It’s in raw condition now, but owners of the former Waldes zipper factory in Long Island City are planning to unzip its potential as a retail and office hub.
Renovation of the four-story industrial building at 47-16 Austell Pl. has begun after Emmes Asset Management bought it earlier this year for $13.5 million. By the end of summer it will have a finished lobby with cobblestone flooring to match the cobblestone streetscape of Austell Place.
The facade of the 56,500-square-foot building is being modernized, and local artists will have the opportunity to decorate the exterior. The elevator is being upgraded and another one will be added in the structure, which is being called Offices at Austell.
New windows are being installed throughout the building and concrete floors will be polished. An official completion date wasn’t given yet for the entire building. JRT Realty and Cushman & Wakefield are handling marketing.
The ground floor will have 10,000 square feet available for a mix of retail, such as a potential brewery, restaurant or coffee shop. Owners hope to attract students from nearby LaGuardia Community College, and commuters from the Hunters Point Avenue LIRR and 7 subway train stations with the retail options, in addition to employees in the building.
The three remaining floors each have 15,500 square feet of space with 13- to 15-foot-high ceilings and open floor plans. There is also a large rooftop space with views of the Manhattan skyline, but the company doesn’t have any specific plans for the outdoor space yet.
About $35 per square feet is the asking price for space in Offices at Austell, according to a representative for the owner, which is about the same in similarly converted The Factory and Falchi buildings a short distance away.
The building on Austell Place isn’t the only one that Emmes is converting in Queens.
Last year, the Manhattan-based firm paid about $30 million to buy Astoria events hall Studio Square from S Hospitality Group and converted it to Offices at the Square, a mixed-use office and commercial space.