StuyTown Property Services recently informed the Board of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association that they are embarking on an “experiment” to reconfigure vacant apartments. Although construction has already begun, StuyTown Property Services has not yet notified the community.
The new program will convert 40 vacant Peter Cooper Village units by turning the kitchen of a one-bedroom unit into a bedroom and moving the kitchen into the living room; combining adjacent one- and two-bedroom units to form a three-bedroom unit; and reconfiguring adjacent one- and two-bedroom units to create a three-bedroom unit and a studio. The new program will continue to divide Stuyvesant Town living rooms of 75 vacant apartments to provide an additional bedroom at the expense of living and dining space.
The Board of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association opposes the reconfiguration of the Stuyvesant Town apartments, which reduces living rooms to foyers in order to increase sleeping spaces. The arrangement, which degrades the time-tested, well-designed layout, will likely result in an increase in the existing transient rent-a-room lifestyle. This is the antithesis of the original concept of our community. This reconfiguration will most certainly exacerbate the dormitory and churn effects which tenants have been objecting to since subdivision of apartments began. It will add further pressure to our aging infrastructure. It will continue to destabilize our once-cohesive community.
However, we consider that, with the exception of the studio apartments, the reconfigured Peter Cooper Village units may attract long-term residents, the stated goal of both management and the Tenants Association.
The Term Sheet executed by the City and Blackstone when the latter purchased the property states in part:
"The agreement protects both the current tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, as well as the Property’s legacy as a home for moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers for the generation to come. The Purchaser and the City are committed to the good stewardship of this unique community, and its long-term viability.
"In addition, the Purchaser intends to maintain the unique characteristics of the Property . . . by creating an environment that is conducive to residents establishing a long-term connection to the community."
The Tenants Association believes the terms and the spirit of the purchase should preserve the functionality of the original Stuyvesant Town living spaces in order to maintain, not violate, a viable and gratifying living experience in an unusual urban setting.