Stuy-Town Tenants Aim to Ax the Middle Man

Residents of the huge complex accuse CW Capital of stonewalling their efforts to purchase the foreclosed property along with partner Brookfield, and appeal directly to debt-holders.

CW Capital Asset Management, is stone-walling the efforts of the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association and its partner Brookfield Asset Management to buy the sprawling property and convert the property so it can pay off its debt, according to a statement from the tenants association Tuesday morning.

The Tenants Association sent a letter to residents at the rent-regulated property, which runs from East 14th to East 23rd streets along the East River, on Tuesday. It stated that henceforth the group will seek to cut out the middleman—CW Capital, the special servicer that represents the bond holders in the foreclosed property—in favor of reaching out to the debt-holders directly. The reason is that CW Capital has not been responsive. City Councilman Dan Garodnick, a long-time resident of the complex, sent a similar letter to CW Capital.

“Despite having teamed up with word-class legal and financial advisors Paul Weiss, and Moelis & Company, and a highly credible capital partner, Brookfield Asset Management, and communicating in multiple ways with CW Capital, it consistently declines to engage with us,” said John Marsh, president of the Tenants Association, in a press statement. He added: “This is wrong and we believe that the bondholders, Wells Fargo in its role as Master Servicer of the commercial mortgage-backed securities] trusts, CW Capital’s parent company Fortress, and the relevant bond rating agencies will view this issue differently.”

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City Council Hikes Fines for Illegal Hotels

CITY HALL — New Yorkers who open illegal hotels in residential buildings could soon face a much steeper fine.

The City Council passed a bill Wednesday that would increase the penalty for running an illegal hotel from about $800 to up to $25,000 for repeat offenders.

The current fines are seen as “the cost of doing business” and are not high enough to deter apartment and building owners from renting rooms illegally to tourists, said Councilwoman Gale Brewer, one of the bill’s chief sponsors.

The proposed fines, which would be doled out by the Department of Buildings, would range from $1,000 to $25,000.

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Rose Associates Out, CW Financial Subsidiary In, at Stuyvestant Town

Rose Associates has been ousted as the property managers of the controversial Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex, according to reports.

CW Capital Asset Management, a subsidiary of CW Financial which took over the complex in 2010, has tapped CompassRock Real Estate, also a subsidiary of CW Financial, as its new property manger, effective September 1, 2012.

In doing so, CW Capital expects to reduce its management fee by 33 percent, and have a bigger hand in the leasing and marketing of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village developments, the company said in a press release.

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CompassRock Becomes Property Manager at Stuy-Town

The management arm at Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town is changing hands—again. According to a letter to residents obtained by GlobeSt.com, Denver-based multifamily management firm CompassRock Real Estate LLC has been appointed as property manager for the 11,250-unit, multi-building complex, replacing current property manager Rose Associates after a two-year stint. The change will be effective Sept. 1.

Unnamed sources say CompassRock is a subsidiary of CW Capital Financial Services, the parent company of CW Asset Management– the same special servicing firm that took control of the asset in 2010. People familiar with the transition say that the changes are part of a greater effort to stabilize the property, streamline management services and increase efficiencies, and is not related to the performance of Rose Associates.

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Stuy Town gets new manager with familiar roots

To run the sprawling residential complex it took over in 2009 on behalf of debt holders, CWCapital Asset Management taps its own fledgling management arm, ousting Rose Associates Inc.

CWCapital Asset Management is keeping it all in the family when it comes to managing Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town, the massive rent-regulated complex it has controlled since 2009.

The special servicer, which oversees properties on behalf of their debt holders, tapped CompassRock Real Estate to manage the 11,000-unit complex, beginning on Sept. 1. Both companies are subsidiaries of CW Financial so management fees stay within the same company.

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Impark out, Quik Park in

After five years of managing Stuyvesant Town’s six garages, residents have recently learned via letter that the company Impark will no longer be doing so. Additionally, Impark is already in the process of transferring information about its roughly 1,900 parkers who pay by the month to the company coming in, Quik Park, a spokesperson for Impark said.

The spokesperson, Julian Jones, said the reason the company is leaving is that its contract expired on May 31, and after that Rose Associates put the project up for bid.

“Quik Park was successful in that bidding process, unfortunately for us,” said Jones. “We’ve really enjoyed working in Stuyvesant Town. The tenants have been great to deal with. Right now we’re working with the new parking managers to make sure things go as smoothly as possible in this transition.”

What will change is that customers who choose to pay online with a credit card via Impark’s online account system will obviously have to switch to whatever system Quik Park uses.

Quik Park and CWCapital have not yet gotten back to us on whether the current parking rates will remain the same. On its website, Quik Park says it offers parking discounts and coupons.

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Terminations Can’t Keep Real Estate Managers Down

Many real estate investment managers aren’t letting large-scale terminations by some pension funds keep them from gaining new business — in some cases for the same investment strategy.

For example, the $146.8 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Sacramento, in February committed $250 million to BlackRock (BLK) Inc. (BLK) for a new multifamily real estate mandate, less than two years after the firm lost $100 million of the pension fund’s money co-investing in the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village apartment deal in New York.

BlackRock acquired the apartment complex for $5.4 billion in 2006 through a partnership with Tishman Speyer Properties and with the help of capital from co-investors including CalSTRS, the $235 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the $156.8 billion Florida State Board of Administration. On that deal, CalPERS also lost $500 million and Florida, $250 million.

Still CalSTRS gave BlackRock more money, while Sacramento-based CalPERS terminated the manager, transferring the apartment portfolio to GID Investment Advisers LLC.

While this is the example most talked about in the industry, it is not the only one.

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CW Capital and Rose End Unauthorized Use of Residents’ Photos in Marketing of Stuy-Town Apartments

Rose Associates’ practice of videographing and photographing residents for marketing materials has ended, thanks to the advocacy of the Tenants Association.

For more than a year, Rose Associates had been videographing and photographing Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper residents entering Stuyvesant Oval and using these photos and videos in management’s advertising and promotional material. Residents never explicitly granted their permission to use the images. Rather, residents periodically noted the following sign posted in the Oval:

“The Stuyvesant Oval and surrounding areas will be videotaped. If you walk in this area you may be on film. By entering the Oval area during this time period, you grant Rose Associates, Inc. and its representatives the right to take video footage of you and you agree that Rose Associates, Inc. may use such video for any lawful purpose, including, for example, such purposes as advertising, publicity, illustration and Web content.”

Acting on complaints from residents who were unpleasantly surprised to find their images and those of their children appearing on the PCVST.com website, on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and in a scrolling display in the window of the renting office on First Avenue, the TA brought the matter to the attention of the new General Manager Sean Sullivan in a letter.

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Man Believed to be Serial Mugger Behind 16 Robberies is Nabbed by Cops

Police arrested Dion Whitehead, 38, Thursday night on four counts of robbery. The E. Houston St. resident allegedly began his mugging spree in May, striking every few days.

Cops have nabbed the man they believe is the serial mugger behind 16 robberies in Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side.

Police arrested Dion Whitehead, 38, Thursday night on four counts of robbery. The E. Houston St. resident allegedly began his mugging spree in May, striking every few days.

Brandishing a knife or pretending to have a gun, he grabbed cell phones, jewelry, cash, an iPod and other items, sticking to an area between E. 14th St. and E. Houston St.

Whitehead has several prior arrests including attempted murder and drug charges, cops said. Cops tracked him down after receiving a tip based on surveillance photos from a subway station.

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NYPD: This Guy Robbed 16 People In LES, East Village, Stuy Town

In July, the NYPD sent out a request for the public’s help in locating a man wanted for 14 robberies in the 7th, 9th and 13th Precincts. Now, the NYPD has added two more to the long list and released a photograph of the suspect.

Police say the man, described as a black male, 30-40, around 5’9″-6″, with a dark complexion, thin mustache and thin beard, typically “approaches victims in various locations, displays or simulates a weapon (firearm or knife), threatens the victims, and demands personal property,” such as cash, jewelry, and cellphones. None of the victims has been injured yet.

The incidents are listed below—the 7th Precinct covers the Lower East Side, the 9th Precinct is the East Village, and the 13th Precinct covers Stuyvesant Town, Gramercy Park and part of Chelsea.

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