By Bill Parry
When the car-sharing company Lyft signed its lease at the Falchi Building in September 2014, it took over a 5,000-square-foot space on the fourth floor. Lyft likely never imagined that its chief rival, Uber, would join them under the same roof.
That is precisely what has happened now that the San Francisco-based technology company, which connects riders to drivers, inked a 10-year lease for a larger, 25,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and a portion of the second floor.
“The Falchi Building was ideal for the company, offering one of the most flexible layouts in Long Island City and the most advanced infrastructure in the area,” representative Alex Chudnoff of JLL said. JLL is a leader in the tri-state commercial real estate market.
Both Uber and Lyft will have one thing in common at the Falchi Building, a prying neighbor. Next month, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will occupy office space on the third floor at the Falchi Building. The TLC is the regulatory agency that watches over for-hire vehicles and their drivers.
The Falchi Building has made great strides since Jamestown Properties, owners of the popular Chelsea Market, bought the block-long warehouse at 31-00 47th Ave. for $80 million in 2012. Jamestown gave the former Gimbels department store distribution facility a multimillion-dollar makeover and began signing tenants such as the Coalition for Queens, Doughnut Plant, the Astoria Distilling Co. and the Stolle Bakery.
The Falchi Building also featured the Food Box, a ground floor space where vendors served up prepared Thai, Caribbean and Peruvian dishes to lunch crowds. The Food Box has just been moved to the ground floor concourse to make way for a new artisanal farm-to-grocery store.
Katrina Schultz Richter, who founded the Queens County Market, has teamed up with Tonice Sqrignoli, who ran a food co-op, to open Good Neighbor Queens, a new market featuring sourced organic produce, pastured meats, dairy products, fresh fish and baked goods. The store will also offer pastries from Pain d’Avignon as well as specialty items, including oils and spices along with one-of-a-kind kitchen items such as dish towels and cookware.
In addition, Good Neighbor Queens has a community space to hold workshops, tastings and demonstrations.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr