Past Event

Food for Thought Policy Lecture Series: Saving Stuyvesant Town

May 12, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Food for Thought Policy Lecture Series

Saving Stuyvesant Town: How One Community Defeated the Worst Real Estate Deal in History

From city streets to City Hall and to Midtown corporate offices, Saving Stuyvesant Town is the incredible true story of how one middle class community defeated the largest residential real estate deal in American history. Lifetime Stuy Town resident and former City Councilman Dan Garodnick will join us to recount how his neighbors stood up to mammoth real estate interests and successfully fought to save their homes, delivering New York City's biggest-ever affordable housing preservation win. 

In 2006, Garodnick found himself engaged in an unexpected battle. Stuyvesant Town was built for World War II veterans by MetLife, in partnership with the City. Two generations removed, MetLife announced that it would sell Stuy Town to the highest bidder. Garodnick and his neighbors sprang into action. Battle lines formed with real estate titans like Tishman Speyer and BlackRock facing an organized coalition of residents, who made a competing bid to buy the property themselves. Tripped-up by an over-leveraged deal, the collapse of the American housing market, and a novel lawsuit brought by tenants, the real estate interests collapsed, and the tenants stood ready to take charge and shape the future of their community. The result was a once-in-a-generation win for tenants and an extraordinary outcome for middle-class New Yorkers.

Contact Information

EMPA & Picker Center