Sunday, June 21, 2009

What could $20 million buy? Not even three of these tiny buildings in LIC

Forest City Ratner reportedly wants to pay just $20 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the portion of the Vanderbilt Yard it needs to build the Atlantic Yards arena. It initially promised to pay $100 million for the whole railyard. This series attempts to add some context.

From the Massey Knakal Third Quarter 2008 Sales Journal:
A one-story office building operating as a full service bank at 29-21 41st Avenue in the Long Island City section of Queens was sold... [for] $7,725,000. The 32’ x 70’ building is located in the heart of Long Island City, blocks from the Queensborough Bridge. The main floor consists of office space, conference room and one bathroom. The basement has a walk-in security vault, a conference room, office space, several storage rooms and two bathrooms. The property is situated in the Queens Plaza sub-district of Long Island City, allowing for approximately 73,008 buildable square feet. Currently the property contains approximately 8,664 square feet. It sold for $891.62 per square foot to a Westchester developer.

The segment of the Vanderbilt Yard at issue is 495' x 200', or 99,000 square feet, more than eleven times larger than the Long Island City site, which is 8664 sf. If you multiply the LIS price by eleven, it comes out to $85 million.

The LIC site only supports only 73,008 buildable square feet. The Atlantic Yards arena block, of which this segment (Block 1119, Lot 7) would be at least a third, would support an 800,000 square foot arena and at least 1.5 million in development rights, according to the City Funding Agreement. (The towers on the area block, as approved, were supposed to contain 2.69 million square feet.)

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