Tag Archives: Modern Spaces

Kaufman Arts District’s first luxury condominium hits market

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Modern Spaces

A luxury condominium — the first of its kind in the newly designated Kaufman Arts District —has hit the market and seen instant success in just one week.

Real estate firm Modern Spaces has began sales for The Marx, located at 34-32 35th St. in Astoria, and in the first week 20 percent of the building has already been sold.

The Marx offers 33 one- and two-bedroom units at prices starting in the $600,000s and two-bedroom apartments priced under $1 million.

“The Kaufman Arts District is an established, dynamic neighborhood that gives people access to the best creative institutions the city had to offer. Living at The Marx presents a unique opportunity to move into a vibrant Astoria neighborhood that is rich with amenities, dining and service retail to serve the families that have long called the area home,” said Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces.

The building features homes with open layouts and hardwood floors, and many of the apartments have private terraces. Kitchens feature custom cabinetry, a breakfast bar and high-quality appliances. Master bathrooms include rainhead and hand-held glass-enclosed showers and heated towel bars.

Amenities at The Marx include a rooftop terrace with gas Weber grills, a private bike room, a fitness room, a virtual doorman security system and laundry facilities.

“We are very excited that The Marx has appealed to so many buyers. It’s the first luxury development that has opened since the area has been designated the Kaufman Arts District and shares the same streets where popular shows such as ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘Sesame Street’ are filmed. We think the building — like its entertainment neighbors — will be a big hit for many different types of buyers,” Benaim said.

The seven-story condominium, which is being developed by a joint venture between Kaufman Astoria Studios and Procida Companies, gets its name from the property’s history located on the site where the Marx Brothers filmed movies such as “Animal Crackers” and “Coconauts.”

The Kaufman Arts District, designated in 2014, includes institutions such as Kaufman Astoria Studios, Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts.

“We’re thrilled to bring even more life to this thriving and historic neighborhood. Hundreds of professionals visit and work in our studios, and many have fallen in love with Astoria and all it offers,” said Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “We’re delighted to offer the homes at The Marx to our regular constituents and newcomers alike.”


The Cigar Factory in LIC sells for $31.1M

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

After receiving large interest from investors near and far, one historic Long Island City building recently sold in an all-cash transaction for over $30 million, according to realty company Modern Spaces.

Manhattan-based real estate private equity firm Brickman scooped up the former DeNobili Cigar Factory located at 35-11 Ninth St. for $31,100,000.

The sale of the 102,670-square-foot building, which also included a 5,000-square-foot parking lot at 35-31 Ninth St., was announced Tuesday by Modern Spaces’ Commercial and Investment Property Group.

“Tremendous demand from local, national and international investors led to a price point of approximately $302.91 per square foot in just eight weeks of marketing,” said Evan Daniel of Modern Spaces who spearheaded the marketing of the site with Edward DiTomasso. “The sale to Brickman speaks to the strength of the office and investment market, a trend that continues to prove that Long Island City is quickly becoming a destination for institutional capital and truly a mixed-use, live/work neighborhood.”

The four-story office/loft building also known as “The Cigar Factory” was built in 1896 and once housed the DeNobili Cigar company. It currently features 57 commercial units and two cell towers.

Due to its zoning, The Cigar Factory is ideal for future residential conversion with 14- to 22-foot ceilings, and features such as exposed beams, arched windows and hardwood floors.

The site is located just a block from the Long Island City waterfront and is close to major subway lines and highways.

“Demand for such space has exploded this year leading to dramatic rent increases throughout western Queens,” Daniel said. “The development of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island will create more jobs and further put significant upward pressure on office demand and rent growth.”


Top five most expensive luxury listings in LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Modern Spaces


Over the past decade, Long Island City has evolved into one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city. The influx of new bars, lounges, specialty shops, flea markets and restaurants was met with the demand for more condominiums with unique amenities.

Eric Benaim, founder of real estate brokerage Modern Spaces, shared his top five most expensive listings for luxury living in LIC.

The Corner
47-28 11th St., #3C

This newly built, seven-story luxury building features 22 modern, high-end apartments, each outfitted with the latest amenities, including professional-grade Bosch kitchen appliances, Grohe finishes and hardwood oak floors throughout.

Marvel at the Manhattan skyline while reclining on the rooftop deck, or take advantage of the on-site fitness center or residents lounge. Located minutes away from Long Island City’s hottest cafes, nightspots and cultural centers, such as MoMA PS1, The Corner offers both convenience and relaxation amid the vibrant streets and avenues.

A 5-minute ride on the 7 train will whisk residents to the heart of Midtown. Leisurely travelers can opt to take the East River Ferry and take in the stunning water views of the city.

The Powerhouse
2-17 51st Ave., #801

With its spacious three bedrooms and two full baths, the aptly named Powerhouse is a major star on the Long Island City real estate landscape. Built on the site of the former Pennsylvania Railroad Power Station, the condominium features soaring ceilings, an open-concept kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors and more than 1,000 square feet of outdoor space on the private terrace. Italian marble floors line the master bath while the second bath comes equipped with a deep soaking tub.

The building also features a fitness center, aqua grotto with full-service spa, common rooftop terrace, children’s playroom and a 24-hour concierge.

The View
46-30 Center Blvd, #205

This luxury unit offers unparalleled breathtaking views of the East River and Manhattan skyline from the comfort of a spacious, sun-drenched living room. The three-bedroom gem is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling double panel windows and features an open-concept living and kitchen area outfitted with the latest Viking appliances, Subzero refrigerator, a special wine cooler and hardwood flooring throughout.

All of the spacious, three full baths include deep soaking tubs set against a backdrop of the finest white marble.

The Foundry
2-40 51St Ave., #1E

This modern Hunters Point duplex is bathed in sunlight courtesy of its vast windows and 17-foot vaulted ceilings. The modern open-concept chef’s kitchen features a Viking range, KitchenAid French door refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher and dramatic black Caesarstone counter tops. This two-bedroom unit includes a luxury en-suite full bath in the upstairs master bedroom with both a soaking tub and standing shower.

The second bedroom also comes with its own bath and, like the master suite, access to a private terrace.

5-46 51st Ave.


This rare, six-family brick brownstone blends old-world charm with contemporary elements to create a truly unique habitat in the heart of Hunters Point. Built in 1930, original design elements such as the bowed-front facade, woodwork and decorative plaster moldings mingle with updated, modern amenities. Each unit features its own electrical meter, as well as upgraded wiring throughout.

This three-story gem is convenient to local markets, subways, playgrounds and dog parks, and would make the perfect nest for young families.


Top five brunch spots in Astoria and LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page


With jaw-dropping city views and an impressive roster of fun weekend activities and outdoor events, Astoria and Long Island City have become premier summer destinations in the city.

Whether you’re enjoying a concert in Astoria Park, browsing the LIC Flea Market, exploring art at MoMA PS1 or sneaking a peek at some of the area’s amazing open houses, kick off your weekend by fueling up at one of the neighborhoods’ top brunch spots.

LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr., Long Island City
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This cozy eatery is part American bistro, part rustic general store, with exposed white brick walls, chalkboard menu and wooden, farmhouse-style bar. The menu at LIC Market is frequently updated according to season and freshness, with much of their produce picked within a day of serving.

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Brunch favorites include the slow roasted duck hash ($14), dirty rice frittata ($12) and buttermilk pancakes ($14) served with homemade berry jam, toasted pumpkin seed butter and maple syrup. For those seeking lighter fare, the ricotta and pignoli salad ($10) is a bounty of fresh arugula, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, orange slices and roasted shallot vinaigrette. Sip on the traditional mimosa ($8) or a cup of freshly brewed, organic coffee sourced from direct trade micro-lots and roasted in Long Island ($2).

LIC Market is also a purveyor of homemade delights, such as strawberry and black pepper jam, and roasted cashew butter, for sale in little glass jars and cans on its quaint general store shelves.

12-14 31st Ave., Long Island City
Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Bear

This LIC restaurant and bar was founded back in 2011 by Executive Chef and Owner Natasha Pogrebinsky, who blends culinary traditions from the family’s native Kiev, along with Ukrainian and traditional French cuisine, to create flavorful, innovative dishes.

The dill poached potatoes ($5) and beet salad ($5) reflect Pogrebinsky’s Eastern European roots. A $15 prix-fixe brunch menu offers chicken kiev and waffles, as well as hearty borscht with a side of garlic and egg buns. Summer brunch favorites include the chilled tomato gazpacho ($9), farmer’s market mixed greens ($9) and tomato and onion sunflower salad ($7). All of Bear’s produce is locally sourced from farms in New York and New Jersey, as well as handpicked by Chef Pogrebinsky on weekly trips to the Union Square Farmers Market.

Unlike traditional brunch libations, the bloody mary at Bear is a feast for the eyes and palette, complete with a slice of candied bacon, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, jumbo celery stalk, pickles, and hard-boiled egg and olive skewer ($9).

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria
Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

This specialty coffee shop and cider bar serves up delicious, flavorful brunch fare on weekends and special holidays. The Kickshaw’s ranchers’ eggs ($14) is a zesty mix of jalapeño cornbread, guacamole, pico de gallo and sunny side up eggs. Hungry Astorians in the mood to indulge would love the mac ‘n’ cheese ($12.50), a hearty blend of Gruyère, smoked mozzarella, French beans and caramelized onions.

The kitchen sink salad ($12.50) combines a colorful mix of mesclun greens, roasted red and golden beets, and sunchokes topped with blue cheese dressing. The decadent Mast Bros. Mocha ($5) or hot chocolate ($4.50) provides a sweet finish to this brunch outing. Espresso soda ($3.25) and cold-brewed iced coffee ($3.50) are refreshing options for warm summer mornings.

Sugar Freak
36-18 30th Ave., Astoria
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Midnight brunch: Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Astoria hot spot Sugar Freak specializes in festive, flavorful New Orleans fare served in a relaxed, homespun atmosphere.

Its brunch beignet sliders ($2 to $8) are a delightful mix of scrambled eggs with praline bacon and pimento cheese. The Sugar Freak breakfast ($14) is a generous platter of three eggs (any style) with homemade boudin sausage and grits in gravy with a biscuit. Waffle varieties range from sweet potato and cornbread to spicy Cajun-filled ($8) and are topped with your choice of specialty sauces, including bananas foster, chili honey, sweet and spicy condensed milk or raspberry (+ $3), oxtail grits ($15-18), chicken fried steak ($16) and the holy trinity ($16), a trifecta of fried oysters, shrimp and catfish, offer a unique spin on traditional brunch dishes. Pair them with the herb-infused green bloody mary ($10) or Creole lady marmalade, a potent gin martini with marmalade, orange liqueur and lemon.

Night owls who wish to indulge in brunch are in luck, as Sugar Freak offers a special midnight brunch to hungry late night crowds every Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

34-55 32nd St., Astoria
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m  to 4 p.m.
Monday from noon to midnight

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

This cozy gastro pub is known for serving up Welsh-inspired dishes two short blocks away from the famous Kaufman Astoria Studios and Museum of the Moving Image.

Snowdonia’s small brunch plates, or “platiau bach ac oer,” include the laverbread and bacon ($6), a welsh bread made from fresh “laver” or seaweed, lemon zest and oatmeal with bacon. The traditional Welsh rarebit ($9) is a rich, melted three cheese blend served on toasted baguette. Brunch entrees include shepherd’s pie ($16), leek bacon and egg pie ($12), brisket and eggs ($15), and the half English breakfast ($15) featuring two eggs any style with vegetarian baked beans, welsh banger and chorizo sausages. The sticky toffee bread pudding ($7) and bourbon brownie ($7) are sweet compliments to the savory fare.

In addition to an extensive menu of craft beer and cider, Snowdonia also features specialty cocktails like the Welsh 75 ($11), a blend of New Amsterdam gin, muddled raspberry, ginger cordial, mint and champagne float. Snowdonia’s brunch dishes are also available all day on Mondays, providing a great start to any week.


An inside look at LIC’s latest condo building The Corner

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces


With renters looking to put down roots, the demand for condominiums in Long Island City has skyrocketed. Hunters Point newcomer The Corner, located at 47-28 11th St., aims to answer the call. The newly constructed, seven-story building features 22 high-end one- and two-bedroom units selling in the mid-$600,000 range.

The project was spearheaded by Kora Developers LLC in partnership with BK Developers. The firm saw unlimited potential at the site of the former auto body shop when it first purchased the property two years ago.

Photo courtesy of Property Shark / Scott Binter

Photo courtesy of Property Shark / Scott Binter

The Corner, designed by Brooklyn-based architectural firm Zproekt, features 22 apartments, each outfitted with the latest amenities. The kitchens include Bosch appliances with Caeserstone countertops and backsplashes. Bathrooms boast Kohler tubs and Grohe finishes.

Select units have private terraces, while all feature hardwood oak flooring throughout. Other building amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a residents’ lounge, a bike room, private storage and a common sundeck. The Corner will also utilize Butterfly MX, a virtual doorman system operated via smartphone.

Long Island City-based real estate firm Modern Spaces, 47-42 Vernon Blvd., is overseeing the marketing and sales of units at The Corner. Units are currently available for viewing, with a move-in date for potential buyers slated for early 2016. For more information, click here.


Long Island City ‘suffering from the side effects of its very success’

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

It has been on the minds of Long Island City leaders for a while, and during the second annual LIC Summit on Tuesday it was brought to light during the first panel entitled “City within the City.”

“It” refers to the struggle to maintain balance between building new residential and commercial structures while keeping older manufacturing spaces, which traditionally form the backbone of Long Island City.

The Long Island City Partnership, which co-hosted the LIC Summit with The Queens Courier and brokerage Modern Spaces, was even awarded a $100,000 grant in January to conduct a planning study of the neighborhood that would, in part, find an answer to maintaining the balance. The study is still in its preliminary stages, so a solution has not yet been found.

“Like with the city as a whole, in some ways Long Island City is suffering from the side effects of its very success,” said Seth Pinsky, vice president of RXR Realty, during the panel in front of more than 300 professionals and leaders in the Museum of Moving Image.

Pinsky pointed out that high demand to move to Long Island City causes land valuations to surge to levels where only residential projects would make financial sense, which stifles commercial development. In turn, developers convert industrial buildings into offices and retail, displacing old manufacturing jobs that many city residents without higher education have relied on for a long time.

But Pinsky’s point was challenged by Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, who urged against preserving spaces for older manufacturing and looking toward jobs for companies of the future, such as 3-D printing firm Shapeways and other technology businesses. These would require higher levels of education, which institutions such as the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island would provide.

“The emotional pull of manufacturing as we think of it in the past, the good blue-collar jobs for a population that didn’t have Ph.D.s, is not the future of manufacturing,” Wylde said. “Robots are going to replace people in most manufacturing. It’s not going to be the same kind of job provider that it has been in the past.”

Pinsky disagreed partly and countered that some old sections of manufacturing will still be important for the “foreseeable future,” such as construction, warehousing and distribution, because they will provide necessary services for businesses in the city. He added that there is a feeling that areas in LIC could easily become zoned residential and many workers would lose jobs as businesses close or move.

The problem of finding balance in Long Island City could be answered with a rezoning. Some of the first panelists agreed that the current proposal to rezone certain sections of Long Island City for more high-rise housing has to be examined more closely by the City Planning Department.

“I think that this is an opportunity for us to strike that right balance and find the density for the affordable housing that the administration is looking for,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said, “but also preserve some of the things that are worth preserving.”

Industry leaders also talked about the future of transportation, tourism, culture, zoning and LIC as a home for business in ensuing panels at the event.

And infrastructure problems in LIC, such as lack of green spaces and the need for more schools, were discussed as well. Van Bramer even promised that they are looking for spaces for new schools.

With various art and cultural institutions, restaurants, entertainment venues and a hotel sector— which is currently up to 26 buildings but has more than two dozen more in the pipeline — many recognized that LIC has become a destination with incredible growth.

During her opening speech, Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, revealed renderings of LIC two years in the future after 10 new towers will be added to the growing skyline. The dramatic expansion shown through the image caused gasps from audience members.

“There is a lot on the way,” Lusskin said. “And we’re not talking 10 years, we’re talking two years.”


New Astoria rental building The Grove to open and start leasing this fall

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

Developer Tsilo Group is hoping to open and begin leasing in its new 62-unit Astoria rental building called The Grove this fall, according to representatives of Modern Spaces, which was chosen to exclusively handle marketing in the building.

The seven-story building at 30-40 21st St. will offer a mix of studios, one- and two-bedrooms apartments. The units will feature washers and dryers, maple hardwood floors, and kitchens with Italian cabinets and Caesarstone countertops. Amenities in the building include a gym, and a landscaped rooftop with lounges and sunbathing area.

Rental prices in the building have not been released yet, but average rental rates in the neighborhood are $2,395 per month for a studio, $2,588 for a one-bedroom and $3,393 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to data from Modern Spaces.

Those rates are much higher than those in most areas in the borough, but reflects the demand in the neighborhood due to its access to transportation, established commercial strips, diverse restaurants and entertainment venues, such as the Museum of the Moving Image and the Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall. Modern Spaces believes these community amenities will attract residents to The Grove.

“Astoria is a culturally diverse and established neighborhood with a true sense of community,” said Modern Spaces’ Greg Kyroglou, who will lead the marketing effort of the building. “The Grove will not only provide well-crafted homes to potential renters but also give them a chance to experience all that makes this area so special.”

A ton of new projects are planned for Astoria, including massive waterfront developments such as the Astoria Cove and Hallets Point plans.


Five smallest condos in Queens for sale  

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy StreetEasy and Modern Spaces

Condos are becoming more popular in western Queens neighborhoods, such as Long Island City and Astoria, as developers seek to maximize profits in a market with increasing land values and high construction costs.

In an effort to keep homes prices lower, developers are building smaller condos in buildings with more amenities and common spaces.

Studio condos are naturally smaller apartments and although these homes typically don’t offer enough space for families, it could be right for individuals or first-time homebuyers.

Here is a list of the five smallest condos on the market in Queens now, which was provided by the data team at StreetEasy.com. Not surprisingly, they are all studios in western Queens, and building amenities play a big role in the prices.

1. 14-43 28th Ave., #4B, Astoria

For: $329,000
Size: 400 square feet
Broker: Azure Realty NY LLC

This studio unit in The Astorian, a five-story, 10-year-old building with 38 units, comes with a private balcony, stainless steel appliances and — here’s the best part — a fold-up Murphy bed. It is a short walk away from the N and Q train station on 30th Avenue, which is approximately a 15-minute ride to Manhattan. The building also has a rooftop common space for events and barbecues with views of the neighborhood.

2. 25-40 Shore Blvd., #7, Astoria

For: $475,000
Size: 475 square feet
Broker: Markou Living LLC

Another studio in Astoria takes second place, but this apartment is in Shore Towers — a 23-floor, 407-unit amenity-laden building near the waterfront with views of Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The building comes with a fitness room, indoor pool, free parking, tennis courts, a 24-hour doorman, and a free shuttle bus to and from the Astoria Blvd. N and Q train station — making for a 20-minute commute to Manhattan. Not to mention, it is also close to Astoria Park. Not far away from the building, the Durst Organization is set to revitalize the area for its mega Hallets Point development, which could increase prices in the neighborhood as demand increases.

3. 11-25 45th Ave., #2H, Long Island City

For: $619,000
Size: 479 square feet
Broker: Modern Spaces

Although listed as having just 479 square feet, as a disclaimer, the actual size of this studio unit in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, is 946 square feet when including its massive balcony. The exterior space is the key to this home’s value. The owner of this unit will have the space to host get-togethers on this large private outdoor deck. The unit is in a six-story building called One Murray Park, which has 45 units. It is located across from Murray Playground and features a fitness center, a common roof deck, a library and bike storage. There is a variety of public transit lines nearby, including the G, E, M and 7 train lines at the Court Square subway station.

4. 44-27 Purves St., #6E, Long Island City

For: $519,000
Size: 484 square feet
Broker: Blu Realty Group

There are a few buildings under construction or planned for Purves Street, a dead-end strip off Jackson Avenue, such as a 35-story, eco-friendly rental with commercial space on the ground floor. But 44-27, a 14-story building with 64 units, was built nearly a decade ago on Purves Street before Long Island City became as hot as it is now. In 2006 the 6E unit was listed for about $262,000. In a telltale sign of how hot the neighborhood is, today it’s about double the price. The unit features a 50-square-foot balcony with large windows and has a washer and dryer hook-up. The building offers a range of amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, a gym, a sauna, a children’s playroom, a bike room and a roof deck. It is near the G, E, M and 7 train lines at the Court Square subway station.

5. 5-27 51st Ave., #4H, Long Island City

For: $605,000
Size: 490 square feet
Broker: Nest Seekers

The final condo on this list comes from the newest building. Five27, a five-story, 27-unit building in Long Island City, was completed in 2012. The unit features oak wood flooring and large windows for lots of natural light, and comes with a dishwasher and washer and dryer. Building amenities include a doorman, an outdoor common terrace, bike storage, a fitness center and a lounge for relaxing or hosting parties. Living in this unit would also put the owner close to Manhattan, which is one stop away on the 7 train.



Average Long Island City condo price nearing $900K

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Chart courtesy of Modern Spaces 

Prospective buyers of condos in Long Island City will need to have deep pockets — that are hopefully getting deeper.

With the heavy demand for condos in the burgeoning neighborhood, the price of a condo in the market crossed the $1,000 per square foot marker in the first quarter of the year, according to a report by broker Modern Spaces, which expects prices to continue to rise even higher.

Homebuyers pay an average of $877,778 for a condo in Long Island City now, according to the brokerage’s Q1 2015 Market Report.

“Long Island City home prices have been increasing steadily over the past few years,” said Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces. “The demand for new homes here remains strong and will continue to drive prices higher.”

Last year, no new condos came to the market, according to Benaim. But some condo buildings planned for construction will begin sales of units this year, bringing an influx of new inventory.

Modern Spaces recently announced the beginning of marketing for the 39 units in Liv @ Murray Park North at 11-35 45th Ave., and the 23 units at The Corner planned for 47-28 11th St.

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces

Liv @ Murray Park North

Specific prices in these buildings have yet to be announced, but representatives said studios will start in the $400,000s in Liv @ Murray Park North.

That will be a deal for prospective homeowners, since the average price for condominiums in LIC is $678,333 for a studio, $820,000 for a one-bedroom unit, and $1.1 million for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the report.


More condos coming to feed Long Island City’s needs

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces

Not long after starting marketing for the newest condo building in Long Island City, real estate brokerage firm Modern Spaces announced Thursday that it will soon begin marketing yet another condo in the hot neighborhood.

Liv @ Murray Park North, which is located at 11-35 45th Ave., will begin sales in June, feeding the growing demand for condos in LIC.

The project by George Xu, owner of Century Development, offers a mix of 39 luxury studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments in six floors. Prices will start around $400,000 in the Raymond Chan Architects-designed building, and residents can expect to start moving in by the end of the year.

“This new condo project further indicates that demand for permanent homes here continues to be high,” said Eric Benaim, Modern Spaces founder and CEO. “People not only want to be in Long Island City, but they want to put down roots here.”

The units at Liv @ Murray Park North will have luxury finishes such as hardwood flooring and electric radiant heated floors. Bathrooms will have porcelain tiles and kitchens will feature top brand-name appliances.

The building will have a range of amenities, including bike storage, free Wi-Fi in common areas, a fitness center, a social lounge in the lobby and a common rooftop. Also, parking will be available for residents.

Liv @ Murray Park North will be the first in a series of buildings by Century Development, which will include Liv @ Hart Street and Liv @ Murray Park South.


New LIC condo building to begin sales in May

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces 

Although the Long Island City real estate market is scorching hot with thousands of apartments planned, last year there were no new condo units available, said Eric Benaim, CEO of brokerage Modern Spaces.

Meanwhile, the demand for condos in the burgeoning area is climbing as more people desire to settle down in LIC after renting there for a while.

To meet demand, some planned LIC condos will come to the market this year, including a building called The Corner at 47-28 11th St., which Modern Spaces recently announced will begin selling next month.

“We are excited because we know there is a lot of demand for condos,” Benaim said. “What tends to happen is people get introduced to the area through the rentals then they live here for a while, and then they are ready to buy.”

The Corner has 23 units, which are a mix of one- and two-bedrooms. The homes feature chef kitchens and oak flooring, and some units have private outdoor space. The building also offers designer-style bathrooms with Kohler tubs, Grohe fixtures and ceramic titles.

Additionally, there are numerous amenities through The Corner, such as a fitness center, sundeck and residents’ lounge.

The condominium is being built through a joint venture partnership between Kora Developers LLC and BK Developers.

Prices for the condos have yet to be announced, and the building isn’t planned to be completed until later this year, so new homebuyers won’t be able to move in until at least the end of the year.


Former LIC cigar factory could be converted for residential use

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

Another old factory building in Long Island City is up for grabs and could see a residential conversion.

Real estate firm Modern Spaces announced on Thursday that its commercial properties division is marketing the former DeNobili Cigar Factory at 35-11 9th St. The four-story building was recently renovated and is “ideally positioned for residential conversion” being that the site is zoned for residential use, according to the real estate firm.

“The pace of development in Long Island City is showing no signs of slowing,” said Evan Daniel, executive vice president of Modern Spaces’ commercial division. “Not only does this property enjoy a current high occupancy, but with the R5 zoning and accessory lot, it holds a great deal of promise for a residential conversion.”

Daniel is marketing the property with Edward DiTomasso.

The building has a total of 102,670 square feet and was constructed in 1896. It has potentially attractive features if it were to be converted for residential use, including 20-foot ceilings, exposed beams, hardwood floors and arched windows.

The former cigar factory currently has 57 commercial units and two cell towers.

There is also an adjacent vacant lot connected to the site at 35-31 9th St., which has more than 6,000 buildable square feet.


Astoria Boulevard development site sold, will become new residential building

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

An Astoria development site was sold for $4.8 million and will be transformed into a residential building, according to real estate firm Modern Spaces.

The lot at 8-25 Astoria Blvd. offers up to 33,751 buildable square feet, the real estate firm said.

A Modern Spaces team of Evan Daniel, Edward DiTomasso and Alice Chan represented the buyer and seller. Daniel said the new owner has the intent to use the site for residential development.

The sale equates to about $142 per buildable square feet, which is much less than land values in nearby Long Island City.

Partly because of the lower land prices, Astoria has become a hot neighborhood for development. Not far from the site, the Hallets Point and Astoria Cove mega projects will bring about 4,000 units, and hundreds of other apartments are planned around the area.

“Northwest Astoria remains relatively undeveloped but with several major projects in the pipeline, this area contains some hidden jewels for developers both local and abroad,” said Daniel, executive vice president of the real estate firm’s commercial division. “With land values in neighboring Long Island City hovering around $250 per buildable square foot, some may actually view the price point of this property, and several around it, as a ‘bargain.’”


Multi-lot Court Square development site hits the market for $41.5M

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Modern Spaces

A seven-lot portfolio near the heart of the hot Court Square area in Long Island City is asking for $41.5 million, and will probably get that much or more soon.

A collection of six landlords are selling the two- and three-story townhouse buildings on the parcels, which are being marketing by Modern Spaces and The Corcoran Group.

The landlords combined the properties to maximize buildable rights. Together the site has about 11,145 square feet, and offers 167,000 buildable square feet, The Real Deal reported.

The portfolio of properties has only been on the market for three days and there have been offers around the asking price, said Evan Daniel, vice president at Modern Spaces. Three of the buildings are located on 45th Avenue at 23-10, 23-14, and 23-16. The remaining properties are at 45-03, 45-05, 45-07 and 45-09 23rd St.

The size and zoning of the site allows for many possible uses, and Daniel believes it could be great for a mixed-use structure.

“I think retail hasn’t really come yet to this area, but we all know it will come here. I think it would be good for this project,” Daniel said. “You can have a tremendous mixed-use project here with residential, office and retail.”

Because it is located across from One Court Square, also known as the Citibank Building, and near the mix of Court Square subway transit options, the location will be attractive to developers.

“One thing we know about this project is that location is second to none,” Daniel said.

23rd Street Properties

23rd Street properties


Large day care center coming to Arris Lofts in LIC

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

In the latest sign that Long Island City is becoming more and more family friendly, a new day care center will be moving into luxury condo building Arris Lofts, according to multiple sources.

The new day care center will fill 17,000 square feet of vacant space in the ground floor of the building at 27-28 Thomson Ave., which has about 237 residential units throughout eight floors. Sources confirmed the day care center signing, but couldn’t provide further details at this time about the lease or when the business plans to open.

The Long Island City area has seen an influx of residential development over the past few years, which has brought many families into the area, causing a need for facilities, such as day care centers, according to real estate experts in the neighborhood.

Within the past five years, there have been more than 4,000 residential units added to the area, said real estate firm Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim, and there are plans for about 10,000 more in the next five years.

“I think a day care center is much needed in that part of town,” Benaim said. “There are day care centers on the waterfront, but having one to serve the Court Square area is really good.”