The Real Deal New York

Kaufman Astoria Studios sells property offering 115K sf

Parkoff pays $30M for commercial building across from iconic complex

December 15, 2015 10:30AM
By Mark Maurer Twitter_logo_blue copy

Kaufman Astoria

From left: 37-11 35th Avenue and 34-12 36th Street in Astoria (inset: Hal Rosenbluth)

The Parkoff Organization bought a 69,000-square-foot commercial building across the street from Kaufman Astoria Studios, the property’s longtime owner, for $30 million, sources said.

After 33 years, the iconic movie studio, led by Chair George Kaufman and CEO Hal Rosenbluth, parted ways with the three-story building at 37-11 35th Avenue. The property is a mix of office and retail, with the latter tenants including Uno Pizzeria & Grill and gym Life, Health & Fitness.

Parkoff, a Great Neck-based investment firm led by Richard Parkoff, is planning to hold the property for now, but eventually redevelop it, sources said. The site offers 115,000 buildable square feet, bringing the deal’s price to about $260 per buildable square foot. The retail rents are below market rate, in the low $30s a foot.

Moshe Majeski, who runs the Moshe Group, brokered the transaction. He could not be reached for comment.

George Kaufman took over the five-acre studio complex in 1982, renaming it Kaufman Astoria Studios. That was also the same year he bought the 35th Avenue property.

Recently, Kaufman Astoria Studios has shifted its focus to more ambitious projects. The studio is developing the Marx, a 33-unit condominium at 34-32 35th Street, in partnership with the Procida Companies. The property will be the Kaufman Arts District’s first new apartment building in years.

The studio also announced plans last year to build an additional soundstage by 2016. Productions such as “Sesame Street,” “Orange is the New Black” and “A Very Murray Christmas” were shot at the studio this year.

Over the summer, Parkoff bought a Citibank-anchored retail building in Forest Hills with plans to redevelop it.