Carlos “Carl” Niveyro
Close to 26 years ago, Argentina’s Carlos Niveyro approached the management office of LeFrak City in Elmhurst with his resume in hand, looking for work.
“I arrived and saw the sign that said ‘Argentina 97-05’ and I said, I am going to work here,” he said, pointing to the entrance to the management office.
A meticulous and detailed man, Niveyro has – in his 25 years at LeFrak – successfully led a team that has literally and figuratively changed the image of LeFrak City, a complex of 20 buildings with 5,000 rental apartments, which houses almost 20,000 people.
LeFrak City, established in 1960 by Samuel LeFrak as a multifaceted residential oasis, suffered a decline in image in the ‘70s. However, management changed its rental criteria, a decision that opened the door to the evolution of a more diverse residential community. Since Niveyro joined in 1985, LeFrak City has become “a little United Nations,” according to him.
Niveyro’s efforts to create a sense of community have included the establishment of a synagogue and a mosque for Jewish and Muslim residents. In addition, since Niveyro is a fan of the Argentine Boca Juniors Soccer Club, he established a youth soccer program in 1994. For retirees, he created a garden, and for the community as a whole he hosts barbecues during the summers.
Niveyro arrived from Buenos Aires in 1965 and began to work in real estate in 1969, selling co-ops and renting apartments. In total, Niveyro has had 41 years of experience in the management of buildings. Part of his success in this area – and particularly in Elmhurst, Corona and Rego Park, the three neighborhoods that abut LeFrak City – has been his experience as an immigrant.
“In the beginning, it was very difficult because I did not know the language, but I found many opportunities in this country,” said Niveyro, who in his spare time helps to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in the Queens region.
“My dream was to come here because in my country things were not going well economically, but because of the opportunities I learned and worked hard, and became successful,” he said. “I can’t complain.”
Every morning, Niveyro wakes up at 4 a.m., leaves his home at 5 a.m. and is sitting at his desk by 6 a.m. He reads and listens to his messages, usually property maintenance issues, and tries to correct them before 8 a.m. Day-to-day, he reviews contracts, talks to the inspectors and manages his maintenance crew, gardeners and assistants in the office – a total of approximately 170 people. Niveyro leaves the office at 4 p.m.
“I love my job,” said Niveyro, who is 75 years old and admits that he panics when his wife tells him to retire, “and that’s why I keep going.”