Did the victorious tenants of the Stuyvesant Town lawsuit each get a giant pile of cash to roll around in? Not quite. Are there hard feelings? You betcha! Comments on recent Stuy Town updates are riddled with renters disappointed by higher-than-expected stabilized rents in the wake of the suit (which determined some 4,400 market-rate apartments were illegally destabilized), but one tenant had a bit more to get off his chest. He sent us the following e-mail, and who are we to deny a family man a good rant? We were raised to respect our elders:
Turns out this lawsuit didn't amount to much for middle-class families! My wife has been in Stuyvesant Town for 20 years, 10 in the current 1-bedroom. We pay $1,500. We got on this fabled new list immediately, and got a call Sunday from a very arrogant leasing agent who offered us a three-bedroom for $3,800. She wouldn't allow any discussion, wouldn't factor in the value of our current apartment, imposed a three-day deadline on us, and referred us to a lawyer if we wanted any further info. When I contacted the lawyer, he said he couldn't tell me anything and referred me back to the leasing office.
We spoke to a top real estate attorney in Manhattan, who saved our apartment 10 years ago (prior management, same slimy techniques). He's up to his neck in class actions against Stuy Town, but said the only thing we can do is take the $3,800, and we'll most likely be able to sue them to get it down $1,000, although there's no guarantee and it could take a while. But, because of how much rent stabilization has been weakened in NYState, they can still pass on a portion of those faux-renovation charges once the apartment goes over $2,000. What was the point of this lawsuit if they can still get away with charging nearly market-rate? My family is a family of four in a one-bedroom -- longtime tenants who once expected (like generations before us) to move up in the complex as our family grew. We have a combined household income of $110,000. Our kids go to public school two blocks away.
It's really unconscionable that a spoiled rich boy gets to play real estate investor with his daddy's money and name, and the people who really give this city life are the ones who suffer.
Yeah, he went there! Maybe Rob Speyer and our Stuy Town dad can settle this with pistols at dawn by the fountain? Loser gets saddled with the debt!
· Stuy Town coverage [Curbed]