Tag Archives: Queens real estate

City seeking developer for seven-acre plot near JFK

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYCEDC JFK North RFEI

A seven-acre vacant piece of land near John F. Kennedy Airport could be the future home of a new office or industrial complex as the city Economic Development Corporation is seeking investors interested in the site.

The city agency released a request for expressions of interest (RFEI), first spotted by the Commercial Observer, for developers looking to purchase or lease the land and then redevelop the site, which is located in Springfield Gardens.

The land is bounded to the north by Rockaway Boulevard, to the south by the Nassau Expressway and to the west the Federal Aviation Administration office building.

Although the city has been recently releasing information for many Queens sites for more housing opportunities, such as Sunnyside Yards or vacant plots in Jamaica, to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing goals, the EDC isn’t hiding the fact that this particular site should be for commercial or industrial uses.

“The project offers a unique opportunity to develop a commercial and or industrial building on a very large vacant parcel adjacent to the airport,” the NYCEDC said. “Given the site’s seven acres size, respondents have the opportunity to create a modern campus plan with industrial and or commercial programming that supports job-intensive uses and attracts both established and growing businesses.”

As a residential commuity, Springfield Gardens, where planes fly over resident’s heads non-stop, has suffered from airplane noise.  The area even had the worse housing selling rate in 2014.

But being so close to the major international gateway, Springfield Gardens contains one of the air cargo industry’s largest concentrations of custom brokers, freight forwarders, and numerous other airport related industrial facilities, according to the RFEI, meaning the possible new complex could continue to expand the boom industry already in place.

Developers have until May 4 to send proposals for the site.


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.


The key could be the key to selling your property

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Minas Styponias


More often than not, real estate agents receive a tremendous amount of resistance when asking for keys to show a property for rent or for sale.

Owners who resist often find themselves and their properties being the ones that languish for longer periods of time on the market. As we all know, buyers and renters alike come in all shapes, sizes and forms and have varying schedules.

Providing a trusted real estate agent with keys not only improves your prospects of having your property rented or sold in a more swift manner, but it also provides the real estate agent with an additional tool with which to afford all buyers and renters necessary accessibility.

Allowing a prospective client to see things at a point in time when they are available is a very empowering thing for the agent and his overall morale with regards to servicing your needs. Nothing is more debilitating than having a client come in with the exact requirements of a listing you have available only to be unable to show them the listing due to lack of access. Oftentimes this can result in a client moving on to the next available property or seeking real estate services from another agent. In either instance the resulting outcome is that the listing suffers.

Most owners are reluctant because they feel uneasy about having “strangers” enter their home without them present. This is why it is suggested that owners only provide keys to trusted agents, who provide them with their New York Department of State-issued Real Estate License upon request. The license is issued through the Department of State only to individuals who have met and sustained the necessary requirements for licensing within the state of New York. Individuals who have this card are bound not only by their fiduciary duties, but also by the legal ramifications, which are attached to their license should a complaint be filed against them. Individuals like me who practice real estate as a profession and not a hobby take great pride in not only maintaining their status but also in presenting their status to inquiring landlords and owners.

So do yourself and your listing a favor and give your trusted real estate professional keys to access your property. It will not only strengthen your possibilities of meeting your real estate needs but will also strengthen your relationship with the real estate professional you have chosen to represent you.

It’s a key to success!


Minas Styponias


What to know about Queens rents in January

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate

Overall most Queens renters didn’t see much of a change in rates from December to January as prices increased just 0.21 percent to $2,103.96.

However, select areas experienced more significant changes, revealing important neighborhood trends, according to data from MNS Real Estate’s January Queens Rental Market Report.

It’s back over $4,000

The most expensive rents for studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments can be found in Long Island City, as is the norm. But in January, the average rents of two-bedroom apartments in Long Island City climbed over the $4,000 mark for the first time since May of 2014 to an average of $4,044, according to the report. After hitting a low of $3,747 in June of 2014, prices fluctuated for a few months before slowly rising toward the end of the year.

A bargain in Jackson Heights  

Tenants paid about an average of $1,514 for rental studios in Forest Hills in January, which is 6.62 percent less than the previous month and the largest percent drop that month. It was a significant decline in rates, but renters looking for a bargain should focus on Jackson Heights studios, where prices are $114 less at an average of $1,400 per month. Of the neighborhoods analyzed in the borough in January, Jackson Heights has the lowest prices for studios.

Rocketing Rego Park

Rego Park is continuing its hot streak. Average prices in the neighborhood are continuing to burn through residents’ wallets as new luxury units recently entered the market. For the month of January, average prices for two-bedrooms in the neighborhood rose a whopping 17.1 percent during the month to $2,598. From November to December 2014, Rego Park rental studios saw an stark increase of 12 percent in average rents.


Click here to read the full report.


FreshDirect selling mega LIC facility ahead of Bronx move

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

As online grocer FreshDirect is getting ready to pack up and exit Long Island City, the company is listing its massive Queens waterfront facility for sale.

FreshDirect has hired Cushman & Wakefield to sell its facility at 23-30 Borden Ave. ahead of its move to the South Bronx, which was approved last year.

The grocer bought the facility in 1999 and is hoping to sell and then lease back the property from the new owners for about a year while it begins to wind down operations in Queens.

The manufacturing and storage complex is in high demand because of recent trends in city real estate, according to Bob Knakal, chairman of New York Investment Sales for Cushman & Wakefield, who is heading marketing for the property with David Chkheidze.

“In recent years, the progression of the New York City real estate market has exerted upward pressure on the value of repositioning the city’s once-thriving industrial, warehouse and manufacturing properties,” Knakal said. “As a result, the demand for this product type has never been greater and continues to attract the attention of a rapidly transforming distribution industry.”

The building has about 276,705 square feet of space and 406,552 buildable square feet under current zoning regulations.


Citigroup selling huge LIC development site

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


Citigroup, which is known for building One Court Square — the city’s tallest building outside Manhattan — is looking to sell a massive development site near the tower, according to a published report.

The nearly one-acre development site in Long Island City, which takes up about half a block and is bounded by 44th Road, 23rd Street and 44th Drive, is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The lot has up to 780,000 buildable square feet and could sell for as much as $150 million, according to the New York Times.

Current zoning at the site allows for it to be developed into a mixed-use building with space for residential, retail, hotel or office space.


Selling Point: Retail property in Jackson Heights fetches $16.4 million and more sales

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark

A couple of buildings located on the Jackson Heights commercial strip and an apartment building with nearly 50 units in Flushing are some of this week’s big transactions in the borough, based on city records.

Address: 37-46/48 82nd St./37-50 82nd St.
Price: $16,425,000

A group of investors bought these adjoining commercial properties at 37-46 through 37-50 82nd St. for $16.7 million. Clark Stores Inc., a firm based in Manhattan, is the seller. Jackson Heights Retail LLC, one of the buyers, now has a majority stake in the buildings, according to property records filed on Thursday. The larger two-story building at 37-46 82nd St. was once home to a women’s apparel store called Clark’s and later a KB Toys before the company went out of business. Combined, the buildings, which have two floors each, have more than 12,400 square feet of space. The property is part of the Jackson Heights Historic District.

Address: 41-40 Parsons Blvd.
Price: $10,750,000

This corner property is a six-story multi-family rental apartment building in Flushing with 48 units. There is a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments in the building. There is more than 44,000 square feet of living space in the structure, which is a few blocks from Main Street. Wai Realty Corp. bought the property for $10.7 million from Bronx-based Bright & Sunny Corp., according to city records filed on Friday.

Address: 48-05 Metropolitan Ave. 
Price: $7,000,000

WM Capital Partners XXV LLC bought this old manufacturing-zoned building in Ridgewood for $7 million, according to records filed on Feb. 17. The building has nearly 141,000 square feet of space.


New Edgemere residential building revealed

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP 

Architects of a new mixed-use residential building in Edgemere released a rendering of the building, which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development recently filed applications to construct.

The project will be an eight-story, 101-unit residential and commercial building on a vacant lot at 45-05 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP is the architect and GDSNY designed the façade, which has a sleek, modern look with metallic features.

The project will dedicate 93,491 square feet for living space and nearly 500 square feet for commercial space, according to filings with the Buildings Department. And there will be a total of 35 parking spaces at the residence.


Developer unveils rendering of huge mixed-use Astoria building

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of MNS Real Estate 

Developers of a large mixed-use residential and commercial project in Astoria unveiled the first rendering of what the project will look like once it is completed.

The parking lot at 31-57 31st St., which was recently purchased for $17.35 million, will become a seven-story, 114-apartment building designed by SLCE Architects. The building is set to open in 2016.

The construction plans include nearly 23,000 square feet for retail and more than 130 parking spots, according to a published report.

The new development, which will be marketed by MNS Real Estate, will contain a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.


Developing Queens: How investors are looking at the borough

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Berko & Associates is a 9-year-old New York City-based investment real estate brokerage firm that specializes in investment sales, structured finance and advisory. The firm focuses on the five boroughs and the surrounding Tri-State area, and closed with more than $340 million in financing and sales in 2014. Queens native Alan Simonowitz, a director in the firm and a 26-year industry veteran, spoke with real estate editor Liam La Guerre about the firm’s recent actions in the borough and how they look at the area.  

La Guerre: Looking back at the investment your firm made in financing the Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City, what do you think of what it has become?

Simonowitz: Well, it’s been a great investment. We like the hotel that we see. We arranged the financing for it but the hotel has been very successful. We financed it twice. Once, we did a bridge loan, which functioned as a construction loan for the hotel developer, and once he completed the renovation and opened up, we got him permanent financing. And the hotel is doing very well. The debt on the permanent financing is being paid every month—it’s a success story.

La Guerre: It kind of reflects the ability of what can be done in Queens now that the market is hot, right?

Simonowitz: Absolutely. Long Island City is one of the strong markets in Queens, but all of Queens right now is heating up.

It’s only been very recently that everybody is opening their eyes to Queens. Longtime residents like myself know this, but it’s actually a very convenient place to live. It’s a great jumping off point to go out east to Long Island, to go north to upstate, and there is easy access with public transportation into Manhattan.

La Guerre: And as people make this discovery, it attracts more investors to the borough, much like the case of the rental building called The Roosevelt in Jackson Heights, which your firm was able sell for about $20 million. Before that it was supposed to be condos, but that wasn’t working out right. So what happened?

Simonowitz: We got to the property just when the original developer had it about 98 percent built. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with it, whether he wanted to go condo or he wanted to have a rental building, but he had a 421a (tax abatement incentive) on the building. We had a very intelligent buyer come in and [see] the opportunity, especially the fact that it was by the No. 7 train. He finished the building, and took over and got $43-per-square-foot rents on average for that building, which is a record for the area.

La Guerre: In terms of the approach to Queens, how has that changed within the nine years that your firm has been investing? Is there a realization now that there are some good deals that can be made here?

Simonowitz: Absolutely. We actually brought in someone who is concentrating in Queens right now. As a broker you go where you think the inflow is and where you think the buyers are going. We are a function of what the market place is. And we clearly realized that Queens has heated up. Everyone now knows about Astoria and Long Island City, but the whole corridor through Forest Hills to Rego Park is heating up.

La Guerre: You’re marketing a building right now in Ridgewood, an area that’s seeing some change as well in the market. How do you view that neighborhood?

Simonowitz: There is a lot of demand for development opportunities, which is a little bit more difficult because Ridgewood is a little bit older area in Queens. It’s denser than some of the other areas. So whenever we are finding opportunities in Ridgewood there is very strong interest, because of its proximity to Manhattan, it’s an established neighborhood, and people like the shopping on Myrtle Avenue.

La Guerre: Is there is an area in Queens that you wouldn’t seek to invest in?

Simonowitz: There is no area that we wouldn’t look at all. All areas make sense at a given level.

A simonowitz

Photo courtesy of Alan Simonowitz


Medical company moving to Jackson Heights Shopping Center

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Muss Development and Scott Bintner/PropertyShark 

The newly renovated Jackson Heights Shopping Center is filling in another vacant slot.

Jackson Heights Cardiovascular Associates, a firm that offers cardiovascular imaging, ultrasound and medical billing, among other services, signed a 10-year lease for a 13,780-square-foot space in the recently revitalized shopping complex. Bill Bergman, of Muss Development, represented the company in the deal and Brian Jaffe, of DY Realty Services LLC, represented the new tenant.

The medical company is moving from its old location in the neighborhood to the shopping center because of its need to expand. Its new office will take up the entire second floor of the renovated section of the center and it is expected to open within the next couple of months.

“Jackson Heights Cardiovascular Associates’ new space will feature an open layout to accommodate their multifaceted business and fulfill their growing need for more office space,” Muss Development Principal Jason Muss said.

Night shot

Following the completion of renovations last year, pet store giant Petco moved into a 13,500-square-foot space in the 142,274-square-foot shopping center.

Jackson Heights Shopping Center has about two dozen retail and office tenants and is anchored by Rite Aid, Waldbaum’s and Santander Bank.


New residential and commercial building coming to Edgemere 

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map via Google 

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development filed applications with the Buildings Department to construct an eight-story, 101-unit mixed-use residential and commercial building on a vacant lot in Edgemere.

The project will dedicate 93,491 square feet to living space and nearly 500 square feet of commercial space.

There will be a total of 35 parking spaces at the residence, which will be designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and located at 45-05 Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Renderings of the project, called Edgemere West, can be found on the architect’s website.


City accepting proposals to develop NYPD parking garage in downtown Jamaica

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/PropertyShark 

Even more development is coming to Jamaica—this time on the site of a police department parking garage.

Not long after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pledge to focus on creating more housing with his State of the City address, the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) officially announced a request for proposals to develop hundreds of market rate and affordable units out of an NYPD parking garage in downtown Jamaica.

The 59,500-square-foot site at 93rd Avenue and 169th Street could also include ground-floor retail, according to the EDC, which set an April 30 deadline for developers to submit plans for the lot. Of course the project is consistent with de Blasio’s goal to build and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units in 10 years.

The two-story garage is currently used by cops, and will have to be entirely demolished to construct the new project, according to the EDC. But it’s a price the city is willing to pay for more housing.

“The 168th Street garage site holds powerful potential to serve the Jamaica neighborhood with affordable housing and other amenities, while building upon the area’s strengths as a commercial, cultural and transit hub,” said EDC President Kyle Kimball.

Police vehicles will have to be “accommodated” in order to redevelop the site, the EDC said.

Photo courtesy of NYCEDC

Photo courtesy of NYCEDC

The development could create 400 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs, the EDC said, and would add another project to the dizzying amount of construction coming to Jamaica near the downtown spurred by under-utilized lots, cheap land prices, high traffic and access to a massive transportation hub.

This includes Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) giving its twin parking lots near 90th Avenue and 168th Street to Blumenfeld Development Group for a jumbo mixed-use residential and commercial project, with more than 265,000 square feet of space.

The GJDC is also working on a $225 million, 29-story residential and commercial tower across from the AirTrain and LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard.

Not far away on Sutphin Boulevard, Able Management Group is constructing a 210-key hotel, and nearby York College has 3.5 acres of on-campus land that could be home to new companies that want to move into the area to partner with the institution through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP NY tax-break program.

TCX Development’s seven-story luxury rental building on Hillside Avenue is nearing completion, and some major properties have also hit the market or were recently sold, including a $22 million sale of a huge garage and commercial strip at 163-05 and 163-25 Archer Ave. There are already plans to develop the property into a housing and retail mix, according to a published report.

Also, the Jamaica Colosseum Mall, which was formerly a Macy’s department store, also hit the market for an astounding $45 million.

And finally, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development recently announced that it is accepting plans from developers for 17 vacant city-owned sites in Jamaica to create more affordable housing.


Durst Organization buys final lot for Hallets Point mega project

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Image and renderings courtesy of Lincoln Equities  

Real estate firm Durst Organization finally has ownership of the last piece of the Hallets Point property puzzle and can now move forward with the 2.5-million-square-foot project.

The company paid $15 million for the parcel of land at 1-02 26th Ave. in Astoria, according to city records. The property is needed for the $1.5 billion Queens waterfront project.


Last year, Durst paid $130 million to take control of the project from Lincoln Equities, according to The Real Deal.

When completed, Hallets Point will have 2,400 market-rate and affordable apartments. Together with the nearby Astoria Cove mega project, the two developments will bring about 4,000 units into the Astoria waterfront.


Hillary Clinton looking in Queens for campaign office space: report

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Media Commons 

Potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may set up an office in the “World’s Borough.”

Staffers for the former secretary of state and first lady are working with international real estate firm CBRE to find a campaign headquarters, which will most likely be in Queens or Brooklyn, according to a published report.

Clinton, a former U.S. senator, is considering the borough because of its lower rental prices compared to Manhattan, according to TIME.

It’s not certain when Clinton will pick her office. Although considered the front runner by a wide margin for the Democratic nomination, she has yet to declare her candidacy.