Blackstone Group is sinking its teeth into Flushing’s dining scene with a new food hall.
The development of the concept is being led by Colicchio Consulting, a boutique firm that brokers food & beverage deals between property owners and its in-house network of top chefs and restauranteurs.
Phil Colicchio, the firm’s executive managing director, said the new Flushing food hall at the Shops at Skyview would span 30,000 square feet and feature upscale “chef-driven” and “fast-cash” eateries.
“It’s going to be a game changer,” he said in an interview at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual four-day convention in Las Vegas.
Blackstone confirmed a food hall was in the works at the center, but a source familiar with the project noted that the size was “still to be verified.”
Colicchio’s firm is hired by owners to design, structure and curate food-and-beverage service deals. Their clients include Blackstone, Tishman Speyer, Simon Property Group and Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
The consultancy was acquired by Cushman & Wakefield in November and Colicchio and his partner, Trip Schneck are now co-chairs of the commercial brokerage’s new F&B, entertainment and hospitality practice. According to Schneck, all new deals will go through their newly-formed group within the brokerage, but the Skyview project pre-dates the acquisition.
The Skyview complex is owned and operated by Blackstone affiliate ShopCore Properties. Blackstone acquired the shopping center and an adjacent parking garage for $400 million in 2015. It was the real estate giant’s first project in Queens at the time.
Colicchio is the cousin of acclaimed celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, who is also part of Colicchio Consulting’s network of chefs. Phil Colicchio also represents award-winning chefs such as April Bloomfield, Todd English and José Andrés.
Colicchio said the inspiration behind Skyview’s food hall is chef George Chen’s China Live marketplace, which opened in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 2017.
He noted that the design will accommodate performance spaces and programming for nightlife, too. (Grammy-winning musician Gabe Witcher is also one of Colicchio’s partners and works on designing the entertainment components of their projects.)
“Frankly giving young people something to do at night” in Flushing is one of the new food hall’s primary goals, Colicchio said.