GET ready for the deluge of clueless flyers coming to your Southbridge Towers apartment door. A recent one comes as an open letter from Denise Sturm (“A fellow SBT Cooperator”) who was “very impressed” with the July 29 Pace “informational Meeting” from the privatization sponsor and their hired hands. She also tells us: “The amount of detail that was presented … leaves me without doubt that this is the greatest opportunity we will have to own our apartment….” Really. Some of us were not so wowed by what was essentially a sales pitch full of misrepresentations (more on this will be found in the news section under the Attorney General’s offices response to the Pace meeting, “During the Informational Meeting certain statements were made that either need to be clarified or should be ignored. [2nd Amendment, pg 1]).
Just a few comments from us re her open letter:
- There is a word for what’s happening when you hear sponsors tell Cooperators that they have talked to three banks that are willing to give mortgages for apartment purchases within SBT, but don’t produced any official documentation from even one of these banks (banks no one has ever heard of before). That operating word here is Hearsay [(noun) Information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate.].In the real world asbestos does interfere with mortgages since all banks that make mortgages routinely sell these mortgages to places like Fannie Mae – who does not deal with properties having friable asbestos, which is what we have at SBT (as stated in the Black Book). Where are the banks we all know and use such as Bank of America, Chase, TDBank, etc. Why are none of the latter banks on the list of banks clamoring to offer mortgages?
- Does anyone really believe that the Management Office (and BoD) would become more responsive to cooperators “without the extensive work [now] being done to comply with the State [under Mitcell-Lama]”? Really? Like the day-to-day requirements of a private SBT would be less taxing. The present BoD is the most unresponsive, self-serving (term limits anyone), and secretive Board in the 25 years that I have lived at SBT. How does privatization change their attitude – not to mention all the real estate wheeling and dealing that will be going on? Two member of the Board have already gotten their real estate license in anticipation of being in a unique position (how is this not a conflict of interest).
- Denise wrote: “We own the garages and have 20 year leases; only the Board can raise residential rates” We don’t even know what’s in the commercial leases – the Board has made it a deep secret. Icon raised the monthly rates for cooperators almost immediately after coming into SBT – with the BoD’s blessing, and even after the Board had promised us, when they brought Icon in, that rates would not go up. Icon has also created a two tier system for cooperators with even higher rates for new cooperators at SBT who want space in the garage. The Board has remained mute on this subject. (A member of the BoD made a public statement, not long after Icon came to SBT, that that the interests of commercial tenants superceded the interests of SBT cooperators.)
There is more nonsense in the letter but we will leave it for now.