In win for Stuy Town tenants, Blackstone drops challenge to rent stabilization

February 26, 2024

Image courtesy of Billie Grace Ward on Flickr

Every apartment in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village is now permanently rent-stabilized. Owner Blackstone Group on Saturday withdrew its appeal of a court ruling last year that found deregulating apartments within Manhattan’s largest apartment complex was unlawful. Blackstone, which purchased the 11,200-unit complex in 2015 with plans to charge market-rate rents for half of the apartments, cited its “unwavering commitment” to Stuy Town tenants as the reason for its withdrawal, according to Gothamist.

“We were simply preserving our options in the event future court decisions were made that would impact this case,” Blackstone spokesperson Jillian Kary told Gothamist following the appeal withdrawal. “However, we did not ever have plans to change how we treat rent-stabilized apartments at Stuy Town.”

Kary continued: “Blackstone has consistently displayed an unwavering commitment to the Stuy Town community. In 2015, we voluntarily preserved 5,000 units as affordable housing, and since then have invested more than $375 million into the property and materially improved resident satisfaction.”

As part of the $5.4 billion purchase of Stuy Town in 2015, Blackstone reached a deal with the city allowing them to deregulate and raise rents on over 6,000 rent-regulated apartments across the two complexes starting in July 2020.

In March 2020, Stuy Town residents sued Blackstone in anticipation of rent hikes. The tenant group argued that deregulation would have violated the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, which established apartments that were rent-regulated when the law passed would remain subject to regulation.

In January 2023, State Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed sided with the tenants and ruled all units covered by the 2019 tenant protection legislation on the date of its enactment remained protected. Blackstone filed a notice of appeal soon after.

After pending for over a year, the appeal was dropped by Blackstone following a decision last week by the Supreme Court of the United States to not hear two challenges to rent stabilization law from New York City landlords, as City Limits reported.

“This is a great day for us as well as other rent-stabilized tenants around the city and state who may be in similar situations,” Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that we have preserved stabilization for everybody who lives here now and in the future.”

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village was constructed under Robert Moses shortly after World War II as affordable housing for veterans, and over the years has become known as an ideal neighborhood for the city’s middle class.


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