Investors double down on Queens in 2013: report

February 06, 2014 08:33AM

Investors spent $1.36 billion to buy multifamily properties in Queens in 2013, more than twice what they pumped into the borough in 2012, according to a new report from Ariel Property Advisors.

The growth in Queens outpaced any other borough except Staten Island, which Ariel doesn’t track. Investors have targeted Queens’ neighborhoods such as Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Jackson Heights, according to the report.

“For years Queens lagged behind Manhattan and Brooklyn in terms of growth and only now is catching up,” Adam Mermelstein, a principal at New Jersey-based Treetop Development, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’d like to be part of the upswing.”

Treetop paid $85.3 million last year to buy a 16-story apartment building in the Rego Park neighborhood, and is now in talks to buy more two more properties in the borough, according to the newspaper.

Overall, the Queens market saw 519 sales transactions of investment properties, including multifamily buildings, development sites and commercial properties, according to the report, for a total value of $2.8 billion. That’s a 46 percent increase from $1.9 billion in sales in 2012, according to the report.

Sales of development sites also jumped 59 percent year-over-year to $987 million in 2013. Some of Manhattan’s biggest developers, such as the Related Companies, have also turned their eye toward Queens, as The Real Deal reported.  [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani