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Better Communication or Shock and Awe?

With Blackstone’s recent purchase of the complex there has been much fanfare about improving communication with tenants. On late afternoon of Tuesday, 14 June, Stuyvesant Town management sent an email informing tenants of my building that the construction of a ramp would begin in the front and in order to do so a tree must be taken down. Yesterday, when I came home from work, the tree was already gone. Clearly management wanted to be able to say they communicated with tenants while at the same time didn’t want to “inform” them with enough notice so that any kind of response could be gathered. It would have been more honest if they’d made no announcement at all.

The tree in question was a perfectly healthy tree over fifty years old. Two saplings now stand precariously in its place. Why? Because a cost-benefit analysis rendered the fifty year old tree expendable? A ramp already existed, so why a new one? And if you had to building a new one, why couldn’t the ramp be built in the back of the building (we do have elevators don’t we?) where the sacrifice of a tree for savings and convenience would not have been necessary? Why no discussion with the tenants if management’s claims of wanting to maintain communication with tenants are sincere? Why?

Happy Bloomsday.