Friday, April 13, 2007

Parkway Village to decide on future

Parkway Village was built in 1947 as rental housing for United Nations workers. In 1982, it was converted into co-ops. But the times, they are a-changin'...

As Parkway Village residents brace for crippling federal fines and hefty new heating bills, a rift is growing between those who want to cut their losses by selling their property to developers and those hoping to preserve the historic co-op.

Parkway Village Residents Consider Dissolving Co-op

At a March 28 meeting at Flushing’s Hillcrest Jewish Center, Prudential spokesman Richard Dana reportedly advised about 50 residents that before proceeding with a sale, they should hire an independent zoning consultant to evaluate the feasibility of upzoning the co-op for high-rises and other structures. The current R-4 zoning only allows for three-story units, according to Community Board 8 member Florence Fisher.

Screenshot from Windows Live Local

23 comments:

Curious said...

I'd be questioning what prompted the feds to come and dig for asbestos 60 years after this complex was completed.

Then, I'd be asking who wrapped the pipes in asbestos 60 years ago.

We (the feds) require oil and chemical companies to clean up the land though it was many decades ago that the predecessor company contaminated the site.

So, why are the feds trying to put the onus on the current residents who had nothing to do with that asbestos? As a matter of fact, my sister, who lives there, has asthma and would have vigorously opposed the use of asbestos had she been aware.

So, here we are, once again. Trying to untangle the web connecting greedy developers and officials who are paid to protect citizens, not developers.

Who suffers? Naturally, the residents who sank their savings into a contaminated site.

KRM said...

This property, after clean-up, would be perfect for St. John's University.

Anonymous said...

Asbestos was perfectly legal 60 years ago.

Curious said...

That asbestos was legal 60 years ago is exactly my point. So, why are the feds here now?

This stinks of a "Love Canal" right in our midst, with the developers looking for gold right here.

Get the land condemned; create panic sales; buy the land cheaper than ever, and there you go! Effortless riches!

Anonymous said...

It's telling that just after WWII the UN founders envisioned that diplomats and affiliated personnel would be relatively middle class.

Anonymous said...

The people that designed this project grew up in a time when wealth exploited immigrants and created wars. The taste for the time was for the common man arising to do uncommon things.

It is a shame the human experience does not leave a mark in our genes. Old values are forgotten and mistakes must be fought again.

Anonymous said...

It's ripe for high rise development!

"Underutilized space".....isn't that what greedy developers always say?

Anonymous said...

The asbestos were there legally but when repairs were needed, the abatement of the asbestos was not done properly probably to save money.
This repairs were done in house not following the handling rules of this dangerous material.

snarlywench said...

I live in Parkway. The asbestos as previously noted was legal way back when. At some point in the last 5-15 years as repairs on pipes was done asbestos was dug up/exposed. It was then just buried instead of disposed of "properly". That's why the Feds were here, to dig it up as evidence for charges against what we think was a previous property manager. The EPA guys I talked to said it was in regard to charges against an individual. People are, alas, inclined towards panic and are easily manipulated. We have rec'd no word of what fines we might get. Some people think we're going to have to pay the cost of having the FBI & EPA here with all the hazmat gear & tents. I don't think people have to pay the FBI when their back yard is dug up while they look for Jimmy Hoffa.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from someone that lives in parkway village their opinion if buying the unit was a good investment after all and if it's worth still investing there i personally am intersted in buying an apartment there.

P W V resident said...

I have lived here for 5 years, and continue to enjoy the beautiful, clean & safe community that Parkway offers. There are many styles of apartments to choose from. I have a ton of closet space, plenty of parking and a private garden that rivals many homes in this area. Door-to-door it takes me 45 mintues to get to midtown. There's also an express bus that takes a little less time. The GCP & Van Wyck are right here if you drive. The laundry facilities are new. The 24-hour Rite Aid and two hospitals are walking distance - such a great perk! Plus, the great restaurants, take-out, dry-cleaning, deli, groceries, shopping, etc make living here a pleasure. I love it here and so do my neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of purchasing a two bedroom duplex in Parkway Village.
(1) What should I fear in making this purchase?
(2) What do I need to know about this complex before I make this investment.
(3) Do anyone out there know if it a good idea to purchase this unit at this time?
Thank You.
Prospective Parkway Village Resident.

Anonymous said...

In response to your question about buying an apartment here let me tell you that I live here and 5 years ago when I moved in the coop had a mortgage with Chase Bank of around 15 million dollars. It still is around that amount and the current board is negotiating a 40 million dollars new mortgage to pay back the original mortgage (including a 4 million pre payment penalty) and the rest to pay for a new heating system for the property.
The idea is that eventually, the savings provided by the new heating system will pay for this massive loan but that is a big unknown. This mortgage will be an interest only loan for the first 10 years. After 10 years if they only pay interest, the property will still hold a 40 million dollar debt.
In my opinion this will be a very risky move if you decide to move here. Maintenance is going to increase for sure.
On the other hand, there is a move to sell the property to developers and that will be a chance to make a lot of money if it materializes in the future.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was ready to buy something there but the high maintenance scared me. And now you are saying that it might get higher.
Thanks for the heads up?

Penguinlady said...

I grew up in Parkway Village from 1951 to 1957. We lived at 147-20 Village Rd., #GB, a ground-floor end unit with two gigantic walk-in closets and the same weird ceilings the other units had. I went to the UN International School when it was located in two converted buildings on-site in two locations, across from the formerly empty "baseball field" between the Village and St. Nick of Tolentine, and at the far end of the Village, on 164th St.

it was an idyllic place to grow up. Our neighbors and friends came from all over the world and we had acres of greenery to play in. A real community.

It's hard to imagine that PV is "under-utilized." Is a high-rise complex of soul-killer density the only appropriate utilization of space these days? Doesn't anyone value open green space and low-density housing?

For the record, my mother, and everyone else's, had asbestos oven mitts and pot-holders, back when asbestos was a wonder substance and not a killer.

I'm sorry to hear of the current troubles; my memories of Parkway Village are 100% positive and I wouldn't hesitate to live there again, for the beauty of the village, if not the feeling of community.

supercable.net.ve said...

Penguinlady, who are you?. I´m ALVARO ARRAIZ, who grew up in Parkway from 1947 to 1955, had a brother and sister in the UN International School, and was friends with Bernard Edinger, Charles Barkas, Jack Fitzgerald, Mary Shih, Popsy Mendez, Barth Healey and everybody else. I lived at 147-37 Charter Rd., and now live in Caracas, Venezuela. So sorry to hear about the troubles of the Village. My addresses: alarraiz@hotmail.com and alvaroarraiz@supercablñe.net.ve Woild like to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

I also grew up in Parkway-near Parsons and GCP, from 1974-1986. I remember playing in those steam holes when pipes were dug up and fixed. It was all legal then, or so they say. My Dad is still living there. It's still a nice place to live for many different reasons. Hopefully the right folks will see that!

Michel Veigh said...

I'm sorry to read what is becoming of Parkway Village. We have lived at 147-28B Charter Road, from 1959 to 1965, I was 6/12 years old, a big part of my life, and we were so happy, Parkway was my paradise. Childhood... now back to France since then, I recall often those times of real happiness. People were so nice, all my friends, those hot summers and snowy winters...
Good luck, Parkway Village, hello to all of you who live there, please let Parkway survive and keep its soul!

Mariana Rodrigo said...

Hello! I live in Patagonia, Argentina. It´s very cold, and remembering happy times I googled Parkway Village. I lived there 150-90 village road in 1963-1964-1965, and was only ten when I left. I still remember Ashley Phillips and Katherine Milliken, and so many others. But I remember my happiest neighbourhood, the tree we crept, my neighbor Ivonne Puente lending me my first Nancy Drew mistery, I could never stop reading since then. I´m a happy grown up, and I love Patagonia...but I was very happy there. I still remember the flowers my grandfather kept, and so many good momentes, colors...smells and friends. And that wonderful Japanese store that was near, every night I look at the doll I bought there with my savings..and the best Halloweens...Saint Nicholas of Tolentine...Holy Family School in Flushing with Mrs. leonard and Mrs. Lonergan...and my classmates. god bless you all!mmarianarodrigo@yahoo.com.ar

Michel Veigh said...

@Mariana Rodrigo : hello! So we lived in Parkway Village at the same time! You from 1963-65 and I from 1959-65, though we didn't know each other: Parkway isn't *that* small, even if it a delightful true village in its own.
I had two "best" friends, "Sandy" (Alexander) Hall and Taku Matsumoto. I try to find both of them with Internet, but not easy. I think Sandy is in Dallas, not sure. Taku returned to Osaka, Japan, in 1963 or 64. Other good friends, Marc Colombard (engineer in France), CĂ©cile Tardu, Nadine Horenstein, Bruno Combes ... so many in fact!
Next time I travel to the States I'll spend a week-end to visit my memories in Parkway. Years of happiness!
I live now in France, in the beautiful city of Tours.

Anonymous said...

Parkway Village has become a total mess. The maintenance costs have reached it's limits. The residence are now paying over $1400 for a two bedroom apartment, and the board can raise the rates without the consent of the owners. The debt has now reached 44 million dollars. It will be ten years before the interest on this debt will be payed. The place looks like a bombed out mess. The lawn looks like the surface of the moon. The porticals are rotting and in disrepair. Dumpsters are falling apart with no covers, [a sanitation violation]. The gutters haven't been cleaned in years. A member of the board has made an illegal deal with the Parkway law firm. If you like bugs, and mice, this is the place for you. The only answer is: sell out to a developer. Forget about making a killing, just get you initial cost back. added to this is the fact that no one can sell their apartment, even if you want to take a large loss.

Anonymous said...

Parkway Village should have a paid individual running the joint. Six clowns telling a multitude that they should pay more to live in a dump like this is absurd. You would have trouble selling your co-op to a blind man. The only solution they have to keep Parkway from going bankrupt, is to raise the maintenance fees. What kind of a solution is this? We should have a fullchie time employee who would answer to every one in the village, and have everyone vote on proposed increases in maintenance fees.

Michel Veigh said...

In 1965, at the time of our departure from New York, I think my parents paid something like 140$ for a 2 bedroom apartment (147-28B Charter Road, anyone home?!) and the ratio then to a decent salary was ok.
Anyway, if you live or have lived in Parkway Village, please leave a word, nice to read you all.
Bye for now - Love you all :)