Northern Queens: A detailed look at the 2013 marketplace


| spreuss@queenscourier.com |

As expected, 2013 turned out to be another positive year for the commercial sales marketplace.  We saw activity, pricing, sales volume, lending and just about any other relevant metric either reflecting 2012 numbers or exceeding them.  The driving forces of the overall demand has preceded to be the steady lack of available product throughout the year and the imminent capital gains increase which has been motivating buyers to take action.  In Northern Queens, which includes Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Jackson Heights ,Corona and East Elmhurst, saw a total of 164 commercial and investment property sales for a total dollar value of approximately $481,851,751.  Like that of 2012, the fourth quarter of 2013 proved to be the most promising, setting the market up for an even better 2014. The sales figures and marketplace activity in each of these geographic territories are summarized below.

Flushing

Flushing remains to be arguably the most desirable area in the Northern Queens region.  Since retail rents have normalized since 2012 there has been an even greater demand and increase in value. Flushingis seeing not only high demand for prime retail but future major developments are in the works. The Flushing area is expected to see three major mixed-use projects within the next few years including the RKO Theater Development on Northern Boulevard, the Flushing Commons Development in Downtown Flushing, and the Willets Point Development adjacent to Citi Field.Main Streetis already seeing retail rents from $50 to $100 per square foot depending on its location but we can expect those rates to go even higher this year with expected rents for national credit tenants over of $100 per square foot.  The surrounding retail strips such as,Union Street,Northern Boulevard and College Point Boulevard are expected to see increases in rents as well upwards of $60 per square foot.

The most desirable assets in Flushing by transaction number were retail and mixed-use properties seeing roughly 30 transactions for a total sales value of $68,166,771 in retail and $26,255,565 in mixed-use. The highest price per square foot transaction was a 5,040 square foot store building on Roosevelt Avenue which sold for $1,726 per square foot. The consistently desirable multifamily property had a total 12 sales (combined elevator and walk-up) with a dollar value of $96,874,000 and an average price per square foot of $239.  As previously addressed, the development market has skyrocketed in terms of large projects including the RKO Theater Development which sold for $30,000,000. These large projects should potentially increase the value of commercial investment properties in the Flushing area even more.

College Point / Whitestone

The areas of College Point and Whitestone had a fairly quiet year compared to 2012 which saw a few large development site sales.  The area saw five development transactions with a total dollar value of $4,790,519, at least 50 percent less than 2012.  Industrial/office, mixed-use, and retail however brought in a combined $40,755,625 in sales with retail in Whitestone taking in the majority of the sum of sales.  The largest sale in the area was a 60,519-square-foot Waldbaum’s anchored shopping center in Whitestone which sold for $395 per square foot.

Jackson Heights / Corona / East Elmhurst

The sections ofCoronaandJacksonHeightsboth took in a high volume of transactions in the multifamily and retail markets. Jackson Heights had a total six walk-up apartment sales and two elevator apartment sales just surpassing last year’s average with an average $220 per square foot. There were a total of 15 walk-up apartment sales in Corona summating to $22,197,300 with an average $223 per square foot, over 2012’s average. Mixed-use properties were also a highly desirable asset in Corona with 19 transactions at an average $211 per square foot and a high $377 per square foot for a 2,124 square foot building at 100-08 Northern Blvd.

Bayside / Little Neck / Douglaston

In comparison to the rest of the Northern Queens areas of Bayside, Little Neck and Douglaston lagged in sales volume with a total 19 combined sales however surpassing the number from 2012. Although it seemed there was a good mix of all property types sold in this region, retail, mixed-use, and specialty-use properties brought in most of the dollar value. On a price per square foot basis retail and mixed-use came out below 2012 numbers at a $279 per square foot combined average, however the number of transactions increased by .  Bayside did however see a high $510 price per square foot at 40-15 Bell Blvd, a 2,892 square foot building sold for $1,475,000.