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Manhattan firms to buy Rego Park’s Saxon Hall

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The roughly $75 million deal to buy Saxon Hall, a 16-story, 470,000-square-foot rental building at 62-60 99th St. in Rego Park, was first reported in real estate news outlet The Real Deal, which mentioned that a plan by Taconic Investment Partners to convert the building into condominiums had been abandoned.Vantage could not be reached for comment. Lubert-Adler did not deny the deal but did not immediately provide any further details.In January Vantage Properties purchased a portfolio of 47 rent-stabilized buildings in Jackson Heights, Flushing, Sunnyside and Woodside from former Flushing-based landlord Nicholas Haros, who in 2005 was named by a housing advocacy group as one of the city's 10 worst landlords based on the thousands of open violations against his buildings. Tenants in some of the Vantage buildings filed suit April 10 in Manhattan's State Supreme Court against the real estate firm claiming that they were being harassed in a bid to force them out of their apartments.Residents of a rent-stabilized building on 88th Street in Jackson Heights held a news conference Sunday with state Sen. John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights) and attorney Robert McCreanor of the Catholic Migration Office, where they talked about tenant harassment in the building since Vantage bought it."They start with returning rent checks," McCreanor said. Tenants complained of this and of being asked to leave when Vantage falsely claimed the building was not their primary residence, and McCreanor said another tactic was for the landlord to offer tenants several thousand dollars to vacate the apartment."This is an attempt to change the character of an outer borough neighborhood," Sabini said.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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