The Real Deal New York

Pinnacle to convert rent-stabilized Flushing building to condos

The company paid $43M for the 144-unit rental last year

142-20 Franklin Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Joel Wiener’s Pinnacle Group is looking to convert a 144-unit rent-stabilized building in Flushing to condominiums, an offering plan filed with the New York state Attorney General’s office shows.

Plans for 142-20 Franklin Avenue reveal a total sellout price of $75.5 million, with the average unit price of around $524,000 reflecting the least expensive sector of city’s condo market. It might take the company some time to get all those units on the market, however.

The building, formerly known as the Fairmont, is entirely rent-stabilized, and since the condo plan is classified as “non-eviction,” units will have to be converted on a rolling basis as they become vacant, a spokesperson for Pinnacle told The Real Deal. The property’s unit count will remain the same.

“While generally the company is a long-term holder,” the spokesperson said, “when market conditions are favorable, conversion to homeownership opportunities are considered.”

According to a 2016 TRD ranking of the city’s landlords, Pinnacle is New York’s ninth largest landlord by units under ownership, but condo conversions are becoming more common for the company. In November, Pinnacle filed a conversion plan in Crown Heights, where it will turn the rent-stabilized building at 12-34 Crown Street into 85 condos totaling $74.85 million. Also last year, the AG approved plans for another Crown Heights condo conversion at 382-390 Eastern Parkway.

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. If Pinnacle’s recent activity is any indication, a condo plan for that building could soon be on the way.

Pinnacle is the latest developer to catch Downtown Flushing condo fever, as for-sale residential development has boomed in the neighborhood over the past several years.

During the 2000s, Wiener gained a reputation as one of New York City’s most active buyers of rent-regulated properties. From time to time, it has gotten him to trouble. In 2011, for example, Pinnacle settled a class-action tenant harassment lawsuit for $2.5 million.