Letters to the Editor, June 19

Tenants want details, not vague statements

To the editor:

Ok… so we applaud our political representatives before we hear what they have to say … Ok… so we applaud repeatedly while they speak without knowing the implications of what we hear. Ok… so we leave the rally at our City Hall with the thought that perhaps in unity we are getting closer to our wishes.

We were, after all, assured that Fannie and Freddie will not finance a deal unless the deal guarantees long-term affordability. We hear, in one way or another, that the mayor’s folks are working a deal with CWCapital that would a) satisfy the bondholders and b) guarantee that some apartments would remain affordable.

I hope that I am wrong on all accounts, but does any of that have the sound of what we want? A deal?

Made by whom? Representing whose interests? Long-term affordability? For whom? Affordable apartments? Of those… how many, and for whom? So CWCapital gets to keep the place? “Keep” is rather a firm thing. There is nothing ambiguous or equivocal about “keep”… and we get… what? Well, right now, whatever it is, it is heavy on ambiguity and equivocation (wrapped in emphatic assurances).

As I see it, we really have not squared off against the principle that we are mere tenants living on someone’s property at, quite close to, their pleasure. We haven’t squared off against the prevailing grip that government has no real right to interfere in the running of business. Business is, after all, private.

Nowhere along the line has our side insisted that the private exists within the public, through the will of the public, with the financial (socialism) support of the public. That form of restraint, along with civility has been our self-imposed handicap.

So perhaps, just perhaps, the next time a political leader speaks, we consider holding applause until, by answering our questions, we are shown to what non-generalities that leader is committed. In that way, over time, political leaders may come to speak to us with a focused demonstration of acknowledgement and respect, and we, for our part, more than placards and background to a center that is not us.

John M. Giannone, ST

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ST-PCV TA to partner with Brookfield on bid

By Sabina Mollot

and Heather Holland

Barry Blattman, senior managing partner of Brookfield

On Wednesday, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association announced that it had formed a partnership with the firm Brookfield Asset Management in a plan to put together a bid to purchase ST/PCV and convert to condos or co-ops.

The bid attempt would be the second tenant-led one — the first was in 2006, though the Tenants Association, working alongside Council Member Dan Garodnick, ended up losing to Tishman Speyer — or winning, as they later looked at it.

So far, there has been no bid put together, so it’s not clear whether CW Capital will accept the offer, which was extended by the TA on Tuesday.

However, Garodnick, who hosted a press conference outside Stuyvesant Town, along with other local elected officials and reps from Brookfield, said it was understood that any offer would need to be “competitive.” Previously, legal and financial advisors for the TA had said an offer would need to be at least $3 billion in order to satisfy the bondholder trust CW Capital represents. Continue reading