Stuyvesant Town Tenants Reach Tentative Deal in $215M Lawsuit

By Mary Johnson on March 2, 2012 3:44pm 

MetLife and the tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have reportedly reached a tentative agreement in a $215 million lawsuit.
MetLife and the tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have reportedly reached a tentative agreement in a $215 million lawsuit.
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Andrew Cote

STUYVESANT TOWN — MetLife reached a tentative settlement with tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village after a complicated, five-year legal battle, according to reports.

The details of the deal have not yet been released, but a tentative agreement was cited in a Feb. 28 filing that MetLife — which sold the 80-acre complex to Tishman Speyer for $5.4 billion in 2006 — made to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reports said.

A year after the sale of the massive complex with 11,000 apartments, tenants filed suit against MetLife and Tishman Speyer, claiming that both property owners illegally deregulated rent stablized apartments and charged market rates while receiving $25 million in tax breaks.

Under the requirements of the tax abatement program, property owners can only receive the tax breaks if they keep the apartments regulated.

In the lawsuit, tenants were seeking more than $215 million in damages. A state appeals court ruled in their favor back in 2009, stating that the property owners had, in fact, illegally raised rents.

City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, who is also a resident of the complex, said the settlement would not likely affect current rents residents are paying since the deal does not involve the current property manager. CW Capital took over the complex when Tishman Speyer defaulted in 2010.

"We will reserve judgment on this deal until the precise terms are known," Garodnick said. "And we hope that it will fully compensate the residents who were harmed as a result of rent overcharges during MetLife’s tenure."

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