In at $8M, out at $46M — just three years later

Steve Cheung sells LIC property for close to six times original purchase price

From left: Joseph Stern and 29-37 41st Avenue
From left: Joseph Stern and 29-37 41st Avenue

A Queens-based developer who bought a prime Long Island City site for $8 million three years ago flipped the property for nearly six times that amount.

Developer Steve Cheung closed yesterday on the $46.3 million sale of the site at 29-37 41st Avenue in The Queens Plaza section of Long Island City.

The buyer is an unidentified institutional investor. The site has a buildable square footage of roughly 205,000 square feet and comes with approvals for a 30-story residential tower with 242 units.

Cheung was represented by Joseph Stern of Jay Street Advisors, who said rising land prices in Long Island City made the decision to sell a no-brainer.

“It didn’t make sense to invest another [$50-75 million] in the project when he could get significantly more value out of it today with less risk than originally anticipated,” Stern said.

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The site had reportedly been listed back in February by The Address Group with an asking price of $50 million. Stern said he put the property on the market about 45 days prior to the contract date.

The deal worked out to $225 per buildable foot. When Cheung paid $8 million in 2011 for the site – then a failed hotel project planned during the housing boom – he paid about $40 per square foot.

Stern said prices in that area of Queens have climbed dramatically over the past 24 months, and today can reach upwards of $250 per buildable foot.

Nearby, Simon Baron Development paid $53.2 million earlier this year to buy a development site from from Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group at 29-26 Northern Boulevard. Rabsky had started developing a 400-unit, 44-story apartment tower with commercial space on the ground floor.

On the southern side of Queensboro Plaza, Tishman Speyer is planning to construct 1,600 residential units in three towers at Phase 2 of its Gotham Center project.

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