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22 October 2009

Court Deals Blow to Owners of Huge Apartment Complex I wonder if the crack hipster was involved.
I have a friend who lives in Peter Cooper Village who I know will be very relieved at this news.
posted by essexjan 22 October | 14:56
I find it hard to imagine that the tenants will ever actually see a penny of that.
posted by octothorpe 22 October | 15:43
Agreed, octothorpe. Sounds like the owners gambled on real estate and lost big time. Not an excuse for gouging the tenants, of course.
posted by Melismata 22 October | 16:18
So, what happens if Tishman Speyer files for bankruptcy?
posted by Ardiril 22 October | 16:44
After reading through the article's comments, I believe a subset of tenants won a battle but lost the war for everyone. Also, how can an apartment complex of that age and size be anywhere near current code? All things considered, I predict this complex will be demolished within ten years.
posted by Ardiril 22 October | 19:42
I've only been in that complex once, and the apartment I saw was pretty nice.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 22 October | 19:48
Yes, but what lies under the paint? How old is the wiring? The fire control systems? Pests? Wood rot? Corrosion?
posted by Ardiril 22 October | 19:53
Every single apartment in NYC is a piece of shit. Something that looks nice is good enough.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 22 October | 20:19
I have been in a couple of apartments in Stuyvesant Town and they were nice. Standard high-rise fireproof construction. Wired for commercial fire alarms and I believe there are pull boxes as well.
posted by mlis 22 October | 20:40
The buildings are only from the Forties, Ardiril. Not really all that old compared to a lot of east coast architecture. The office tower that I work in is almost the same age and has been kept up to code.
posted by octothorpe 22 October | 21:09
I see what you did there, Obscure Reference.

These are decent postwar construction, and are probably well-maintained over a long period of time, and note the "major renovations". Tishman and MetLife are high-grade landlords. People have probably lived there for decades.

If Tishman goes bankrupt, the complex will be sold to someone else. The leases in effect will remain in effect. It will be a short sale, most likely, so that Tishman can get out from under this burden. There may be arbitration or something to set up a fund via Chapter 11 to pay back the tenants.

This is more than just this complex, though. The entire system of rent control and rent stabilization in New York City has been given reinforcement. The libertarian argument has always been that by limiting rents, investment in apartments declines, so the city actually ends up with fewer affordable units overall. But the systems are popular even if they only control about 15% of the units in the city (or something like that). Landlords, on the other hand, hate them -- especially during housing booms when market rents skyrocket.

I had a friend who had a dreary concrete block apartment on the UWS, but it only cost them $500 in 1986 -- less than half what market neighbors were paying. And as long as they could bend the rules to keep it in the family, somebody would always have a Manhattan pied-a-terre. They're prized.
posted by dhartung 22 October | 21:16
Good point about MetLife, dh. I overlooked their being an insurance company. This is just the carpenter in me who knows how corners can be cut over the years.
posted by Ardiril 23 October | 06:23
Nearly two years later, and I still can't find any boots that fit my calves. || Conan the Scaredy Cat ...