Parkchester North Condominium History
The Parkchester North Condominium consists of 55 buildings in the northern section of the Parkchester Condominiums (“Parkchester”) complex, which comprises the North and South Condominiums. The two condominiums have separate boards and staff but work together on many common issues.
Parkchester was the first planned community in the country and was built by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Construction began in 1939 and was completed in 1942. (Later, Metropolitan Life built Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village,and Riverton Houses, and there are many similarities in architecture among the three sites.) When finished, the property consisted of 171 buildings on 129 acres, with its own steam plant to generate heat and hot water for the entire property. In the 1960s, Metropolitan Life sold the property to Helmsley-Spear. In 1972, Helmsley-Spear converted the north section into a condominium, which became The Parkchester North Condominium. Twelve years later, the remainder of the property was converted into a condominium and became The Parkchester South Condominium.
In 1998, Parkchester Preservation Company purchased the remaining unsold apartments from the Helmsley company. The equity in these apartments served as collateral for a renovation loan that financed replacement of all windows, expanded electrical wiring (which allows for the installation of air conditioning units), and improved plumbing.