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Live-Work-Play: That's The Flushing Way


With the suburban shopping mall aesthetic rapidly fading, the floodgates are opening for more diverse, modern retail centers that better cater to a city’s specific population.

Queens is embracing this change with recent developments including Tangram NYC, a 1.2M SF mixed-use development with 275K SF of retail in the heart of downtown Flushing.

F & T Group, a New York-based real estate company, has been in the Flushing community for over 30 years and co-developed Tangram with Shanghai Construction Group subsidiary SCG America, keeping the neighborhood's core Asian population in mind. F & T Group Executive Vice President Helen Lee told Bisnow the development is not just a retail center, but offers its patrons an immersive residential, office and hotel experience as well.

“Tangram is a diverse, mixed-use development in Flushing that not only appeals to our multigenerational Asian community but brings in many tenants from different backgrounds in what we consider the shopping mall of the future,” Lee said. “We want people to ‘meet at Tangram’ and experience this game-changing lifestyle space that’s becoming an essential part of Queens’ identity.”

To help bring its vision to life, F & T Group and SCG America is collaborating with NYC-based commercial real estate broker and leasing firm Ripco Real Estate.

Bisnow spoke with Ripco Managing Director Michelle Abramov and Vice President Greg Batista about their involvement in Tangram, the impact it has on Flushing and what makes this neighborhood ideal for investors, both now and in the future. 

Bisnow: What inspired the collaboration with the developers on the Tangram development?

Batista: Ripco has been active in the Flushing market for many years. We value our relationships both locally and nationally. We’re excited to see what brings tenants to Tangram. In Flushing, F & T Group has some unique ideas for showcasing the dynamic growth of this area, not only as a retail spot but as a well-knit community that can create a global impact. This is a project we’re proud to be a part of. 

Abramov: We loved the concept of Tangram. It was inspired by the traditional Chinese puzzle comprising flat pieces called tans. It's obvious that the developer wanted to transform this site into a year-round lifestyle destination for the residents, the business community and tourists. 

Tangram’s retail is a two-level complex that boasts 275K SF and anchors a Regal Cinemas with seven screens. This was the first cinema to open in Flushing in 35 years, and Regal’s first Queens location to feature 4DX technology. In addition to the exciting retail shops, Tangram has a 24K SF culinary food court and beer hall, and family-oriented entertainment options. We can’t wait to see how this continues to develop in the next 10 years. 

Bisnow: You’ve called Flushing an “emerging global market.” Can you explain what that means and how it has impacted development?

Abramov: We’ve seen Flushing develop into a global market with the high growth of residents, jobs and businesses in the neighborhood over the past few years. Flushing has the highest number of businesses throughout the Queens borough. If Queens was its own city, it would be ranked the fourth-largest city in the nation, and Flushing contributes significantly to that ranking with its growing population. 

As a result, the neighborhood has boomed with new construction of residential and office rentals and condos and retail complexes like Tangram. Flushing is also the home to Citi Field, New York Hall of Science, Queens Zoo, Queens Museum, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Queens Botanical Garden. 

Bisnow: How is Tangram contributing to the continued growth and transformation of Flushing?

Batista: Tangram isn’t your typical, outdated suburban mall. Tangram carries Flushing’s essence and expands on the neighborhood’s thriving, cultural aesthetic while providing an upscale and modern touch that would appeal to the lifestyle needs of not only young people but patrons of all ages. 

Abramov: There are residential condos, office space, a 208-key hotel and three levels of parking, in addition to the retail, all connected, for people to eat, drink, work, live, play and shop. The goal is to create a true lifestyle center that is forward-thinking.

Bisnow: Why do you think Flushing is one of the most attractive neighborhoods for investors both nationally and internationally?

Batista: Flushing is currently experiencing a development boom with a variety of projects in the works. Many investors here know the lay of the land and are willing to invest in something that creates a legacy, especially with many of Flushing’s residents being multigenerational.

Abramov: Flushing is in a great location, being the midpoint between Manhattan and Long Island. It provides easy access to transit because Tangram is one block away from the third-busiest intersection in NYC: Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. It features the 7 subway line, which sees over 18 million annual riders and allows residents to be in Midtown Manhattan in less than 10 minutes. Also, the 20 public bus lines and the four major highways connect to the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway for better commuting.

Bisnow: What makes Flushing a good location for investors? 

Batista: Flushing has a lot to offer, from diversity, job opportunities and population growth. This is something that’s not slowing down any time soon as more people become attracted to this neighborhood.

Abramov: I think it’ll experience more growth as a place for sports and entertainment as well. New York City Football Club recently reached a deal for $780M to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Willets Point, right next to Citi Field. This 23-acre project will include a 250-room hotel, retail, 2,500 housing units and a new public school. With all of the new developments on the horizon, we know Flushing has the potential to become a global hub of the future.

This article was produced in collaboration between Ripco Real Estate and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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