Co-ops

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This top floor one-bedroom in a 1914 elevator building in Astoria is nicely renovated. There are no details — if there ever were any — but it appears to have an open feel to it. There is no floor plan or square footage listed so its hard to know for sure how big it is, but given that the couch almost touches the kitchen island, it is likely not expansive.

The floors appear to be in good shape and the renovation looks solid though we could do without the mirrored closet doors in the bedroom, something that is easily fixed. Maintenance is $582 a month. What do you think of it for $250,000?

14-17 31st Avenue, #4F [Douglas Elliman] GMAP

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The other day, I was wandering along the Boulevard of Death, aka Queens Boulevard.

As I walked along this decidedly unfriendly-to-pedestrians street, I pondered Mayor de Blasio’s recent announcement of his “Affordable Housing” initiatives and what that means for Queens. That’s when I noticed the Mitchell-Lama funded Big Six rising against the horizon, right around 60th Street in Woodside.

From Wikipedia:

The Mitchell-Lama Housing Program is a non-subsidy governmental housing guarantee in the state of New York. It was sponsored by New York State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama. It was signed into law in 1955 as The Limited-Profit Housing Companies Act (officially contained in the Private Housing Finance law, article II titled Limited-Profit Housing Companies and referring to not-for-profit corp., whereas article IV titled Limited Dividend Housing Companies refers to non-Mitchell-Lama affordable housing organized as business corp., partnerships or trusts from 1927 on).

The program’s publicly stated purpose was the development and building of affordable housing, both rental and co-operatively owned, for middle-income residents. Under this program, local jurisdictions acquired property by eminent domain and provided it to developers to develop housing for low- and middle-income tenants. Developers received tax abatements as long as they remained in the program, and low-interest mortgages, subsidized by the federal, state, or New York City government. They were also guaranteed a 6% or, later, 7.5% return on investment each year. The program was based on the Morningside Gardens housing cooperative, a co-op in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood that was subsidized with tax money.


LIC Daily Star image courtesy fultonhistory.com

Unveiled in February of 1959, and completed by 1963, the eponymous Big Six towers were built by Typographical Union No. 6 – known in its heyday as Big Six. The buildings were erected as a non profit co-op for members of the union in Woodside.

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This one-bedroom co-op, located at 34-24 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, is asking $299,000. It’s a typically lovely co-op unit for the neighborhood, with hardwood floors, large windows and arched entryways. The kitchen is small but well renovated. And it’s a total of 900 square feet. We certainty like this pad, how about you?

34-24 82nd Street [Beaudoin Realty] GMAP

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It looks like the Jackson Heights rental complex at 35th Avenue and 74th Street may go co-op. A thread popped up on Jackson Heights Life after Washington Plaza residents received a “red herring preliminary prospectus plan.” The prospectus states that 15 percent of tenants must declare an intent to buy for the co-op conversion to go into effect. As a resident stated, “So, there are 192 apartments, and 15% would be 27 units. However (and if I’m reading correctly), any apartments in which the legal tenants are elderly or disabled don’t count toward the total, so say there are 32 apartments that fall into that category… Now we’re looking at 15% of 160 units, or 24 units.” If enough residents decide to buy, this would be a non-eviction conversion where the rent-stabilized residents can stay and will be able to renew their leases. The preferential price for existing tenants for a one-bedroom apartment is estimated at $270,000 with a maintenance of $780. There will be a tenant meeting on the matter this Monday.

The Washington Plaza complex is made up of six six-story apartment buildings and a single-story gatehouse. There is a park that begins at the gatehouse and extends throughout the complex. You can read more on the architecture of the Art Deco design here.

Washington Plaza Going Coop? [Jackson Heights Life]

Photo via city-data.com

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This one bedroom co-op comes from the Berkeley, located at 35-24 78th Street in Jackson Heights. It’s very large, at 1,000 square feet, and has a great layout. We love how the large arched entryways really open up the central space. Our only complaint? Let’s see more pictures of the kitchen. The asking price for this apartment comes in at $265,000.

35-24 78th Street [Beaudoin Realty] GMAP

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We featured this classic six apartment as this weekend’s Open House Pick, and liked it so much it’s also our Listing of the Day. The unit comes from 10 Holder Place, the Tudor Village-esque complex in Forest Hills Gardens. It is both massive in size (2,250 square feet) and price ($1,175,000). The lovely interior features oversize windows, beamed ceilings, and a very nice-looking kitchen. Did anyone check out this pad in person over the weekend?

10 Holder Place, #5G [Douglas Elliman] GMAP

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The La Mesa Verde co-op complex in Jackson Heights, located at 34–19, 34–33 and 33–47 90th Street, is in danger of losing its courtyard. (Like many other Jackson Heights co-op buildings, La Mesa Verde boasts a large central courtyard. Unlike some Jackson Heights co-op buildings, La Mesa Verde is not landmark protected.) The complex owner submitted a proposal to use 60 percent of the central courtyard for a parking lot. They are currently asking for the votes of residents on this decision, so nothing is final yet. Here are details of the current courtyard, according to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal application:

Approximately 42% of the backyard is, and has always been, closed off to tenant use. This is land that has been vastly underutilized (not used at all), and which is available for use, as will be set forth below.

Approximately 18% of the backyard is paved and is currently used for parking, by tenants of the subject premises, as a for-fee service.

Approximately 40% of the backyard in unpaved, open, but unimproved space, with no recreational facilities.

The owner is proposing that 40 percent of the courtyard continue to be open for use by La Mesa Verde residents. According to the application “the areas will now be improved, landscaped, with recreational facilities. This space incorporates most of the areas that had previously been enclosed by locked fences, but the amount of land open for tenant use remains the same.” But here’s the kicker: the other 60 percent of the courtyard will be dedicated parking space. The application states that this will be “improved spacing, [with] landscaped areas within the parking areas.” These additional parking spaces will be available to La Mesa Verde tenants for a fee.

The application tries to press that no actual courtyard space will be lost: “Notwithstanding the increase in parking space, the incorporation of previously-unused space into open space results in the same amount of open space available for tenant recreational use. Thus, the change does not adversely impact upon the tenants on the issue of size or quantity of space… In the instant matter, the change is minimal at best. The tenants at the building will still be able to use the rear backyard for recreation… The proposed new parking areas will also be landscaped, creating a pleasant aesthetic effect. Far from being a reduction in service, the owner’s proposal is at least an adequate substitute, and is actually an increased benefit, rendering the proposed backyard area superior to existing conditions.”

We’ve got our hands on both the layout of the existing courtyard as well as the new parking lot proposal. The application proposes two diamond-shaped parking lots for the middle of the courtyard. (Currently, there is one smaller parking area near the north end of the complex.) In the proposal, landscaping and playground equipment will be added at the north and south ends. There will be one driveway added to the existing two. The existing pathway through the courtyard will be taken away.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group has fought to landmark this building to no avail. Here are some details of the complex, built in 1926, from the “Request for Evaluation” form sent to the LPC back in 2008:

The complex is made up of six detached buildings, connected by sky-bridges, located between 90th and 91st Streets, between 35th and 34th Avenues. The buildings are set at an angle to the street grid, and form a saw-tooth pattern down both blocks. They enclose a large internal garden courtyard, similar to the garden apartments built by the Queensboro Corporation. There are no interior hallways at the La Mesa Verde; all apartments are reached directly from the open stairs. There is only one elevator for these six-story buildings. Tenants on higher floors ride the elevator up to the roof, then walk across the sky-bridges to their buildings, and then walk down the stairs to their apartment.

After the jump, you’ll see both the existing and proposed courtyard layouts.

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How much would you pay for a studio co-op in Jackson Heights? This one is located at 85-11 34th Avenue, in the historic district. It’s hard to tell how large the space actually is — there’s no square footage listed and the pictures don’t give a sense of size. The kitchen and bathrooms received a fresh renovation and new appliances. There are also a total of three closets in the apartment, which isn’t bad. The asking price? $179,000.

85-11 34th Avenue [Charles Rutenberg] GMAP

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It’s not every day a 1,500-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op pops up on the market but man, this one is going to need some work. This particular unit comes from the Forest Hills co-op the Bradlee, at 69-09 108th Street. The carpet, the paint, the mirrors — there’s a lot going on in just about every room of this apartment. The kitchen looks outdated and there aren’t any photos of the bathrooms. Going from the listing photos alone, we’d say the ask of $619,000 may be pushing it. What are your thoughts?

69-09 108th Street [Charles Rutenberg] GMAP

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This Forest Hills co-op unit comes from Gerald Towers at 70-25 Yellowstone Boulevard. There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms and it’s asking $595,000. We aren’t crazy about the hardwood flooring and something about the current layout seems a little awkward. But it looks like a buyer would have plenty of space to work with if they wanted to renovate. With summer on the horizon, it’s worth mentioning that the building has its very own pool.

70-25 Yellowstone Boulevard [SBNY RE] GMAP