11-32 31st Avenue in Astoria, Queens NY, is impeccably situated right off the East River. The subject property is a 7,000 sq. ft., 46’ x 125’ L-Shaped lot improved by a single-story + cellar, 3,500 sq. ft. Warehouse building. The site is located in an R7A Zoning district within a Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Zone; giving a developer 3.45X FAR or 24,150 ZFA for an as-of-right project and a bonus FAR of 4.6X or 32,200 ZFA for an affordable housing project.
The seller, Mr. Rosner, owned the property for 50-years and also operated his business here “Rosner Custom Sounds”, a pioneer in the Soundsystem world. He decided to wind down his business and monetize by disposing of the property to a developer. Mr. Rosner also resides in and owns the 2-Family home connected to the rear L-shaped portion of the subject property.
One of the challenges to this transaction was the fact that the owner parks 3 classic cars behind his home, which he gets to using the L-shaped subject property; so any new development would have to have a right-of-way easement granted post-development so Mr. Rosner could then park his
3 cars back in its places. Also during construction, we would have to relocate the 3-cars to indoor parking spaces in the immediate area.
On top of marketing the site during the Covid-19 crisis, the owner was firm on his pricing in achieving north of $5million for his site.
We got creative and showed the owner how we can monetize his current residence without selling and transfer air rights from his home, since it connected via the rear in an L-shape, to the subject property.
Utilizing our surgical marketing approach, we were able to choose a developer who would 1. Grant Mr. Rosner a right-of-way post development to get to his parking spaces using the new developments lot. 2. Purchase 3,000 sq. ft. of air rights from the seller’s residence, while still leaving some air rights intact for future use. This was done in a manner that did not negatively impact the sellers 2-family home. And 3. Pay for the temporary relocating of the sellers three vehicles during construction, which we were able to locate and procure on the same block.
The site went under hard contract during the beginning of the Covid pandemic and since it was a tough lending environment to close in; we negotiated for the developer to file Demolition Plans and New Building Permits, with the owner’s full cooperation during contract.
When the developer needed an extension on closing, the seller granted the buyers an extension with a release of escrow and a $20,000/month extension fee, which ended up going out another 6-months. This allowed the seller to earn a monthly income while allowing the developer to get all appropriate plans and permits filed along with arranging the financing needed to get to a smooth close.
As of May 2020, the two will continue into a contractual relationship once the construction financing is secured.
Development Site Advisors® exclusively represented the seller and was the sole broker in the transaction. The property + air rights closed in an all-cash transaction on Friday July 23, 2021 for $5,500,000; which equates to $183/ZFA.
What Is Being Built?
The developer has filed New Building permits to construct a new 29,966 SF, 8-Story, 80 Foot tall, 29-Unit Apartment Building.