The Real Deal New York

Madison Realty Capital closing in on $31M Woodside assemblage

Firm eyeing mixed-use rental project at five-parcel, 358K sf site in Queens

March 31, 2016 12:30PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

Madison Realty Capital

Overhead view of Madison Realty Capital’s Woodside assemblage site (credit: Google Maps) (inset, from left: Joe Berko and Josh Zegen)

Madison Realty Capital continues to make moves in Queens, with the real estate investment firm on the verge of closing on a five-parcel assemblage in Woodside for around $31 million, sources told The Real Deal.

The assemblage — located on a block bound by Queens Boulevard, 47th Avenue and 69th and 70th streets – can hold up to nearly 358,000 buildable square feet. MadisonTRData LogoTINY, led by Josh Zegen and Brian Shatz, is paying less than $100 per buildable square foot for the properties and is believed to be weighing the construction of a mixed-use rental development with a retail component.

The Midtown-based firm closed on the first of the parcels, at 6902-6908 Queens Boulevard, in early February, according to property records filed with the city Wednesday and first reported by the Commercial Observer. The now-vacant site held a Gulf Oil gas station until last year, as the Observer reported.

While records indicate the seller was Massachusetts-based convenience store chain Cumberland Farms, which paid just over $3 million for the property in 2003, the deal itself was more complicated – with the tenant gas station’s private operator exercising a right of first refusal on the transaction.

As such, Madison paid $14.75 million for 6902-6908 Queens Boulevard — $2 million above the $12.75 million price reported in city property records – after the gas station operator sold its option on the parcel to the real estate investment firm.

The other parcels in the assemblage include 46-12 70th Street and 69-39 47th Avenue, both of which are owned by Atlas Floral Decorators and currently house the florist’s operations. They are currently under contract, as is 69-20 Queens Boulevard, which is owned by landlord Anthony Baek and holds a Mexican restaurant. The final property in the assemblage, at 69-23 47th Avenue, is owned by the Armenian Cultural Association of America and currently houses an Armenian cultural center.

The gas station site offers more than 145,000 buildable square feet, while the Armenian cultural center site has more than 126,000 buildable square feet.

Joe Berko and Michael Korine of Berko & Associates brokered the deal for the assemblage, representing Madison and the sellers at four of the five properties. Wilson Ting of the Besen Group represented Anthony Baek at 69-20 Queens Boulevard.

Berko & Associates declined to comment on the matter, while Madison Realty Capital could not be reached for comment. Both Cumberland Farms and Atlas Floral Decorators declined to comment, while the Armenian Cultural Association did not return inquiries.

Madison plans to go through the city’s ULURP process in order to reposition the assemblage for a mixed-use rental development — though sources said any rental project would be contingent on the now-expired 421a tax abatement, or a similar program incentivizing rental development, being in place.

The deal is Madison’s second notable play in Queens this year, after the company recently entered contract in February to buy the 420-unit Saxon Hall rental building, in nearby Rego Park, for $135 million from Treetop Development.

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