BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Developers are hungrily eyeing the nearly 277,000-square-foot Long Island City property that FreshDirect is leaving in its move to the Bronx, according to brokers marketing its sale.
The supermarket delivery company agreed to relocate to the South Bronx in 2012, after the City and State promised millions in subsidies to prevent them from a planned New Jersey move. Ground broke on the Bronx FreshDirect site in December 2014.
Robert Knakal of Cushman and Wakefield, exclusive agent to the sale, said that there has been “a tremendous amount of interest” in the site, which is located at 23-30 Borden Ave.
”I think it’s a great property and I’m not surprised,” Knakal added.
The property boasts a roof billboard visible from the Long Island Expressway as well as nearly 130,000 square feet of development rights, according to the property listing. FreshDirect is also seeking temporary leaseback of the property while it transitions to the Bronx, guaranteeing a tenant to the buyer at the time of sale.
Knakal said that the existing redevelopment potential of the property could allow for a variety of industrial uses, but added that much of the interest in the property has revolved around a possible rezoning of Long Island City.
“Many people in the area feel that the neighborhood is likely to be rezoned to more accommodative commercial uses. I think there are a number of people looking at the property who believe that that rezoning will occur within the next couple of years,” Knakal said.
The FreshDirect property is in a region zoned for industrial/manufacturing uses. It lies just outside an area currently being studied by the Department of City Planning for rezoning potential – the agency is particularly interested in making more room for affordable housing.
Knakal said he expects a sale to be made “within the next couple of months.”
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, email@example.com or @JNStrawbridge.