LIC dominated Queens office leases in 2019

Deals for Centene and Macy’s topped the list of largest deals

TRD New York /
Jan.January 06, 2020 01:05 PM
Savannah's Christopher Schlank with One Court Square and Tishman Speyer's Rob Speyer with the JACX at 28-10 Queens Plaza South (Credit: Getty Images, One Court Square and CityRealty)

Savannah’s Christopher Schlank with One Court Square and Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer with the JACX at 28-10 Queens Plaza South (Credit: Getty Images, One Court Square and CityRealty)

UPDATED, 1:59 p.m., Jan. 7: Long Island City may have famously lost out on Amazon in 2019, but the neighborhood still dominated the Queens office market by a wide margin.

Eight of the top 10 largest office leases in Queens last year — including the top six — were in the neighborhood. No. 1 was a nearly 500,000-square-foot lease from Centene at 1 Court Square, while second place went to Macy’s, which inked a 300,000-square-foot lease at 28-07 Jackson Avenue.

The only other Queens neighborhoods to crack the top 10 were Glendale, which had one lease for about 63,000 square feet, and Flushing, which had one for about 43,000 square feet.

The full list of Queens’ 10 largest office leases for 2019 is as follows:

1. Centene, 1 Court Square, Long Island City — 465,312 square feet
Centene Corporation, a healthcare company based in St. Louis, inked a lease for almost 500,000 square feet in Savannah’s One Court Square building. The development was supposed to house about 1 million square feet of space for Amazon before the tech giant abruptly canceled its plans to locate a second headquarters in New York. Centene purchased Queens-based health insurer Fidelis in 2018 for $4 billion.

2. Macy’s, 28-07 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City — 300,000 square feet
Macy’s expanded its lease at Tishman Speyer’s Long Island City project known as the JACX in January. The retailer already had 567,000 square feet at the office-and-retail complex but added 300,000 more, bringing its footprint to more than 70 percent of the fully leased project. Macy’s lease encompasses all 22 floors of the project’s east tower, 11 floors of its west tower and the project’s third and fourth base floors. CBRE represented Macy’s in the deal.

3. City University of New York, 30-20 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City — 194,058 square feet
CUNY inked a lease for almost 200,000 square feet in the Feil Organization’s building at 30-20 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City. The address is home to the LaGuardia Community College branch of the school. Newmark Knight Frank represented CUNY in the deal.

4. Altice, 1 Court Square, Long Island City — 103,133 square feet
The telecom and cable firm Altice USA also helped Savanna rebound from losing Amazon by leasing more than 100,000 square feet at One Court Square in June. It had been subleasing three floors at the building from Citigroup since 2017 prior to inking its new deal. It was a sharp reversal from earlier in the year, as Altice was almost forced out of the building when it looked like Amazon would take 1 million square feet of One Court Square in 2020 once Citigroup’s lease expired.

5. Estée Lauder Companies, 27-01 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City — 100,000 square feet
The beauty company leased 100,000 square feet at Brause Realty’s 27-01 Queens Plaza North building in Long Island City. This doubles its footprint in the building, according to the Commercial Observer.

6. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 30-30 47th Avenue, Long Island City — 80,340 square feet
The agency leased more than 80,000 square feet at Long Island City’s The Factory, a former furniture warehouse for Macy’s that has been converted into office space. The agency is leasing its space from landlords Invesco Real Estate, Atlas Capital Group and Partners Group. Cushman & Wakefield, JRT Realty Group and DY Realty represented the Department of Health in the deal.

7. CDL Last Mile Solutions, 88-36 77th Avenue, Glendale — 63,383 square feet
One of the two deals outside of Long Island City to make this list was shipping company CDL Last Mile Solutions’ taking about 63,000 square feet of warehouse space in Glendale. The lease is for 10 years, and asking rent was $15 per square foot, according to the Commercial Observer. The building’s landlords are Brause Realty and Glendale Realty Co. Worth Property Group brokered the deal for CDL.

8. New York Times, 24-01 44th Road, Long Island City — 57,846 square feet
The Gray Lady is leasing about 58,000 square feet of space across three floors at Court Square Place, where it plans to relocate 350 employees from its 620 Eighth Avenue Manhattan headquarters. The 15-year lease is for the ninth, 10th and 11th floors of the building, which is now fully occupied. The landlord is United Nations Federal Credit Union. They were represented by JRT Realty Group. Byrnam Wood brokered the deal for the Times.

9. EmblemHealth, 41-61 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing — 42,982 square feet
The other non-Long Island City deal to crack the top 10 was EmblemHealth expanding its space in Flushing. The firm signed a 20-year lease at 41-61 Kissena Boulevard that kept its 28,463 square feet and tacked on an extra 14,519 square feet on the ground floor, which used to be occupied by a Duane Reade, according to the Commercial Observer. EmblemHealth leased the space from landlord Muss Development, and Colliers International represented them in the deal.

10. Collins Building Services, 24-01 44th Road, Long Island City — 30,760 square feet
The list for 2019 closes out with a lease from facilities management firm Collins Building Services for about 31,000 square feet at United Nations Federal Credit Union’s Court Square Place. The firm signed a 10-year deal expanding its space at the building and now occupies the entire 12th and 15th floors, according to the Commercial Observer. JRT represented Collins in the deal.

Source: The Real Deal’s deal sheet and brokerage data were provided by Newmark Knight Frank, industry and news reports. These charts rely on submissions from firms and can exclude unreported deals. Pop-ups were excluded.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Newmark Knight Frank as the broker for the Department of Health’s lease. They represented the landlord on the lease.

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