, which according to TA Chair Susan Steinberg, will most likely happen. “We’ll pursue it as far as we can carry it,” she said.

Over the years, the state housing agency has rejected almost all of the Tenants Association’s MCI challenges. However, as of Monday, the Tenants Association had collected over 2,000 signatures on its pledge.

While outside the MCI workshop, TA reps, including Steinberg and TA President John Marsh asked residents leaving if they thought they’d be accepting the offer for a retroactive MCI reduction, and a few were undecided.

One man, who moved in last year, said he was concerned that he would have to pay the retroactive portion of the MCI despite being a new tenant. A TA volunteer responded to say he thought the owner would instead have to hunt down the previous tenant to try and collect that amount, though he added something Collins had said at the recent TA meeting, which is that owners making such moves happens pretty rarely.

Another resident, a woman who lives in Peter Cooper, seemed less confused, saying she thought the reduction letter was “a non-offer.”

“I used to sell TV shows, and I learned from my boss I can’t respond to a non-offer,” she said.

When asked what she was told at the workshop, another woman, who said she didn’t know if she’d be taking the deal, said she was told that she’d have to pay “a lot higher” of an amount if she didn’t.

Another resident said she wound up feeling uncomfortable at the fact that there was a guard posted outside the workshop building, and once she went inside, saw that there were two more. Before allowing her into the workshop, the woman, who, like the other attendees interviewed, didn’t want her name published, said she was asked for her address and apartment number. Though the guards were nice, “It just made things uncomfortable,” she said. “If they can’t trust me, how can I trust them? This is a tall order without trust.”

Attending was worthwhile though, she said, since she got useful information about her own particular situation — and extra incentives to sign. Still, she thought she would most likely not take the deal.

John Sicoransa, one of the TA volunteers outside, said that neighbors of his who are “Roberts v. Tishman Speyer” class members “are utterly confused” by the offer. Being former market rate tenants, they hadn’t received notices in 2009 about pending MCIs, which are for rent-stabilized tenants, though they did get the recently issued letter from CWCapital. Additionally, “the post-Roberts people got them,” said Sicoransa.

Future MCI workshops being held by CWCapital will take place on Thursday, November 14 from 5-8 p.m. and Friday, November 15 from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., both at 360 First Avenue.

A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to requests for comment about the MCI workshops. However, the rep, Brian Moriarty, commented on the offer to say it was done in “good faith” and also noted that tenants’ appeals over previous MCIs haven’t gotten them much.

“The owner made a good faith offer to the community,” said Moriarty. “Historically, tenant appeals have resulted in negligible increases after protracted administrative and court proceedings. We do not believe that repeating this process is healthy for the broader community. Assuming that tenant appeals achieve a five percent decrease in the approved amounts (which is more than what has been achieved over the past 20 years of tenant appeals), then it would take the average tenant approximately 25 years to equal the benefit that the owner has volunteered to make. We hope residents review their offers carefully and do their homework to understand the benefit we are offering.”

Tenants Association President John Marsh hands out fliers on the MCIs. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Tenants Association President John Marsh hands out fliers on the MCIs. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Marsh, meanwhile, in a written statement, blasted the offer as “an attempt to legitimize an unenforceable scheme” to get tenants to waive their right to challenge MCIs.

“While we appreciate any gesture by management to soften the blow of these increases, it is not enough for them to look at just the retroactive amount,” he added. “We are also concerned with the permanent increase. We will keep all channels of communication open with management while we continue to collect public membership pledges, so we can be in a position of even greater strength moving forward.”

The Tenants Association’s MCI pledge is currently on its website at stpcvta.org.

Phones, razor scooters snatched in Stuy Town

Razor scooter

Razor scooter

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town has been hit by a thief (or thieves) swiping smartphones and possibly also razor scooters.

According to a father of a kid whose phone was stolen at Playground 9, the first known incident was on Saturday afternoon and he believes the culprits are nonresident youths possibly working as a team.

“They target youngsters who leave phones unattended and then steal razor scooters to make their getaway,” said the dad, who asked to remain anonymous.

The dad, whose son was victimized on Sunday afternoon, said when he approached public safety to file a report, a group of kids were also making a report about two other scooters being stolen that day.

The man’s son had put his phone down at the base of a flagpole and when he returned a few minutes later it was gone.

In another incident he heard about, an 11-year-old had his iPhone snatched from a basket in Playground 9 after he and a few friends were challenged to a basketball game by another group. After the game, the other team immediately took off.

In the Sunday incident, at around 4 p.m., one kid reported seeing the kid who took the phone from the flagpole on his blue razor scooter. The scooter’s owner confronted the kid using it, saying his name was on the underside of it. After seeing that, the alleged thief, who is described as black, around 14 years old and carrying a bulging black and red backpack, gave it back. About 20 minutes later, he was seen leaving the property on a different scooter.

The dad added he heard that one of the phones, which was being traced by its owner, ended up on Second Avenue and 29th Street.

A detective from the 13th Precinct told T&V on Monday the police had no reports of any phone or scooter thefts in Stuy Town. A spokesperson for CWCapital declined to comment.

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.

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.

CW Capital/CompassRock: Con Ed “repairs” cause explosions along Avenue C and fire hazards in PCV buildings

The following notice was issued by CW Capital/CompassRock last night to explain those explosions and why some buildings in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village are still without power.

RESIDENT NOTICE – NOVEMBER 3 EVENING UPDATE 

We are extraordinarily pleased that much of the community has had power restored over the past 24 hours.  Unfortunately, much of Peter Cooper Village and certain buildings in Stuyvesant Town, primarily along Avenue C, remain without power at this time.  The reason for this is that the electrical equipment in the basements of the effected buildings were submerged in salt water during the flood.  This exposure to salt water has created damage which makes it unsafe to turn on the electricity.

This was evidenced by events at Peter Cooper Village last night.  Despite numerous warnings to Con Edison that it was unsafe to turn on the power, Con Edison electrified all of the property last night, including those buildings with damaged electrical equipment; in addition, ConEd electrified their own power lines in the street which were not yet safe to operate.  This caused several explosions under manhole covers along Avenue C last night that many residents may have heard.  The explosions occurred to ConEd equipment that was immediately outside the perimeter of the community.  In addition, the damaged equipment in the basement of 6 Peter Cooper Road created a potential fire hazard and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) readings in the basement areas.  FDNY was immediately summoned and remained onsite throughout the episode to ensure that residents were safe at all times.  FDNY performed continuous CO2 monitoring to ensure safety.  Andrew MacArthur from CWCapital, City Councilman Garodnick, Sean Sullivan, General Manager of CompassRock, and members of the tenants association were present at the site of the incident during this period and worked together to coordinate resources in the interest of resident safety.

Management worked through the Mayor’s office and Councilman Garodnick worked through the Speaker of the City Council’s office to jointly impress on ConEd the seriousness of the situation.   This coordination helped ensure ConEd’s responsiveness and we are pleased to report that it also resulted in the dispatch of significant resources to our community which should result in expedited repairs.

We have continued our assessment of the damage to the buildings caused by the storm and are now able to provide you with more detailed information and timelines for the restoration of full utilities and other services. Please refer to the matrix below for detailed information about your respective building.  Once again, we are providing you with the following updates immediately so that you can plan accordingly. Addressing these problems remains our top priority. We will continue to keep our residents updated with respect to any changes in the information outlined below.

Water Service: As we explained yesterday, no damage was done to the water pumps in Stuyvesant Town and basic service will continue to be available.  In Peter Cooper Village, nine of the twelve pumps that distribute water to PCV buildings still require repair, allowing for basic service; however, during peak usage periods, pressure drops may still occur.  Please remember to be mindful of conserving water to the best of your ability, particularly during peak hours.

Heat & Hot Water Service: While part of the property has regained full restoration of heat and hot water service, we anticipate full restoration for the remainder of the property within the coming week.  Please refer to the attached matrix to see the status of your building.

Electricity Service:  Much of the property has had power restored.  Those buildings without power are in the process of having critical electrical equipment repaired in order to ensure resident safety when the power is restored.  This work is partially dependent on ConEd which has made the completion schedule difficult to estimate.  We are very pleased to report that, based upon the resources committed to our community in the last 24 hours, we believe the repairs can be completed and power restored to the balance of the community by Tuesday evening at the latest.  Depending on the location, certain buildings currently without power may have electricity sooner. We realize these additional delays are frustrating, but we urge everyone to remain patient and respect the fact that resident safety must remain a priority.

Some residents have inquired about the possibility of having generators supply power to those buildings currently without power.  Please note that temporary generators would need to run electrical current through the same damaged equipment that has delayed the ConEd restoration of power and, therefore, are equally unsafe.

For residents who are finding that parts of their apartments do not seem to have power, please check your circuit panel and ensure that all switches are reset properly.

Gas Service: During the storm, Con Edison and the FDNY ordered the shut down of gas service to several buildings and we anticipate having gas service restored within 2 weeks, depending on their location.

For the buildings with gas meters damaged by the flood waters located in nine buildings in Peter Cooper Village the assessment remains the same as provided yesterday.  Because of the damage to these meters, gas service to these locations may be shut down.  If that occurs it will likely require approximately two weeks to restore gas service. We are further assessing and will report back as soon as the information becomes available.

Elevator Service: Elevator service was restored in all buildings which have power. The four passenger elevators damaged by the flood waters in Peter Cooper Village which we mentioned yesterday will take additional time to repair.  Both of the elevators in 7 Peter Cooper Road were damaged and will have one elevator restored within one week after power is restored and the second elevator will be repaired within two weeks after power is restored. The other two damaged elevators in 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 East 23rd Street will be repaired in two weeks after power is restored; these buildings will have one elevator operating while we restore service to the damaged elevator car once both buildings regain electric service.

Heating Center: The Community Center has been set up as a heating center for elderly residents and will be open daily from 8am to 10pm.

Resident Check-Ins: Thanks once again to the help of our volunteers, we were able to check in on all residents in buildings without power today, November 3, and food was delivered to elderly residents in those buildings.

Playgrounds:  We were able to open additional playgrounds today. The following playgrounds have been reopened: In Stuyvesant Town – 1, 7, 8, 9 and 12. In PCV 2 and 3 are open.

Security: We continue to have additional Public Safety staff on-site, and particularly in the buildings without power. Over the past five days, our Public Safety team were able to assist with over 500 wellness checks requested by concerned relatives and neighbors, 207 tenant evacuations, 112 calls related to gas orders, 68 apartment lock-outs, 38 elevator entrapments, and aided in 28 situations where people were removed to hospitals, among other emergency-related activities.  We would like to thank our public safety officers for their exceptional efforts during this difficult time.

We would like to remind you that Public Safety is now headquartered at the former Oval Film space. In case of emergency only, please call (347) 680-2212. For all other inquiries, please continue to go to Resident Services at Oval Café or call (888) 885-8490.

Laundry Service: Laundry Service has been restored to all buildings where electricity service has been restored, though certain buildings will only have cold water available. We will provide you with updates regarding restoration of laundry service in buildings where laundry machines were damaged. Oval Concierge will be open to all residents for laundry drop-off on Sunday, November 4th from 10am to 5pm at the First Avenue Loop Road between buildings 276 and 274. Please note that they only accept credit card payment.

Garages: Quik Park has advised us that they expect Garages 2, 4 and 5 to be open early this week.  Significant amounts of debris were washed into these areas during the flood and these additional delays are due to the time required to remove this debris.  Owners of cars located in these garages should assume that their vehicles have suffered extensive damage and act accordingly with respect to their insurance carriers.   Garages 1 and 6 are open. Garage 3 will be closed indefinitely. You can contact Quik Park directly to work out your accommodations. The Garage Manager will be available at Garage 1, located on 20th Street.

Amenity Spaces:  All amenity spaces have been closed indefinitely. Membership billing has been suspended indefinitely.

We will continue to update you regularly.

Status updates on electricity in each building can be viewed by clicking link to pcvst.com.