Eight months after Manhattan-based Hudson Realty Capital sold the biggest residential portfolio in Queens in nearly two decades—a 65-year-old, 53-building Kew Gardens complex with 1,270 apartments—work to spruce up the property has begun. New lighting is being installed, front doors replaced and brickwork repointed, and two security guards have been hired to police the parcel, which sprawls over five city blocks.
Now residents await news of what will come next. Having paid $216 million for its asset and committed to undertaking well over $10 million in renovations, Manhattan-based A&E Realty will likely want to raise rents on the 1,270 one- and two-bedroom, mostly rent-regulated, apartments.
Although the new landlord declined to comment on its plans, residents note that rents in the three-and four-story redbrick and clapboard buildings—which stretch across a tree-studded landscape that runs from Kissena Boulevard to 150th Street and 72nd to 75th roads—have long been relatively inexpensive in keeping with the buildings' down-at-the-heels condition.
Based on the improvements, the landlord could increase rents several hundred dollars per unit, but tenants interviewed said they'd be willing to pay more for better maintenance. The landlord has not jacked up rents at other complexes after renovations it has made.