The Real Deal New York

Vornado moves ahead with 300-unit Queens rental

REIT filed plans for SLCE-designed tower
By Katherine Clarke | September 17, 2013 12:39PM

Vornado Realty Trust has filed plans with the Department of Buildings for a 314-unit residential building above its Rego Park shopping mall in Queens, according to filings spotted by The Real Deal. The 24-story, 287,113-square-foot building addition, which sources said would be a rental complex, is set to be designed by SLCE Architects, the filings show.

The Rego Park rental units will be added atop an existing shopping center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard just off the Long Island Expressway. The 610,000-square-foot center, known as Rego Park II, is anchored by a 145,000-square-foot Costco, a 135,000-square-foot Century 21 clothing store and a 133,000-square-foot Kohl’s, according to a Vornado regulatory filing.

The proposed development will cost between $100 million and $120 million, Vornado projected in a regulatory filing late last year, when it initially informed investors of the provisional plan for the project. Vornado is building the project on behalf of a subsidiary, the real estate investment trust Alexander’s.

At that time, the company said the plans were still up in the air. “There can be no assurance that the project will commence, or if commenced, be completed on schedule or within budget,” it said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Now, it appears the trust is moving ahead with the project.

Vornado declined to comment on the DOB filing via a spokesperson.

The Rego Park mall, constructed by Vornado, opened in 2010.

SLCE’s recent projects include a 66-unit Tribeca condominium conversion at 101 Leonard Street and a 229-unit development at 50 North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

The move forward with the Queens project follows second quarter earnings which showed strength in real estate and weakness in retail for Vornado. The property giant reported mammoth net gains on real estate sales while its investments in retailers like J.C. Penney and Toys “R” Us took a tumble. Earlier this year, Vornado revealed plans to sell a 40 percent stake in J.C. Penney; chairman Steven Roth recently resigned from the struggling retailer’s board of directors.