Vantage buys Rego Park apartment building for $74 million

By Adam Pincus | May 30, 2008 12:31PM

Vantage Properties, an owner and manager of residential real estate in New York City, closed on the largest rental apartment building in Rego Park, Queens, for $74 million on Wednesday, the company said.

The sale price was $1 million less than the price announced in April when the 417-unit building, known as Saxon Hall and located at 62-60 99th Street, went into contract.

The building, which is mostly rent-stabilized, sold for an average price per unit of about $177,000.
Vantage Properties, which has partnered with such private equity firms as Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Taconic Partners to finance earlier multi-family purchases, joined with Philadelphia private equity firm Lubert-Adler in this deal. To help close the deal, the seller, Kelmar Holdings Co., financed a mortgage for the buyer, a source familiar with the deal said.

The sale price was reduced to offset an old underground oil spill, sources said, but Vantage denied that was the cause of the price break.

The building has 40 studios, 212 one-bedrooms, 135 two-bedrooms and 30 three-bedrooms. Vantage now owns about 4,200 units in Queens.

Queens elected officials have criticized Vantage, following a lawsuit filed in April on behalf of a handful of tenants who claimed the company has used deceptive practices to force out tenants.

Democratic State Senator Toby Stavisky, who represents Rego Park in Albany, said she was concerned about the purchase.
“There is a real threat to rent-stabilized and rent controlled apartments,” she said, adding that “some of the firms have a dubious and questionable track record and we certainly don’t need any predatory owners to destabilize the housing stock in New York City.”

A Vantage spokesman declined to comment.

Vantage owns about 9,500 apartments in Upper Manhattan and Queens.