Friday, December 2, 2016

#4 Story for 2016: Developer to Build Twin 27-Story Towers in Queens Plaza

Tishman Speyer has secured a loan from Bank of the Ozarks and anchor tenants, including WeWork, to construct a pair of new office towers in Long Island City. The 1.1 million-square-foot, $700 million office project will break ground early next year.

The 27-story buildings, which will sit atop a four-story retail base, will rise at 28-10 Queens Plaza South, adjacent to a 700,000-square-foot office building that Tishman Speyer built in 2011.

They will be located across the street from three large residential spires that the firm is in the process of erecting.

In the early 2000s, Tishman Speyer won a bid to acquire the city-owned sites where the new office tower, the recently-built office tower and the residential buildings are located.

As part of that deal, the developer received tax breaks for the projects.

The developer will save nearly $65 million on 28-10 Queens Plaza South—that includes an exemption of roughly $4.5 million in mortgage recording taxes, which would normally be assessed during Tishman's purchase of the site, and nearly $4 million in sales taxes for construction materials for the development. It also got more than $56 million in property-tax discounts for 30 years. 

"Thanks to the city of New York's investment in the area's infrastructure, enlightened policy decisions and the active support of the New York City Economic Development Corp., the local community and its elected officials, Long Island City has become a model for 21st-century urban development," said Rob Speyer.

"Tishman Speyer is proud to continue our role in unlocking the area's full potential as one of the most dynamic, live-work-play neighborhoods, not just in Queens but in all of New York City."

Tishman Speyer is seeking $145 million in EB-5 funding for the new twin-spire office property. That controversial program allows developers to tap foreign investors in exchange for allowing them to apply for green cards.

The developer has partnered with a Qatar-based investment firm, Qatari Diar, to construct the project.

Additionally, WeWork will be one of the project's anchor tenants and will take about 250,000 square feet. The developer said that 800,000 square feet of the two towers' 1.1 million square feet has already been spoken for.

"This will be a fantastic space for us to bring our community of creators to this thriving and dynamic neighborhood,"  WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann said in a statement.

Tishman Speyer built the neighboring office tower after it secured a deal for the city's Department of Health to take the entirety of that building's space. The three residential towers, which together will hold 1,900 rental apartments, received 421-a benefits before the tax-abatement program expired at the beginning of the year.

However, because of loopholes in the 421-a program, none of the towers' units are required to be affordable in return for the tax breaks.

The buildings at 28-10 Queens Plaza South, designed by architect Raul De Armas of MdeAS Architect, are expected to be finished in 2019.

The properties will be connected by 40,000 square feet of retail at the base, which will feature a food hall, space for a major restaurant and shops, and a parking garage.

Visit Our Sponsors

Page Views

Since October 1, 2011