Friday, December 5, 2008

"I am not looking forward to another flip, but here's the thing"

Wanted to share a comment from a resident who lives in one of the 17 walk-up apartment buildings in the East Village that are now for sale:

I live in one of these buildings, and Westbrook has been hell, to say the least (Extell pretty much left us rent stabilized people alone, at least in my building). Now, I am not looking forward to another flip, but here's the thing:

1. The 17 buildings can now be purchased separately, which may mean improved landlord-tenant relations in some cases, instead of the current collective of tenants dealing only with the shadowy PVE Associates and the repulsive Josh.
2. In some buildings, up to 40% of the rent-regulated tenants have already been forced out, meaning the ones who remain are: in possession of solid leases; good tenants who pay rent on time and do not sublet illegally, etc.; and have been through this fight for the past several years and know their rights.

Adding to this, I assume new landlords will want to avoid the terrible recent press Westbrook has received.

Finally "renting for as low as 20% of market" is deceiving. The individual listings linked to at Curbed show that there are far more stabilized units left than controlled ones. I am stabilized and my rent is only about 10% below market. In NYC's uncertain future, it may be better to have rent-stabilized people adding to the rent rolls than vacant apartments contributing zero.

Or I am being a completely naive optimist, and more unforeseeable hell awaits.

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