Slate Property Group and its non-profit partner RiseBoro Community Partnership completed their $64 million acquisition of the former JFK Hilton Hotel at 144-02 135th Avenue in South Jamaica, Queens, marking a major milestone in converting the first former hotel into permanently affordable housing through New York’s Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (HONDA). 

Construction on the new Baisley Pond Park Residences is set to begin next month, converting the hotel into 318 apartments for low-income households and formerly homeless New Yorkers. By selecting a hotel with compatible layouts and making only selective changes to internal walls, Slate will complete construction in just 21 months, compared to 36 months for conventional ground-up construction.

“This significant investment will help to bring our state one step closer to building the affordable, supportive, and sustainable homes that New Yorkers deserve,” said New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. “My administration is continuing to back transformative projects that unlock our state’s housing potential – including the first-ever hotel conversion project through the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act – and we will keep using every tool at our disposal to build the housing we need to make New York more vibrant and more affordable.”

The 350-room hotel dates back to 1987 and its new design was helmed by Aufgang Architects. The apartments will be a mix of studios through two-bedrooms, with rents that go from $784 to $1,493. All apartments will have full kitchens and ADA-compliant bathrooms, while building amenities will include multiple community rooms, a computer lounge, a fitness room, and on-site laundry. Slate will replace all major building and mechanical systems, including new all-electric heating and cooling systems that will dramatically reduce its emissions. The building will have new rooftop solar panels installed as well as efficient Energy Star appliances.

RiseBoro Community Partnership will retain long-term non-profit ownership and management of the building, made possible through the Department of Social Services’ new Affordable Housing Services Program. RiseBoro will also provide onsite support and wrap-around services for residents as they transition from homelessness to permanent affordable housing.