New cargo warehouse near Kennedy almost finished

Rendering courtesy CBRE
By Rich Bockmann

Construction is nearly complete on the first air cargo warehouse to be built near JFK Airport in a decade, and the broker handling the Brookville property said the first 23,000 square feet are already leased.

The areas to the north of John F. Kennedy International Airport are home to the air cargo industry’s largest concentrations of freight forwarders and customs brokers — the companies that route international freight shipments — spread out across just under 6 million square feet in 180 buildings.

But developable land is scarce, and most of the current buildings, except for the 520,000-plus-square-foot AMB logistics center built in Idlewild Park in 2002, consist of outdated Class C properties constructed between the mid-1940s and the mid-1990s.

Work is about 75 percent complete on a 132,000-square-foot warehouse nestled into a residential area of Brookville, which is being built with the assistance of $4.9 million worth of tax exemptions and abatements facilitated by the New York City Industrial Development Agency.

Leasing agent Frank Liggio, vice president of the real estate firm CBRE, said the building’s first tenant, the Japan-based freight-forwarder “K” Line Logistics, made the move from a facility in Valley Stream.

“The project has seen significant interest from several other international freight forwarders operating in and around JFK and more specifically from Nassau County air freight users who were impacted from Super-Storm Sandy,” he said. “Also, several other users on- and off-tarmac who are in the “C” buildings where parking is somewhat restricted and a rare commodity, and loading is very challenging.”

Liggio said the doors are scheduled to open in January.

The property boasts four units ranging from 23,420 to 42,438 square feet with ceilings stretching up to 28 feet, office spaces, wide column spacing and drive-through garage doors.

The The company created to develop the site, Idlewild 228th Street LLC, purchased the vacant property out of foreclosure in 2010 for $3.6 million. The total project is expected to cost $19.7 million.

The asking lease price is $19.50 per square foot. Rents in the market have been flat through the recession but are now on the rise as freight volumes are expected to bounce back, according to the commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Top-of-the-line Class A facilities are going from $18.50 to $22 per square foot, the firm’s research shows.

According to the company’s 2013 airport outlook, Class A facilities have maintained 97 percent to 98 percent occupancy, despite the fact that freight volumes were down 5.9 percent from October 2011-12, due largely to a weak European economy.

Jones Lang LaSalle predicted volumes would slowly recover this year and drive growth between 2 percent and 3 percent.

Other developable land in the area includes a 5.2-acre site just north of the airport’s tarmac and a 182,000-square-foot site across from the AMB center for which the city Economic Development Corporation is requesting proposals.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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