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Deals & Dealmakers

MRA lands prime tenant for new COMMERCE LIC building

Joe Farkas’ Metropolitan Realty Associates has signed a 17,500 s/f tenant at the former Matsil Bros. building in Long Island City he bought in a JV with TH Real Estate in March.

And with just 50,000 s/f in vacancy left in the building, MRA has re-named the one-time department store warehouse COMMERCE LIC.

“This quick lease-signing again demonstrates that high-quality industrial properties are in major demand with tenants in this market, which continues to have an extremely tight vacancy rate,”  Farkas told REW this morning.


“COMMERCE LIC’s infrastructure and location has great appeal for this new-to-LIC tenant, which plans to use the space for manufacturing, distribution and offices at the site.”

While Farkas declined to identify the “prime credit tenant” he said it was a “global communications equipment provider,” which will occupy a ground-floor unit with two dedicated loading docks.

The company joins international shipping firm AirSea Packing, which, with 100,000 s/f of space,  is the largest tenant at the three-story, 246,000 s/f property at 48-49 35th Street in Long Island City.

The remaining availability is a 50,000 s/f unit across the entire third floor with a dedicated loading dock and freight car. The building also has a private surface parking lot for 71 cars.

“MRA has a strong track record of developing all types of properties and finding their highest and best use in their markets,” said Kalmon Dolgin’s Jeff Unger, the leasing agent for the building. “COMMERCE LIC is another example of MRA’s ability to read the needs of the neighborhood.”

MRA and TH Real Estate paid $55 million for 48-49 35th Street in March of this year in what was their  second acquisition in the LIC market. Last year, they bought HUB LIC, a 326,000 s/f  industrial property also on 35th Street, a block away from COMMERCE LIC. It has an available 110,000 s/ft, full floor with a 7,000 s/f skylight.  MRA plans to fully convert that property into office and retail space.

MRA was also behind the ground-up development and lease-up of Riverdale Crossing in the Bronx. Before the 165,000 s/f outdoor shopping mall’s overhaul, it was the former Stella D’Oro factory site. MRA sold the revived property in 2015 to a New York City pension fund for $133 million.

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