Above: Members of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association executive board gather with State Senator Brian Kavanagh at a 2019 meeting of the organization, which seeks to protect the interests of renters in Battery Park City’s largest residential complex.
Tonight (Thursday, November 17) the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association (GPTA) will host its annual meeting, via Zoom, which will include updates by the organization’s board, the election of board members, and a question-and-answer session.
The meeting is open to all Gateway residents. Voting in elections is limited to tenants who are current paid GPTA members. Any member wishing to run for a seat on the GPTA board is welcome to nominate themselves at the meeting. Anyone wishing to ask questions is requested to submit them via email to email@example.com.
The meeting comes at a time when Gateway residents are facing a broad range of concerns. GPTA executive board member Jeff Galloway notes, “one of the biggest challenges facing Gateway residents—in common with many others in Lower Manhattan—is the unpredictable and increasingly high cost of their housing. A community thrives when residents and their families can have confidence that they will be able to afford continuing to live in their neighborhood. Unpredictable and large year-over-year rent increases discourage long-term residents, the foundation of a true community.”
Mr. Galloway continues, “until 2009, all Gateway residents were protected by a contractual form of rent stabilization. Gateway’s 1,700 apartments became home to thousands of long-term residents, many of whom became local leaders helping to make Battery Park City the community it is today. Since 2009, however, new Gateway residents have not had any protections. This lack of predictability makes long-term commitments less likely. GPTA is proud that it has succeeded in securing rent protections for the Gateway tenants in residence since 2009 that will continue until 2030. The work is not done, however, until Gateway returns to its historical status where all its residents are protected from unpredictable rent increases, and where such protection extends until the end of Gateway’s ground lease with BPCA.”
Another member of the GPTA’s executive board, Robin Forst, adds, “GPTA is concerned for the loss of resident-friendly businesses. In recent years, we have lost our local pharmacy, our local dry cleaners, our newsstand, and bagel store. Currently, there is talk of additional closures including our local pizzeria and wine store. One of the things that made Gateway an attractive community is that it was like a small town where there was easy access to daily needs. All of these commercial spaces are owned and controlled by Gateway,” and its landlord, the LeFrak Organization. “We have requested consideration of retaining the current businesses and hope that ownership will see the value of renting to local businesses that serve local needs.”
This evening’s agenda will feature discussions of these and other issues, along with the chance to speak to elected officials representing Lower Manhattan. Click here for more information, or to join the online session, which begins at 7pm.