JV Sells $72M Long Island City Industrial Building

Less than two years after buying the asset, the joint venture between Metropolitan Realty Associates and TH Real Estate sold the property for a tidy profit.
48-49 35th St.

A joint venture between Metropolitan Realty Associates and TH Real Estate, an affiliate of Nuveen, the investment management arm of TIAA, has sold Commerce LIC, a three-story, 246,000-square-foot industrial building in the Long Island City submarket of Queens, New York City.

The buyer, North River Co., of New York, paid $72 million for the 1949-built property at 48-49 35th St. MRA had paid $55 million for the building in March 2017. Tenants include international shipping company AirSea Packing, the property’s largest tenant at 100,000 square feet, and Housing Works Thrift Shop.

The decision to sell coincided with Amazon’s announcement about locating one of its HQ2 facilities in the area.

Thoughtful commercial space remains in limited supply in Long Island City and, with the rapid transformation that will follow the Amazon … relocation, we expect forward-thinking companies will try to position themselves … in an environment that encourages collaboration and offers recreational, culture, leisure and living options,” MRA Founder & CEO Joseph Farkas said in a prepared statement.

Market pros

Not surprisingly, the buyer agrees about LIC’s healthy prospects. North River bought its first building in Long Island City, very close to Commerce LIC, about six years ago, and had been looking for additional product there since, Chris Pachios, principal of North River, told Commercial Property Executive.

North River is also very comfortable with multi-story industrial space, having owned several such properties in the Greater New York area over the past 40 years. “We know the product type,” Pachios said. 

North River is a privately held company founded by Coleman Burke, who’s also the founder & managing partner of Waterfront Properties. North River owns about 4 million square feet of space, mostly in New York, New England and Denver, though it is also expanding on the West Coast.

Earlier this year, Seagis Property Group acquired a 79,920-square-foot warehouse in Maspeth, Queens, with plans to extensively renovate the property.

Image courtesy of Metropolitan Realty Associates