With community protest simmering down for the time being, a realtor who is the sole listing agent for the 3030 Middletown Road hi-rise project believes that Pelham Bay has a bright future ahead – and that future is co-ops and condos.
While one of the business associates of the builder may be Jacob Selechnik – a landlord associated with run-down buildings in low-income neighborhoods and well-run buildings in more upscale areas, Irene Guanill, the broker/owner of Meet the Sellers, a two-year-old real estate at 3011 Middletown Road promises that the new building at Middletown Road and Hollywood Avenue will be beautiful.
Guanill also sketched out her vision for Pelham Bay’s future, which includes co-op conversions of existing pre-war apartment buildings. She feels those conversions will be beneficial in the long-term despite some initial upheaval. The 3030 Middletown Road, a new construction project, will be all condos, according to Guanill.
“Ron Katz is in charge of the 3030 Middletown Road project,” Guanill said. “I knew the developer before I came [to Pelham Bay]. I sold a property [for him] on Bainbridge Avenue.”
Guanill said that Katz purchased the property at 3030 Middletown Road from Selechnik, but that the landlord once named the worst in New York City is not involved in the project. According to Guanill, Selechnik merely purchased the land from the Carpenters Union and then sold the property to Katz.
Some believe that Katz is merely a manager for Selechnik’s son-in-law, Michael Goldberg, but this has not been confirmed.
Selechnik has transferred most of his property to family members and associates in recent years, as he grew older and became subject to mounting criticism about the condition of some of his properties. His portfolio once contained more than 100 residential buildings, as well as other properties.
Guanill said the 7-story building that should be completed within two years will have underground parking, a gym, a doorman and 24-hour security if the co-op board wants to spend their money for that type of amenity. While the exact number has yet to be worked out, the building should consist of 38 to 44 units.
“Ron Katz thinks he will be done with the building in two years,” Guanill stated. “He doesn’t want the rooms to be too small. He wants the building to have 24-hour security.”
She also added that the builder has approached several commercial banks about occupying the commercial space on Middletown Road that will be on the ground floor of the new building. Guanill said that the builder has worked on other projects, including those in Riverdale and Parkchester.
She feels that the project, being built under the auspices of a firm called 2419 LLC, is perfect for Middletown Road because it is a commercial area.
“I live in Country Club, but [Middletown Road] is commercial,” Guanill added. “If they took some of the rental buildings in Pelham Bay and made them into co-op buildings, the area would change for the better.”