Office-to-residential conversions are usually expected of ornate, pre-war high-rises, or tall-ceiling industrial lofts. Such conversions are much more rare at mid-century office buildings, particularly ones that had no redeeming architectural value in the first place. Long Island City’s Luna LIC became one of the city’s only such projects when it opened its doors earlier this year. The nine-story office building was built in 1955 at 42-15 Crescent Street, at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge. Over the past few years, Meadow Partners redeveloped the property into an 11-story, 124-unit rental, and sold it to World Wide Group for a hefty profit. The architects at Avinash K. Malhotra Architects, also known as AKM Architects, opted for minimal intervention, rather than a total structural overhaul, which was sufficient to transform the poorly-aged eyesore into the latest addition to the growing residential community around Court Square.
In February, Israeli-Russian billionaire Boris Kuzinez closed on the final piece of a three-property development site on Fifth Avenue in Midtown South for $59 million. Now, he’s filed plans for a 54-story condo building there, at 262 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 29th Street.
In March, YIMBY reported that the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) kicked off for the 10-story, 220-unit mixed-use building proposed at 50-25 Barnett Avenue, in Sunnyside. Earlier this week, developer Phipps Houses withdrew their application for the project, Politico reported, which means the project has been cancelled. The ULURP process was suppose to conclude by the end of this month. Since March, it appears the developer scaled down the project to seven stories and 209 units, but that move proved unsuccessful in relieving opposition. It would have included a 4,000-square-foot pre-K school on the ground floor and between 25 to 30 percent of the units would have rented at below-market rates through the housing lottery. New plans for the site have not been revealed, but it’s zoned for up to 60,000 square feet of commercial and community facility space as-of-right.
Sun Equity Partners and the Heskel Group have closed on the $27 million purchase of the 23,439-square-foot site at 40-31 82nd Street, located along Ithaca Street and Baxter Avenue in northern Elmhurst. The duo plan to build a seven-story, 160,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial building, The Real Deal reported. Dubbed The Shoppes At 82nd Street, it will feature 45,000 square feet of retail space on the ground and cellar levels, followed by 100,000 square feet of community facility space on the floors above. No new building applications have been filed at this time. An old, vacant movie theater, in addition to multiple single- and two-story commercial structures, must first be demolished. The 82nd Street-Jackson Heights stop on the 7 train is a few steps away.
D&F Development Group has recently filed applications for another 82-unit residential building, at 127-10 Locust Manor Lane, within their multi-building Locust Manor Estates development in South Jamaica. The project will rise 14 stories and measure 89,382 square feet. Its residential units should average 1,029 square feet apiece, indicative of family-sized configurations. All of the apartments will be subsidized rentals. Amenities include a community room, a 29-car parking garage, storage for 41 bikes, tenant storage, and laundry facilities. Gerald J. Caliendo’s Briarwood-based architecture firm is the architect of record.