The Real Deal New York

How Blackstone won Stuy Town

A tale of the wheeling and dealing behind the private equity giant's $5.3B buy

August 16, 2016 10:00AM
By Konrad Putzier

Clockwise from bottom left: Jonathan Gray, Doug Harmon, Alicia Glen and Daniel Fournier

Clockwise from bottom left: Jonathan Gray, Doug Harmon, Alicia Glen and Daniel Fournier

Editor’s note: This report was first published on Oct. 29, 2015.

TRD Special Report:In August 1947, as the first tenants were moving into Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, workers installed a small metal plaque on the west side of its central oval footpath. It was dedicated to Frederick Ecker, president of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and developer of the giant housing complex.

Ecker, the plaque read, had “brought into being this project, and others like it, that families of moderate means might live in health, comfort and dignity in parklike communities, and that a pattern might be set of private enterprise productively devoted to public service.” The inscription became a mantra for the 11,200-apartment complex, which, even as Manhattan became increasingly unaffordable, remained a rent-stabilized oasis for the middle class.

But in 2002, the plaque was quietly removed. Four years later, MetLife sold Stuy Town to developer Tishman Speyer and fund manager BlackRock, who planned to aggressively convert units to market-rate. Families of moderate means were suddenly of low priority. [more]

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