Tag Archives: Cushman & Wakefield

Newly built Rego Park office building put up for sale for nearly $8M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Cushman & Wakefield

A seven-story Rego Park building that was constructed last year has been listed for sale.

The property at 97-17 64th Rd., which replaced a two-story office structure at the site, is being offered for $7,950,000 with Cushman & Wakefield.

The owner, listed publicly as 97-17 Realty LLC, bought the property for $930,000 in 2006, according to city records.

The office building is a few blocks from the Rego Center Mall and within walking distance of Queens Place and Queens Center malls. The 63rd Drive subway station is also nearby.

The building has 12,200 square feet of space, which is very valuable in Rego Park, a neighborhood with established properties and not much vacant land to offer developers to build.

“The quality of this newly built asset, along with its prime location, makes it a rare find in today’s [Rego Park] market,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Thomas Donovan.

Donovan is marketing the building with Eugene Kim, Tommy Lin and Robert Rappa.

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Flushing development update: lack of space, increasing demand


| stephen.preuss@cushwake.com

Rendering courtesy of TDC Development International

In March, we discussed the development market in Flushing. Over the past couple of years, Flushing has been experiencing a rapidly increasing development market.

Approvals for multiple mega mixed-use projects were carried through — for example, the Willets Point project, Flushing Commons, and multiple hotel sites, including the Intercontinental Hotel at 36-18 Main Street, are in the development works.

Another topic of discussion in 2014 was potential upzoning for West Flushing, which would allow for increased residential development in order to provide for the dense flow of residents in Flushing. But although we have been seeing record pricing in 2015 as previously discussed, recently we have seen a lag in available land for development while demand is still rising.

Flushing has long been considered as a development Mecca in northern Queens. Its population is rapidly and consistently rising. Predominantly Asian, it is a thriving city for Asian culture, earning the name “the Chinese Manhattan.” Residential condos are selling at record prices — up to $700 per square foot for a two-bedroom condominium — and apartment rentals are seeing up to $2,000 and beyond per month for a one-bedroom. So it is no wonder downtown Flushing and its greater area has kept developers bullish over the potential.

Flushing Commons and the Willets Point project reach a square footage capacity upwards of 500,000 square feet. The amount of land left in Flushing to accommodate another project like that of Flushing Commons is significantly lacking.

We have been recently retained to sell 30-05 Whitestone Expwy. in Flushing. The site boasts 80,510 square feet of lot area with proposed plans for rezoning for a potential 523,315 buildable square feet for a mixed-use project or hotel development. Its location is within minutes from LaGuardia Airport and blocks away from downtown Flushing with great visibility from the Whitestone Expressway.

As previously discussed, the lack of space available has been a hindrance for developers — this site could serve as a rare opportunity for developers looking to capitalize on the little space Flushing has left.

Stephen R. Preuss is an executive director in the Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield, where he focuses on investment sales for various Queens neighborhoods. He has transacted in over $1 billion of investment and commercial real estate over his 15 year career. During his tenure, he has sold over 125 properties to date with an aggregate value of over $650 million.

Stephen Preuss

Stephen Preuss

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Mixed-use Bayside buildings sell for record value due to rising demand


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield  

Filled with bars, shops and a wide variety of restaurants, Bell Boulevard is the main commercial strip in Bayside.

The thoroughfare is serviced by buses and the Bayside LIRR station on the boulevard, which brings high foot traffic to the area.

For these reasons, and partly because of a spillover from nearby Flushing due to lack of inventory, rising demand for real estate on the Bayside commercial strip is leading to sale prices well above past averages.

In fact, the two attached mixed-use buildings at 39-32 and 39-34 Bell Blvd. recently sold for $3.8 million, which equates to about $731 per square foot and is a record for a residential and commercial mixed-use building sold in Bayside, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield.

“The package provides great upside for the investor in an area that is continuing to see an abundance of attention in the real estate world,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Stephen Preuss, who handled the transaction for the seller.

In 2012, commercial real estate was selling for an average of $550 per square foot on Bell Boulevard and as much as $600 for top properties. Last year, the average rose to $615 per square foot, according to Preuss.

The two buildings at 39-32 and 39-34 Bell Blvd. have 5,200 square feet of space, in which there are four residential units and two ground-floor retail spaces.

As a side note, one of the retail tenants, Il Vesuvio Pizzeria, is moving a few doors down to the location of the former Okinawa restaurant and expanding to include a bar, restaurant and pizzeria.

Il Vesuvio is also changing its name to Il Borgo and is expected to open in the coming weeks.

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Douglaston native killed in Amtrak derailment


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A 47-year-old real estate executive, formerly from Douglaston, has been identified as one of the eight victims of Tuesday night’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

Laura Finamore, a senior account director at Cushman & Wakefield, grew up in Douglaston and graduated from Benjamin Cardozo High School and George Washington University. She was living in Manhattan immediately prior to her death.

Finamore joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2008 and according to her family was known among her peers as “someone who would go above and beyond for her clients, to always exceed their expectations.”

“Laura’s smile could light up a room and her infectious laughter will be remembered by many for years to come. She was always there when you needed her — with a hug, encouraging words or a pat on the back,” her family said in a statement.

Finamore is survived by her parents Cynthia and Richard, three brothers, Michael, Paul and Peter, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.

“Laura was an incredibly loving and giving person, touching many people each and every day through her generous spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion for others,” her family said. “She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.”

Funeral services for Finamore will be at Fairchild Sons Inc. in Manhasset, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday that Amtrak train 188 was traveling at more than 100 mph, double the speed, as it was entering a sharp curve before derailing. Before entering the curve, the speed limit is reportedly 70 mph.

In addition to the eight people who died in the accident, more than 200 people were injured, including the conductor and engineer.

Another one of the victims was 20-year-old Justin Zemser, a naval midshipman, who was on leave and heading home to visit his family in Rockaway.

An investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the derailment.

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Developer to break ground on 45-home Whitestone project this summer


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy Frank Petruso Architect PC

The new owner of the former Cresthaven Country Club site in Whitestone is hoping to break ground on a massive development project of 45-single family detached homes by the end of the summer.

Most of the homes on the six-acre site will have approximately 2,500 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and four full bathrooms, according to Tim O’Sullivan of Fulcrum Real Estate Advisors, which purchased the site in a foreclosure auction last month for $13.6 million.

Great Neck-based architect Frank Petruso is designing the project. The current plans could change, but the 45 homes in O’Sullivan’s plans would sit on 4,000- to 6,000-square-foot lots, so each could have space for driveways and private yards. And based on the renderings, homes would have garages and basements. They could sell for $1.5 to $2 million each.

Although original plans were for 50 homes, they were shrunk to 45 so each home will have more space.

However, as smart investors do all the time, O’Sullivan is testing the real estate market to see the possible value for the site and has listed it with brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. He is taking offers for the site, but said a potential buyer would have to offer a price that “hit it out of the park” to get him to sell the site.

“Very few people get a chance to make their mark with 45 properties in an area,” said O’Sullivan, who grew up in Whitestone. “Our intention is we are in the ground in the summer. That’s the reason we bought the property.”

He added, “After we got it on auction, I had people coming to me offering me ‘X’ dollars. What we decided to do is put it out there and test the market. But we are continuing with our development plans.”

Stephen Preuss of Cushman & Wakefield, who is handling marketing for the site, said he doubts any potential buyer of the site would try to divert from the plan.

“For them to be in the ground in the next few months, they would have to follow those plans,” Preuss said. “I don’t think any developer would change those plans. It’s been well received by the community.”

Cresthaven Development Site

Cresthaven site

While residents and politicos in the area have approved O’Sullivan’s plan, they are starting to warm up to another developer’s plan for the nearby 18-acre Waterpointe site.

After negotiations with Councilman Paul Vallone, Edgestone Group, which owns the much larger site, turned away from a plan with 107 townhouses to one with 52 community-supported, single-family residences with a waterfront park, promenade, marina and other amenities.

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Potential for development and commercial property values rising in Bayside


| stephen.preuss@cushwake.com

Photo courtesy Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

Stephen Preuss is a vice president at Cushman & Wakefield who focuses on the Queens market.

Last year, we discussed the Flushing market driving expansion outwards to the surrounding areas of Flushing.

Not only retail but also development potential has been slowly making its way to other territories. The lack of inventory and constant high demand in the Flushing area has forced investors to expand their area of interest. Since 2012, the cost of retail and commercial property has been gradually rising throughout Queens, most recently in the highly trafficked areas of Bayside.

In 2012, we saw commercial properties including retail and mixed-use selling for an average of $550 per square foot with prime properties on Bell Boulevard selling in the higher range of $600 and secondary areas selling in the $320 range – the same could go for 2013.

In 2014, we started to see the demand for Bayside commercial real estate rising. Prime retail sold at an average of $615 per square foot, a 12 percent increase from 2012. We sold a mixed retail and office building at 39-26 Bell Blvd. for $737 per square foot in 2014, 34 percent above the average for 2012 and 2013. We also currently have a package of mixed-use buildings under contract on Bell Boulevard at over $700 per square foot and a 4.8 percent cap rate.

We have been seeing recently that the awareness of Bayside’s potential has greatly increased with investors. Bayside offers a wide range of opportunity including tremendous development potential on Northern Boulevard as well as Bell Boulevard. Numerous sales within the past year have been transacted with the intentions of redevelopment. For example, 42-21 through 42-29 Bell Blvd., a nine-unit, mixed-use retail strip with multiple credit tenants, sold for $645 per square foot at a 3.98 percent cap with existing income. From a development standpoint, the property can be built up to 28,220 square feet which is an additional 17,510 square feet on the existing building.

We expect to see the action continue in Bayside through 2015 and the coming years.  A large amount of the territory in Bayside has been untapped and holds great potential for development and could lead to a growth in real estate investors, developers and major retail tenants.

Stephen Preuss

Stephen Preuss

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Tallest building in Queens for sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

One Court Square, the tallest building in the city outside of Manhattan, has hit the market once again, and its sale price could break borough records, according to reports.

Real estate firm Savanna, which bought a controlling interest last year in the 51-story building also known as the Citi Tower, listed it with brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, which was first reported by the New York Daily News.

Representatives for Cushman & Wakefield didn’t comment on the listing, and an asking price was not disclosed.

The tower sold in 2011 for $500 million, but is expected to sell for much more this time around since values in Long Island City have increased over time.

One Court Square was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, and built by Turner Construction in 1989 for Citigroup. The office tower has 1.5 million square feet of space and is 673 feet tall.

Citigroup, which sold the building in 2005, still has a lease through 2020 for the tower and the company has about 4,800 workers in it, according to reports.

 

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Former LIC factory building creating retail and office hub with help from an old rival


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Old rivals are meeting on a new playing field in Long Island City, but not necessarily on different teams.

The Factory, a 10-story, block-long industrial building at 30-30 47th Ave., formerly known as the Long Island City Business Center, was built in the mid-1920s and used as a warehouse for Macy’s. A few years earlier, the five-floor, block-long Falchi Building was built and was a storage and distribution facility for the former Gimbels department store, a rival of Macy’s.

In today’s Long Island City, where many old warehouse and industrial buildings are being converted for other uses, owners of the Falchi Building created a mixed-use office center with ground-floor eateries that now enjoys healthy foot traffic from employees, residents and students from nearby LaGuardia Community College.

Owners of The Factory are actively marketing the building to similar tenants, an effort that both parties say will build a thriving hub on 47th Avenue and increase demand for retail and innovative office companies.

“The Factory district has achieved great traction and we are seeing an increase in tour velocity from all types of tenants,” said Brian Waterman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is marketing the building.

Real estate firm Jamestown bought the 658,049-square-foot Falchi Building in 2012 and a year later embarked on its renovation and leasing plan — food retailers with production elements were added to the ground floor, and office space for technology, advertising, media and information (TAMI) companies took space on upper levels.

As a result of the campaign, only 45,000 square feet of vacant space remains in the building. Last year about 150,000 square feet was signed over, including Queens’ first Doughnut Plant and the country’s first Stolle, a Russian-based café chain.

Atlas, which bought The Factory in 2014, began a $20 million revitalization soon after, which includes electrical and elevator upgrades, and renovating the lobby with public seating, art and historical artifacts, such as a 19th-century map of Long Island City. New lighting has been added, and there are further plans for improvements including wayfinding signage.

The exterior is also undergoing a façade renovation that will be complete by the summer to modernize its look and upgrade energy efficiency.

The building features industrial high ceilings and wide-open floor plans. Furniture and appliances have been added in some vacant spaces, as well as glassed conference rooms for TAMI tenants. The building also now has super-fast broadband connectivity, and earned a silver ranking from WiredScore, a certification program.

“The Factory is primed for any type of user,” Waterman said. “We expect continued success at The Factory, with planned growth throughout Long Island City.”

Concrete floors on upper levels have been polished, brick walls restored and large windows replaced, as Atlas wants to leverage the building’s character.

The firm is also keeping the funky art installation known as the “Dragon Elevator.” The work by artists John Carter, J.J. Veronis, and Johnny Swing is like walking into a Disneyland attraction, as it has been retrofitted with yellow and green paint and monsters coming out of holes. Adjacent to the elevator is a reconfigured school bus with a large hand by the same artists.

There are already some 18 tenants in The Factory, which has more than 1.1 million square feet. Atlas is marketing 550,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet for retail— practically another Falchi. Although there will be competition, each side sees it as a benefit rather than a threat.

“They are sister buildings, there is no way around it,” said Mitchell Arkin, an executive director of Cushman & Wakefield, which is handling marketing for the Falchi Building. “If someone comes to look at us they will look at them. All in all, I think it’s a good friendly, neighborly kind of relationship. We are happy to see if they succeed, because it’ll create higher rates.”

Rent values in both buildings are currently in the $30 to $40 per square foot range.

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Rego Park building for sale likely to see development


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/Property Shark

With low land rates and access to transportation, Rego Park has increased in value recently as more people are pushed from higher-priced neighborhoods, such as Astoria and Long Island City.

But the highly dense Rego Park has few vacant spaces for new properties, so prospective developers may have to snag an existing low-rise building so that they can expand it or tear it down and build anew.

That’s why investors have been salivating over the Rego Park office and retail mixed-use building at 97-29 64th Rd., which has a maximum of 67,000 square feet of buildable air rights, according to brokers from Cushman & Wakefield. The firm is marketing the building now for $12.5 million, and has received more than 100 inquiries and 14 “competitive” bids.

“The property is ideally located, near the subway as well as big box retailers, in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in northern Queens,” said Thomas Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield. “There is a tremendous amount of activity, and we are excited to sell it.”

A team comprised of Donovan, Eugene Kim, Tommy Lin and Robert Rappa is marketing the property.

The site consists of two contiguous two-story buildings with more than 20,000 square feet combined. Based on current zoning laws, the lot has 47,600 buildable square feet for commercial use or up to 67,200 square feet if a community facility, such as a school, church or medical facility, is added in development plans.

The property sits a block away from Queens Boulevard, where there are multiple mixed-use buildings stretching 13 stories high.

It is a short walk away from the 63rd Drive—Rego Park M and R train station, which provides access to Manhattan. Also, there is ample shopping nearby as it is just two blocks from Rego Center mall, and Queens Center and Queens Place malls are within walking distance as well.

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Row of buildings sells for nearly $7M in hot Ridgewood market


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield 

An assemblage of four contiguous buildings was sold in Ridgewood for $6.75 million as the heated Ridgewood market continues to see more interest.

The buildings, 56-48 through 56-54 Myrtle Ave., are all three-story, mixed-use attached properties with 17,645 square feet of space, and located just a few blocks away from the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues L/M subway station.

There are eight residential apartments in the buildings, and two retail stores on the ground floor. A Cushman & Wakefield team of Thomas Donovan, Tommy Lin, Eugene Kim and Robert Rappa combined to represent the seller in the transaction.

“These properties are ideally located in the heart of Ridgewood, currently one of the most in-demand neighborhoods in Queens,” Donovan said. “We were able to utilize our proven marketing process and leverage the tremendous interest in Ridgewood to achieve the full asking price for our client.”

Recently, a Ridgewood apartment building at 71-13 60th Lane sold for $21 million, which was more than double its last sale price in 2012, when the former owner paid $8.6 million for it.

The increase in prices reflects how real estate investors are looking at the neighborhood.

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Trio of sites in Briarwood and Oakland Gardens trade hands for $23.7 million


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

The owner of three commercial sites scattered in Oakland Gardens and Briarwood sold the properties for more than $23.7 million, according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, which handled the transaction.

The deal involves the cluster of properties at 221-02 through 221-50 Horace Harding Expressway, 137-67 to 137-79 Queens Blvd., 138-09 84th Dr., and 138-07 to 138-11 Queens Blvd., which the real estate firm refers to collectively as “The Vanguard Retail Portfolio.”

Together there are 28 units throughout the entire sale with a combined 44,858 square feet of space.

Of the properties, the largest cluster on Horace Harding Expressway in Oakland Gardens has about 33,698 square feet and 18 retail units with some space for parking.

It has up to 53,159 square feet of buildable space, according to the real estate firm. This one cluster was sold for nearly $17 million.

The properties were purchased by a local investor above the asking price, which was $23.1 million in September, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

“We received an abundant amount of interest contributed to by the continued lack of quality assets for sale along with the desirability for larger retail product,” said Stephen Preuss of Cushman, who handled the deal with Brian Sarath and Thomas Donovan.

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Russian café chain Stolle opening first US location in Long Island City


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Russian café chain Stolle, which has more than 49 locations in Russia and Europe, is opening its first American shop in Long Island City.

The bakery signed a 10-year lease to set up in a 2,175-square-foot space in the Falchi building, where there are already a number of eateries, including Doughnut Plant and Juice Press.

Much like other tenants in the Falchi building, a converted warehouse at 31-00 47th Ave., Stolle will be divided into a production side and a café.

Stolle was established in Russia in 2002 and is known for its sweet and savory pies. As one of the most diverse counties in the United States, Queens has a variety of foreign eateries and was an attractive choice for the retailer, among other future locations in and around the city.

“We are particularly excited to launch our brand in New York City, where there is a true melting pot and a genuine interest in experiencing other cultures and foods,” said Irina Belska, co-owner of the Bakery Group LLC, the company bringing the Stolle brand to America.

Aaron Fishbein of Winick Realty Group represented Stolle in the transaction, and Dave Tricarico of Cushman & Wakefield represented Jamestown LP, the owner of the Falchi building.

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LIC industrial facility with big development potential on sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield 

A large, under-utilized industrial property in Long Island City that can legally be used for buildings seven times larger than what is currently on the site is being listed for sale, according to global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The property includes several buildings that have a total of 26,113 square feet of space. But the site can legally accommodate buildings with as much as 200,500 square feet of space, according to the real estate company.

The facility is located at 50-09 27th St., close to major highways such as the Long Island Expressway and Midtown Tunnel, as well as the Pulaski Bridge, meaning it could be attractive for distribution companies looking for easy access to Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“This area is quickly emerging and its close proximity to several mega projects as well as transportation options makes this an extremely appealing site for both users and investors,” said David Chkheidze of Cushman & Wakefield, who is marketing the property with Conrad Martin.

The property was sold by Harsco Corporation to a group of companies for $9.5 million in 2008, according to city records.

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Commercial real estate: 2015 market forecast


| stephen.preuss@cushwake.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

2015 is expected by many to be the best year since 2007. According to a Cushman & Wakefield research report, the U.S. economy is projected to grow in the 3.0 to 3.5 percent range (which is a conservative number), giving credit to the decline in oil prices. The decline in oil prices will help to “stimulate stronger consumer spending, cut costs in manufacturing and transportation and lower the trade deficit.”

Although it has been stated several times over the past couple years, interest rates are still expected to rise within the next year. According to the federal government in a statement released after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in December of 2014, the central bank will begin to raise interest rates in the first half of 2015. The rise of interest rates will continue as the market is tested to see how much the economy can handle. As a rule of thumb, as the economy grows stronger, interest rates will push higher.

Aside from a growing U.S. economy we are also seeing a decline in unemployment, a rise in spending, and although rising, fairly low interest rates, which makes a great recipe for a strong real estate market. We can anticipate demand increasing both in purchasing and an increase in rents in all property sectors including office, industrial, retail, multifamily and hospitality.

Recent studies show business investment in the last 12 months has significantly increased, and business spending is expected to increase, boosting the economy and creating more jobs. In just December of 2014 the U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs. Over the last three months of 2014 a total of 866,000 jobs were added. The creation of more jobs can lead to an increase in demand for office space and also further demonstrates the increase in business investment and spending, creating a better environment for commercial real estate.

The sum of the U.S. economic growth is expected to pave the way for a flourishing real estate market in 2015.

Stephen Preuss is a Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield who focuses on the Queens market. 

Stephen-Preuss

Stephen Preuss

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Astoria waterfront warehouse listed for $18M, could become residential building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield 

Another Astoria waterfront industrial site recently hit the market and could be sold to an investor looking to develop the property into a residential, mixed-use structure, which has become a trend in the area.

The owner of the vacant, one-story warehouse located at 30-05 Vernon Blvd. bought the property last year for $3 million, according to city records, and was hoping to transform it into a mixed-use condo, office and ground-floor retail building. Construction permits were never filed with the Buildings Department, but renderings were created for the potential seven-story structure.

3005 Vernon Boulevard Joint Venture, which is listed as the owner, pulled the plug on its own project and is now selling the development site for more than six times what it sold for last year.

The asking price is $18.24 million, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the site. The site has up to 96,000 buildable square feet for a mixed-use development, and its price breaks down to about $190 per square foot, which isn’t topping premium levels for sites in the neighborhood.

The property has only been on the market for about a week, but more than 50 investors have called to learn more about it, according to Stephen Preuss of Cushman & Wakefield.

Preuss and David Chkheidze are the agents marketing the site. 

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

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