Apollo, tenants negotiate possible Knickerbocker Village conversion

Apollo Real Estate Advisors is in negotiations with tenant leaders of
the Lower East Side’s publicly-financed rental development
Knickerbocker Village that could ease the complex into privately-owned
apartments, tenant leaders said.

The tenants are in conversations with Apollo “to discuss the potential
for home ownership,” of the units, a member of the tenant’s
association said.

A spokesman for the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal,
which would have to review any conversion plan, said the agency was
aware of the talks.

Apollo Real Estate Advisors had no comment, a spokeswoman said.

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Apollo bought a controlling interest in KVI Mezz Corp., the company
that owns the 1,590-unit complex, in September 2007 for $150 million,
according to city Department of Finance records.

In March, the new owners abandoned appeals to an October 2007 court
decision that left the 12 buildings between Monroe and Catherine
streets under a 1926 affordable housing program, residents said.

Tenants have met with representatives of Apollo at least three times
over the past month since the company halted the legal action, the
tenant’s association member said.

He asked to remain anonymous so it did not appear tenants were
negotiating in public.

Knickerbocker Village was built by developer Fred F. French, and
opened in 1934 under a pre-Mitchell-Lama program known as Article IV.
Apollo Real Estate Advisors converted the former Mitchell-Lama
Lafayette-Morrison complex in the Bronx to private co-ops in early

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