Commercial Real Estate

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The city unveiled a multi-faceted economic development “action plan” to prevent foreclosures, improve streetscapes, create affordable housing, and increase job-training opportunities in Jamaica on Wednesday.

The actions include creating a Jamaica-specific marketing and branding program, expanding free WiFi access via the LinkNYC program, and capital improvements to Rufus King Park and Brinkerhoff Mall Park in St. Albans. 

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Taiwan’s biggest bubble tea maker has chosen Flushing as an entry point into the Western market. This morning, La Kaffa Group signed a contract with F & T Group to open a flagship store at One Fulton Square, a mixed-used development at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Prince Street that is currently under construction. Specializing in tea, coffee, desserts, and entrees, La Kaffa currently has more than 450 locations with distinct popularity in Asia and the Middle East. Meanwhile, One Fulton Square, which will have a floor area of approximately 330,000 square feet, will include retail space, 22 office units and 43 residential units. A rendition of the planned venue is below.

Top photo: It’s in Queens; bottom photo: One Fulton Square

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TF Cornerstone, the developers of several of the towers on the Long Island City waterfront, recently announced that it had leased 30,000 square feet of retail space in two of the towers. According to the The Real Deal, TD Restaurant Group plans to open a 7,733 square foot Italian restaurant behind the neighborhood’s Pepsi sign at 4610 Center Boulevard.

A number of new tenants will be taking up residence at nearby 4545 Center Boulevard including I Love Kickboxing, a children’s clothing store, Mimi & Mo and child activity center New York Kids Club, which already has locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. What do you think? Will these be welcome additions to the neighborhood?

TF Cornerstone Leases up Retail at LIC Development [The Real Deal]

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Looks like some big-time tenants are eyeing the commercial and residential property at 5823-25 Myrtle Avenue, between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street in Ridgewood. The 4,264-square-foot building sold earlier this spring for $3,250,000. The broker in charge of the sale reports that the buyer, a private investor, is currently in negotiation with national tenants to lease the retail space. According to a rep at EPIC Commercial Realty, “Being on the corner of Forest and Myrtle Ave, plus over 40 feet of exposure on Myrtle Avenue, is drawing the attention of national retailers who are excited at the opportunity to set foot in the upcoming neighborhood.” It’s still unclear what kind of renovations are coming for the building, if any. (The property comes with a total of 11,688 buildable square feet, and was delivered to the buyer vacant.) So far there are no work permits up on the Department of Buildings website.

Very interesting, indeed. Ridgewood residents, what kind of retailers would you like to see on this corner?

Mixed-Use Building in Ridgewood Sells [Q’Stoner] GMAP

Photo via PropertyShark

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The commercial structure now under construction on Northern Boulevard between 87th and 88th Streets is getting a Denny’s, alongside other chain restaurants. Queens Courier reports that this’ll be the third Denny’s Restaurant in NYC and the very first in Queens. (The first Denny’s chain will open in downtown Manhattan later this summer.) Other tenants slated to move into the 40,000-square-foot space include Red Mango, Dunkin’ Donuts, a Children of America Day Care and medical offices.

It’s unclear when construction will actually finish and the tenants will start moving in. Here’s what the construction site looked like the other week — there’s still a ways to go.

First Queens Denny’s Opening in Jackson Heights [Queens Courier]
Construction Progress Spotted at Commercial Development on Northern Boulevard [Q’Stoner] GMAP

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There were construction workers out at 87-10 Northern Boulevard, the hulking construction project between 87th and 88th Streets. According to this website, this will someday be “The Shops at Northern Boulevard,” a 40,000-square-foot retail space with underground parking. It’s not designed for a single tenant; rather, it will hold a variety of smaller retail spaces. No word on when construction will wrap. A sign on the construction fence says work was scheduled to finish in the spring of 2013, so it’s been incredibly delayed.

Click through for one more construction shot, as well as a rendering of the final product. GMAP

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Borough President Katz set up a Flushing Task Force to help businesses though the $850,000,000 construction project at Flushing Commons. As the Times Ledger reports, there are still lingering questions for the neighborhood as construction starts up. The city does plan to establish a $2,250,000 program called the Flushing Small Business Assistance Program to help businesses during construction, but some business owners didn’t think the city offered enough details as to how the money would be spent. And business owners still worry that the massive construction project will deter people from nearby stores and restaurants. The Task Force plans to meet regularly to tackle these issues; the next meeting is scheduled for May.

The article also offered a handy construction timeline for the Flushing Commons project. Right now the developers are working on electrical work, changes to ramps and other internal updates necessary for excavation. Construction should start in late May or early June and this first phase will last until 2017. The entire project includes housing, commercial space, parking, a public park and a YMCA.

Katz Starts Flushing Task Force [Times Ledger]
All Flushing Commons coverage [Q’Stoner]

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Motorists getting a fillup or an oil check at Farrington’s Service Station at 15th Avenue and 126th Street in College Point may be interested in knowing that the station has been in operation since 1868, long before there were any automobiles to service.

“Farrington” is an old name in Flushing and College Point; the first Farringtons arrived in Flushing in the 1640s. Farrington Street, which now ends at the Whitestone Expressway, was formerly a main route between the two communities. The road traversed the former Farrington’s Meadows. A Farrington married a descendant of John Bowne, a Quaker who spearheaded a battle for religious freedom in 1640s Flushing when he refused to convert to the Dutch Reformed Church and eventually forced Peter Stuyvesant to allow diversity in religion.

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This week, the Forest Hills/Rego Park Times wondered if the main commercial drag of Forest Hills, Austin Street, was at risk of losing its independently owned boutiques, novelty shops and restaurants. Here’s a rundown of the recent changes on the thoroughfare:

Over the past decade, the retail district has been marked by the closure of many small businesses, including Daniella Boutique, Santa Fe Steakhouse, Stoa Jewelry, Buster Brown Shoes, Homestead Gourmet Shop, and Art World. Pasta Del Giorno at 70-49 Austin Street, which opened in 1989 and offered fine Italian dining, closed in mid-February.

The closed shops made way for large corporations, including banks, chain pharmacies, clothing shops, and cell phone stores, to move in after landlords imposed hefty rent increases upon some longtime tenants.

The Times particularly wonders if the area is starting to look like “medical center row.” There are rumors that a medical business will replace the movie theater at 70-20 Austin Street, and it’s confirmed that an urgent care center will replace the former Second Time Around clothing shop and the new glass building at 71-53 Austin Street will house a ProHealth Urgent Care. It’s worth nothing that there isn’t an Austin Street BID to help incentivize and spur commercial growth in the area. Do you think Austin Street needs a BID? Do you think these changes are anything to worry about at all?

Austin Street Retail District at Risk [Forest Hills Times]

Photo via Forest Hills Times

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The 82nd Street Partnership is overseeing a commercial renovation at 37-49 82nd Street, between Roosevelt and 37th avenues in Jackson Heights. According to them, the work will encompass a restoration of the facade, windows, sign, awning and lights. After a meeting yesterday with the Landmarks Preservation Commission the design is going back to the drawing board. According to Seth Taylor at the 82nd Street Partnership, “We have to make some revisions to our design to fully restore the facade.” Stay tuned for a rendering!

Photo via Twitter GMAP

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