Industrial Properties vs. Development Sites


It has been a long time since Western Queens areas such as Long Island City were mainly a sleepy industrial area made up of truck parking lots and buildings actually used for manufacturing and storage facilities. The close proximity to Manhattan and all major thoroughfares and relatively cheaper pricing made this area an ideal location for many small to mid-size businesses for many years. Now most parking lots have been or will be slated for development sites and existing industrial buildings have or will be converted into sheek higher-end residential projects, hotels, mixed-use or office product.

We have seen a flight of industrial businesses to Eastern Queens in search or actual industrial user properties such as warehouses and land. Most of these properties which are in industrial areas in Long Island City have been turned into development properties. Their highest and best use are now for developers mostly looking for residential ground up development sites. Even though prices for buildable square footage have come down in the Western Queens market, most developers are still paying in excess of $100 per buildable square foot which in many cases far outweighs the $150 per actual in-place square footage a user can pay. As the market continues improving and construction credit and loans become more available, this trend will inevitably continue.

The flip side to this scenario is that more Easternly areas such as Maspeth, College Point, Flushing and Corona have scene an uptick in desirability for their industrial areas. Over the past several years since their Western neighbors have seen a development free-for-all, these industrial properties have seen their price per square foot nearly double consistently breaking through $100 per square foot for existing buildings. In fact, Flushing, averages over $150 per square foot for industrial buildings and close to $75 per foot just for land. Some notable industrial warehouse building sale transactions recently were: 112-20 14th Avenue in College Point sold for $136 per SF, 154-01/05 Barclay Avenue sold for $162 per SF, and 215-14 42nd Avenue in Bayside just sold for a $188 per SF!