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Massive downtown Jamaica development site sells for $22 million

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/ PropertyShark 

Downtown Jamaica’s development boom is expected by many sometime in the future, but one recent sale suggests developers may be springing into action already.

The nearly 90,000-square-foot building and parking garage site at 163-05 and 163-25 Archer Ave. in the heart of the downtown area traded hands for $22 million, according to property records filed Tuesday.

Gertz Plaza sold the site to Jamaica Tower, which has yet to file any building or demolition plans on the site, but it has tons of development potential, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services.

“This sale signifies the return of the residential development market in downtown Jamaica,” said Massey Knakal’s Brian Sarath, who handled the transaction. “It is the largest site to trade since the downturn and will be a catalyst for the Jamaica development market moving forward.”

The site currently has a one-story building with an accompanying seven-story parking garage. The building, which has 10 units, currently only uses 32,471 square feet of the site and some units are vacant, while the garage is 280,000 square feet.

It is a developer’s dream with 719,736 square feet of buildable space near a gigantic transportation hub of subways, LIRR, the AirTrain and dozens of buses.

“We received numerous bids in a short period of time from developers that were priced out of other areas in the city and see tremendous value in the downtown Jamaica market,” Sarath said.

Photo courtesy Massey Knakal
Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal

Advocates and public officials have been trying to lure developers and business to Jamaica in recent years with incentives such as a 368-block rezoning of the downtown area and using York College as a tax-free haven for moving companies and start-ups.

York College, which is located across from the site, also hopes to help usher in development and new businesses as a START-UP NY site, and is offering new businesses about 3.5 acres of land on-campus.

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