By: Sabina Mollot
CWCapital, the financial services giant that holds the keys to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, has agreed to extend a deadline on talks to keep the 11,000-unit apartment complex affordable.
Sunday, August 10 marked the end of a 60-day deadline that CWCapital had given to the Stuy Town Tenants Association, the mayor’s office and local elected officials to come up with a plan aimed at keeping as many apartments in the complex affordable as possible.
Since the doomed $5.4 billion sale of Stuy Town to Tishman Speyer and Blackrock in 2006, and its subsequent takeover by the special servicer to the loans, an estimated 5,000 apartments have become market rate.
CWCapital has also taken steps to sell the East River complex, taking title to the property in June and hinting that a sale would follow.
The city and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer then moved to thwart any sale by seeking assurances from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they would not to guarantee any deal that does not ensure long-term affordability for the remaining below-market units.
With affordable housing a keystone of the de Blasio Administration, the mayor has been in talks with both the tenant representatives, CWCapital and local politicians.
In July, de Blasio joined local politicians and Tenants Association leaders for a coffee klatch at councilman Dan Garodnick’s Stuy Town apartment, which was aimed at discussing proposals that would interest CW.
One possibility has been using tax incentives to preserve affordability. The TA discussed its own condo conversion plan, and later said the mayor was open to the idea, though he ideally would prefer the apartments kept as affordable rentals.
Councilman Garodnick, said on Friday, “The conversation has started but certainly not ended.
“It’s a balance the city has a goal of preserving long-term affordability and CWCapital has an obligation to its bondholders. The goal is to find a place wherever everyone’s needs are met.”
Wiley Norvell, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, added, “We’ve had productive conversations with CWCapital about protecting affordability at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village.
“All parties have agreed it’s in the best interests of the city, the tenants and CW Capital to continue those talks in the months ahead before any action is taken.”