Renters in New Condos: Valued Neighbors or Party Monsters?

Renters: They fill empty apartments, give struggling condominiums a little life and float developers some desperately needed cash. What's not to like? Plenty, according to this NYT weekend story on the growing trend of new developments renting out units until, in theory, the market rebounds and they can be sold. Condo projects with lots of rentals have always carried a certain stigma, because buyers fear renters will treat the building like their own personal playground and not a precious investment. And at Greenpoint's 285 Driggs Avenue (aka Loftology), those fears have become reality, according to one buyer:

In general, Mr. Broshears says, the rental tenants are good neighbors. But there have been a few incidents, like a raucous party given by a renter at which guests smoked in the elevator and littered a hall with empty beer cups.

"I don't mind the idea of having rental tenants in the building," Mr. Broshears said, "as long as they respect that they're living in a condominium building, rather than a college dorm or a fraternity crash pad."

Here come some awkward elevator rides! Now, buyers at One Brooklyn Bridge Park have The Fear, as rentals in the building hit the market. However, the developer plans on only renting out 20 apartments (for now, at least), and just five have been taken so far. A small number, but in a 438-unit building where only 77 apartments have closed to date, the empty-beer-can-to-resident ratio will skew a bit high.

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