Shibber Khan’s Criterion Group is looking to sell a massive, largely vacant Long Island City development site just a year after buying it, sources told The Real Deal.
The Astoria-based development firm was initially planning a long-term hold of the five parcels at 31-08 and 31-16 Northern Boulevard. But, sources said, Criterion received several offers from developers interested in building a large office complex on the site.
The site, which includes several vacant lots and a two-story, 14,500-square-foot taxi garage leased to cab company Wailing Management, offers 253,000 buildable square feet. Decades ago, the structure was known as the Universal Building and housed a Ford dealership.
Sources told TRD the parcels are expected to sell for north of $50 million.
“There is an uptick in demand in Long Island City for office space — from companies looking to relocate and end users that want to purchase their own headquarters space,” said Pinnacle Realty’s David Junik, who is marketing the site along with his colleague Decio Baio.
Junik added the site could benefit from a residential rezoning of the area, as a result of the Long Island City Core Neighborhood Planning Study currently being conducted by the Department of City Planning.
Steven Newman, a local investor tied to Howling Wolf Realty LLC, bought the site in 2004 for $3.6 million. Then, in May 2014, Williamsburg-based investor Joel Gluck, who runs Spencer Equity and Park Management, signed a contract to buy it from Newman. Gluck instead flipped the site to Criterion in a $40 million deal in April 2015, sources said at the time. Criterion paid $28 million to Newman, records show, and the rest to Gluck.
Earlier this summer, Criterion secured $27.5 million in mortgages from Signature Bank and the Malachite Group, records show.
Khan’s plate is currently full with two Queens rental projects: one with 194 apartments at 11-39 49th Avenue in Long Island City and the other with 711 apartments at 30-37 Vernon Boulevard in Astoria.