March 18, 2019

facebook twitter linkedin tumblr google pinterest

Interest in Court Square Condo Spikes Thanks to Amazon

Interest in Court Square Condo Spikes Thanks to Amazon
Spread the love


Until recent weeks, Skyline Tower, a 67-story condominium under construction in the Court Square area of Long Island City, Queens, hadn’t drawn much interest from buyers. But its developers weren’t too concerned since the building is only about seven stories high right now.

But after Amazon announced last month that it would establish a HQ2 in Long Island City and would be renting space in the former Citicorp building right across from Skyline, the phones started to ring.

There was one lone inquiry before the announcement, according to the brokerage firm Modern Spaces, which is handling sales of the building’s 802 units. Now there are nearly 700 ready buyers. This is despite the fact that a teaser website went up just days ago; construction of a sales office only got underway last month; sales won’t begun until March; and the building isn’t expected to top out until the end of 2019.

Although Amazon plans to build a sprawling campus along the East River, the company has already leased one million square feet in the Citicorp building, officially named One Court Square. Amazon has said it would begin moving workers in next year.

“Skyline Tower is 60 feet away,” said Eric Benaim, the founder and chief executive of Modern Spaces.

Skyline’s site, on 44th Drive adjacent to the elevated subway line, was owned by Citigroup when the United Construction & Development Group and partners paid $143 million for it in 2015, according to William Xu, vice president of the company and the nephew of its founder and president, Jiashu Xu.

The Queens developer, who immigrated from China in the late 1980s and in 1994 opened his first business, in plumbing supply, has mostly constructed low- and midrise buildings in Elmhurst, Flushing and Jamaica.

The Court Square project, for which the developer also bought air rights from the CUNY School of Law next door, is in a different league.

“My uncle had a vision of doing a big, tall building to put Queens on the map on the condo scene,” said the younger Mr. Xu.

Skyline Tower will stand 778 feet tall and is poised to grab the Citicorp tower’s mantle as the tallest building in Queens. It was designed by Hill West Architects as a curtain-wall building on a seven-story podium. That base will contain retail stores and the condo’s many amenities, including a 75-foot-long skylit lap pool.

A new entrance to the Court Square subway station, on which the developer is spending about $16 million, will also be at the base of the building.

Apartments will range from studios to four-bedroom units — with one- and two-bedrooms predominating — and will be compact in size but have high-end finishes such as bronze fittings in kitchens and baths. Many west-facing units will have views of Manhattan, and some apartments will have private balconies or terraces.

The building, which is costing about $500 million to construct, was to have brought in $1 billion in apartment sales, a record sellout for a Queens project. But with the surge of interest, the developer — whose partners include Henry Yeung, Brian Pun of FSA Capital and Risland U.S. Holdings — secured permission from the state attorney general’s office for price increases totaling about $80 million. One-bedrooms, which average 702 square feet, will start at $865,000, and two-bedrooms of 932 square feet will start at $1.225 million.

The building is expected to be ready for its first move-ins the second quarter of 2021.

“We were excited about the building before, and now even more excited,” Mr. Xu said.

Interest in Skyline Tower suggests that buyers have confidence that the Amazon deal is firmly in place even as local opposition to the retail giant’s arrival is gaining traction. Opponents object to incentives from the state and city that could total $3 billion for one of the world’s richest companies, the lack of public review of the deal, and the potential impact on Queens neighborhoods already feeling the pinch of gentrification.

Interest has also extended to other new condo projects in the Court Square area, including Corte, an eight-story, 85-unit building; the Bond, a seven-story, 42-unit project; and Craftsmen Townhomes, eight four-story townhouses.

Modern Spaces, which specializes in real estate in Long Island City and Astoria, had been averaging eight or nine sales a week this year. But since the Amazon news, Mr. Benaim said, it has sold nearly 400 units, making the fourth quarter of 2018 its best in 10 years of business.

Clearly, both the developer and the brokerage have found themselves in the right place at the right time.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think Amazon would come to Queens, and Long Island City, and just down the block from us,” Mr. Xu said. “It’s pretty surreal.”

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.





Source link

More from my site

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply