Category Archives: Real Estate

‘Lake Vernon’ Waterfront Plot Restarts Development Process

Friedrich? What part of Ireland are you from?

A five-acre waterfront plot at 44-02 Vernon Boulevard has chosen a developer in a sign that the long vacant site might be stirring according to the trade magazine Commercial Observer.  Occasionally referred to as ‘Lake Vernon’ by locals due to it frequently having water pooled in a pit created by reclamation efforts, abuts the northern border of the DOE Building and Waters Edge Restaurant on 44th Drive.  This primo piece of land is currently zoned to allow one million square feet of residential, which by my reckoning is way over 1,000 new units.  More significantly, the managing partner Bruce Teitelbaum, had pitched a plan in 2015 that would include a pedestrian bridge to Roosevelt Island in return for allowing even more buildable feet.

This plan was hatched prior to: Continue reading

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Building Continues in Long Island City Despite Amazon

Hershey Farms?

Must all news in Long Island City continue to be framed by Amazon?  Sadly yes, at least for the next few months.  Life goes on, though somewhat drearily (and cold), as does building.  The Court Square Blog updates us on two super-large towers coming to Court Square and Queens Plaza respectively.  Like the flowers weeks away, they are starting to spring from the earth.  One will be Continue reading

Cuomo to Bezos “Furiously” Trying to Bring Back Amazon

It’s a dog’s life

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’

I was really close to running a post entitled “Slim Pickings in Long Island City Post-Amazon” when news filtered out about a last gasp at bringing back Amazon.  Yesterday came the report from QNS.com about Josh Bowen the founder of JB Smokehouse personally trekking out to Seattle to try to get Amazon to reconsider, an effort I viewed in the manner of Don Quixote.  BUT, the media loves a good story and it slowly trickled out of LIC.  THEN, The New York Times reported late today that Mario Cuomo has also been begging appealing to Amazon to reconsider,  including garnering a phone conversation with Pontiff Bezos.  PLUS a letter signed by multiple NYC cognoscenti, including the pontiff of NYC, David Solomon – and many other recognizable cardinals with pull, will be published in tomorrow’s Times,  ALL of which lead to the headline above, and what effectively counts as LICtalk’s first ever double-issue. WHOA, that’s serious, time for all of us to go to the window…

Cuomo Speaks With Bezos, Furiously Trying to Win Back Amazon yes, Bezos!

NY Leaders Urge Amazon to ReconsiderNY Times letter

QueensBridge Grapples with Amazon HQ2 Fallout – yo Mike n Jimmy “Aramark, a food and retail service provider, was looking to hire 300-500 workers on the spot for Citi Field in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, at pay rates of $15.25 to $16.70 an hour, and hired a couple dozen workers from the nearby Astoria Houses, according to Urban Upbound workers.”

—————– Part II aka ‘Slim Pickings’ ————————–

What’s next for Anable Basin?  Oh wait, that was last week’s topic, and possibly next week’s too.  Or maybe we can discuss apartment prices pre/post/past Amazon?  I am truly curious to what extent buyers in the middle go through with their impulsive purchases.  Continue reading

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City Looks To Revive Prior Development Plans For HQ2 Site

Will there be people in Citi LIC come 2020?

New York City is looking at reviving prior development plans for the HQ2 site according to James Padgett the President of the Economic Development Corp (EDC) in Continue reading

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Huge 48th Avenue Retail Space Comes to Market in LIC

The Zipper Building LIC

Got a few million to spare and already own a home in LIC?  Maybe you should take a shot on a local investment property then.  Several different types of opportunities are currently available on the Modern Spaces website. Most significant is the ground floor retail space in the Zipper Building on 48th Avenue offered as a condominium.  This gut renovation has been a construction site for at least a decade, but is finally looking to be coming to a close, or maybe an opening, after changing hands several times over the years.  The retail portion is  being offered as a condominium with 10,400 square feet on the ground level and an additional 5,000 in the basement, 18′ ceilings and large windows.  It thus has the potential to be the most prominent retail space in Hunters Point. Continue reading

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MAYER MALBIN IS LEAVING LIC, 4000 MORE APARTMENTS COMING?

Roll away, the dew

Used to be I could drive up to
Barstow for the night
Find some crossroad trucker
To demonstrate his might
But these days it seems
Nowhere is far enough away
So I’m leaving Las Vegas today

MAYER Malbin, “New York’s Premier Supplier of Pipes, Valves & Fittings,” is leaving their home in Long Island City after nearly a century.  The company just purchased a 41,000 sq ft building and land in Woodside for their office and distribution center, a deal brokered by Brian Jaffe at Jaffe Realty LLC.  The price they paid was $22.75 million, which to neophytes including myself might seem a meaningless number, until contrasted with what the seller paid for the building only last year: $9 million.

Yikes, that’s a walloping premium, what could the 4th generation descendants of poor Mayer who currently run the business be thinking (or smoking)? Continue reading

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HQ2 YEA/NAY, KATZ TO JVB TO O’LEARY, CHANGE A KUMON’, 80%?

57 and 33 story towers coming here

The only thing that is constant is change – Heraclitus circa 500 BC

POLLS can be funny, so I try not to read too much into them.  Let’s take one released this week showing 60% of Queens residents favor Amazon coming here.  Maybe. More likely 60% are neutral or “Don’t Know” where they stand on HQ2 in LIC.  If the deal really is even-handed that’s where the majority should sit under the bell-curve of a standard distribution.  But that doesn’t make headlines.

Well thought out analysis can also be buried in favor of sensationalism.  The most eloquent opinion piece I have read in the morass that has been written about HQ2 in the last month, was scripted by Seth Bornstein who heads the Queens Economic Development Corp. which despite its industrialist-like moniker is largely dedicated to helping out people from modest backgrounds. Having read his monthly letters for years, I can tell you that Seth knows Queens.  He also knows the history of New York City, which in a nutshell is that it’s always changing, and usually at a faster pace than the rest of the world.  Continue reading

YOTEL OPENING SECOND NYC LOCATION IN LIC

Little old Dutch Kills is getting a Yotel

Everybody go: Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
You see, if your girl starts acting up, then you take her friend

I loved yodels as a kid, which is what I think of whenever I hear about the hotel chain Yotel.  Or maybe yogurt, or motels, but it’s definitely not mohels.  Or maybe the cool robotic arm they call a concierge that’s visible from the street at its 10th Avenue location.  Hal would be proud.  Or maybe I ask myself ‘Can you shoehorn a family of four into their standard mini-room?’  Anyway yesterday the company announced they’ll be opening their second NYC hotel in LIC.  No location was given but a little snooping indicates it might be Continue reading

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CONDO CRAZY IN LONG ISLAND CITY?

Not too many condos along the waterfront

YOU’VE undoubtedly heard that condos in LIC are selling like hot cakes and Open Houses are jammed post-Amazon.  There’s probably some hyperbole in there – that’s the news business (and real estate brokers) – and it’s important to remember any mention of tripling and quadrupling is off a very low base.  Yet for all the obvious reasons purchasing property in Long Island City has become the topic du jour month in NYC and worldwide.

Which is why I was attracted to a building in Astoria, which is located almost as far away from Long Island City as one can be in that adjacent neighborhood.  The listing that caught my attention is Continue reading

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Which side of the Basin?

WHAT if Amazon did an about face and bid adieu to locating HQ2 in Long Island City, stating that the rancor over subsidies, additional demands, and outright opposition to gentrification made it untenable.  How would that make you feel? Continue reading

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