Muss Development has signed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to a 200,000 s/f lease at Forest Hills Tower to serve as the agency’s New York City headquarters over the next several months, with the option for short-term lease extensions.
FEMA will use space on ten full floors solely for administrative offices. There will be no on-site access to the general public.
The tower, at 118-35 Queens Boulevard,was previously home to the JetBlue airline company which moved to Long Island City earlier this year. It is close to airports and key population centers, with easy access to all five boroughs, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester county and Connecticut.
Reflecting FEMA’s urgent need to establish a conveniently situated base of operations for overseeing its emergency-related activities in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Muss and the agency closed the transaction within a 48-hour period.
Jason Muss, principal of Muss Development, noted that the short-term lease with FEMA will not impact ongoing discussions for the space with other potential tenants, who understand the temporary nature of this unique and critical requirement. “Throughout our company’s history, Muss Development has maintained a commitment to civic responsibility,” Muss said.
“Forest Hills Tower is a superb Class-A venue that perfectly suits FEMA for extending its critical reach throughout our area affected by the hurricane. We are proud to have been able to act swiftly to meet their needs.”
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
Ken Siegel, of Jones Lang LaSalle, represented Muss Development and the United States General Services Administration — acting on behalf of FEMA — was represented by Mark Greenspan of the CBRE Group.
Forest Hills Tower provides excellent highway and mass transit access with the E and F subways at the building’s front door. The building stands 17 minutes from midtown Manhattan, 20 minutes from downtown Brooklyn, 11 minutes from JFK International Airport, and 11 minutes from LaGuardia Airport.
Muss Development is in the process of implementing a large-scale capital improvement program at the tower to provide Class-A systems and services to tenants and to reinforce the building’s preeminent market position.
In addition, Muss Development has made available approximately 40,000 s/f of space across its portfolio in Staten Island and Queens for use by displaced businesses in conjunction with the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYCEDC) Business Capacity Exchange.
The space is situated in approximately 20 locations consisting of both office and retail space stretching from St. George to Eltingville in Staten Island and in Forest Hills.