Real Estate

Top Rock Secures $125M Loan for 241-Unit Forest Hills Condo Project

Top Rock secures $125M loan for 13-story, 241-unit luxury condo project in Forest Hills.

By Tal Alexander

7/11, 13:33 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Top Rock Holdings and RJ Capital secured a $125M loan for a 13-story, 241-unit luxury condo project in Forest Hills.
  • The development at 70-28 Grand Central Parkway includes amenities like over 100 parking spaces and a four-lane pool.
  • Construction starts August 1 with a 30-month timeline, continuing Top Rock's active investment in Queens.

A New Chapter for Forest Hills

An empty lot adjacent to the long-closed New Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills is set to be transformed into a luxury condominium complex. This significant development is spearheaded by Uri Mermelstein and Joseph Yshuvayev of Top Rock Holdings, in partnership with Michael and Rudy Abramov of RJ Capital Holdings. The project has secured a substantial $125 million construction loan, marking a pivotal moment for the site at 70-28 Grand Central Parkway. This initiative is part of a broader trend of revitalization in the area, reflecting the developers' confidence in the demand for high-end residential units in Queens.

Details of the Development

The new 13-story condominium, designed by SLCE Architects, will feature 241 units spread across 254,500 square feet. The unit offerings will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments, catering to a diverse demographic. The development will also include over 100 parking spaces and a four-lane pool, enhancing its appeal to potential buyers. This project is a continuation of Top Rock Holdings' active engagement in Queens, following their acquisition of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in 2022 and the completion of 74 condominium units along Queens Boulevard in 2021.

Historical Context and Challenges

The site of the new development has a storied past. The former New Parkway Hospital, which operated from 1963 until its closure in 2008, has been embroiled in legal and financial troubles. Its owner, Robert Aquino, was convicted of bribery in 2012, and the hospital has since faced foreclosures, stalled proposals, and zoning issues. The joint venture's acquisition of the site in 2021 for $31.7 million, along with securing 360,000 square feet in development rights, marked a turning point. The project also received $29.4 million in bridge financing from Madison Realty Capital that year, setting the stage for its current transformation.

Broader Implications for Queens Real Estate

The development of luxury condominiums at the former hospital site is indicative of broader trends in the Queens real estate market. The demand for high-end residential units is on the rise, driven by the area's growing appeal to both local and international buyers. This project not only revitalizes a long-neglected site but also contributes to the ongoing transformation of Forest Hills into a desirable residential neighborhood. The inclusion of amenities such as parking and a pool further underscores the developers' commitment to meeting the needs and preferences of modern urban dwellers.

Management Quotes

  • Michael Abramov, RJ Capital Holdings:

    "We understood the demand and the demographic wants for this area. So we went a little bit above and beyond, compared to the previous job we did."

  • Michael Abramov, RJ Capital Holdings:

    "Construction is scheduled to commence on August 1 with a 30-month construction schedule."