Embattled Landlord Pinnacle Selling 22 Manhattan Buildings

breaks 205w109th1v Embattled Landlord Pinnacle Selling 22 Manhattan BuildingsAn eviction-loving landlord is seeking to send a set of 22 apartment buildings into the hands of a new owner. The Pinnacle Group, led by Joel Weiner, is taking bids on a portfolio of 384 apartments on West 109th Street, a chunk of real estate that could fetch more than $70 million.

Pinnacle, which owns a reported 21,000 apartments citywide, many in the Upper West Side and Harlem, has become a symbol of the pressures of rising real estate values, attracting widespread attention and jabs from politicians for reportedly harsh tactics against tenants.

Since buying a massive portfolio of apartments in 2006 from Baruch Singer—a landlord painted by housing advocates as a notorious slumlord—Pinnacle has sent out eviction notices on an immense scale, presumably aiming to shed existing tenants who pay rent-regulated prices.

The move is a common one for landlords who buy new buildings at high prices, as they seek to wrest greater returns from the apartments, though the scale on which Pinnacle sends out the notices seems well beyond the norm. In 2006, the Daily News reported that Pinnacle had sent out some 5,000 eviction notices in the previous two years.

Now Pinnacle is seeking a new owner for its buildings on 109th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, with its brokers at Eastern Consolidated looking for a single buyer to grab them up in one clean swoop.

Many of the apartments could be easily converted to condominiums, said Eastern Consolidated’s R. Stuart Gross, though rents in the area are also consistently trending up as the neighborhood gains allure.

“There’s just a huge long-term upside,” Mr. Gross said.

Bids are due next week for the portfolio, which mostly consists of two-bedroom apartments. Mr. Gross is joined by Eastern Consolidated’s Peter Hauspurg, Peter Carillo and Harrison Douglas in representing Pinnacle.

A spokesman for Pinnacle declined to comment.