Author Topic: Washington Plaza  (Read 130626 times)

Offline jeanette

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #405 on: December 31, 2016, 01:19:24 PM »
You know what? Things are getting bizarre at Washington Plaza.

I'm glad I can't afford to live there.

Happy New Year.

Offline frances

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #406 on: December 31, 2016, 02:27:44 PM »
Frances - Thanks for pointing out Mr Plaza's sinister designs on the neighborhood of Jackson Heights and it's inhabitants.  We are forever in your debt.

Silly old me thought he was just trying to find a place to live like everyone else.

I understand your sensitivity re WP, as you're in the process of trying to buy there.

Absolutely nothing in any of my words indicated "sinister designs" by Mr Plaza. I'm simply pointing out that none of our decisions are made in a vacuum, and all our decisions impact others.

This is a thread about Washington Plaza, not gentrification, so I'll be bowing out.

Best wishes for the new year.


Offline MrPlaza

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #407 on: January 01, 2017, 09:17:51 AM »
Mr Plaza, charcuterie was historically plentiful in Jackson Heights when this was an Italian and Jewish neighborhood. But, the last Italian deli, salumeria, is gone, as far as I know.  You will find that the food stores in the neighborhood border on dreadful, unless you want Indian food and then you are Tikka heaven.

We have two supermarkets, Foodtown - overpriced and out of touch with the current neighborhood and Food Dynasty - where they fired the union employees on Christmas eve and had the union rat outside for about a year.  Food Dynasty is a low end Key Food, as if Key Food is not low end enough. I use Freshdirect.com.

Mr Plaza, I am curious how you determined that the price you paid for the co-op at Washington Plaza was what you are willing to pay. It is about 34 years times the prevailing rent for an unrenovated apartment in the building. Unrenovated apartments have thick pre-war plaster walls; the renovated apartments have uninsulated - not soundproofed -  walls. They stripped most of the prewar features out of the apartments. They traded that for shiny new walls, open kitchen with no privacy and an Eastern European look bathroom. They kept amending the co-op plan to drive up the prices of the apartments as people from Manhattan and Brooklyn bought them at seemingly record speed. What about Washington Plaza made you buy here? And, why at this price?

I too like charcuterie but this is a Tikka and Churro neighborhood now.
First off: Happy New Year, all! I appreciate you asking kindly, jh35. I'd be happy to give you a little more context.

Some background: My wife and I (along with our 2-year old) are coming from renting in Long Island City. We've lived in one of the towering new constructions in Court Square for three years now. To be frank, we were saddened by the prospect of leaving because we also happen to be the founders of the neighborhood civic association; which was founded to help guide — and when necessary stand up to — the rapid development taking place here. So, forgive me, frances, if I find it a bit jarring to be accused of being ignorant to how neighborhoods are both developed and torn down. That being said, change isn't categorically bad. Jackson Heights itself was not always the community it is today. It was built explicitly as a place for middle and upper-middle class whites, and was fairly exclusionary to that end. Then...over several decades, it changed into the community you're saying my "ilk" is destroying. Some would say that it changed for the better to include more diversity. Others might say it's a travesty that destroyed the foundation on which "The Garden City" was built. I fall on the side of the former, but it really is a matter of perspective.

Back to the point: When my wife and I decided that we wanted to own, we concluded we couldn't afford anything here in LIC that's larger than what we have now (2BR/2BA). And it didn't make sense for us to leave our large rent-stabilized apartment, pay more per month, and in several cases lose up to 100 sq. ft. in the process.

So, we broadened our search to include other neighborhoods within Queens (which was important for me as someone who spent much of his life in and around the borough). We lived in Jamaica before this, and knew we didn’t want to go back to living that far out. Furthermore, coming from living in Court Square, a place with at least two train options was preferable. Initially we were fairly adamant about staying in our community/council district (26) as it would have allowed us to remain more involved in our local politics. But we found ourselves unable to afford Sunnyside either, without buying something that would have required renovation work. Renovation work means more money after closing. And we were already scraping together everything we had to afford a down payment. Doing any kind of renovation work was out of the question. It needed to be to our liking out of the box. And considering we’re coming from a luxury building, we wanted a degree of finish (and if at all possible, amenities) that made leaving behind everything we had in LIC, worth it.

Enter Washington Plaza and Jackson Heights. It is just outside of our district, but the schools have solid marks; it’s very similar to Court Square, in the sense that it’s rich in train options; the units are being brought to the same level of finish as you would find in a decent LIC condo; and for the same price that we would pay to get a shoebox 2BR/2BA in our neighborhood, we were able to get E61/E62. And without going into details, I’ll add that the more expensive units have greater price flexibility. The final X-factor was the neighborhood of Jackson Heights itself. Court Square is an acquired taste. It’s chockfull of high-rises, artist studios, empty industrial streets, few restaurants/bars, and even fewer green spaces. Frankly, it’s a challenge living here sometimes; but it was our challenge. We believe it will reach its full potential one day, as a community, and not just a neighborhood. But that’s years off. Jackson Heights — being an older neighborhood — already benefits from having that community. Everything from the soon-to-be renovated Travers Park, to the greenmarket, told us that JH was already a great place to live, but was poised for even greater heights.

So, we took the leap. It was expensive. But no more than staying in LIC. And if we were going to move, we might as well move to the one building, in a culturally and transit-rich neighborhood, that was going to remind us the most of our home today, without us doing the work to get it there.

I hope that answers your question.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 09:32:33 AM by MrPlaza »

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #408 on: January 01, 2017, 11:27:57 AM »
Mr Plaza, charcuterie was historically plentiful in Jackson Heights when this was an Italian and Jewish neighborhood. But, the last Italian deli, salumeria, is gone, as far as I know.  You will find that the food stores in the neighborhood border on dreadful, unless you want Indian food and then you are Tikka heaven.

We have two supermarkets, Foodtown - overpriced and out of touch with the current neighborhood and Food Dynasty - where they fired the union employees on Christmas eve and had the union rat outside for about a year.  Food Dynasty is a low end Key Food, as if Key Food is not low end enough. I use Freshdirect.com.

Mr Plaza, I am curious how you determined that the price you paid for the co-op at Washington Plaza was what you are willing to pay. It is about 34 years times the prevailing rent for an unrenovated apartment in the building. Unrenovated apartments have thick pre-war plaster walls; the renovated apartments have uninsulated - not soundproofed -  walls. They stripped most of the prewar features out of the apartments. They traded that for shiny new walls, open kitchen with no privacy and an Eastern European look bathroom. They kept amending the co-op plan to drive up the prices of the apartments as people from Manhattan and Brooklyn bought them at seemingly record speed. What about Washington Plaza made you buy here? And, why at this price?

I too like charcuterie but this is a Tikka and Churro neighborhood now.

Occasionally, I believe folks can't see the positives of the neighborhood they live in.  I don't know why.  Perhaps they have never looked or lived in other neighborhoods in NYC. So don't realize the many pluses Jackson Heights has compared with other places in NYC. 

That's why WP apartments are selling fast.  Positives in this neighborhood way outweigh negatives. And prices are more reasonable (however definitely not cheap now) than many other neighborhoods in our great city of New York.   

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #409 on: January 01, 2017, 12:08:51 PM »
Thanks for sharing your story, MrPlaza. Welcome to Jackson Heights!

Offline newjhuser

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #410 on: January 01, 2017, 05:43:33 PM »
Definitely looking forward to meeting you as a neighbor, MrPlaza. Being involved in the building and community can only make things  better.

Offline MetroJNY

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #411 on: January 03, 2017, 07:38:42 AM »
Welcome to Jackson Heights, Mr. Plaza! Wishing you and your family many happy years in JH. It's a great neighborhood!

Offline N00b

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #412 on: January 03, 2017, 01:12:09 PM »
Anyone get an update on construction completion on their units? Any new closings?

Offline MrPlaza

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #413 on: January 03, 2017, 02:00:51 PM »
Anyone get an update on construction completion on their units? Any new closings?
We were given an April estimate, but I'm not holding my breath. Especially with Lilybell's timeline.

Offline Lilybell

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #414 on: January 12, 2017, 11:43:25 AM »
What's up everyone!  Happy New Year!  I was away for a couple of weeks and then I came back and closed on the apartment and moved.

I closed on the 29th and still cannot get the damn punch list guy to do anything. He is absolutely non-responsive and I am fed up. I've been patient so far but that's about to change and now I'm going to be a huge pain in the butt until they fix what still needs to be done.

I think I have defective kitchen counters -there are weird white marks all over them (and at least 10 chips). I am not going to accept them in this condition. It took over a week to get a toilet seat and I only got one because the super took care of it (which is not his job but he is so good to me). I'm missing a window screen, there are a lot of scratches on the wood floors (I'm willing to live with the scratches except for one huge one that is really obvious). The door of the bathroom vanity doesn't close. They never put shelves in my pantry. And there are lots of little things that I'm just going to give up on (paint touch-ups, etc).

I was so stupid because I decided to just have movers come for the furniture and decided to move everything else myself in a big shopping cart because I didn't want to deal with packing boxes. What was I thinking!  I was already exhausted from painting the bedroom and living room and I drastically underestimated how long it would take and how much crap I had in the other apartment (you can fit a lot into 6 big closets). So now I have stuff strewn all over my floors waiting to be put away. I was so physically tired that I think I had an out-of-body experience on Monday.

But as stressful as it's been, it's a beautiful apartment and I know I'll be thrilled once I get everything put away and get my new furniture delivered. And curtains!  I am living like a college student with sheets taped up over the windows. Oddly, none of my blinds from the old apartment fit this one - you'd think they'd have the same sized windows in all of the buildings but I guess not. They are all about  an inch smaller.

babycakes mama - I wonder if I lived next to you for a couple of weeks before I moved to the new apartment. If your neighbor was making a lot of noise with a shopping cart over the last week at ridiculously early hours (and swearing a lot), that was me!  I know a woman with a daughter moved in next to me and I have a feeling it might be you. But I was out of town for two weeks and I guess we never ran into each other.

But welcome to all of you! I've met a few of the new owners and everyone has been really nice so far (and one has an adorable new puppy).

Off to send a passive aggressive email to the punch list guy!

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #415 on: January 12, 2017, 12:29:47 PM »
Congrats, Lilybell! Hope all the issues get resolved soon.

Offline MrPlaza

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #416 on: January 13, 2017, 02:48:30 PM »
Yes, congratulations Lilybell! Although it sounds like you have got a lot of work (and swearing) ahead of you, I suppose you've got to take it one step at a time. Please keep us updated on how the punch list goes. It doesn't sound like it's been easy. So, I'm curious to know how difficult it is from start to finish — and if there are any tips for getting things done faster. Once you're settled in, take photos for the rest of us! Haha.

Offline Lilybell

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #417 on: January 13, 2017, 04:26:41 PM »
Hi MrPlaza!  I think my mistake with the punch list guy was that I was too patient and nice and didn't cc the owner in the first few emails. I sent a polite email every few days. I didn't get a chance to send a passive-aggressive email yesterday but I just sent one a few minutes ago. I was much firmer and showed my frustration this time, which I hope helps. It takes a lot to piss me off, but when I get to that point I will make a nuisance of myself. Not sure what I'll do if I don't get a response - maybe go make a scene in the sales office? It's not my style but I'm starting to get fed up.

The super and the seller's attorney both warned me that the punch list guy is very non-responsive, so if I were you, I would use that knowledge to your advantage early on and get something in writing at the closing with a date limit on how long they can take to get the remaining items finished. Or you could tell them that you refuse to close before they finish the punch list. They had over a month from my first walk through and they barely did a thing during that time. They did nothing at all between my final walk through and actual closing (it was only two days). I have a feeling they might be more efficient with you because you bought one of the largest apartments.

I'm also wondering if I have so many punch list items because they rushed towards the end as to not have yet another delay. The finish work was almost shoddy in some areas (paint drips, scratches, dried plaster smears, chips in the counters and bathtub - things that come from rushing and not paying close attention).

I'm so happy it's a long weekend so I can use all three days to finish putting everything away.

Offline ljr

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #418 on: January 14, 2017, 12:48:47 PM »
This punch list story is calling up memories of when I was in a similar situation many years ago, buying a newly renovated apartment in a new coop conversion. The takeaway lesson was: insist on everything being finished before you close and before you move in, because the likelihood of these things being done afterwards goes down dramatically despite their promises. The things that I wanted done/fixed were much more minor than what you mention, but I believe they never were done and I just gave up finally. Same situation when we renovated our kitchen. The counter top was not cut properly to fit around the stove, but we were never able to get the company to fix the error. They paid lip service and promised to call, promised to come, then they simply didn't call and didn't come to whatever appointment we had made. There is no way to force them to do these things short of a lawsuit, which is unaffordable. Just a bit of advice for anyone in the process of buying: don't close until the renovation is finished and the punch list addressed.

Offline petster

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #419 on: January 14, 2017, 05:13:17 PM »
Today I was walking doing errands and passed WP and decided to stroll inside the interior garden. Wasn't sure if this is allowed but with all the talk about the building on this thread said what the heck. I wanted to say how surprise I was to find such a beautiful, peaceful setting. I had friends who lived there many years ago and don't remember it being so lovely. It truely is an oasis and must be really soothing and tranquil  in the warmer months.  Pretty impressive considering the crap you find elsewhere.

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Re: Washington Plaza
« Reply #419 on: January 14, 2017, 05:13:17 PM »