Letters, Week of March 13, 2014

Independence Plaza problems

To The Editor:
Re “I.P.N. Tenants Say Low- Rent Apartments Get Few Repairs” (news article, Feb. 27 – March 12): 

Thank you for your article. In addition to the problems with repairs, we also have problems with cleaning and building maintenance. As your article pointed out, voucher tenants pay the same rents as market rate tenants. The market rate tenants pay the prevailing rate of other rental buildings in this part of Manhattan. In theory we should be entitled to the same level of services — specifically luxury services. This is not the case.

We do not have a concierge. We have only one security guard for each 39-story building. Our stairwells have not been painted in 35 years. We have only a skeleton cleaning staff – equal to or less than the cleaning staff when we were a Mitchell-Lama rental. We have generally dirty conditions. Lighting fixtures in the corridor were not installed properly. Management refuses to make repairs. Management refuses to shampoo the rug in the corridor. Instead of properly repairing walls in the corridor – management is installing unsightly trap doors. Complaints are ignored – even ridiculed.

Housing Preservation and Development, a city agency, administers the voucher payments to the landlord on behalf of the federal government. Complaints to H.P.D. officials have not been fruitful.
Robert Gluckstadt 

Spring Studios responds 

To The Editor:
Re “Spring Studios apologizes to Tribeca for late night event”(news article,Feb. 27 – March 12): 

We at Spring Studios sincerely regret that the post-Super Bowl event went over time.  It was unintended, we apologize for it and it will not happen again.

However, we are troubled by the tone and characterizations in your coverage of the event. Specifically:

•Spring Studios notified Community Board 1 staff in advance of all of their events.

•This event, as planned, was permissible under the terms of the stipulations.

We at Spring Studios have been in the process of a soft opening as a result of construction delays and an extended community board approval process.  We believe we have been forthright and open with our neighbors and have worked diligently to address concerns as is evidenced by the agreed to stipulations. Those stipulations and license were approved by the full board unanimously.  Many of the stipulations were never intended to be implemented until construction has been completed and the liquor license is in effect.

Nevertheless, we have endeavored to adhere to every stipulation as soon as physically possible.  For example, as soon as construction was sufficiently completed on Varick St., all invited guests to Spring’s programming have entered the building through the Varick St. entrance.  Also, in accordance with the stipulations, our community cleaning crew is already working in the neighborhood picking up litter.

We continue to work towards our community service goals by meeting with the Chinese-American Planning Council to implement a youth internship program; to meet with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Jewish Community Project to consider the possibility of hosting cultural events and High Holiday services.  There will be no more programming during this soft opening so all future events at Spring will occur with all stipulations fully implemented.

Spring is currently employing dozens of local artists and photographers, will employ over 300 people at well-paying jobs.  We believe that Spring’s philosophy as well as the stipulations that we agreed to provide a framework that will serve to create an extremely positive and mutually beneficial relationship between Spring and the entire Downtown community.
Bradford J. Gonzalez-Sussman
Consultant, Spring Studios