A trio of apartment houses near the Glendale/Ridgewood border with a combined 72 rent-regulated apartment units have been sold to nonprofit groups aiming to keep the buildings affordable for all.
Ariel Property Advisors announced on April 11 the closure of the $15.96 million deal for three four-story apartment houses at 71-15, 71-21 and 71-27 65th St., off Myrtle Avenue — which the firm referred to as the “Glendale Multifamily Portfolio.” All three buildings are listed as being rent-regulated in the 2017 state Department of Homes and Community Renewal registry.
The portfolio’s buyers were identified as a group led by Rockabill Development, which boasts on its website of specializing “in providing consulting services and [being] as a development partner to the affordable housing industry since 2007.” Rockabill notes that it also “primarily [serves] the nonprofit community.”
An examination of Department of Finance records further revealed that Rockabill was joined in the acquisition with a group called Selfhelp Glendale Housing Development Fund Inc., with offices at 581 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan.
That’s also the headquarters of Selfhelp Community Services, a nonprofit organization which operates a slew of senior housing complexes across the city — seven of which are in Bayside and Flushing.
Sandy Myers, vice president for external relations and communications at Selfhelp Community Services, confirmed to QNS on Thursday that Selfhelp Glendale Housing Development Fund is indeed affiliated with the nonprofit group. The plan is to preserve the three buildings’ affordability while also providing expanded services to residents who may need them.
“This development is a preservation deal through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Neighborhood Pillars program to preserve affordable housing,” Myers said. “No one is being moved out.”
According to sources familiar with the transaction, Rockabill handled the acquisition and will assist Selfhelp in procuring funding for the housing program. Selfhelp, in turn, will provide various services to the tenants. Myers explained that would include assistance regarding various social and health care services.
About 88 percent of the three buildings’ units are rent-stabilized, according to a spokesperson for City Councilman Robert Holden, and the majority of all units are occupied by seniors. Rockabill representatives met with Holden back in March to discuss their plans for the buildings, which will essentially guarantee that they remain affordable to all tenants for the next 20 years.
“Rockabill is a long time affordable housing player and so when we purchased the buildings we brought them into a regulated environment with the City including the 9 free market units,” said Niall Murray, Rockabill managing principal.
Murray added that some improvements are planned for the buildings, including upgrades to the windows, rooftops and brick façade. Crews will also provide other renovations to increase energy efficiency and water conservation.
“There will be no rent increases either as a result of the change of ownership or because of the renovations,” he said. “We held a tenant meeting at which approximately 40 people showed up to introduce them to the new management team and they are aware of the scope of renovations.”
Holden sounded an optimistic tone about the deal in an April 11 statement to QNS.
“This development is very promising for Glendale as it will provide our seniors with much needed resources, home improvements and rent stability for many years to come,” Holden said. “Helping seniors to age gracefully in their homes not only makes their lives more enjoyable, but also puts their family members at ease.”
Ariel talked up the buildings’ location in its sale announcement, noting that it’s on the border with Ridgewood and is located close to “an array of retail outlets.” The apartments are directly across the street from a Stop and Shop supermarket, around the corner from businesses on Myrtle Avenue and about 1 1/4 miles away from The Shops at Atlas Park.
The buildings are also close to public transit options including the Q55 bus on Myrtle Avenue and the B13 and B20 buses on Fresh Pond Road. They’re also about a half-mile walk from the Fresh Pond Road station on the M subway line.