The Arker Companies,which specializes in developing low-income housing, is proving itself to be an important player in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units.
The company was founded by Aron Arker, a Polish immigrant and Holocaust survivor who eventually settled in East Flatbush and started a successful business building moderately-priced one and two-family homes in Brooklyn and Staten Island, according to the Wall Street Journal. It is now run by Aron’s two sons, Allan and Sol Arker, his grandson, Alex Arker, and an in-law, Daniel Moritz.
The developer closed on deals for 832 affordable housing units last year, with total development costs of $209 million, up from 387 units with development costs of $146 million in 2013, according to the newspaper.
Though Arker Cos. now owns over 5,500 apartments in the New York City region, the management is not interested in going down the luxury development route.
“They are blue-collar, meat-and-potatoes, outer-borough Brooklyn guys who build in the neighborhoods they grew up in,” said Marc Jahr, former president of the city’s Housing Development Corp.
In December, Arker Cos. closed on an 18-building, 676-unit Bronx portfolio for $85.5 million with plans to spend another $70.5 million on rehabilitation, as The Real Deal reported. [WSJ] — Tess Hofmann