Blackstone Group has apparently shifted course and is now renovating and leasing all vacant units at Stuyvesant Town. This comes after the landlord faced criticism following revelations that the company has been keeping 20 to 50 percent of rent-regulated apartments at Stuy Town empty in reaction to the city’s new rent laws. It didn’t take long for authorities, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, to express concern over the findings. On Friday, a spokesperson for Blackstone told Gothamist, “We are renovating and leasing all vacant units, and we will continue to fulfill our commitment to voluntarily preserve 5,000 affordable apartments.”
Image via Flickr
Sources told The Real Deal that Blackstone Group is keeping 20 to 50 rent-stabilized apartments at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village vacant, following state rent law changes that will impede the landlord’s ability to raise rents through renovations. 6sqft reported last month that Blackstone—who purchased the massive 11,000+ unit apartment complex in partnership with Ivanhoe Cambridge for $5.5 billion in 2015—had stopped all non-urgent renovations and other planned work at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village as a result of the new rent laws.
Via StuyTown Property Services
As 6sqft reported last month, the state recently passed legislation containing landmark changes to rent regulations that were set to expire, significantly strengthening New York’s rent laws and tenant protections. Private-equity giant Blackstone Group, who purchased the massive 11,000+ unit Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complex for $5.5 billion in 2015, is among landlords who say the new rent regs will keep them from making important property upgrades, Crain’s reports. Blackstone says it is pausing apartment renovations and other planned work at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village as a result of rule changes which dramatically limit the allowable rent increases landlords can charge as a result of renovations and repairs.
Via StuyTown Property Services
You’re a single New Yorker earning over $120,000 a year–do you really need subsidized housing? Apparently, yes. And apparently, a $2,975/month one-bedroom or a $3,695/month two-bedroom is now considered “affordable.” These are the benchmarks for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village’s 2019 affordable housing lottery, which opens the waitlist for one- and two-bedroom units to households earning 165 percent of the area median income.
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.
Photos courtesy of Stuyvesant Town
“Think of us as a 1947 Cadillac retrofitted with a Tesla engine,” says Marynia Kruk, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village‘s Community Affairs Manager. Though the 80-acre residential complex’s 110 red brick, cruciform-shaped buildings were constructed 70 years ago this month, their imposing facades are hiding an intense network of systems that, since 2011, have allowed the development to reduce its on-site carbon emissions by 6.8 percent, equal to over 17 million pounds of coal saved. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly the same savings as 3,000 drivers deciding to bike or take the train for an entire year or planting a forest of 400,000 trees.
This massive sustainability push, along with new ownership (Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge bought the complex for $5.3 billion in October 2015), updated amenities, and an affordable housing commitment, is driving Manhattan’s largest apartment complex into the future, and 6sqft recently got the inside scoop from CEO and General Manager Rick Hayduk and Tom Feeney, Vice President of Maintenance Operations, who is spearheading the green initiative.
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.
Stuyvesant Town Oval via Marianne O’Leary via photopin cc
Any architecture history student or design nerd knows about Le Corbusier (1887-1965), one of the founders of modern architecture and a truly one-of-a-kind urban planner. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (his given name; he was French-Swiss), one of his most noteworthy urban ideas was concept of “towers in the park.” Part of his Contemporary City plan (and later Radiant City plan) to house three million inhabitants as a way to deal with overcrowding and slums, towers in the park were skyscrapers set in large, rectangular tracts of lands with open space between the buildings.
Whether they were consciously influenced by Le Corbusier or not, many projects in New York City mimic his vision of towers in the park, and we’ve decided to take a look at the most well known of this architectural crop, as well as some other ways the famous architect left his mark on NYC.
That’s right–Stuyvesant Square is its own neighborhood. Haven’t heard of it? That may be because you’ve been confusing it with neighboring Gramercy Park or Stuyvesant Town. But in fact, this charming little neighborhood is a highly desirable enclave in its own right.
Situated around Stuyvesant Square Park, the area is bound roughly by 14th and 18th Streets and First and Third Avenues. It could be considered the southeastern corner of Gramercy Park or an extension of planned development Stuyvesant Town, but some real estate professionals like the exclusivity that the lesser-known moniker offers. Others have come up with creative alternatives like “Gramercy Park on Stuyvesant Square.” But regardless of what you call it, Stuyvesant Square has a unique blend of limited space, historic landmarks, and mixed uses that makes for a bustling New York City neighborhood.