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New Condo Looks to Lure Neighborhood Renters Ready to Buy

 The Millstone is marketed as one of a limited number of new condos in LIC's rental-heavy market.
The Millstone in Long Island City
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QUEENSBORO PLAZA — A new condo building in Long Island City that's hitting the market next month is looking to set itself apart as a new option to buy in a neighborhood that's being flooded with rentals, its realtor said.

The Millstone — named after the pair of historic millstones on display nearby — is an 8-story, 14-unit building at 41-18 27th St., just north of Queensboro Plaza, that's being marketed as one of a limited number of new condominium projects in Long Island City's rental-heavy market.

"It's a condo in a world of rentals," said David Maundrell of aptsandlofts.com, which is marketing the property for developer 41-18 27th St. LLC. The brokerage firm estimates that there are more than 10,000 new rental units in the pipeline for Long Island City, compared to approximately 500 planned condo units.

Maundrell said The Millstone is looking to tap renters already living in the area who are ready to take the next step and own a home.

"There's a lot of people living there who would love to stay and buy, and now they have the opportunity to," he said.

The building is made up of mostly one-bedrooms as well as two two-bedroom duplexes, ranging from $480,000 to $799,000 and includes such features as Brazilian teak floors, a washer and dryer in each unit and a communal roof deck on the ninth floor.

And though Queens Plaza has fewer shopping and dining destinations than the more developed Long Island City waterfront area, Maundrell predicts the boom in residential construction there and in nearby Court Square will soon bring more options.

"Queens Plaza North is just getting started," he said. "As the retail now starts to kind of come in now that there's enough [residential] units, it's going to really round out to be a really great neighborhood."

In neighboring Court Square to the south, another condo building called The Vista at 44-15 Purves St. hit the 100 percent sold mark last month.

The 15-story, 48-unit building opened about a year ago, made up of studios, one and two-bedrooms with prices started at $360,000. Its design was feng shui certified and each apartment was blessed during a dragon dance when it first opened, according to Eric Benaim of brokerage firm Modern Spaces.

"It was very well-received," Benaim said, with 11 homes selling within the first 25 minutes of the building's soft opening.

The number of rentals outweigh condos in Long Island City in part because the neighborhood's prominent developers, like TF Cornerstone and Rockrose, have made rental units their primary focus.

"Their business model is predominately rentals," Benaim said. "The condo market is a pretty much smaller market of developers."

But the demand for buyers is there, he said.

"We do have a huge amount of people who are interested in purchasing in this neighborhood," he said.