Sales Beat

Peter Cooper Village Area Mixed-Use Building Trades for $5.6M

361 First Avenue

A mixed-use building on the northwest corner of 21st Street and First Avenue, across from Peter Cooper Village, has sold in an off-market deal for $1,120 per square foot.

The seller was Rye, NY-based JTU Management Inc., which acquired the property in July 2011 for $4.38 million, and the purchaser was a private investor listed as First Avenue Assets LLC, public records indicate. Read More

The Sit-Down

The Final Word: Charles Bagli on “Other People’s Money”


The New York Times’s Charles Bagli’s new book Other People’s Money tackles the housing crisis and 2010 collapse of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village deal. Set for release April 4, the book takes readers inside the bidding war and the eventual loss of billions of dollars of investor money. Mr. Bagli, a former reporter at The New York Observer, spoke with The Commercial Observer about the book, how the Stuy Town deal defined an era, and whether or not investors and the industry learned a lesson.

The Commercial Observer: What is the significance of this story?

Mr. Bagli: For me—just my own thinking—it was a critical moment. Here we are in the midst of another real estate boom, and it just really highlighted the fact that these guys that used to go for the “glass and brass” are out there scooping up what some people would call “meat and potatoes,” the brick tenements. You sort of step back and say: ‘Whoa, what’s this about?’ Like I say in the book, I think Stuyvesant Town, in a way, is for New Yorkers an iconic place, not dissimilar from the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center.

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Head of the Class: Teachers Retirement Fund TIAA-CREF Making Waves in New York

8 Spruce Street

Though not a traditional owner-operator, TIAA-CREF has begun to draw the attention of the real estate industry in recent months for a bevy of deals, including its acquisition of a stake in the Frank Gehry-designed building at 8 Spruce Street and a joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management.

The asset management firm’s steady persistence in the real estate market during the downturn has led to a realization of gains, and recent deals could lead to the redeployment of capital in key markets going forward, said analysts familiar with the firm’s strategy going into 2013.

“TIAA is one of the investors that was pretty active in the depths of the market in 2009 and 2010, and some of those investments have turned into significant home runs,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director and head of research at Real Capital Analytics. Read More

Management Shifts

Rose Associates Out, CW Financial Subsidiary In, at Stuyvestant Town


Rose Associates has been ousted as the property managers of the controversial Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex, according to reports.

CW Capital Asset Management, a subsidiary of CW Financial which took over the complex in 2010, has tapped CompassRock Real Estate, also a subsidiary of CW Financial, as its new property manger, effective September 1, 2012. Read More

Legal Matters

Mitchell-Lama Building Wins Right to Convert Units to Market Rate


The State Appellate Court ruled today that Independence Plaza, a large residential rental building that had been in the Mitchell-Lama program had the right to convert its units to market rate when the 1,300-unit property left the program in 2004, despite the fact the building had been in the city’s J-51 program.

The outcome, which overrules a previous decision, is a victory for Stellar Management, owner of the Tribeca complex. Read More

Stuy Town Creditors Now Battling About Grammar

Looks like things have gotten so bad in the fight between Stuyvesant Town creditors CW Capital and Pershing Square/Winthrop Realty Trust (PSW), that they’re now fighting over punctuation.

From the latest brief in the ongoing fight, filed yesterday by CW Capital:

Without any explanation, PSW injects the doctrine of last antecedent to convince this Read More

Stuy Town

Enter Ackman

In mid-July, Bill Ackman was relaxing on Nantucket when he got a call on his cell phone. On the other end was Michael Ashner, the CEO of Boston-based Winthrop Realty Trust, who had a plan to grab control of the 11,200-apartment property that occupies a healthy 80-acre chunk of Manhattan’s East Side.

World's Biggest Property Flop

Foreclosure Ruling in Hand, Stuy Town Heads to Auction Block

Four months after they started the process, the mortgage holders at Stuyvesant Town have received a judgement that permits foreclosure on the 11,200-apartment property.

The judge overseeing the $3 billion foreclosure in federal district court, Alvin Hellerstein, granted the motion to foreclose yesterday.

From Mr. Hellerstein’s ruling:

In their unopposed motion for summary judgment, Plaintiffs have Read More

California Steaming

In 2006, just as the real estate market was nearing its sharp crest, California came marching into New York City.

In deal after deal, the Golden State’s two main pension funds—the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which collectively manage a mammoth $330 billion on behalf of teachers and Read More

The Man Who Would Rule Stuy Town

It was something to be avoided. As America’s biggest foreclosure waiting to happen, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village was viewed by the financial world as a $6.3 billion bet gone bad.

David Tepper saw an opportunity.

Founder of the high-risk–high-yield hedge fund Appaloosa Management, Mr. Tepper is the king of sniffing out the undervalued Read More

The Selling of Stuy Town

To flip through the pages of the 2006 offering book for potential buyers of the 11,200-apartment Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village-a deal that has devolved into the largest individual property default in modern history-is to immerse oneself in an historical delusion, one that, from today’s privileged vantage point, appears as likely as Read More

Big Winner in Stuy Town? You!

The list of those pummeled by the debacle of a real estate deal at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village is a wide-ranging one. It’s vaporized entire investments made by, to name a few, two California pension funds ($600 million), a Florida pension fund ($250 million), and the Church of England ($70 million), Read More

Stuy Town: What’s Next?

There’s now a common bond between Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and a sea of new homes in the Las Vegas suburbs: mortgage default.

Last week, the giant real estate firm Tishman Speyer and its investors missed the full monthly debt payment on their $3 billion mortgage, triggering default and a new era Read More