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Pending Haros apt. sale sparks tenant evict fear

An estimated 2,000 residential units in 52 buildings in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, and Flushing are expected to be sold to Apollo Real Estate Advisors &Vantage Properties LLC in a $300 million deal.Apollo Real Estate Advisors & Vantage Properties LLC is an international real estate firm with offices in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London, India and Luxembourg. According to its Web site, the firm owns hundreds of buildings throughout New York City.Robert McCreanor, an attorney with the office, said he hopes to caution tenants about possible consequences of the sale in at least 15 of the Haros buildings before the deal closes."We want the company to know we know what's going on," he said.McCreanor said Vantage may begin suing to evict the current tenants."They try very, very hard to evict as many tenants as they can from the building," he told a gathering of tenants at 41-46 50th St. "We've seen this company sue to evict even when the tenant's name is on the lease."The 20 to 30 tenants who met among the freshly painted columns and arches in the lobby said things have improved in the building since McCreanor started working with them five years ago, but there are still problems, including the lack of a superintendant."A super is very important," said Uriel Gaviria, 55, who has lived in the building for 30 years. "If the police or fire come, who's going to let them in?"Eduardo Van Arcken, 51, has lived in the building for 16 years. He said it also lacks security and a cleaning staff."There's nobody to ask for any repairs," he said.Chu Sung Hun, 32, who has lived in the building for four years, said pipes from the bathroom above his apartment leak through his ceiling. He said the building staff painted over the water-stained ceiling, but did not fix the leak."They're trying to just keep it OK so the deal can go through," McCreanor said.Haros has a history of controversy as a landlord, including a spot on a list of the 2005 top 10 worst landlords in the city issued by the advocacy group Housing Here and Now. His properties in the borough accumulated close to 6,000 violations that year.Tenants were no fans of Haros' management, but said they were uneasy about the building's pending sale."I saw people around the buildings, people taking pictures," Gaviria said, noting he felt safe about his own lease, but worried about how his neighbors would fare.Ruth Perez, 51, who has lived in the building for 27 years, worried about future evictions."Somebody has to do something about it," she said.Hun, who came to the meeting late, said he was baffled by the news of the building's sale."I have no idea," he said. "What can I do?"Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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