Stuy Town key card fuels controversy

TRD New York /
Oct.October 14, 2008 02:22 PM

Stuyvesant Town residents have been alerted that a controversial electronic photo key card system will replace lobby door keys starting Thursday.

The move is already drawing criticism from some residents who say it would make it easier for Stuy Town to identify and remove tenants who illegally sublet there.

Still, signs posted in the massive World War II-era rental complex state that lobby keys will no longer work after Wednesday, October 15th.

In order to obtain the key cards, residents must present a photo ID such as a current driver’s license, student ID or passport at the complex’s management office. Tenants may obtain cards for employees or guests by accompanying them to the office.

The key cards are part of a new security system at the complex that includes cameras in elevator cabs, sensors on roof doors, and roof alarms, the flier states.

The key card system, which is already in place at Peter Cooper Village, has also drawn criticism from residents who have claimed the cards keep track of them when they enter and leave the buildings and thus violate their privacy.

Tishman Speyer Properties LP and BlackRock Realty bought the 80-acre, 11,200-unit Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village complex in 2006 for $5.4 billion.

But the owners are facing higher costs and less income than expected after converting rent-regulated apartments to market rates proved more difficult than anticipated.

Stuyvesant Town is now worth 10 percent less than what Tishman and BlackRock paid two years ago, S&P said in the Sept. 26 report.

A spokesman for Tishman Speyer said the firm was “pleased to announce” the upgraded security system — which will be implemented in some buildings now and will be required at all buildings by mid-December. He also noted that it was part of an ongoing effort to “enhance the safety of Stuyvesant Town residents and the security of their homes.”

He said each building will be given at least 15 days notice and said it is “the same Access Card program that has been seamlessly implemented at Peter Cooper Village.”

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