Tag Archives: Cushman & Wakefield

The Octagon Building in Whitestone hits market for $26.5M


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A Whitestone office building — described as a “trophy asset” in its market and which housed vitaminwater and smartwater offices — has been put up for sale, according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The Octagon Building, located at 17-20 Whitestone Expwy., is a 63,110-square-foot, five-story, elevator-serviced building with 235 feet of frontage, offering extensive visibility from the Whitestone Expressway.

The property, which includes on-site parking with 200 spaces, is currently going for the asking price of $26,500,000 and is exclusively being sold by Cushman & Wakefield.

“This is a trophy asset in the Queens office building market with extremely high visibility on the Whitestone Expressway,” said Thomas A. Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield, who is exclusively marketing the property with Stephen R. Preuss. “It is the location where vitaminwater and smartwater were created and offers a potential corporate headquarter location along with a substantial signage opportunity.”

The building will be given at 97 percent occupancy, currently consisting of 15 tenants and 20 office suites. Additional income is available from two roof antennas, Fed-Ex/UPS pickup boxes, and an electronic billboard, according to the real estate firm.

The Octagon Building is located close to LaGuardia Airport, three major highways — the Long Island Expressway, Cross Island and Grand Central parkways — and various bus lines. It is also near the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges.

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All-cash, multi-million deal for Rego Park commercial building


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

One month was all one real estate broker needed to sell a Rego Park commercial building described as prime for development.

Cushman & Wakefield announced it sold 97-19/29 64th Rd., a 14,000-square-foot site off 98th Street and 64th Road, for $11.5 million in an all-cash transaction. The location currently has a two-story retail/office building that’s ripe for development, according to the agency.

“Within 30 days, we were able to generate a tremendous amount of interest and create a competitive bidding environment for our client,” said Thomas A. Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield. “A contract was negotiated and signed in one week, and a closing took place three months later at $11.5 million, which equates to approximately $554 per square foot on the existing building and $171 per buildable square foot.”

A spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield indicated the plans for the site remain unknown, but the location’s zoning could allow for significant expansion. The site has 140 feet of frontage on 64th Road and another 100 feet of frontage on 98th Street and is located within a C4-2 commercial district.

The zoning code allows the new owners to build up to 47,600 square feet on the site, more than twice the size of the existing 20,771-square-foot building at the location. The new owners could add another 18,400 additional square feet of as-of-right development should community space be provided within the building space.

The location is two blocks away from the 63rd Drive subway station and within walking distance of the Rego Center mall, the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.

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Queens real estate sales drop, but turn bigger profits in recent months: report


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Reflecting a market gripped by high demand and low supply, real estate sales in Queens decreased slightly but yielded higher prices during the second quarter of 2015, according to a report from broker Cushman & Wakefield.

Approximately 230 properties across the “World’s Borough” changed hands between April and June of this year, a 7 percent drop from the number sold during the first quarter of 2015. Even so, the aggregate sales consideration this quarter — the volume of money exchanged in real estate transactions — reached $835 million, an 8 percent increase from the first quarter.

Cushman & Wakefield described the first six months of 2015 as the second-highest dollar volume the Queens real estate market has seen within the first half of any year, with $1.6 billion in real estate sales generated.

“[At $313 million], development sites accounted for 20 percent of all dollar volume,” the report indicated, “followed by retail properties, with $259 million accounting for 16 percent of the total dollar volume.”

The average price for all types of real estate sold in Queens was $3.4 million, an 18 percent jump from the first half of 2014.

Queens’ strong real estate numbers were evident of a continued upward trend in New York City’s real estate market. According to the report, $37.8 billion in sales activity took place through June, and the city is “on pace to exceed the previous cycle’s high established in 2007.”

“The first half of 2015 will go down as one of the best six-month periods in the city’s history,” said Adrian Mercado, Cushman & Wakefield managing director of research. “All submarkets and property types are firing on all cylinders with market activity outpacing our year-end forecasts.”

Cushman & Wakefield catalogued 141 sales in Queens in which properties were sold for $1 million or more during the second quarter of 2015, accounting for 61.3 percent of real estate transactions during the period.

Among the most lucrative deals were the $71 million sale of an office building at 33-00 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City; a $4.35 million sale of a 23-unit lot of apartment buildings at 1705-1725 Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood; a $72.25 million sale of a 144-unit apartment building at 11-15 Broadway/30-50 21st St. in Astoria; and a $8.8 million sale of a 43,800-square-foot industrial building at 72-42 60th Lane in Glendale.

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College Point industrial and office building selling for $4.4M


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Courtesy  of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

A 21,058-square-foot corner building located at 14-29 112th St. in College Point is selling for $4.4 million, according to an announcement by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The industrial and office building is located on a 35,060-square-foot lot and was formerly the site of a medical facility with light industrial activity. The facility will be closing up shop and leaving the premises within the year.

The site is described as ideal for an owner-user. Stephen Preuss, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield, said, “The most common buyers are owner-users — people who will purchase the property and use it for their own business. There’s a lack of usable industrial and warehouse property because a lot of land in Queens is now taken up by residential development sites. Owner-users are the most interested and the most aggressive parties looking at this property.”

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Astoria multifamily building on sale for $1.5M


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

A three-story, six-unit building near Astoria Park and the new Astoria Cove development site has hit the market, according to real estate company Cushman & Wakefield.

The multifamily building located at 429 27th Ave. in Astoria is being exclusively sold by Cushman & Wakefield and has an asking price $1,500,000.

The site contains about 4,080 square feet on a 20-foot-by-100-foot lot and the building consists of two two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units. All are rent stabilized.

“The way Astoria’s waterfront is being developed will have such a positive impact on the properties in the near vicinity, so we are seeing a lot of interest in that part of the neighborhood,” said David Chkheidze of Cushman & Wakefield, who is exclusively marketing this property with Ilya Tolmasov.

“This building offers tremendous upside potential in an area that is rapidly emerging,” Tolmasov added.

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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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