Vantage buys Queens apartment buildings portfolio for $300M

By Adam Pincus | February 04, 2008 12:03PM

Vantage Properties, a three-year-old real estate investment company, has closed on one of the largest residential transactions in Queens in recent years with the $300 million purchase of a portfolio of apartment buildings, several sources said.
The Queens portfolio, which sold late last week, was owned by landlord Nicholas Haros. It includes 47 apartment buildings with about 1,969 units, as well as 20 retail spaces, a source close to the deal said.
Vantage Properties, founded in 2005 and led by president and CEO Neil Rubler, has been buying up properties at a rapid clip throughout the city. It now owns thousands of units in Harlem, Washington Heights and Queens.
The buyers and sellers were represented by Capin and Associates, of Manhattan.

“The rents are very low and there is a lot of upside potential, particularly for Queens,” a source close to the deal said. “It is also a very positive signal for the market.”
The average price per unit was about $152,000.

The properties range in size from 15 to 97 units. Most are located in Flushing, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside and Sunnyside. The largest are a 97-unit building in Jackson Heights, at 37-52 89th Street, and a 91-unit building in Flushing at 139-06 34th Road.

The sale of large blocks of rent-stabilized housing, such as the Haros portfolio, has been closely watched by affordable housing activists who fear big rent increases.

“We are concerned that Vantage has a history of buying large portfolios of residential buildings and systematically pushing out low-rent paying tenants,” said Benjamin Dulchin, deputy director of the Association For Neighborhood and Housing Development.

Vantage Properties was not immediately available for comment.

Haros named as one of the city’s 10 worst landlords in 2005 by the housing advocacy group Housing Here and Now.