The Real Deal New York

GTJ looks to sell 7-acre site south of LaGuardia airport

REIT's parcels offer 480K buildable sf; are zoned for resi, commercial

March 09, 2016 08:30AM
By Mark Maurer Twitter_logo_blue copy

East Elmhurst

23-85 and 25-27 87th Street in East Elmhurst (credit: Meridian Capital Group)

GTJ REIT, a Long Island-based real estate investment trust, is looking to sell a seven-acre East Elmhurst development site just south of LaGuardia airport, according to marketing materials obtained by The Real Deal.

The site, which offers more than 470,000 buildable square feet, houses two buildings at 23-85 87th Street and 25-27 87th Street.

Sources familiar with the plans said GTJ is expected to sell the site for north of $100 million.

Meridian-Capital3

From left: David Schechtman and Lipa Lieberman

Rental-car giant Avis currently holds a 20-year triple net lease that is set to expire in 2023. Budget Rent a Car, an affiliate of Avis, subleases the properties for office and storage space. The low-rise buildings were renovated in 2004 and span a combined 47,000 square feet. Aside from the buildings, the site serves as one large rental-car parking lot.

Despite Avis’ long-term lease, GTJ hired Meridian Capital Group to market the site as a development opportunity down the road. The ample air rights allow for either a residential use or a commercial use such as manufacturing or community space. In 2013, the City Council approved a 127-block rezoning that seeks to preserve low-rise buildings.

The existing properties have a net operating income of $2.4 million, the documents show. Average rent at the buildings is $51.63 per square foot.

GTJ, which could not be reached for comment, has owned the site for more than 30 years, according to property records.

A Meridian Capital Group investment sales team led by David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman and Abie Kassin declined to comment.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is planning a $4.2 billion overhaul of the nearby airport. Last month, however, the board voted to delay a vote approving a ground lease deal with a group of developers.

GTJ’s real estate dealings are largely concentrated on Long Island, but there are exceptions. In 2014, the public, non-traded REIT bought a 1.9-acre parking lot in Long Island City leased to FedEx.

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