Tavros Capital is working on assembling a large development site in Long Island City’s Court Square neighborhood that will come with a price tag of $30 million-plus when all is said and done.
The Soho-based investment and development firm recently closed on a trio of properties on 23rd Street in the shadow of the Citigroup Building, and is negotiating to buy several other properties and air rights that would give the firm as much as 250,000 square feet of development rights.
The developer plans to construct a mixed-use development with a multi-level retail component as well as office and residential spaces.
A key to the assemblage is a provision the city put in place when it rezoned the section of Long Island City back in 1986. The C5-3 zoning covering a three-block section adjacent to the Court Square No. 7 train station allows for a floor to area ratio of 2. But when a site of 10,000 square feet or more is assembled, that FAR jumps up to 15.
“There is a substantial jump,” said Evan Daniel, executive vice president of the investment sales group at Modern Spaces , who along with his team at the Long Island City-focused brokerage marketed five of the seven properties that make up the assemblage.
“What’s unique – despite the fact that you’ve got multiple property owners – is that you need to have a certain amount of land to trigger the bonus,” he added.
Tavros closed in late July on three properties at 5-03, 45-07 and 45-09 13rd Street for a total of $11.25 million. The firm has a contract to buy two other properties Modern Spaces is marketing and is negotiating to buy two others being marketed by Andrew Mapp at the Corcoran Group.
Those properties give Tavros more than 167,000 square feet of development rights, and additional available air rights near by could push the total buildable up to 250,000 square feet. When all the ink is dry, the assemblage could total around $30 million to $35 million, Daniel said.
As part of the deal, the developer will make payments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that will go toward transit improvements at the subway station.
David Roger Grossmann, Edward DiTomasso and Ashley Grebow of Modern Spaces negotiated on behalf of the sellers along with Daniel. Pascal Levy of Besen Associates represented Tavros.
The area’s unique zoning paved the way for the 1.5 million-square-foot Citigroup Building – also known as One Court Square – as well as a pair of other big-ticket projects in the works.
Tavros’ properties sit next to the site where Japan’s Toyoko Inn plans to build a 50-story, 261,000 square-foot hotel at 24-09 Jackson Avenue. The economy hotel chain filed plans for the 1,260-room building earlier this week.
And just on the other side of the Citigroup Building to the north, Flushing-based developer Chris Jiashu Xu is developing a massive, 774-unit residential tower that is slated to be Queens’ tallest building when it tops out at 984 feet.
Tavros, along with Charney Construction & Development and Ascent Development, is co-developing the 56-unit condominium building The Jackson nearby at 11-51 47th Avenue.