Flushing developer plans overhaul of Ford dealership site

Fleet Financial paid $17M for parcel with 360K of buildable sf

Dec.December 23, 2013 02:35 PM

Flushing, Queens-based development firm Fleet Financial Group, led by Yi “Richard” Xia, has acquired a triangular site in Corona, with plans to redevelop its 357,000 buildable square feet, The Real Deal has learned.

Fleet Financial paid $17 million for the 73,000-square-foot parcel at 112-21 Northern Boulevard, which is triple-net leased to Di Blasi Ford – self-described as the biggest Ford car dealership in the Northeast.

The parcel hit the market in January for $21 million, The Real Deal reported. It’s located down the road from Citi Field and nearby the Spring Hill Marriott, Grand Central Parkway and Whitestone and Van Wyck expressways.

David Schechtman of Eastern Consolidated, who brokered the deal, said he believes Fleet Financial plans retail and a hotel on the site, which currently holds two structures. Architect Gerald Caliendo proposed and commissioned possible redevelopment designs, including one for a 13-story hotel and an eight-story community facility, according to documents obtained by The Real Deal.

“The new owners are under discussion to bring a major project to Corona, which itself will create hundreds of local jobs and further enhance property values in the area,” Schechtman said.

Schechtman represented both Fleet Financial and the seller, An-Rich Associates LLC, an affiliate of property owner Dick DiBlasi.

Di Blasi is looking to relocate the dealership to an as-yet-unknown location in Corona, sources said.

Neither Xia nor Di Blasi could immediately be reached for comment.

Xia is also planning to develop a $100 million, 18-story glass tower with a hotel and medical facility at 42-31 Union Street in Flushing.

Last year, Schechtman brought the mortgage for another development site near Citi Field to market for $36 million. A buyer, recorded in city records only as DS Group 1 LLC, bought the note on 39-08 Janet Place for $33 million, Schechtman said, and plans a large mixed-use complex with retail and residential components.

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