The Real Deal New York

Slate buying LIC dev site for new 200-unit rental project

See Factor founder’s estate in contract to sell for $33M
By Mark Maurer | Twitter_logo_blue copy February 20, 2018 07:00AM

From left: Martin Nussbaum, David Schwartz and 37-11 30th Street

After scrapping plans in Long Island City once before, Slate Property Group is again attempting a project in the development hotbed, albeit in a quieter pocket of the Queens neighborhood.

The developer is in contract to acquire a development site at 37-11 30th Street with 200,000 buildable square feet, with plans for a roughly 200-unit rental, sources told The Real Deal. The industrial-and-retail site, which runs along 37th Avenue between 30th and 31st streets, houses several buildings, including the three-story home of sound-and-lighting equipment rental company See Factor. The property is located in Long Island City’s Dutch Kills section, one block from the Astoria border.

The site is part of an estate sale for Bob See, who founded the production company and died in 2015. See Factor occupied all of the buildings, which currently span a total of 30,000 square feet.

Slate is set to pay $33.3 million at the time of closing in mid-March, sources said. The developer signed a contract June 2017, records show. The site had a $35 million asking price, marketing materials show.

The deal involves the transfer of air rights from the industrial buildings on the site, sources said. Those properties will all be demolished to make way for one seven-story, approximately 200-unit building.

A CPEX Real Estate team led by Brian Leary is brokering the sale.

Slate and CPEX declined to comment, and See’s estate could not be immediately reached.

Slate, led by Martin Nussbaum and David Schwartz, primarily develops rentals and condos in Brooklyn and makes value-add acquisitions in Manhattan, but has also dabbled in Queens development.

Plans for what would have been the firm’s first project in Long Island City previously fell through. Slate and Carlyle Group planned to build an 88-unit condo at 21-21 44th Drive in 2014, but ultimately leased the property to NYU Langone Medical Center and sold it for $66 million.

Elsewhere in Queens, Slate and partners are wrapping construction on an 88-unit affordable housing building in Jamaica, and planning to break ground on a new 170-unit rental building in Forest Hills later this year. The firm also recently entered the lending game, with the launch of a $500 million fund.