Longfellow inks first NYC purchase with stake in LIC life sciences property
Firm picked up majority equity interest at 43-10 23rd Street
New York City’s life sciences push has brought a new developer to the area: Longfellow Real Estate Partners.
The developer is buying a majority equity interest in 43-10 23rd Street in Long Island City, Queens, the Commercial Observer reported. The 200,000-square-foot building is owned by a private real estate fund, which in turn is managed by Columbia Property Trust and Kassabian Realty.
Longfellow is paying $95 million for the majority equity interest, equivalent to $475 per square foot. According to the Observer, Longfellow plans to invest another $120 million to make the building a state-of-the-art life sciences facility.
The private fund purchased a 50 percent stake in the six-story factory from Kassabian in 2017 for $54 million. It was originally slated to be turned into an office property before the pandemic sparked a course change.
A Cushman & Wakefield team including Adam Spies and Josh King advised the private fund in the transaction and structured the forthcoming joint venture, according to the Observer. Another Cushman team of Gideon Gil and Lauren Kaufman arranged for $155 million in financing from Square Mile Capital to assist in the property conversion.
While this is Longfellow’s first purchase in New York City, it isn’t entirely new to the market. The firm is a strategic partner in the New York Blood Center expansion on the Upper East Side and will develop the headquarters for the nonprofit.
Longfellow recently paid $80 million for a 2.07-acre site about two miles from San Francisco International Airport. The site is home to an 85,000-square-foot storage facility, but Longfellow plans to create 260,000 square feet of Class A life sciences space.
Long Island City has emerged as a life sciences hub in recent years, thanks to properties like Innolabs and Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ Alexandria Center taking root in the area. Opentrons recently agreed to bring its lab and a subsidiary to Innolabs’ 45-18 Court Square West on a 10-year lease.
The city’s LifeSci NYC initiative has dedicated $1 billion to research and lab development in the city.
[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner