Apparently, there is something called Downtown Flushing Condo Fever and it is real. A quickly growing Chinese population is driving the trend, as the Queens neighborhood has seen a boom in luxury condos, retail and office space, and upscale hotels. (Speaking for this blogger and friends, we’ve had a few drinks at some beautiful bards and enjoyed delicious meals from around the world. At a great price too, might we add). Since 2010, over 2,600 condominium apartments have hit the market, and between 2,400 and 2,800 more are expected to follow by 2021, according to public-records data.
Recently, an offering plan filed with the New York state Attorney General’s office from Joel Wiener’s Pinnacle Group is looking to convert a 144-unit rent-stabilized building in Flushing to condominiums. The plans for 142-20 Franklin Avenue, formerly known as the Fairmont, show a total sellout price of $75.5 million. The average unit price of around $524,000 which is actually the least expensive sector of city’s condo market.
None if this is going to happen fast and it might take the company some time to get all those units on the market since the building is entirely rent-stabilized. The condo plan is classified as “non-eviction,” and units will have to be converted on a rolling basis as they become vacant.
Pinnacle paid $43 million in February 2016 for the Flushing building, now referred to as “Infinity 8 on Franklin” in condo filings. The company picked up another Flushing rental at 136-04 Cherry Avenue for $26 million in November. Based on the recent “fever of activity” we think a condo plan for that building could soon be on the way.
This growth has been in the works since the 2000s, when Wiener gained a reputation as one of New York City’s most active buyers of rent-regulated properties. But it didn’t always go smoothly. In 2011 Pinnacle settled a class-action tenant harassment lawsuit for $2.5 million. So the fever might also include a few headaches too.