New IHOP owners mull development

New IHOP owners mull development
Photo by Alex Robinson
By Alex Robinson

The new owners of the IHOP, at 155-17 Northern Blvd., said they are considering buying the current tenants out of their lease and could be open to redeveloping the property in the future.

The International House of Pancakes was sold to New Jersey-based KIMCNE Real Estate Holdings, headed by Won Kim, Dec. 12 for $2.9 million by California-based Ease Investment LLC. The 14,375-square-foot property has housed an IHOP since 1971 and the building was sold with the current lease intact.

The property’s new owners said they have no concrete plans for the building at the moment, but they are weighing a number of options that include buying the current tenants out of their lease and redeveloping the property further in the future.

“That’s a definite possibility. It’s something we’re talking about at the moment but don’t really know what the future holds,” said Alex Kim, Won Kim’s son. “We’ve had loose conversations. It’s all kind of spitballing conversations at the moment. The location presents many possibilities. There are a few different things you could do like a retail or commercial development, but those are just ideas for now.”

Kim said they are also considering continuing to run the building as an IHOP.

“IHOP is performing well. At the moment there isn’t a reason to do anything yet,” he said.

Won Kim, head of KIMCNE Real Estate Holdings, has been in the real estate business for more than 30 years and has owned residential properties in Flushing, Alex Kim said.

The building on the property was built in 1970 and IHOP signed its original lease in 1971. The first lease was signed for 30 years, then a 10-year extension was added in 2002 and another 10-year extension in 2012.

Paul Graziano, an urban planning expert and former City Council candidate, said major changes to the property could signal the start of a significant redevelopment of the area.

“This is all real estate in motion,” he said.

Graziano said that while the IHOP site is not a large piece of property for a significant development, the shopping center across the street could potentially be part of a redevelopment in the future, as many of its tenants have left.

“The Murray Hill Shopping Center has a lot of longtime tenants that are leaving or have just left. The Duane Reade left and several other stores have also closed. If that continues, there could be a redevelopment of the property,” he said.

Jonathan Selznick, of Hanley Investment Group, who represented the seller, heralded the sale as a record price for a leased IHOP.

“Hanley Investment Group focused on the premium Flushing, Queens, location, the long-term historical, successful operating history of the tenant and the strong tenant sales as the main selling points to offset the record price paid for the asset,” Selznick said.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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