Tag Archives: condos

Glassy 77-unit Astoria condominium revealed, construction to begin next year


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of New York Lions Group

Plans for construction on a luxury Astoria condo building blocks away from the waterfront will begin shortly as demolition of the old properties on the site is nearing completion.

Developer New York Lions Group hopes to begin working on the eight-story, 77-unit condominium called The Baron, at 14-07 Broadway in January, following approvals from the Department of Buildings. The building is expected to be completed by September 2016, according to Ramin Shirian, vice president of Lions Group.

The 73,500-square-foot building will stretch 182 feet wide from the corner of 14th Street and replace two auto mechanical shops. One was already leveled and demolition will commence shortly on the other.

The Raymond Chan Architect-designed building will feature a modern glass façade with terraces attached on each residence, offering unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline.

The building, which will be marketed by Modern Spaces, will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, measuring approximately 600, 1,000 and 1,550 square feet respectively.

The ground floor will have duplex apartments that mostly measure 1,000 square feet each, but there will be two duplex units with about 1,500 square feet.

The Baron will be loaded with amenities, including a garden on the second floor terrace, community common space on the roof, a children’s room and play area, a gym and bicycle racks.

There will be a doorman for the building and pets are allowed. There are also 41 parking spaces underground.

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See it: $2M Flushing penthouse condo deal closing soon


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre  / Gallery photos courtesy of F&T Group

How much is the view of Flushing and Citi Field worth? If it’s at the new One Fulton Square — up to $2 million.

F&T Group, which owns the 12-story building, will close Tuesday on its most expensive residential condo — a three-bedroom unit on the penthouse level of the development — for $2,053,000, according to Helen Lee, a representative for the firm.

The home has 2,033 square feet with a wraparound terrace of nearly 1,100 square feet.

Take a look at the gallery below of a model unit that is similar to the condo.

 

 

 

 

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Report: Queens home prices increase


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphs courtesy of Keller Williams Realty

Sellers have the edge in the Queens housing market as home prices jumped through the year, according to the August monthly market report by Keller Williams Realty.

Prices of co-ops, single or multi-family homes and condos all saw increases through August, the report found, and the median home price rose 3.5 percent to $401,000. Condo prices increased to $420,000 from 407,500 last year, co-ops rose to $197,000 from $185,000 and residential houses, which saw the biggest gain, surged 11.7 percent to $579,000 from $518,500.

The inventory of Queens homes, which dropped 6.6 percent to 5,627 houses, co-ops and condos through the year, is partly to blame for the rise in prices.

Decreasing availability of homes resulted in “keeping the market slightly in favor of sellers in most neighborhoods, especially residential and condo home sellers,” the report said. “With fewer homes on the market across Queens County, buyers have fewer options so in many markets timeliness will be a big factor when putting in an offer on a home, co-op or condo.”

Keller Williams report 2

Along with higher prices, housing sales fell this August compared with last August, the report said.

Residential home sales dropped 9.8 percent from 501 to 452, co-op sales decreased 3.2 percent to 272, and condo sales plummeted 32 percent from 100 to 68 compared to August 2013.

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Co-ops, condos still waiting for disaster aid


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A proposed federal law that would bring disaster aid to co-op and condo communities has not come any closer to being passed nearly one year after Sandy.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. “It’s just prolonging the financial hardship on co-ops. Right now, we’re stuck footing the bill for cleanup and repair from the storm, and I don’t think this will be the last storm.”

Schreiber said his northeast Queens co-op expects to shell out up to $60,000 in repairs not covered by insurance.

More than $250,000 in infrastructure damage was sustained nearby in the Glen Oaks Village co-op, according to its president, Bob Friedrich.

The bill exceeds $1 million for some Rockaway co-ops in the most hard-hit areas of Queens.

The Breezy Point Cooperative, which saw about 350 homes in the beach community decimated by fire and flood, has spent $1.5 million out of the co-op’s reserves and contingency funds to get back on its feet, according to Arthur Lighthall, the co-op’s general manager.

“We had to do a good amount of repair and restoration to get things back in order,” including getting the water supply back and fixing sidewalks, Lighthall said. “The bottom line is it’s us, the shareholders, who have to pay for it.”

The pricey repair costs fall on the shoulders of co-op and condo communities due to a glitch in the law keeping them from getting FEMA storm recovery grants, local leaders said.

The Stafford Act, which governs how FEMA responds to major disasters, does not include the word “co-op,” according to Congressmember Steve Israel.

However, there is no statute that bans co-op owners from being eligible for grants, a privilege given to homeowners.

Co-op and condos are also categorized as “business associations,” which makes them eligible for federal loans but not grants. It also means they cannot get funds to fix shared spaces like lobbies and roofs.

Israel introduced legislation this August that would better define co-ops in the Stafford Act, allow co-op and condo owners to apply for FEMA grants, and call for a new cap on FEMA’s Individual and Households Program.

The bipartisan bill has at least 14 cosponsors so far but currently sits in a subcommittee on the House’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, according to Israel’s office.

An aide to the congressmember said any movement of the bill was delayed by the partial government shutdown, which lasted 16 days in October.

“It’s been a year since Superstorm Sandy hit, and it’s time for co-op and condo associations to get the help they deserve,” Israel said. “Although I’ll continue to fight my hardest, it’s frustrating that this bill hasn’t been passed so these homeowners can receive the vital assistance they deserve.”

The City Council unanimously passed a resolution, which is only a formal position statement, last month calling for Congress to enact the law.

“It really shouldn’t be that difficult,” Schreiber said. “I just find it so disappointing that we have a Congress that can’t even get together on changing one line of text that will benefit constituents on the East Coast, West Coast and middle of the country.”

 

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HUD grants not enough say co-op, condo owners


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Co-ops and condos damaged by Sandy are now eligible for federal housing grants.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it will allow co-ops and condos to receive funding from Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery grants to help with repairs.

“We have finally cleared a bureaucratic hurdle that prevented thousands of homeowners in New York City and Long Island from getting the help they needed,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “We have always said that condos and co-ops should be eligible for the same assistance as single family homes, and now they are.”

But leaders and local co-op presidents said the fix is just a temporary one. The root of the problem, they said, is still not addressed.

“This is a good first step. There’s no question about it. But it’s a band-aid fix,” said Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village Owners. “This still discriminates against families of co-op apartments.”

Co-op and condo owners currently cannot receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Sandy-inflicted damages because they are categorized as “business associations.” The title makes them eligible for federal loans but not grants.

The Stafford Act, which governs how FEMA responds to major disasters, does not include the word “co-op” in the law, according to Congressmember Steve Israel. But there is no statute that purposefully bans co-op owners from being eligible for grants, a privilege given to homeowners.

“What we need is a permanent fix to how FEMA classifies co-ops and condos,” Israel said. “This is an interim solution that allows co-ops to access certain federal grants. But until FEMA changes the definition of co-ops, disaster assistance won’t be a sure thing.”

Co-op and condo owners will now have to battle it out with other retail developments, towns, villages and cities for the competitive grant, leaders said.

HUD allocated $5.4 billion to the recovery program last month. New Yorkers are eligible to receive about $3.5 billion of that total. The funds can be used to repair common areas in the building like lobbies, boilers and elevators.

Some Queens co-ops suffered $1 million in damages, including Cryder Point Co-ops, a waterfront community which has to repair its pier.

More than half of the total buildings in Glen Oaks Village endured “moderate to severe shingle loss,” Friedrich said. The co-op will have to shell out close to $300,000 for infrastructural damage.

 

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Schumer pushes for co-op, condo Sandy relief


| mchan@queenscourier.com

New York’s senior senator has joined the ranks of leaders pushing for relief to storm-damaged co-ops and condos.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last Wednesday asking the agency to establish Sandy relief program guidelines for co-ops and condos.

Co-op and condo owners currently cannot receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Sandy-inflicted damages because they are categorized as “business associations,” according to elected federal officials. The title makes them eligible for federal loans but not grants.

“After Sandy, FEMA was able to help many communities. However, due to inflexible bureaucratic rules, co-op and condo homeowners were left in the wake,” Schumer said.

The Stafford Act, which governs how FEMA responds to major disasters, does not include the word “co-op” in the law, according to Congressmember Steve Israel. But there is no statute that purposefully bans co-op owners from being eligible for grants, a privilege given to homeowners.

Schumer called on HUD officials to use Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery funds to help co-op and condo owners repair and rebuild.

HUD allocated $5.4 billion to the recovery program early last week. New Yorkers are eligible to receive about $3.5 billion of that total.

Some Queens co-ops suffered $1 million in damages, including Cryder Point Co-ops, a waterfront community which has to repair its shambled pier.

More than half of the total buildings in Glen Oaks Village endured “moderate to severe shingle loss,” according to Bob Friedrich, the co-op’s president. The co-op will have to shell out $250,000 for infrastructural damage.

And nearly 3,000 Mitchell-Lama co-ops in the Rockaways are forced to shoulder repair costs, said Dolores Orr, co-op owner and president of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association.

“It is astonishing to me that residential co-op buildings are not being afforded any financial assistance in the recovery from Sandy,” she said. “We are homeowners just like those who live in … family houses.”

 

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Relief proposed for co-op owners


| mchan@queenscourier.com

New legislation may lighten the load on co-op owners, while leaving their wallets heavy.

According to Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Ed Braunstein, property owners can currently fight city tax assessments through a “certiorari” process, but they said it is often costly and incurs “excessive legal fees.”

“As a co-op shareholder, I understand this problem firsthand,” Stavisky said. “Inaccurate assessments and the high taxes they bring can cause serious problems for co-op boards and residents.”

That’s why the pair introduced legislation that, if passed, could see co-ops paying only 75 percent of their legal fees in a successful certiorari suit. The law would also stabilize assessments for two years following a successful challenge, capping spikes at 3 percent to prevent the necessity of an additional proceeding, officials said.

“Co-op shareholders deserve the right to have their day in court,” Stavisky said. “These bills will allow meritorious challenges and help ease the fear of inconsistent and inaccurate assessments. This legislation would encourage the city to be more careful when preparing projected assessments by having them pay 25 percent of the legal fees in a successful challenge. That change will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life in New York’s co-ops.”

Taxes are expected to rise by 7.5 percent for co-op owners this year, according to a summary report released by the Department of Finance (DOF). Last year, some co-op and condo valuations saw astronomical increases as high as 147 percent, and according to civic leaders in northeast Queens, some properties in the area — including Deepdale Gardens and Alley Pond — continue to suffer high double-digit spikes and some increases by more than 50 percent again this year.

“Many cooperatives and condominiums pay up to 35 percent of the savings gained through certiorari in fees to attorneys. There is no doubt that the fees are punitive in nature,” said Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. “Certiorari filings not only appeal property valuations, they seek to correct assessment errors made by the city’s DOF. This legislation will level the playing field and ease what is already a heavy financial burden placed upon the shoulders of middle class residents living in cooperatives and condominiums.”

According to James Goldstick, managing agent for Bay Terrace Section 8, some co-ops will spend up to $35,000 in legal fees this year after shelling out close to $37,000 during last year’s tax certiorari settlements.

“It is outrageous that northeast Queens residents not only have been hit with monstrous assessment hikes during this difficult fiscal period, but that they also have to continue to bear the burden of inaccurate decisions made by the DOF,” Braunstein said.

The property tax increases are slated to take effect in July. Councilmember Dan Halloran called on the city to extend the March 1 deadline to contest valuations to March 15. However, DOF officials did not confirm whether or not the additional two weeks were granted.

 

The Industry Arrives in Long Island City


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Modern Spaces

The expansion of LIC continues. On October 19, Eric Benaim and Ted Kokkoris of Modern Spaces hosted at a premier party to announce that the real estate firm is now marketing The Industry – a condo developed by Silvercup Studios. Guests packed the space at 21-45 44th Drive and were treated to music by DJ Cerok, food by LIC Market and photography by Jesse Winter.

This luxury 76-unit condominium apartment building in vibrant LIC was developed by Stuart and Alan Suna, founders of Silvercup Studios – the city’s largest full-service film & television production facility. The studio is also in LIC and it’s iconic sign can be seen from The Industry’s magnificent rooftop.

With beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, modern amenities, a landscaped rooftop terrace, and state-of-the-art fitness center, The Industry has everything you need for luxury living in historic, exciting LIC. Check out www.theindustrylic.com for more info.