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Feil acquires retail strip

By Alex Robinson

The Waldbaum’s Shopping Center in Whitestone was sold to a New York City-based real estate firm for $23.9 million last week.

The Feil Organization bought the 62,000-square-foot property, at 153-01 10th Ave., from Crow Holdings and Onyx Equities, a New Jersey-based company that had owned the shopping center since 2012.

“It’s a nice stable cash flow in a nice infill location, we believe,” said Brian Feil, vice president of Feil. “We think it was a nice attractive little deal.”

A Waldbaum’s supermarket occupies a majority of the shopping center and subleases the remaining portions of the property to six other retail tenants.

Feil said his firm does not currently have any intention of buying Waldbaum’s out of its lease, which runs until 2024 with a series of five-year options to renew until 2053, according to city property records.

The Feil Organization is one of the largest developers in the city and owns real estate across the country, including the Glen Oaks shopping center, at 255-55 Union Tnpk., which has a Waldbaum’s supermarket and an MJM Designer Shoes store, as well as a Burlington Coat Factory outlet.

The company also owns a number of retail, residential, office and industrial properties in Long Island, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Illinois and Indiana. The firm is currently developing a new five-story office tower on East 161st Street in the Bronx and a 125,000-square-foot, mixed-use complex on West 125th Street in Manhattan.

“It’s a nice addition to the portfolio and continues our rate of growth in the tri-state area,” Feil said about the Waldbaum’s property.

CBRE’s New York Institutional Group represented the seller. CBRE is based in Los Angeles and is one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms.

Jeff Dunne, of CBRE, the lead broker on the deal, said the property was attractive because the lack of developable land in Whitestone leaves little chance for competing retailers to move into the neighborhood.

“There isn’t a lot of land to build new stuff in that area, so it has that feature of being highly irreplaceable,” Dunne said. “The Feil Organization recognized this highly unique, generational opportunity to acquire an irreplaceable site in Queens.”

The 4.6-acre property has 263 parking spaces, according to Onyx Equities’ website. The Waldbaum’s portion of the property takes up approximately 41,000 square feet and the remaining retailers collectively occupy 21,000 square feet.

The shopping center is adjacent to an 18-acre brownfield site, which is set to be developed into 52 single-family waterfront homes.

Onyx Equities purchased the property in 2012 from California-based ABA Partners for $17.6 million.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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