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Iconic RKO Keith’s Theater In Flushing Sells For $66M In Cash


JK Equities has sold Flushing, QueensRKO Keith’s Theater for $66M in an all-cash transaction to XIN Development International, the American investment arm of Chinese Xinyuan Real Estate.

The theater, which opened in 1928 and saw the likes of Bob Hope, Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, Mae West and Jerry Lewis, has sat on the market for more than 30 years, but a development wave is hitting Flushing, revitalizing the area and attracting massive interest from foreign investors, The Real Deal reports.

The main catalysts for this wave are Onex Corp’s 750-unit condo, Sky View Parc, and Flushing Commons, a JV between F&T Group, the Rockefeller Group and AECOM Capital, which are selling well.

JK was repped by Cushman & Wakefield New York investment sales chairman Bob Knakal—who recently gave his thoughts at a C&W Q2 review—alongside Stephen Preuss and Jonathan Hagemen. XIN was repped by RLTY NYC’s Albert Benalloul.

Offering 160 feet of frontage, the theater’s expected to be redeveloped into a Pei Cobb Freed-designed 390k SF mixed-use project with 269 residential units, retail and community components. The redevelopment is qualified for a 421-a abatement

Developers will need to preserve the theater’s landmark ticket booth lobby and grand foyer, but approval has already been granted by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

XIN Development was the first Chinese developer to enter NYC’s condo market; this will be its third condo project in the area. The company’s portfolio also includes a 216-unit South Williamsburg condo and a 100-unit project at a Hell’s Kitchen gas station site. [TRD]