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NEW YORK CITY-The owners of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village multifamily complex say they will appeal last month’s State Supreme Court ruling after the court granted permission to file an appeal. That March 5 ruling by the a four-judge panel in the Appellate Division reinstated a $200-million class action brought by a group of tenants who claimed the owners illegally deregulated their rent-stabilized apartments while continuing to receive J-51 tax abatements from the city.

In a statement, Tishman Speyer Properties and its general partner PCV ST Owner L.P., which bought the complex for $5.4 billion in 2006, say they’re “pleased that the Appellate Division has granted our motion for leave to appeal. We look forward to the Court of Appeals ruling on this important issue.”

The lower-court ruling, if it stands, could require multifamily property owners to refund the difference between market rents and regulated rents, and has spurred concerns that it could lead to citywide defaults on loans. Because the Appellate Division ruling–which overturned a Manhattan Supreme Court judge’s 2007 ruling dismissing the tenant’s action–was unanimous, the decision to allow the Stuyvesant Town owners to appeal had to be unanimous as well, according to published reports.

Attorney Alexander Schmidt of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, who represented the tenants in last month’s ruling, tells GlobeSt.com the decision allowing an appeal “was not entirely unexpected, given the public attention given to this case and the fact that all parties, as well as City government officials, have publicly recognized that obtaining a prompt final ruling on the question of law addressed by the March 5 decision is in the best interests of both landlords and tenants citywide.” He says the court order to allow Stuyvesant Town’s owners to appeal “does not represent a ‘great victory’ for the landlord defendants as some in the press have reported.”

All the order means, says Schmidt, “is that the Court of Appeals will review the March 5 decision promptly. We are very confident that the Appellate Division’s March 5 ruling was correct and that the Court of Appeals will agree.”

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