ELMHURST — A controversial apartment building that was the subject of recent litigation is getting a luxury makeover as part of a hoped-for neighborhood "renaissance," according to developers.
The Continental, at 87-10 51st Ave., is now dubbed The Continental Park and renderings show a future for the six-story, 153-apartment co-op that includes a gym, updated interiors and a new playground.
Apartments will be less pricey than other nearby neighborhoods, with some costing less than $200,000.
"There is a renaissance underway" in Elmhurst, according to the website, which also says the neighborhood — one of the oldest in the city — is "a find yet to be discovered."
Renderings of the building show modern decor in the apartments as well as a courtyard outside the building turned into a garden "oasis" with greenery and modern statues. It touts its proximity to the subway and local restaurants with cuisines from around the world.
"New York City is famous for reinventing itself and there is a renaissance underway now in Elmhurst, Queens," a blurb on the building's site reads.
"The Continental Park is at the center of it, where the best in contemporary interiors, spacious apartment layouts and a rare residents’ only private park offer an incomparable lifestyle and an exciting opportunity for discerning buyers."
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The building offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, which range from $167,000 for a 507-square-foot studio to more than $467,000 for a 1,194-square-foot three-bedroom apartment that comes with a balcony and a connection for a washer and dryer.
A gym will include workout machines and free weights and an event room will include a media center and lounge for residents and guests, according to the website.
Construction is still ongoing, although the website said sales would begin in October.
But the building has been fraught with problems in recent years.
A partial stop-work order was issued in September for scaffolding issues, according to Department of Buildings records, and there are more than two dozen open violations, with the most recent for elevator issues.
Units from the building were sold in 2013, according to city records.
The Continental, which was built in 1962, has also been involved in multiple lawsuits and the co-op board filed for bankruptcy in 2009, according to court records.
Shareholders accused the board of directors of taking out $12 million in mortgages without notifying the residents, according to the Daily News.
The bankruptcy case was settled and the management company is now working to renovate less than half of the building's units, according to a resident and former board member.
The property manager, Meredith Fisher Maltby, said the renovated units should be open by summer 2015, and model homes will open this month.
"The Continental Park will bring to Elmhurst sophisticated homes with features and finishes never before seen in the neighborhood," she said in a statement.
"Buyers are eager for this type of luxury product, and we expect sales to move very swiftly."