Photo: Dan DeLuca/Flickr
Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, and Ivanhoé Cambridge, a major Canadian pension fund manager, are the new owners of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan’s largest apartment complex. The firms paid $5.3 billion for the 11,241-unit complex and committed to a long-term affordability agreement with numerous tenant protections.
Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village is one of the most significant enclaves of middle and moderate income housing in New York City. Below are the deal’s three big commitments to middle class housing.
1. 5,000 below-market apartments will stay affordable
The mayor’s office announced that this agreement marks “largest number of affordable apartments ever preserved in a single City-led transaction in the history of New York City.” Five thousand apartments in the area were in danger of losing their below-market status — with the ability to turnover as soon as tenants left their leases. In fact, before the deal, affordable apartments were being lost at a rate of about 300 per year. Now, those units will remain affordable for the next 20 years based on income, regardless of chain of ownership.
2. 1,400 apartments will have rents capped
“Roberts” tenants in Stuyvesant Town previously filed a class-action lawsuit against former owners Tishman Speyer and MetLife, with the court ruling that units had been illegally deregulated while receiving the J-51 tax abatement. But many still saw rent increases due to terms of a later settlement. Under this new agreement, Roberts tenants — named for Amy Roberts who led the filing of the class action suit in 2007 — in around 1,400 apartments will have rents capped until 2020, at which point increases will be limited to five percent per year for five years.
3. Preserved open space and senior services
Blackstone and Ivanhoé Cambridge also stated that they intend to maintain the 80-acre neighborhood’s open community spaces. Stuyvesant Town is currently home to the city’s second largest green space (after Central Park). For the area’s growing senior population, they will also employ a licensed social worker and create a community center providing programming and medical and wellness services.
Stuyvesant Town is home to more than 30,000 residents. Located between 14th and 23rd streets on the east side of Manhattan, it was built through a City and MetLife partnership as housing for World War II veterans. Both city officials and its new owners recognize its long community history.
“We are delighted to invest in this exceptional property in partnership with Blackstone and, together with them, we look forward to building sustainable long-term relations with the community and our tenants,” said Daniel Fournier, Chairman and CEO of Ivanhoé Cambridge.
“For generations, Stuyvesant Town has been a home to working and middle-class families…This is an achievement that helps us ensure we can keep this a city for everyone,” added Mayor de Blasio.
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