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NEW YORK CITY-The letter sent to the tenants association at Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town this past weekend, proposing a co-op conversion deal that would give the tenants as much as 50% ownership of the 11,227-unit rental apartment complex, is both unique and a sign of the times. 

Certainly the proposal, by a partnership of Pershing Square Capital Management and Winthrop Realty Trust, is unprecedented, not least because of its scale—and is also contingent on the partnership’s success in wresting control of the massive complex from the senior mortgage holders as well as other interested parties, now reportedly including developer Gerald Guterman with a conversion plan of his own. Yet at the same time, the multifamily sector offers several current examples of properties in foreclosure that have gotten a leg up through new ownership or fresh capital.

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