Powerhouse educational institution P.S. 234 in Tribeca is no stranger to real estate-related hubbub, having already set off a near civil war between affordable and market-rate residents of 101 Warren Street. Now there's a new controversy swirling around P.S. 234 involving a pair of Corcoran brokers, a referral program, and a smackdown from the P.S. 234 PTA. Scandalous! In late February, Corcoran brokers Karen Kemp, a P.S. 234 parent, and business partner Sharon Katzoff sent an e-mail to the P.S. 234 community announcing a new referral program called GIVE 234 in response to budget cuts. "Refer anyone to us interested in buying, selling, or renting a property," their e-mail stated, and 10% of the brokers' proceeds from any resulting transaction would be donated to P.S. 234. "The referral can be a parent, relative, or friend. All they have to say is that they are a referral through P.S. 234." According to a tipster, "This email generated a lot of yard talk and raised eyebrows." And that's before the PTA got involved with a response that makes yard talk look like, well, yard talk.
The PTA was somewhat surprised to find itself involved in real estate sales, and sent out the following email:
Dear PS 234 Community:
Yesterday you may have received a solicitation from Sharon Katzoff and Karen Kemp of Corcoran promoting a PS 234 program to give back to the school. We did not approve this offering and no such program is in place. We deeply regret this misuse of our email distribution list and apologize for any inconvenience or disruption it may have caused.
It is imperative that all members of our community respect the privacy of our members and not send solicitations, notices, or other mass emails. Our school directory may not be used for business purposes. Furthermore, no programs purporting to benefit the PTA may be established without the approval of the PTA executive board and the principal. But hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
· Official website: PS 234 [ps234.org]