Tenants of the financially embattled Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village are pressing the nation’s largest pension fund to put its money where its mouth is and back the property’s residents in a bid for the property.
City Councilman Dan Garodnick, who’s also a StuyTown resident, yesterday faxed a letter to Anne Stausboll, CEO of the $206 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), asking her to follow through on a promise to forgo real estate deals that seek to oust rent-stabilized tenants by joining StuyTown’s tenant-led restructuring plan.
Calpers was an original investor in the now-busted deal to purchase the massive Manhattan apartment complex in 2006 for $5.4 billion.
The leaders of that transaction, developer Tishman Speyer and money-management giant BlackRock, walked away from a $3 billion mortgage on the property in December amid plummeting property values and a court battle over whether the owners could raise rents.
Calpers lost $500 million in the StuyTown deal and was criticized for backing a plan to boot rent-stabilized tenants in exchange for higher-paying renters. Pensioners in the California-based fund are mostly teachers and other public-sector workers.
“We want to give Calpers a fresh start in New York and an opportunity to invest in a plan that protects middle-class people,” Garodnick told The Post.
The tenants have met with more than 40 potential financial partners, but face potentially tough competition, including billionaire distressed-asset investor Wilbur Ross, when it comes to taking over the 80-acre property, which is now winding its way through foreclosure.
Meanwhile, large private equity firms are circling CW Capital, the company leading StuyTown’s foreclosure process on behalf of creditors.
Interested bidders for the loan servicer, which will also lead any sale of StuyTown, include Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management and Centerbridge Capital Partners, according to Bloomberg News — although a person close to the situation told The Post that Apollo is no longer involved in the auction process.