The Real Deal New York

AG approves $364M condo plan for PMG’s Court Square tower

Developer says 391-unit building will remain rental

February 01, 2016 06:12PM
By Rich Bockmann

Kevin Maloney and 23-10 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City

Kevin Maloney and 23-10 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City

Property Markets Group and its partners in Long Island City are not selling apartments at their recently topped-out Court Square apartment tower. But if they were, they’d be aiming for a sellout of more than $364 million.

The Attorney General’s office last month approved a $364.2-million condo plan for 23-10 Queens Plaza South, the 44-story tower PMG is developing with partners the Hakim Organization and Howard Lorber’s New Valley investment firm.

The 481-foot tower topped out in December as Queens’ tallest residential building, offering apartments with city views that would be the first high-rise condos in the Court Square section if the developers chose to go that route.

Yet despite the approved condo plan, a spokesperson for PMG emailed TRD saying the company “is definitely doing a rental!”

Douglas Elliman is handling leasing at the project, which will launch in three to four months, the spokesperson added.

It’s not uncommon for developers to submit a condo offering, even if they don’t have immediate plans to offer apartments for sale.

“It’s more difficult once you have renters in place,” said Rockrose Development President Justin Elghanayan, one of the most active builders in Long Island City. “Getting your condo [plan] approved is not just a rubber stamp. It’s just a cleaner process if you don’t have people living there.”

Elghanayan, who said he has no direct knowledge of PMG’s plans, noted that if the developer chose to go the condo route, it would be a smart idea.

“I think the market’s right because no one’s really done the high-rise condo in Court Square. All the condos that exist are in the 20-, 15-story buildings. There’s probably hunger for amazing views.”

PMG and Hakim do plan to sell condos at another project within walking distance: the proposed supertall tower further west at 29-37 41st Avenue, which would be the tallest building in Queens if it tops out at the proposed 914 feet tall.

The partners are planning on setting aside roughly a third of the 800 units at the building, dubbed Queens Plaza Park, as rentals.

The two firms also partnered to buy a development site next to the recently topped-out Queens Plaza South for $69 million.

Correction: The development at 23-10 Queens Plaza South is not an 80/20 project. This fact was misstated in an earlier version of this post.