In Rego Park the condos follow the rentals

By Gabriel Rom

Rego Park’s housing market is on fire. The neighborhood has seen the biggest overall rent increase in Queens since February 2015, according to a report by real estate firm MNS released last week.

And while rents continue to rise, luxury developers are taking notice: Two more major developments were announced this past month.

The report said average prices have increased by 7.9 percent annually, with one-bedroom apartments going for an average of $2,075 in February, compared with $1,865 during February of 2015. Studios were up to $1,624 in February, compared to $1,527 in 2015.

In contrast, nearby Forest Hills had the most precipitous drop for the borough in average rent for one-bedroom apartments in February, but also the steepest increase for studios, the report said.

“Rentals are more transient by nature, people come and go,” said Seth Bornstein, the president of the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “But people who buy condominiums care about schools and hospitals and Rego Park is becoming more solid and stable.”

“People want to purchase,” he said. “There is a demand from people who want to invest in the borough and that idea of ownership is a good thing. It adds to a sense of community.”

Two weeks ago, plans were released for a 12-story, mixed-use building at 63-98 Wetherole St., near Queens Boulevard.

The development would replace two attached brick houses between 63rd Drive and 64th Road. The building would have 28 apartments across 20,889 square feet, creating average units that measure 746 square feet, according to applications filed with the city.

There would be a 6,100-square-foot day-care center in the cellar and first floor, followed by a mezzanine level for the daycare and an outdoor terrace on the second floor. Apartments would start on the third story, and most floors would include four units apiece. Several apartments would be duplexes.

Flushing-based Jiqing Yue is listed as property’s owner. Yue bought the 6,100-square-foot site for $595,000 in 2004, according to city records.

He has chosen Yi Xia’s Fleet Architects, which is also headquartered in Flushing, to design the luxury residential project.

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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