Stuy Town tenants get payout date: 1st quarter 2014

Lawyers, complex manager blame delay on lengthy calculations
By David Jones | September 03, 2013 02:34PM

Thousands of tenants of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village won’t see any of the $68.8 million they won in a rent class action lawsuit until early next year because of the lengthy calculations for the final payouts, their lawyers told The Real Deal.

The lawyers, representing 24,000 former and current residents, negotiated the settlement in mid-April with CW Capital, the manager of the 11,000-unit complex, and had expected the checks to start going out in October. The tenants sued in 2007 after learning that their former landlord, Tishman Speyer, charged them market rates for rent-stabilized apartments at the same time it was receiving tax abatements to keep rents reasonable.

Attorney Alexander Schmidt informed tenants Friday of the new timetable — the first quarter of 2014. Each payment is based on the number of years the tenant lived at the complex and the rent for the unit; amounts range from $150 to more than $100,000.

“When you get down to the nano levels, finalizing the the calculations just take a lot of people hours,” Schmidt told TRD. “We never had a firm deadline. Obviously the October date was aspirational.”

CW Capital also announced Friday that it did not have a date for the payment. “A time frame was never established,” spokesperson Brian Moriarty said. “We hope that tenants are paid as soon as possible, but it is a lengthy administrative process given the number of claimants.”

In June, some 2,000 tenants learned they would be spared mid-lease rent hikes as part of a deal between CW Capital and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as previously reported.

The delay irritates City Councilman Dan Garodnick, a Stuy Town resident and critic of CW Capital.

“The tenants are owed money and they want to get paid now,” he said.