Tile retailer Ann Sacks inks 21K sf lease in Long Island City

High-end wholesaler takes entire ground floor of former factory converted by Kaufman Org

Kohler Interiors' Rachel Kohler with 21-05 51st Avenue
Kohler Interiors' Rachel Kohler with 21-05 51st Avenue (Loopnet, Getty)

The first legal cannabis shops have yet to open in Queens, but Long Island City is getting stoned in another sense of the term.

High-end tile and stone wholesaler Ann Sacks signed a 21,161-square-foot lease for the entire ground floor of 21-01 51st Avenue, a former toy factory converted to office and retail by the Kaufman Organization and True North Management.

The Kohler subsidiary plans to open a studio and large showroom for its unique tile and stone slabs at the property, known as the Cardinal Building. Ann Sacks expects to open the new site this summer after it completes a build out of the space.

It will be an expansion, not a relocation: The company intends to keep its two Manhattan showrooms at 204 East 58th Street in Midtown and 31 East 18th Street north of Union Square.

Tyler Clutts of Cresa represented the tenant in the deal. A JLL team including James Ferrigno, Leslie Lanne and Daniel Morici represented landlords Kaufman and True North. The asking rent was $45 a square foot.

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Founded in the 1980s by its namesake, a former teacher, Portland, Oregon-based Ann Sacks was acquired by Kohler in 1989. It still creates handcrafted tile, stone and luxury plumbing fixtures at its Portland headquarters.

Retail tenants who locate here may be eligible for tax breaks, rent credits and incentives that are available to those that want to expand outside of Manhattan. There is also no commercial rent tax.

Kaufman and True North signed a 99-year ground lease for the 62,701-square-foot Cardinal Building in 2018 from Joel Berger of Martial Enterprises before extensively renovating the three-story property and adding a roof deck with views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Industrial flex spaces of 20,770 square feet on the second and third floors are still available, and a tenant taking both floors has the option to add signage to the end of the building that faces the Long Island Expressway.

“We are confident that with an exclusive, high-end company like Ann Sacks, we will attract additional luxury collections to join the building,” said Kaufman principal Grant Greenspan.

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