This article is intended for the owners of TF Cornerstone. Brace yourself, because I’m about to make you a coupla’ hundred million at no cost. I know, I know, who am I to offer real estate advice to a family that has very successfully built a multi-billion dollar real estate business in NYC over the last half-century? But follow my logic and the recent words (and actions) of other successful NYC developers as quoted in Forbes last week, and I think you will see that I am not a fast talking alchemist.
As most readers know, LICtalk has been a long time advocate of bringing a Rec Center to the Hunters Point section of Long Island City. Not just any rec center, but one with a pool. And not just any pool, but more of an aquatic center similar to the one that was built on the other side of Queens in the Rockaways. And not just a rec center in Hunters Point, but one that is centrally located, which as it turns out happens to be in the thick of the largest cluster of market-rate TF Cornerstone apartments – roughly 3,000 over five buildings on the northern stretch of Center Boulevard. And if the “wow” factor is big enough this rec center can attract tenants from TF Cornerstone buildings a little bit north on the Water’s Edge site which are slated to contain 1000+ units , or the 1,000+ units currently going up a bit further south on TF Cornerstone’s Lot C project across from the Oval in Hunters Point South. But wait there’s more, as TF also recently purchased the southernmost property in LIC, the 8-acre plot where City Harvest is currently located and where 2,000 more units can be developed. All in we’re talking a net of ~5,500 market rate apartments1, which given their waterfront location and proximity to Manhattan should be conservatively valued at $750,000 each, gives a total value of a little over $4 billion. Add a 5% premium to these units due to word2 of LIC’s spectacular new Rec Center and voila $200,000,000 tyvm.
So where is this magic location for TF Cornerstone? As readers also know it’s the southern portion of the Plaxall development on 5th Street and 46th Road. Which as it turns out, is also a pretty good location for all Hunters Point residents, current and future. And there are so many more slated to be coming in the future, as cited above in TF Cornerstone’s case, as well as Plaxall’s expected units (several thousand), those just north of Water’s Edge on Lake Vernon (1,000+), and all the infill as the economic expansion rolls into its 10th year.
By now you may be asking ‘How is it that one private developer should place demands on another?’ They shouldn’t, but the city government will in return for Plaxall’s request for upzoning their property. TF Cornerstone’s role (behind-the-scenes) is in shaping those demands (aka concessions). Furthermore, the two companies already have a close relationship as TF was the named developer of the Plaxall site for Amazon’s HQ2.
Though a Rec Center should have been completed a decade ago, the silver lining is that all the additional units now slated allow, via amortization, for a much larger and comprehensive one, similar to that in the Rockaways.
But It’s incumbent for the biggest developer to push for this, because let’s face it they are the ones with all the pull, both locally and citywide. Fortunately as outlined above, they also have the most to gain. Hopefully this article lands in the hands of someone named Elghanayan:
via Forbes 5/29/19:
“We have set the bar higher by putting in luxury indoor pools in several of our new projects. You don’t find many developments with indoor pools. “Our pools are salt-water and also lap pools which we see as a big amenity that sets us apart.”
Not only is Extell penciling pools into their new properties, but they are also adding programming including swim lessons for both kids and adults.
“This is an amenity that can be used year-round unlike rooftop outdoor space,”
“We do see these pools as an important tipping point for buyers,”
“We thought long and hard about adding a pool and decided it was very important for our project. We needed one that would stand the test of time.”
“We are seeing a lot of demand for indoor pools as an extension of fitness plans,”
“These luxury pools have become a great sales driver for us. It’s the perfect family amenity,”
//IT’s not just Citylights …other condo buildings in NYC are seeing big resale price drops in advance of their tax abatements rolling off. Beware!
Luxury New York Developers Are Betting On Over-The-Top Indoor Swimming Pools To Close Deals – OVER-THE-TOP is the key
A Look at Rockaway’s New Community Center – lead by example and an over-the-top aquatic center
Listing of Annual Membership Costs at Rockaway Rec Center – keep them reasonable
NYC Condo Owners Are Cutting Deals As Their Tax Abatements Roll Off – in a soft market, you can have the right amenities or cut the price
Review of New Noguchi Museum Exhibit – in the WSJ
Former NY Met Keith Hernandez Signing Memoir at Book Culture in LIC – this Friday, bring your kiddies, bring your wife
- the value of affordable rate apartments are not affected by well-located amenities because they are already priced below market (where there is basically unlimited demand) and landlords, by law, can’t capture any additional value by boosting rents [↩]
- which every TF leasing agent will surely be mentioning [↩]