Queens’ hospital project snags final construction funds

Steven Wu's conversion of St. John's Hospital in Elmhurst to hold 144 rentals

The former St. John's Hospital in Elmhurst, Queens
The former St. John's Hospital in Elmhurst, Queens

A group of Asia-based developers led by Steven Wu secured a $32 million construction loan that will finance the completion of the final stage of the St. John’s Hospital conversion in Elmhurst, Queens. Madison Realty Capital provided the loan, which lined up an earlier $38 million acquisition loan for the property.

Leasing at the 266,322-square-foot property – which the developers bought in December 2013 for $55 million – will commence soon, Madison Realty Capital co-founder Josh Zegen told The Real Deal.

No major renovations were needed at the former hospital, which is located along Queens Boulevard between 57th Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, Zegen said. The development will ultimately hold 144 rental apartments divided among 148,109 square feet and will include about 118,213 square feet of commercial and community space.

Studios, one- and two-bedroom units will be located on the third through sixth floors, with a penthouse on the seventh floor with 15-foot ceilings. The penthouse will be one of eight such units in the building, and each will have a private roof terrace. The second floor will hold a community space ,with retail space located on the ground floor and in the basement.

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The building at 90-02 Queens Boulevard also comes with an 89,601-square-foot parking garage across the street that can hold around 290 spaces that will be used for the building’s future tenants as well as the commercial component of the development.

The project is relatively big for Queens – especially in the Elmhurst section of the borough, where there has been more activity of late, Zegen said.

About a block away, the Elm leased up in about 90 days, an indication for rentals at the former hospital, Zegen said. Pricing for the studios, one- and two-bedrooms at the building will be in the low $40s per square foot, Zegen said.

“It’s a product that almost doesn’t exist in the market today,” Zegen said. Similar buildings are usually found in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and increasingly in Long Island City. But Zegen expects more of the developments to sprout all over Queens.