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47 Haros buildings may soon be sold

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Robert McCreanor, an attorney with the Catholic Migration Office of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocese, said tenants whom the group represents are reporting unusual activities in Haros' buildings."They see people in suits coming into the building, walking around," he said. "Some people say that people in suits have identified themselves as being from a bank that's involved in a transaction."McCreanor said he has heard rumors that Haros has signed a letter of intent to sell the buildings to Apollo Real Estate Advisors & Vantage Properties LLC, an international real estate firm with offices in Manhattan.An attorney for Haros was not available for comment by press time late Tuesday. Representatives from Vantage Properties could not be reached.The 47 residential buildings rumored to be up for sale are in Flushing, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Woodside. They comprise nearly 2,000 apartments.Haros has a history as a controversial landlord. In 2005, the advocacy group Housing Here and Now listed him as one of the 10 worst landlords in the city because his properties in the borough accumulated close to 6,000 violations that year.McCreanor said the Catholic Migration Office has helped organize nearly 300 tenants in Haros' buildings and then sued for improvements. But he said the sale of the buildings may not help current tenants."Although Vantage invests money into the buildings and makes substantial repairs, those repairs don't benefit everybody equally," he said, noting the improvements focus on common areas and unoccupied apartments.McCreanor also is worried that if the sale were to go through, Vantage would attempt to push current residents out with legal actions over who is named on the lease.Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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