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Metropolitan Realty Associates Rides The LIC Development Wave With $89M Acquisition


While the overall sales market is down this year compared to the record-breaking run of 2015, the right deal can always convince a buyer.

So it is in Long Island City, where Joseph FarkasMetropolitan Realty Associates has partnered with TIAA Global Asset Management to close a $89M acquisition of HUB LIC.

The four-story, 326k SF former Mack Fire Engine boasts an 80k SF contiguous office block, a 7,000 SF skylight, 16- to 21-foot high ceilings, eight loading docks and abundant parking. Currently 48% leased, the HUB houses POLO Ralph Lauren, TEC Systems (Honeywell), Eleni’s Bakery, Gracie, and Richelieu. 

The sale was brokered by Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon, Adam Spies, Adam Doneger and Josh King. Eastdil’s Grant Frankel and Rob Turner arranged acquisition financing.


MRA’s CIO and managing principal Todd Bassen--a former Invesco and Vornado Realty Trust executive and WeWork real estate co-head--says the firm willl transform the property to house a large-format retailer in the base, and is confident LIC will continue to take off as a viable alternative to skyrocketing Manhattan and Brooklyn rents. 

TIAA recently redeveloped, re-leased and fully stabilized over 1M SF of vacant Midtown office space purchased in 2010 and 2011, including 685 Third Ave and 475 Fifth Ave

MRA, on the other hand, has increased its presence throughout the boroughs, completed a ground up development known as Riverdale Crossing. Once the home to the Stella D’Oro cookie factory, the 160k SF Bronx shopping center--which was sold to Vanbarton Group last October for $133M--is anchored by a BJ’s Wholesale Club and is home to Chipotle, Smashburger, Buffalo Wild Wings and CityMD.