LeFrak to convert Rego Park office tower to luxury rentals

Richard LeFrak

The LeFrak Organization will redevelop a 13-story office tower in Rego Park into 108 luxury rental apartments, according to the Wall Street Journal. The project marks a return for the developer to the city, where it said it would no longer build because of the rising costs of construction. In fact, it’s the company’s first project in the city in 28 years.

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The office building was constructed 50 years ago by LeFrak Organization CEO Richard LeFrak’s father, Samuel LeFrak, during a time when the developer was building housing geared towards the middle-income residents of the borough, most notably nearby LeFrak City.
The office tower redevelopment aims to appeal to luxury renters.

However, in recent years, LeFrak has repeatedly said the cost of development is too high to build in New York City. The organization has focused its attention on New Jersey, including a massive development in Newport, New Jersey. The Journal noted that the sentiment has been passed on to Richard’s sons, Harry and James, who have begun to take executive roles within the company. Though they say they are committed to the city, James LeFrak vented his frustration to the Journal, saying local politicians “seem to abhor the private ownership of property.” [WSJ]

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