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Developer Makes Bet on LIC Retail Growth
February, 01 2016
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A New York developer with residential projects under way in Long Island City has invested in a commercial building there in anticipation of the neighborhood’s population growth.

The Hakimian Organization signed a 99-year ground lease with the land owner, 44-16 23rd Operating Co., for the two-story, 22,254-square-foot commercial building at 44-16 23rd St. The Hakimian Organization’s executive director for marketing and sales, Shawn Hakimian, declined to comment on the price.

The developer plans to start a gut-renovation of the building in coming weeks. The work will include a new storefront, elevator, mechanics and lighting, according to Mr. Hakimian.

The Hakimian Organization’s two nearby rental projects are expected to open in 2017. While researching the neighborhood, “we realized the retail is already under-serviced,” Mr. Hakimian said.

He estimated there are 24,000 apartment units planned for the neighborhood and 31 hotels in development. “We needed to find a building that would service these new residents and guests,” he said.

JRT Realty Group Inc. will handle the leasing. Monthly rents will range from $45 to $65 a square foot, according to JRT President Greg Smith. “After just one week of marketing, we already received an offer from a tenant to lease the entire building,” he said. He declined to disclose the tenant.

Mr. Smith said the building may be leased to a single tenant or split up, with retail on the ground floor and office space above. The company is considering restaurant, retail, gym and co-working tenants, he said.

“It’s an exciting market, considering this is one of the fastest-growing communities in the five boroughs,” he said.

—Emily Nonko
Related Link: Developer Makes Bet on LIC Retail Growth
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