Queens NY Large Transactions Report – 7 Highlighted Sales

Written by Rubin S. Isak
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Below I will outline 7 of the most recent commercial/investment transactions in the Queens Market above $10M:

1. 2410-2420 29th Street, Astoria – Three (3), 4-story, walk-up apartment buildings across one lot built in 1924. The entire portfolio comprises of 25,000 SF and 27 Residential Units. The buildings sold on April 5, 2017 for $11,375,000. The purchaser also took out a mortgage in a total amount of $6,000,000 from Ridgewood Savings Bank on this property. The sales price equates to $421,296/unit and $455/sf. The reported capitalization rate on this transaction was roughly 3.7%. The purchaser is a private investor based out of Astoria. The seller is based out of Manhattan. This portfolio also traded hands less than 3 years ago in July of 2014 for $7,250,000. A 36.3% return for the sellers in 3-years. Not bad; but not unusual in the borough any longer.
2. 64-01 Woodside Avenue, Woodside – A newly constructed, 6-Story Elevator apartment building comprising of 26,252 SF with 27 Residential units, community facility on the ground floor and 14 Parking Spaces. The property sold on April 27, 2017 for $14,500,000 to a private investor based out of Flushing. The sales price equates to $537,037/unit and $552/SF. The purchaser also took out a mortgage from Clifton Savings Bank for $10,875,000 on this property. The seller, also a developer, purchased the land in 2010 from The Central Presbyterian Church of Manhattan for $1.98M
3. 196-11 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica – A 6-building, 45,000 SF garden apartment portfolio comprising of 100 Residential units. This property sold on April 25, 2017 for $15,275,000 to a private investor based out of Hempstead. The sellers are private investors based out of Manhattan. The sales price equates to $152,750/unit and $339/SF. The reported capitalization rate on this transaction was approximately 4.8%. The sellers purchased this portfolio in December of 2015 from the Stark family, who owned it for over 50 years, for $12.1M.
4. 22-43 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City – This corner site is currently improved by a 6,400SF 1-story office building. The lot size is 164’ x 82.42’ Irregular; or 16,968 SF. It is situated in a R7X, C2-5, M1-4/R6B, LIC Zone. The total buildable SF is reported to be 75,360 Buildable SF, as of right. It sold on May 1, 2017 for $23,000,000 to a private investor based out of Manhattan. The sellers were based out of Long Island City. The sales price on this development site equates to $305/Buildable SF. The purchasers also took out a mortgage for $12M on this site. It is reported that an 11-Story, 120,000SF, 70-unit apartment building will be built on this site. (bringing the price per buildable SF down to $191/bsf)
5. 138-10 135th Avenue, South Ozone Park – Crowne Plaza JFK Hotel – This 233,210SF, 335 Room hotel sold on April 21, 2017 for $58,070,000. The purchasers are private investors based out of Manhattan. The sellers based out of Manhattan also, purchased this back in January 2012 for $16.45M. The purchasers took out a mortgage for $40.5M on this transaction.
6. 132-40 & 133-21 Sanford Avenue, Flushing NY – Portfolio sale. 132-40 Sanford Avenue is an 83,430SF, 6-Story, elevator apartment building with 94 Residential Units. 133-21 Sanford Avenue is a 74,007SF, 6-Story, elevator apartment building with 88 apartments. The combined portfolio comprises 182 Residential units across 157,437 SF. The portfolio traded for $57,600,000. The sales price equates to $316,483/Unit and $365/SF. The purchasers are Manhattan based investors. The sellers are based out of New Jersey. (The sellers purchased these 2 buildings as part of a 6 property portfolio back in December of 2015 for $138m. The subject properties comprised of $31.25m of the $138m portfolio price)
7. 95-25 Queens Boulevard, Rego Park – An 11-Story, 357,760 Square Foot Office Building with Retail on the Ground level. This property encompasses the entire block and Sold on March 28, 2017 for $139,874,900 to Fidelis Care, also a tenant in the building. The sales price equates to $391/SF. The seller is The Lefrak Organization, who developed this building in 1975.

We continue to see record breaking data metrics on the sale of commercial/investment property in the Borough of Queens. As always, I will continue to keep you posted on this sub-market.

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Astoria/Long Island City Transactions Report | Investment Property Sales

Written by Rubin S. Isak, President & Founder | Goldenwood Property Advisors
As published in the New York Real Estate Journal
NYREJ Link to Article is here: http://bit.ly/astorialic [http://bit.ly/astorialic]
Below I will highlight details on the most recent Astoria & Long Island City commercial
& investment property sales:

  1. 18-31 42nd Street, Astoria – Sold on November 2, 2016 for $2,700,000. The subject property is a 7,180 square foot warehouse + office building situated on a 100′ x 100′ lot. It is located on 42nd Street between 19th Avenue and Berian Street in Astoria, NY. The seller, Lorenzo Devardo, purchased the building in April 2007 for $730,000. The purchaser is Barry McKenna based out of Astoria. The purchase price equates to $376/SF.
  2. 23-08 Newtown Avenue, Astoria(“Newtown Hall”)- Sold on November 1, 2016 for $21,500,000. The subject property is a 47,636 Square Foot, 58-Unit, 4-Story, Walk-up Apartment building. It is located on the corner of Newtown Avenue and 23rd Street. The Sellers, The Partridge Family, owned the building for over 38 years. The Purchaser is Jorge Bolanos based out of Garden City, NY. The sales price equates to $370,689/Unit and $451/SF. The Gross Rent Multiple is approximately 18.7X and the Capitalization Rate was roughly 3%.
  3. 2818-2822 Steinway Street, Astoria – Sold on November 4, 2016 for $12,500,000. The subject property is a 24,600 Square Foot, 4-Story + Cellar, Elevator Office Building with Ground Floor Retail and Bank space. The seller, Malachite Group based out of Mineloa, purchased this building in March 2006 for $7,450,000. The Purchaser is  Criterion Group, based out of Long Island City. The sales price equates $508/SF.
  4. 2533-2544 Broadway, Long Island City – Sold on November 1, 2016 for $7,250,000. The subject property is a 4-unit, single-story 10,000 square foot retail building situated on a 100′ x 100′ lot. The property is in a R6A/C2-3 zoning district, giving this property 30,000 Buildable Square Feet on a ground up development. The sales price equates to $725/SF Existing and $241/Buildable SF. The sellers, Steinway Holding Corp, owned the property for over 33 years. The Purchaser is Allen Rosenberg of the Alrose Group based out of Manhattan. UPDATE: This property traded again on Nov 29, 2016 for $12,500,000 to Pan Metron LLC, based out of Bayside, NY. This sales price equates to $1,250/SF and $416/Buildable SF.
  5. 32-84 Steinway Street, Astoria – Sold on November 1, 2016 for $7,250,000. The subject property is a corner, 8,420 square foot, single-story, 4-unit retail building. The lot is 105′ x 98′ and is situated in a C4-2A zone, boasting 28,350 Buildable Square Feet for a ground of development. The sales price equates to $861/SF existing and $255/Buildable SF. The sellers, Steinway Holding Corp, owned the property for over 40 years. The Purchaser is Allen Rosenberg of the Alrose Group based out of Manhattan.
  6. 36-36 38th Street, Long Island City – Sold on November 3, 2016 for $3,200,000. The subject property is an 8,375 Square Foot building on a 7,500 Square Foot Lot. The sellers have owned the building since 1983. The Purchasers are based out of Manhattan. The sales price equates to $382/SF.
  7. 27-47 Crescent Street, Astoria – Sold on October 17, 2016 for $8,500,000. The subject property is 2-story, 20,000 square foot Medical Office Building. The sales price equates to $425/SF. The sellers have owned the property for over 23 years. The Purchasers, RockFarmer Capital is based out of Douglaston, NY.
  8. 22-11 Steinway Street, Astoria – Sold on November 17, 2016 for $2,300,000. The subject property is located between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue. It is a 3 Story, 4,200 Square Foot, Mixed-use building containing 5 Apartments and 1 Store. The sales price equates to $547/SF, 21.8X the Gross Rent and a Capitalization Rate of 3.54%.The property has been family owned for over 50 years. The Purchaser is Peter Giannopoulos based out of Whitestone, NY.

Astoria and Long Island City property is selling at all-time record highs, with
no slowdown in sight: 3% cap rates (some sales even at sub 3% cap levels); Price
Per buildable square foot for land is selling at mid to high $200’s and even in
the $300+/Buildable SF range; We are seeing record breaking Price Per SF & Price
Per Unit numbers as well. To say this is a strong market is an understatement. Investors
continue to put their money to work here. The proof is in the numbers.

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Recent Transactions Report | Queens NY

Below I will highlight the details for some of the first investment property sales this year in Queens, NY:

1. 2101-2119 31st Street in Astoria is a corner property improved by three (3), contiguous, single-story retail buildings containing nine (9) retail stores. I sold this for $16,050,000 in an all cash transaction. We closed on January 13, 2016. With 225 feet of retail frontage, this sales price equates to $790.25/SF. The purchasers were Rockfarmer Properties.

2. 41-29 41st Street in Sunnyside is a pre-war, 50-Unit, 40,800 SF, 6-story, elevator apartment building. The property sold for $14,700,000 and closed on January 21, 2016. The purchaser was Albion Grove LLC from Woodside, Queens. The sales price equates to a healthy $294,000/unit and $360.29/SF.

3. 142-20 Franklin Avenue in Flushing, aka “The Fairmont”, is a 129,304 SF, 145 Unit apartment building, between Kissena Boulevard and Bowne Street. The property, built in 1970, sold for $43,000,000 on January 11, 2016. The purchaser is The Pinnacle Group based in Manhattan. 142-20 was family owned for over 46 years. The sales price equates to $296,551/Unit and $334/SF.

4. A package of 39 Unsold Cooperative Units located in 107-40 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, aka “Lane Towers”, was sold for $7,095,000 and closed on January 7, 2016. Of the 39 Units in the package, 23 are studios, 13 are one-bedrooms and 3 are two-bedrooms. 19 are Free market units and 20 are Rent Stabilized.

5. 19-40 Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood is a 25,234 SF Warehouse located between Metropolitan Avenue and Woodward Avenue. The property sold on February 9, 2016 for $10,500,000. The sales price equates to $416/SF. The purchaser is Brooklyn based, Tri-Boro Shelving & Partition Corp.

6. 149-19 Union Turnpike in Flushing is a 6-Store, 6,470 SF retail strip center. The property sold for $4,100,000 on January 27, 2016. The seller purchased the property back in November 2013 for $2,525,000. The sales price of $4.1m equates to $633/SF. The purchaser is 149-19 Union Tpke Realty LLC, based in Great Neck.

7. 71-44 160th Street in Fresh Meadows is a 5-Story Elevator, 10,882 SF, 10-Unit condo building built in 2006. It sold for $3,750,000 on January 12, 2016.

8. 149-46 41st Avenue in Flushing is a 5,694 SF, 3-Story, Mixed-use property. It sold for $4,200,000 on January 6, 2016. This sales price equates to $737.62/SF. The purchasers are private investors also based in Flushing.

9. 43-55 11th Street in Long Island City sold on January 4, 2016 for $2,225,000. The property is a 3-Story mixed-use building with approximately 3,889SF. The seller, Animal Rescue of Queens, Inc, bought this building for $1.4m in September 2014. The building was purchased by an adjacent property owner, J & B Realty, LLC.

10. 73-09 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale sold on January 7, 2016 for $1,650,000. The 3-Story, Elevator, Office Building boasts 7,000SF. The purchaser was a private investor from Whitestone.

11. 30-76 37th Street in Astoria is a 3,600 SF, 3-Story apartment building with 6-units. The building sold on January 13, 2015 for $1,750,000. The purchaser is a Manhattan based investor. The sales price equates to $291,666/Unit and $486/SF.

12. 60-07 Northern Boulevard in Woodside sold on January 29, 2016 for $2,000,000. The property is a 2,500sf lot used as a parking lot. Currently zoned, R5. The purchaser is a Long Island City based contractor. The seller bought the lot back in June 2008 for $200,000.

13. 43-04 30th Avenue in Astoria is a 5,570 SF, 3-story, mixed-use building. The property sold on January 27, 2016 for $2,400,000. 43-04 30th Avenue has been family owned for over 43 years. The property has 2 stores on the ground floor and 6 apartments above.

14. 41-05 Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside is a Corner, pre-war, 10,100 SF, 4-story walk-up apartment building containing 16 Apartments. This property traded on January 27, 2016 for $4,300,000. This sales price equates to $268,750/Unit and $425.74/SF. This property was family owned for over 42 years. The purchaser is a private investor based out of Whitestone.

15. 62-60 99th Street in Rego Park, aka “Saxon Hall” is a 16-Story, 503,000 SF, 420 Unit Elevator Apartment Complex. This property is under contract to sell for a reported $135,000,000. The sales price will equate to $321,428/Unit and $268/SF. This is the 3rd sale of this building since 2008 when it sold for $74M. The second sale was for $85.25M in June of 2013. The purchasers are Madison Realty Capital.

16. 4111-4117 Crescent Street in Long Island City, aka “The Crescent Club” is a 150,000 SF, 17-Story, Luxury elevator apartment building containing 130 units and a 6,000SF ground floor retail. The property, built in 2011, boasts a pool, rooftop lounge and parking garage. The property traded for $97,000,000. This sales price equates to a 4.5% cap rate, $646.66/SF and $746,153/Residential unit. The purchaser is Weiss Realty. The sellers are Bonjour Capital.

17. 30-90 14th Street in Astoria is a 4-Story, 17-Unit, Walk-up Apartment building built in 1907. It traded on February 1, 2016 for $4,800,000. The purchase price equates to $282,352/Unit and $405/SF. The seller bought the building back in 2008 for $2M. The purchaser is a private investor based out of Astoria.

This was a very active 1st two months for the Borough. As always, I will keep you posted to who is buying, who is selling, what new developments are rising and any new zoning initiatives, etc… Knowledge is power. Stay tuned.

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Major Transactions Report | Neighborhood Focus: Astoria

Below I will highlight the details of several building transactions. The following sales have occurred in the 3rd and 4th Quarters of this year, in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York.

1. 43-20 Astoria Boulevard is a gas station located on the corner of 44th Street and Astoria Blvd South. The lot is approximately 11,914 SF. The site traded on October 7, 2015 for $5,350,000. The seller is Astoria investor and the purchaser is located in College Point.

2. 30-27 Steinway Street is a 2-story, 5,740 SF Retail building located on Steinway Street between 30th and 31st Avenues. The building sold for $4,100,000 on November 18, 2015. The seller purchased this building in 2007 for $3,150,000.

3. 27-11 30th Avenue is a C1-3/R6A/R6B zoned 50’ x 104’ lot with over 15,500 SF of buildable SF. The site is located between 27th and 28th Street; one block away from Crescent Street. It traded for $4,300,000 on October 26, 2015. This healthy sales price equates to $275/Buildable SF. The buyer is an Astoria based contractor.

4. 21-13 31st Avenue is a 11,000SF Garage building on a 50’ x 143’ Lot. The site is in a R6A zone, giving this lot approximately 21,450 buildable sf. The property traded on October 20 2015 for $7,050,000. This sales price equates to roughly $328/Buildable SF. The purchaser is a New Hyde Park based contractor.

5. 25-34 36th Street is a 4-story, 7,151SF, apartment building built in 2007, with 8 free market units. The property is located between Astoria Boulevard South and 28th Avenue. It sold on September 16, 2015 for $3,400,000. The sales price equates to 16.6X Gross Rent, a 5.28% Capitalization Rate, $475/SF and $425,000/unit.

6. 24-39 28th Street is a 4-story, 8,355 Sq. Ft., 9-family walk-up apartment building. The building is located between 24th Avenue and Hoyt Avenue North. It sold for $2,175,000 on September 24, 2015. Both the seller and buyer are local investors.

7. 30-68 37th Street is a 3,600 SF., 3-story, 6-unit, walk-up apartment building. The property sold for $1,820,000 on September 30, 2015. The purchaser is a private investor from Maspeth. The sales price equates to $505/SF and $303,000/unit.

8. 30-16 Steinway Street sold for $1,725,000 in August 10 of this year. Three months later, on November 16, 2015, the property changed hands again; this time for $2,450,000. A $725,000 increase 90 days! The property is a 3,625SF, 2-Story, mixed-use building between 30th Avenue and 31st Avenue.

9. 30-14 Steinway Street sold for $3,300,000 on November 2, 2015. The property has 30 feet of frontage on Steinway Street and is a 6,930SF, 3-Story mixed-use building. The owner financed $2.45M of this purchase.
Along with these sales, Astoria has seen a steady stream of new development projects. I will touch on the most recent filings below: (November 2015)

1. The owners of 30-11 12th Street, located on the corner of 30th Avenue, have just filed plans for a 31,743 SF, 5-Story apartment building. They are looking to build 38 apartments and 24 enclosed parking spaces.

2. At 31-10 28th Road, the developer has filed plans to construct a 12,693 SF, 5-Story apartment building with 18 residential units. The development will also have 6 enclosed parking spaces.

3. Developers are proposing an 8-Story, Mixed-use project on their site at 21-07 Astoria Boulevard. They are calling for 37,995 SF of residential and 9,017 SF of commercial space for a total of 47,012 SF. The site will have 55 apartments and 28 enclosed parking spaces.

4. At 30-63 31st Street, the owners have filed plans to erect a 22,763 SF, 7-Story Mixed-use Building. 7,116 SF of that will be commercial; 515 SF will be used as community facility and 15,131 SF will be used for residential. There will be 23 apartments along with thirteen enclosed parking spaces.

5. A new Hotel has been planned for 37-17 12th Street. The site is located in a M1-3 (light manufacturing) district. The owners have filed to erect a 25,040SF, 11-Story, 77-unit, transient hotel.

With higher apartment and retail rental rates, higher price per SF and land prices than we have seen ever before, Astoria is, and I believe, always will be one of the strongest real estate markets in the 5 Boroughs.

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Sellers Capitalizing on a Robust Investment Real Estate Market in Queens

Below I will touch on recent sales that will explore when the seller purchased the property and for how much; I will also detail what the new owner has paid for the property. As you will see, the pure profits that sellers are realizing in this market are record breaking:

1. 75-10 Grand Central Parkway in Forest Hills is a 20,220 Sq. Ft., 36-unit Elevator Apartment Building that sold on August 25, 2015 for $8,600,000. The seller purchased this building in December 2010 for $4,500,000. A 48% increase in five years.
2. 24-30 43rd Street in Astoria is a 4-story, 8-unit; walk up apartment building that sold on July 16, 2015 for $1,950,000. The seller purchased this building in June of 2010 for $1,515,000. A 23% increase in five years.
3. 35-11 9th Street in Long Island City is a 102,670 Sq. Ft. office building that sold on August 19, 2015 for $31,100,000. The seller purchased the building is November 2008 for $11,755,000. A 62.3% increase in seven years.
4. 107-01 71st Avenue in Forest Hills is a single-story retail property, with Citibank as the tenant. The property traded for $28,000,000 on June 2, 2015. The previous owner purchased this building only 3 years ago in December 2012 for $22.7M. A 19% increase in three years.
5. 5-16 47th Road in Long Island City is a 4-story, walk-up apartment building with 8 units. It sold in July 2015 for $3,100,000. The seller purchased this property 2 years ago in November 2013 for $1,710,000. A 45% increase in two years.
6. 32-38 48th Street in Astoria is a 5,508 Sq. Ft., 6-family walk-up apartment building. It just sold for an astonishing $3,300,000 on July 16, 2015. The previous owner purchased this building in July of 2013 for only $750,000. A 78% increase in two years.
7. 36-05 Vernon Blvd in Long Island City is a 10,500 Sq. Ft., 4-story, 8-unit, walk-up apartment building. The property just sold for $3,400,000 in July 2015. The sellers purchased this building back in November 2013 for $1,400,000. A 59% increase in two years.
8. In September 2012, we sold an 8-family located at 34-21 37th Street in Long Island City for $1,750,000. On June 26, 2015, the sister building two doors down, 34-27 37th Street sold for $2,475,000 to the same buyer. A 30% increase from 2012.
9. 23-54 31st Street in Astoria is a 3,991 Sq. Ft. 3-story mixed-use building that just sold on June 24, 2015 for $1,850,000. The seller just purchased the building 2 months before that in April 2015 for $1,200,000. A 35% increase in 2 months!
10. 43-31 45th Street in Sunnyside is a 79,830 SF, 94 Residential Units + 1 Commercial Unit, Elevator Apartment Building. It sold in May 2015 for $27,500,000. The seller purchased this building a year earlier, in March 2014 for $17.15M. A 38% increase in a year. (It traded in 2006 for $11.58M).
11. 164-01 Northern Boulevard in Flushing is a 5,468 SF Retail building that sold in July 2015 for $4,500,000. The seller purchased this building 4 years ago in July 2011 for $3,425,000. A 24% increase in four years.
12. In April 2011, a single story, 3-unit Retail building located at 16024-28 Northern Boulevard in Flushing sold for $1,380,000. It just sold in April 2015 for $4,300,000. That is a 68% increase in four years.
13. 13101-13139 39th Avenue in Flushing, is a 99,589 SF retail building situated on a 3 acre site. The seller purchased this massive property in September of 2014 for $54.6M. They sold it July 2015 for $78.3M. That is a 30% increase in less than a year.

The above transactions are just some examples of how much the Queens investment real estate market has appreciated year over year. Anyone reading this article can sum up the current market with three words; simply astonishing numbers.

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New NYC Zoning Proposals: Modernizing Zoning Regulations

Mayor de blasio, as part of his 5-Borough, 10-year housing plan, wants to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units. 160,000 of these units, he hopes will come from new development. To achieve this goal, the city has proposed new zoning proposals. I will outline them in this article.

According to the Department of City Planning, the reason for these new modernized zoning proposals is due to the belief that the current zoning regulations are outdated. The city believes this often impedes production of new affordable housing units. The four primary goals of the proposed changes are 1. To remove barriers that constrains housing production and raise costs. 2. To encourage better quality buildings that contributes to the fabric of neighborhoods. 3. To promote affordable senior housing, addressing the aging populace and Four, to reduce unnecessary new construction parking requirements.

The mayor hopes that by removing outdated provisions and modernizing others, zoning will foster diverse and livable neighborhoods with the development of new high-quality mixed-income housing.

These proposals look to increase the heights of new residential buildings. For 95% of contextually zoned medium and high density districts, an additional 5 feet will be allowed. In some of the higher density areas, 10 or 15 feet of additional height will be allowed. If the developer chooses to build affordable housing for seniors, additional floor area and flexibility will be allowed; as much as 3 to 4 more stories. The affordable senior housing will also come into play in low-density districts. The proposal will allow for this type of development as well as lower parking requirements and award higher floor to area ratios (FAR).

Essentially, these new zoning proposals look to modify the building envelopes by 1. Height: Increasing maximum heights from 5 feet to 15 feet to ensure that all permitted floor areas can fit. This will allow for better building designs. 2. Setbacks: Measure the upper floor setback from the street line, removing the penalty for buildings that setback at the street level. This allows for better interior layouts and reduces construction costs and 3. Corner Lots: Loosen lot coverage requirements that make housing construction unnecessarily difficult, especially on irregularly shaped lots.

Currently when a developer wants to build, they are also constrained by outdated parking requirements. The new proposals look to get rid of this obstacle by eliminating parking requirements for affordable housing near transit and reducing the requirement in other areas.

What can this mean to you? Let’s say you own a site that is currently zoned R6A in Astoria, Queens. The current maximum height you can go up is 70 feet. Under the new proposal, you would be allowed an extra 5 feet, bringing the max height to 75 feet. If you choose to build affordable senior housing or a long term care facility, you will be allowed a total of 85 feet (or 8 stories). If your property is zoned R7A in an inclusionary housing area, you can currently go up 85 feet (or 8 stories), under the new proposal, you would be allowed to build up to 105 feet (or 10 stories). A solid increase.

This proposal will also affect certain Special Districts. For example, in the Long Island City Mixed Use Special District, the new proposal will allow for residential and community facility uses in the same floor and will remove the special corner lot coverage rule in the Queens Plaza Sub district. It will also modify maximum height restrictions.

In the Astoria and Flushing, Queens Waterfront areas, the new proposals will allow for non-profit residences for the elderly and will also look to update height restrictions.

Before this gets approved it has to go through the City’s environmental and land use review processes. This includes public hearings and recommendations from all community boards. It then goes to the City Planning Commission for more public hearings and votes.

To go along with this plan, the Mayor wants his 421a tax abatement changes (backed by REBNY), his new mansion tax (on residential property over $1.75m and over $5m) and his pro-tenant/anti-landlord rent regulation changes to go through as well.

This is an extremely crucial period in the housing and commercial real estate markets. It will be an interesting summer to say the least. Stay tuned.

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QUEENS MAJOR TRANSACTIONS REPORT – 3rd Quarter 2014

Commercial real estate in Queens has been getting a lot of attention in media outlets recently. Over half a Billion dollars have been invested here in the last quarter alone. Below I will touch on a few of the most interesting large transactions by smart money investors in the Borough:

  • The Durst Organization has just purchased a 90% stake in Lincoln Equities’ Hallets Point project in Astoria, Queens for $100,000,000. The 2.5 million square foot, waterfront project, will boast more than 2,400 rental housing units, a school, a retail center, a park and over 480 affordable housing units. This is the Durst Organizations first foray into Queens. The project is estimated to cost $1.5B to complete. The Durst family is currently pushing for Water Ferries to service Astoria Cove/Hallets Point to Manhattan. If approved, the new ferries would be a much needed major public transportation hub for that area.
  • Alma Realty purchased a 4-parcel lot with 4.8 Acres on 26th Avenue and 9th Street in Astoria, Queens in the newly approved rezoned Astoria Cove area (the plan calls for 1,723 housing units). The seller was Superior Steel Studs, Inc. The purchase price was $40.08M.
  • A & E Real Estate Holdings just purchased a portfolio of 53 Buildings consisting of 1,270 housing units in the Kew Garden Hills section of Queens, NY for $216,000,000 from Hudson Realty Capital. The portfolio also boasts hundreds of thousands of square feet of additional ground up development rights.
  • Hospitality firm, King’s USA Group just purchased the 87,638 SF retail building on 39th Avenue near College Point Blvd in Flushing Queens for $54.6M. The supermarket site is zoned C4-2 with over 473,000 Buildable square feet for a ground up development project in the future.
  • 144-10 35th Avenue, The Hampton Inn, just closed for $41.4M. The property is a 216 room hotel servicing JFK Airport. The hotel consisted of 114,800 Gross Square Feet. The purchaser was Magna Hospitality Group.
  • 28-56 Steinway Street just sold for a second time in 7 years for $32M (it last sold for $22.5M). The three-tenant retail building is situated on the corner of 30th Avenue and Steinway Street. The purchaser was Queens based Werber Management. The seller was Orin Wilf of Skyline developers.
  • 42-72 80th Street in Elmhurst, a 103-unit, 6-story, elevator apartment building with parking, built in 1927 just sold for $21M. The seller was Efiso Realty and the purchaser was Werber Management of Elmhurst, Queens.
  • 157-11 Sanford Avenue in the Murray Hill/Flushing section of Queens just closed for $17M. The property is a 71,150SF, 6-story, elevator apartment building consisting of 86 residential units. The buyer was Chios Realty Group out of Bayside, Queens and the seller was Sanford Apts, LLC.
  • 28-20 Borden Avenue in Long Island City sold for $28.5M. The NNN leased site is currently an 85,000 square foot parking lot leased to FedEx until 2027. The buyer was GTJ Reit, Inc out of West Hempstead, NY.
  • A mixed-use development site with a combined 2 acre footprint and approximately 720,000 square foot of ground up development rights just sold for $22M. The sellers were Wharton Realty Group out of New Jersey and the buyer was Mr. Xu with Jamaica Tower, LLC of Flushing.
  • A 6,584 square foot retail condo on Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens, fully leased to TD Bank on a NNN basis with 10+ years remaining on the lease, just traded for $10.2M, or $1,549/SF. The seller was Park Lane Commerce, LLC out of Glen Head, NY and the purchasers were Golden & Equity Management based in Manhattan.

Some of the reasons that values are higher and more money is finding its way into Queens are due to low interest rates, higher retail and residential rents and the fact that Manhattan and Brooklyn are perceived by a vast majority of investors as “too expensive”.
As long as interest rates remain low and condo prices keep rising, sales volume and value in Queens will continue to climb sharply.

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