Queens tenants to protest private equity funder

A tenant group representing residents from dozens of Queens buildings owned and managed by a Manhattan real estate company is planning a protest tomorrow outside the offices of one of the landlord’s principal private equity funders.

The Queens Vantage Tenants’ Council, formed earlier this year from residents living in buildings owned by Manhattan-based Vantage Properties, is seeking a meeting with executives of the company and its financial partner Apollo Real Estate Advisors.

Vantage has been accused by tenants and housing activists of using aggressive tactics to force tenants out of apartments. The company has said it’s abiding by the law and only targeting illegal occupancies.

The tenant group is planning to rally outside Apollo’s offices at the Time Warner Center.

Vantage Properties, partnering with a number of funders, has purchased more than 9,000 apartment units in Upper Manhattan and Queens.

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The tenant group claims more than 1,000 members from among approximately 80 buildings.

Vantage spokesman Bud Perrone said the company had tried numerous time to meet with the tenant group leaders, but in recent weeks the outreach has gone unanswered.

“Our mission is to directly engage with all of our residents in order to better understand and meet their ongoing needs …  We are of course happy to meet with the Queens Vantage Tenants Council and have attempted on many occasions to arrange a meeting between their leadership and the CEO of Vantage and a principal from Apollo,” he said. TRD