Something For The Wanna Have’s.
The battle between The Tenant’s association and PCVST management company Tishman Speyer ended yesterday with the highest court in New York ruling in favor of the The Tenants. This was the last possible appeal from Tishman after an Amicus brief was prepared which served to prove Tishman’s double dipping in the form of receiving J-51 tax breaks and market rate rent hikes. The law clearly bars deregulating units “which became or become subject to [stabilization] by virtue of receiving tax benefits” under the city’s J-51 program. This was a huge victory for the lower and middle class. During this time of excessive corporate greed and massive bonus payments justice was served today with a very clear message; You can’t expect to break the law, make a profit while also receiving tax benefits and not be punished. You can’t have it both ways and enjoy a capitalist compensation and a socialist compensation while you screw the people in the community. That’s called exploitation. This was a risk taken to earn a profit and the risk has not paid off. The beauty of which is pure capitalism. There are some commentator’s and journalists out there who see this as an unjust verdict. One of which is Steve Cuozzo in his NY Post article. He suggests that Jerry and Rob Speyer had another interpretation of the law (yeah no kidding) and writes “With so much hanging on the meaning of “by virtue of,” Jerry and Rob Speyer nonetheless rolled the dice. Now the court has made things far worse for them and for the entire decontrol cause, which too briefly offered a way out of the system’s socialist-style deathlock on the rental housing scene.” My answer to that is, Are you friggin serious Steve? So you’re supporting tax theft at the very least? This was a victory for pure capitalism and justice. If you take a profit gamble and you fail due to what is written in law then it’s game over. And the fallout from this can neither be protected or rationalized. If other landlords profit margin were based on the same expectations then that too is their big gamble. For the record I am a resident in Stuyvesant Town making $150,000 a year and I cannot save any money. This is a true victory also for the middle class. We deserve a victory after all our money has been either stolen from us or simply gobbled up by credit card companies and rent.
The final question I have is, now what? What happens from here with the decision. How will the money be parceled up for the victors? I live in a market rate apartment but I signed a lease agreeing to those terms. While it’s true that 4,352 apartments are now market rate, I signed my lease agreeing to pay that rate. I have asked employees working for Tishman Speyer whether I will receive a new re-regulated apartment and at this time it is not certain what the costs will be to TS or the re-structuring of the leases. I do not expect pro rated rent payments to be awarded but an apartment rate that could help me save would be nice.