City of New York Renews, Expands to 233 KSF at Queens Atrium

Not only has the New York City Department of Design and Construction renewed its commitment to its home base at Queens Atrium in Long Island City in Queens, N.Y., the agency has also taken on some more elbowroom.

Queens Atrium

Not only has the New York City Department of Design and Construction renewed its commitment to its home base at Queens Atrium in Long Island City in Queens, N.Y., the agency has also taken on some more elbowroom. The DDC signed a 15-year lease with The Feil Organization, owner of the 550,000-square-foot office building, for a total of 233,000 square feet.

The DDC will remain in the 210,000 square feet it occupies at 30-30 Thompson Ave., and take on an additional 23,000 square feet, leaving Queens Atrium at maximum occupancy. The agency had every reason to stay put.

“The property has amazing access to midtown via public transportation, the Ed Koch 59th Street bridge, and the Midtown tunnel. You can easily be in Midtown within 20 minutes or less. This provides tenants the opportunity to be in close proximity to Manhattan at a lower rental basis,” Randall Briskin, vice president of leasing at Feil, told Commercial Property Executive.

In the third quarter, the average asking rental rate for office space was $26.38 per square-foot in Long Island City and $70.19 per square-foot in Midtown Manhattan.

Queens Atrium is a unique office destination. Originally developed as an industrial site, it was home to The American Chicle Co. beginning in the early 1920s. In 1985, the six-story building was redeveloped under a master plan by celebrated architect I. M. Pei and emerged as the International Design Center, featuring ample square footage of office, showroom and conference space.

“These types of property, with extremely large floor plates, sitting in such close proximity to Manhattan, are irreplaceable assets,” Briskin added.

Queens, in general, is rising higher on office users’ radar. “We believe that as the residential construction continues to intensify, the market will only get stronger as the employment pool directly serving the market expands,” Briskin concluded. “While deals can take a while to work through, there will always be a demand for well positioned real estate.”

In commercial real estate, Queens may not be the most talked-about borough in New York City–Manhattan reigns supreme–but there’s plenty of activity going on in the area. Other recent news includes Terreno Realty Corp.’s acquisition of JFK Airgate, a 229,000-square-foot mixed-use industrial portfolio across from JFK International Airport, in a $53.1 million transaction. Queens cannot be ignored.