Photo courtesy of Stuy Town
The sprawling Stuyvesant Town complex on Manhattan’s east side is no stranger to controversy and drama, and here’s some more to add to the list. The city’s budget watchdog agency is saying that Mayor de Blasio’s office inflated the benefits of a deal to keep affordable housing at the complex in exchange for $220 million in taxpayer subsidies, according to the Daily News. This is based off the highly-publicized 2015 sale of Stuy Town, the biggest single deal done under de Blasio’s affordable housing plan. But a new report by the Independent Budget Office believes the city is getting less from the complex sales agreement than it claimed.
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The new owners of the massive East Village residential complex now known as StuyTown plan to spend over $10 million to install 10,000 solar panels on 56 buildings in the complex, the Wall Street Journal reports. Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoé Cambridge bought the storied complex for $5.3 billion in October 2015. As 6sqft previously reported, the solar investment is part of an effort by Blackstone, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, to generate energy cost savings in its global commercial real estate portfolio. The panels will provide enough power for about 1,000 apartments each year–about nine percent of the units in the 80-acre complex–which Blackstone says will triple Manhattan’s solar power generating capacity and make it the largest private multifamily solar installation in the U.S.
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It’s been almost a year since Stuyvesant Town opened a 15,000-name wait list for its affordable apartments, and they’ve now launched another lottery, this time for households earning between $84,150 and $149,490 annually. The availabilities are spread throughout Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village and include $2,805/month one-bedrooms and $3,366/month two-bedrooms.
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When news broke back in October that Blackstone Group had partnered with Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge to buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.45 billion, one of the most talked about parts of the deal was that it would reserve 5,000 units of affordable housing for 20 years, 4,500 of which will be for middle-income families and 500 for low-income families. Starting today, qualifying New Yorkers can apply for one of these apartments, reports to DNAinfo.
Through March 31st, the housing lottery will accept up to 15,000 names for the waitlist. They’ll be entered into a randomized computer system that will assign a number to each applicant, and as more apartments open up, people will be contacted to move in. The units range from $1,210/month studios for persons earning between $36,300 and $48,400 annually to $4,560/month five-bedrooms for families of five to 10 making between $136,800 and $210,870.
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Less than three months ago, the Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s colossal purchase of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village went public. At the time, it was revealed that as part of the $5.46 billion deal Blackstone would reserve 4,500 of the complex’s 11,200 apartments for middle-income families for the next 20 years, with an additional 200 units set aside for low-income tenants. But what’s just come to light is the $625 million worth of air rights that came along with the buy. The majority of the roughly one million square feet will be transferred elsewhere, but about 250,000 square feet will remain within Stuy Town. As the Post first reported, “These include 200,000 square feet for a community facility, 25,000 square feet for residential and 25,000 square feet for commercial use.”
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The hot topic right now in the real estate world is undoubtedly the $5.3 billion sale of Stuyvesant Town to the Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge. Aside from the huge sum and the fact that the apartment complex has been long-plagued, what makes this deal so huge is that the new owners agreed to preserve 5,000 of the 11,200 units as affordable housing. On the surface this sounds like a fool-proof plan, but many of Stuyvesant Town‘s long-time rent-regulated residents may not like the changes, and the newer generation of young professionals might now find themselves making too much to qualify for an available affordable unit. How do you think it’s going to play out? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments below!
The saga of Stuyvesant Town continues. The Real Deal reports that the Blackstone Group has partnered with Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge to buy Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.3 billion, just slightly under 2006’s $5.4 billion sale.
Currently, more than half of the 11,200 apartments in the long-plagued complex (which was built under Robert Moses as affordable housing for veterans returning from WWII) are market rate. And as TRD notes, “As part of the new agreement with the city, Blackstone will reserve 4,500 units at the complex for middle-income families for the next 20 years… An additional 500 units will be slated for low-income families, and Blackstone will not attempt a condominium conversion at the complex.” In order to keep the affordable units, the city will provide $225 million in funding; give Blackstone a $144 million low-interest loan through the Housing Development Corporation; and waive $77 million in taxes.
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Here we go again. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village on Manhattan’s east side have a long history of being an affordable option for middle-income workers. But these days its hold on that place in the city’s housing landscape appears tenuous at best.
Though rent-stabilizations laws have been in effect for many units and about half are below-market rates, the remainder is comprised of luxury apartments, with one-bedroom units fetching as much as $2,900 a month, more than double the rate in 2006 when nearly ¾ of the units were below market. And with the property poised to sell for billions of dollars, the trend towards more luxury rentals seems likely.
More on the city’s plan to keep rents low
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It looks like Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village may be headed back to auction. Manhattan’s largest rental community is no stranger to the game of musical chairs that their owners have been inadvertently playing. The complex, comprised of 80 acres, 110 buildings, and 11,231 units between 14th and 23rd Streets, has had an interesting decade. It sold to Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock for a record $5.4 billion at the height of the real estate boom in 2006. Despite being accused of trying to push out lower income residents with high prices, they actually defaulted on their loan in 2010. Ownership of the property was transferred to the lenders, represented by CWCapital.
Drama in Stuy Town