Sept. 11, 2018 By Tara Law
An asset management firm has reportedly agreed to buy Forest Hills housing complex Parker Towers for $500 million.
Blackstone Group LP has agreed to buy the 1,300-unit apartment complex at 104-20 Queens Blvd., according to Bloomberg News. The investment is being made by Blackstone Property Partners, the firm’s opened-ended fund that focuses on middle-income rental properties in major urban areas.
The tower complex, which was built in 1960, consists of three 20-story apartment towers which offer amenities such as 24-hour doorman service, a dog run, indoor parking and a private club.
The property is currently owned by developer Jack Parker Corporation. In March, real estate publication The Real Deal reported that the corporation was looking to unload all of its U.S. real estate, including the Park Towers property.
The apartment complex currently lists a studio for $1,995 and a four-bedroom apartment for $4,200.
I’ve lived there one year in 2015. Now the price rises almost half. The building is old and the maintenance is not good. I still can see people complained for the elevator which also happened in 2015.
Rents starting at $1,995 and going as high as $4,200 is NOT middle income. I recently purchased a cute, brand new cottage size house with 1/3 acre of land worth in the low 200k in Suffolk County, and after offsetting my annual STAR property tax rebate, my total housing expenses (mortgage and property tax) are about $1,400 – and I own it! Now that’s what I call middle class housing.
Lived in Parker Towers for a couple of years @ 1970. My then father-in-law Jack Fox had the Pharmacy that was in the building. My in-laws lived there for many years. It was a great place to live then.
Lived in Parker Towers for 3 years. It is a complete shit hole. Roaches everywhere and the elevators were being renovated for almost 2 years. That means I had one elevator for the whole building (20+ floors). I was waiting at least 3-4 minutes for the elevator. Even when they were fixed, they were so slow. It makes me wonder if they even got it fixed? All they care about are new tenants because the real estate agents who work there make their commission. Once you’re in, may the odds be ever in your favor.
Good deal. Projected census has NYC growing by at least a million more people in the next twenty years.
I had the worst recent experience there..Rents are ridiculous even for Forest Hills….I don’t see what difference it will make in changing hands..except to raise the rent even more.
Good luck to the new owners. The Parker corporation has bled those buildings dry for decades and they’re the biggest shitholes in Forest Hills.
They’ve been poorly renovated and will continue to fall apart.
Great how can I apply for an apartment.
Mr. Parker is making a great decision based on current market conditions. The queens market will have an excessive supply of apartments and rental prices will be driven downwards. If we have a bubble in the market or the economy this will add to the lower rental prices. The third factor we have a migration out of NYC which one day will be talked about. People want out of NYC as companies move or open headquarters in other states and options open up residents will continue to flee. Mr. parker was able to sell at the peek. Reminds me of the deal in NYC which was the most sale back in 2008 sold by MetLife at the time. Its not a good buy but a good bye .
This was a very good buy. Forest Hills is getting a huge influx of affluent Manhattanites, and Parker Towers will get some of that market. Central Queens is the beneficiary of great long-term demographic trends, as prosperity is increasingly concentrated in major coastal cities and immigrant hubs.
Is that after or before they fix the subway system? Read Below
America’s largest city is facing a monumental subway crisis
A new report shows home values rising in cities, but rural areas are experiencing slower growth since the recession. Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith, Dion Rabouin, Dan Roberts, and Melody Hahm discuss along with BBG Ventures partner Nisha Dua.
The problem has gotten worse since the comptroller data was collected in 2016. Naturally, transit dysfunction has become a central component of Thursday’s gubernatorial primary vote in the city.
“Our subway system is the backbone of our economy,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement to Yahoo Finance. “That means with every delay, there aren’t just lives affected — there’s an economic consequence.”
Actor and New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon rides the subway following a campaign event in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, June 1, 2018. (Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
‘It was in a state of emergency long before’
According to the “State of the Subways Report Card” for 2016 by the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, 16 subway lines worsened in terms of regularity in comparison to only four that improved.
In June 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the subways. He signed an executive order, pledging $1 billion for improvements. However, few improvements have been made since then.
Cynthia Nixon, one of the Democratic nominees for New York governor and Cuomo’s opponent in Thursday’s primary, made fixing the MTA one of her main campaign issues.
Subway delays in the nation’s largest city cost up to $389 million in lost productivity each year, according to the Office of the New York City Comptroller in October 2017, and city officials are increasingly sounding the alarm.
“Frankly, it was in a state of emergency long before Gov. Cuomo finally declared it one,” Nixon’s campaign told Yahoo Finance in an email. The statement cited declining subway performance, delays becoming increasingly worse, slow-moving trains and poor on-time performance.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that an overhaul of the city’s subway and bus systems would take about 15 years and cost an estimated $43 billion.
Nixon says that she would “tax the rich to fix the subway.” Governor Cuomo’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP
‘The transit system is the lifeblood of the city’
Marc Molinaro, the Republican nominee who will face Cuomo or Nixon on Nov. 6, recently released an MTA revitalization plan. He told Yahoo Finance that if elected, he intends to make the subway system “immediately” respond to the people.
“The transit system is the lifeblood of the city and is in a death spiral, both financially and structurally,” Molinaro said. “It’s been in a rate of steady decline for about the last seven years.”
Molinaro attributes the struggles of the MTA to the ineffectiveness of Gov. Cuomo. “The governor hasn’t provided the appropriate level of leadership,” the candidate said. “He allowed the misdirection of funds to projects that either have nothing to do with transit or have more to do with vanity.”
But how does he plan to pay for the overhaul? Some of his suggestions include congestion pricing, an MTA commuter payroll tax and the use of value capture. Molinaro says he would also explore the feasibility of public-private partnerships and finding a way for state, federal and local governments to agree on contributing.
‘We need to get started, now’
New York City’s subway on-time performance stands at 58.1%, according to figures for January of this year, in stark contrast to the Washington Metro system (85.7%), Chicago’s CTA (95%), and Atlanta’s MARTA system (96.7%).
Graphic: Michael Calcagno/NYCSubway.org
According to the 2017 report, the 5 line was hit the hardest with Worst-Case Major Delays, costing $31.5 million in lost productivity (followed by the 7, A and F trains). The 5 line runs north to south from the Bronx, through Manhattan and into Brooklyn.
“The longer we wait to tackle the fixes, the worse it will be,” Nixon said. “We need to get started, now. The Governor has yet to commit to a funding source for the needed fixes. A legislative session just passed without any action on the issue.”
‘Subways are also New York’s bloodline’
Aside from a millionaires’ tax, Nixon’s plans for funding include a polluter fee, rebates for low-income drivers, charging private cars and trucks to drive in Manhattan’s Central Business District and giving drivers far from transit a break.
“While Cuomo has tried to push the responsibility onto others, the governor of New York is legally in charge of the subways,” Nixon said.
Nixon argues that a decline in subway performance can not only hurt the MTA’s finances, but they can also “increase street congestion and stall the city’s economic success as it competes against global cities with better transportation networks.”
“Aretha” is spray painted next to a sign at the Franklin Street subway station, in memory of singer Aretha Franklin, Aug. 16, 2018. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Annual subway ridership has declined since the comptroller data was analyzed in 2016. It fell by 0.3% that year and by 1.7% in 2017. The cost is currently $2.75 per ride.
According to the New York Times, subway and bus revenue in the first part of this year was $54.8 million (or about 3%) less than projected in 2017. This is partially due to the fact that more people are turning to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
“From an economic perspective, subways are also New York’s bloodline,” Nixon said. “When they don’t function, the low-income residents get hurt worst of all.”
‘This isn’t a choice — it’s a must’
The subways need to be fixed to improve both quality of life and New York’s economy, according to the statement from Stringer, the New York City comptroller.
The L line — which runs from the west side of Manhattan to the east side of Brooklyn — will be closed for five years to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Stringer sees the L train shutdown, which begins in April 2019, as a necessity.
L train commuters work their way across a crowded subway platform in New York, May 2016. (Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)
“Repairing the subway system is absolutely essential to fixing our crisis, and it’s encouraging that the MTA is taking these repairs seriously,” Stringer said. “This is a challenge that did not start overnight and won’t be fixed overnight.”
He added: “There isn’t one New Yorker who doesn’t think we’re in a crisis, and our analysis shows there is a lot at stake when the subway system decays. This isn’t a choice — it’s a must. The future of this city and [the] fortunes of our economy are tightly linked to the functioning of our subway system.”