The Real Deal New York

Queens means business: Here’s the look at the borough’s biggest deals in Q1

Lightstone Group’s $60M purchase of 29-21 41st Avenue topped the list
By Eddie Small | April 30, 2018 07:00AM

29-21 41st Avenue and 55-15 Grand Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Long Island City’s hotel market was strong enough to account for the largest deal of the first quarter in Queens this year.

Lightstone’s Group $60 million purchase of the Hilton Garden Inn at 29-21 41st Avenue in Long Island City topped the list of biggest transactions in Queens during the first three months of 2018, according to data from Real Capital Analytics. However, industrial properties dominated the top 10 list overall, taking up five of the top 10 spots, while the rest were split between one retail deal, one senior housing deal, one development site deal and one office deal.

Overall, the top 10 deals were worth about $358.4 million. This was lower than both the previous quarter’s total of about $540.4 million and the first quarter of 2017’s total of about $423 million.

Other large deals during the quarter included LBA Realty’s and RXR Realty’s roughly $55 million purchase of 55-15 Grand Avenue in Maspeth and BRP Companies’ $55 million purchase of 163-05 to 163-25 Archer Avenue in Jamaica.

The full list of Queens’ top 10 deals for the first quarter are below:

1. 29-21 41st Avenue, $60 million
Buyer: Lightstone Group
Seller: Phillip D. Ashkettle, MCS Capital Partners, Ranger Properties LLC
The biggest Queens deal of the first quarter was Lightstone Group’s $60 million purchase of the Hilton Garden Inn at 29-21 41st Avenue in Long Island City. The 183-key hotel stands 16 stories tall and opened in April 2015. Lightstone is funding is purchase with a $35 million loan from Western Alliance Bank, and the price comes out to roughly $330,000 per key.

2. 55-15 Grand Avenue, approximately $55.3 million
Buyer: LBA Realty, RXR Realty
Seller: Cascades Inc.
LBA Realty partnered with RXR Realty to purchase 55-15 Grand Avenue in Maspeth for about $55.3 million. The deal was part of LBA’s larger $72 million purchase of three development sites in the neighborhood that also included 54-15 and 56-19 Grand Avenue. The sites together span about 385,000 square feet. LBA intends to renovate 55-15 Grand Avenue, which currently has one tenant: the manufacturing company Norampac. LBA is based in California and owns more than 13 million square feet of office space and 26 million square feet of industrial space in the western United States. This appears to be its first New York City purchase.

3. 163-05-163-25 Archer Avenue, $55 million
Buyer: BRP Companies
Seller: United C&D Group, Century Development
BRP Companies purchased developer Chris Jiashu Xu’s Archer Towers industrial site in Jamaica for about $55 million. The property spans 90,000 square feet and offers more than 700,000 buildable square feet. It is currently occupied by a one-story retail strip with a food court, supermarket and Rent-A-Center, along with an eight-story parking garage. BRP is expected to use the land for a largely residential mixed-use project with affordable housing.

4. 25-11 49th Avenue, approximately $39.4 million
Buyer: GE Capital, Keystone Equities, Normandy Real Estate Partners
Seller: Howard Weinstein
Keystone Equities, Normandy Real Estate Partners and GE Capital finally closed on their purchase of the low-rise industrial building at 25-11 49th Avenue in Long Island City this quarter after being in contract for 17 months. They secured an $81 million mortgage from Deutsche Bank simultaneously so they could break ground immediately, and the companies plan to convert the building into an 11-story office project spanning 238,000 square feet, which should be finished by summer 2019.

5. 38-21 12th Street, $25.5 million
Buyer: TF Cornerstone
Seller: Urban Green Builders
TF Cornerstone purchased this Long Island City property for $25.5 million from Urban Green Builders. The one-story industrial building spans 70,200 square feet, and the company does not plan to change the zoning from industrial use. Its current tenant is the healthy meal delivery service Nutropia, and the building previously sold in April 2017 for $16.2 million.

6. 260-19 Nassau Boulevard, approximately $25.3 million
Buyer: Central Assisted Living
Seller: SentosaCare
SentosaCare, a nursing home operator, sold this four-story building in Little Neck to Central Assisted Living for about $25.3 million. The building is known as the Little Neck Care Center and previously sold in March of 2011 for $3.1 million.

7. 26-15 Brooklyn Queens Expressway West, approximately $25.2 million
Buyer: Terreno Realty
Seller: Bulova
Watchmaking company Bulova is selling its former headquarters in Woodside to Terreno Realty Corporation. The firm grabbed space for its executive offices at the Empire State Building a few years ago, and Terreno is paying slightly less than the Queens building’s $30 million listing price. The property spans 150,000 square feet, split between the 90,000-square-foot building and 60,000 square feet of development rights. It will be the fifth warehouse property for Terreno in New York City, and the company plans to renovate it.

8. 130-02 South Conduit Avenue, approximately $24.9 million
Buyer: Triangle Equities, L&B Realty Advisors
Seller: TPS Parking Management
Triangle Equities and L&B Realty Advisors closed on their deal for 130-02 South Conduit Avenue by John F. Kennedy International Airport in February, where they plan to build a $97 million three-story warehouse. It would span roughly 300,000 square feet with an extra 100,000 square feet for loading ramps and serve as a distribution facility for industrial air cargo freight. L&B Realty Advisors is providing $10.1 million in joint venture capital for the project.

9. 45-57 Davis Street, $24.8 million
Buyer: Velocity Framers USA
Seller: Vorea Group
Vorea Holdings initially purchased this Long Island City site for about $21 million but quickly flipped it to Solomon Feder’s Velocity Framers USA for $24.8 million. Feder plans to build a nine-story, 158-unit residential building on the site that will span about 107,000 square feet, with 290 square feet set aside for retail. The project would be split between 30 percent affordable units and 70 percent market rate units, and Feder received a $19 million mortgage for the purchase from Slate Property Group.

10. 141-57 Northern Boulevard, $23 million
Buyer: Eastone Capital
Seller: 141-57 Northern Boulevard Inc.
Eastone Capital Partners closed on its $23 million purchase of 141-57 Northern Boulevard in Flushing in January. The site spans about 23,000 square feet and is currently occupied by a Bank of America branch and the headquarters for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14-14B. Eastone plans to keep it as is for roughly two years, after which the company plans to demolish the building and turn the site into a retail and condo project.