Adding zeroes: Amtrak jacks up rent for Queens homeowners

Astoria residents report rent hikes from $25 to $25,560 a year

TRD New York /
Aug.August 26, 2016 10:45 AM

Think the price of Amtrak tickets has gotten steep? The railroad is raising rates for a group of Queens residents who have leased space under the Hell Gate Bridge for generations for as little as $25 a year.

Earlier this month, Amtrak reportedly sent letters to homeowners whose properties are adjacent to the bridge informing them of the change, DNAinfo reported. One Astoria resident says the railroad company bumped up her rent to $25,560 a year from $25, while another homeowner reports a $50-to-$45,000 hike. “I thought it was a typing error, to be honest,” said the resident now facing a $45,000-a-year bill.

In a statement, Amtrak said it was raising rents for some lease holders who hadn’t seen a change in 70 years despite rising market values for the properties. “To ensure reasonable leases at fair market value, these lease holders, who currently pay approximately $25 a year, can expect to be charged a fraction (less than 1 percent) of the fair market rental rates,” the company said.

Several residents have been renting out the spaces as parking spots or using for other commercial purposes, but some local elected officials called the rent hike a “money grab.”

“These families who’ve been affected have been stewards of this land,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas told DNAInfo. “It’s uncalled for.” [DNAInfo] — E.B. Solomont

Related Articles

There will be 70 agents based at the new office (Credit: iStock)

Compass opens Long Island City office as new-development sales surge

Long Island City, Queens (Credit: iStock)

Queens sale prices set record despite signs of trouble

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

43-20 49th Avenue in Long Island City and Andrew Chung of Innovo Property Group (Credit: Google Maps)

Andrew Chung tees up Queens’ biggest deal of 2019

David Marx of MDG Real Estate and the site at 71-05 Parsons Boulevard in Queens (Credit: Google Images and iStock)

Here’s a weird one: David Marx plans towers at Queens site he bought from his own company

Meredith Marshall, co-founder of BRP Companies and 163-05 Archer Avenue in Queens (Credit: Marshall by Emily Assiran and Agorafy)

BRP is bringing another apartment complex to Jamaica

Among Brooklyn's priciest spots is DUMBO; pictured is the neighborhood's Main Street Park (Credit: iStock)

Why fewer Brooklyn and Queens tenants are moving

37-05 Parsons Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Investor claims fake Queens developers conspired to rob him of $500K