By Robert Pozarycki
Ten days before the Shalimar Diner served its final meal, three holding companies closed on a multi-million all-cash deal on the Rego Park eatery and the adjacent parking lot.
The previous owners, Alderton Associates LLC, sold the property located at 63-68 Austin St. for $6.55 million to entities known as 63-38 Austin LLC and RW Austin LLC. According to Department of Finance records, the deal became official Nov. 15; the diner itself — a fixture in the community for more than 40 years — closed for good Nov. 25 after the owners reported that their lease wouldn’t be renewed.
What the future holds for the Shalimar Diner site remains unknown, but the broker who handled the transaction — Rubin S. Isak, founding partner of Goldenwood Property Advisors — touted the site’s development potential in a Dec. 20 press release announcing the transaction.
The 14,000 square foot site is located in an R4 residential zone with a C2-2 commercial overlay, which allows the builder to develop a structure up to twice the size of the lot with a “community facility bonus” included. There’s 140 feet of frontage along busy 63rd Drive and another 100 feet of frontage on Austin Street — a statistic particularly important to anyone developing commercial storefronts.
As of Dec. 20, however, there were no job plans listed for the site on the Department of Buildings database.
Isak said that there was no lack of interest among potential buyers as soon as the Shalimar Diner site hit the market.
“Within the first 45 days of exclusively being retained by ownership, we received 38 written offers due to our targeted marketing strategy,” he said. “In accordance with our strategy, multiple contracts were simultaneously sent out and the ultimate buyer purchased the property in a sit-down all-cash closing. The investor, user and developer response, coupled with the strong sales price, represents investor appetite for commercial properties in the Queens market.”
As for the buyers, the 63-68 Austin LLC and RW Austin LLC holding companies were listed on Department of Finance records as being based at 102-10 Metropolitan Ave., Suite 200 in Forest Hills. A Google search of the address revealed that the suite is also the location of First Class Management, a real estate managing company which notes on its website that is has more than 60 shopping centers in the Metro New York area.
TimesLedger reached out to First Class Management to find out about the connection between the firm and the holding companies, and for further information about the transaction. The firm has yet to respond.
David Koptiev, a partner with Platinum Realty Associates located at 102-06 Metropolitan Ave., had his signature on the deed on behalf of the buyers; Koptiev has been involved in numerous large Queens real estate deal in recent years, including the sale of the Engineers Labor Council building in Richmond Hill and the development of a shopping center in Ozone Park.
Koptiev declined comment when reached by TimesLedger Dec. 20.