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Deals & Dealmakers

Teachers deal brings Muss Developmentʼs Forest Hills tower to full occupancy

Muss Development announced that Forest Hills Tower, the developer’s class A office tower in Forest Hills, Queens, is now fully leased.

Muss recently signed a long-term agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), completing a lease stabilization program that positions the 375,000 s/f property as the marquis office destination in Queens.

The property also serves as Muss Development’s corporate headquarters.

The UFT signed a 44,000 s/f, 20-year lease for its Queens headquarters and membership office and plans to occupy the space in the summer of 2019.

Bill Korchak and Kyle Crennan, of JLL, and Ross Spitalnick of Muss Development, represented ownership. Mark P. Boisi, of Cushman & Wakefield, and Neil Lipinski, of Lipinski Real Estate Advisors, represented the UFT.

The UFT deal marks the end of a strategic repositioning at Forest Hills Tower, which included a capital improvement program and a shift in leasing strategy.

Built in 1981, it traditionally focused on a large anchor tenant, beginning with Con Edison, which signed a 30-year, triple net lease for more than 250,000 s/f.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) occupied 200,000 s/f while co-ordinating Superstorm Sandy response. As additional floors became available, Muss focused on transacting several long-term leases with credit tenants across various business sectors, diversifying the risk factor in the building and setting it up for long term stability.

Muss refinanced the property while simultaneously investing in a multi-million-dollar capital improvement program.

Additional tenants in the building include Plaza College, the NYC Board of Elections, Signature Bank, Regus, Cushman & Wakefield, Mutual of America, Child Center of New York, and the New York City Department of Citywide Services.

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