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First big move on Queens by Kushner Companies

Entering the game

A major new player has entered the Queens real estate game: Kushner Companies. The company owned by Jared Kushner has purchased a four building portfolio in Astoria. The purchase includes a 143 residential units and 11 commercial ones. The seller was RockFarmer Capital, and Kushner Companies payed $51 million. RockFarmer Capital is an affiliate of Douglaston Realty Management, the company that bought the properties in question two years ago for a little over $32 million.

Astoria is one of the hottest markets in Queens right now, at least as far as John Petras is concerned. Petras is co-principal at RockFarmer along with George Michelis. Back in July, RockFarmer tested the market with a specialized realty group. Kushner’s interest in the area proves Petras’ point, he said.

The new transaction

The buildings purchased by Kushner Companies are located at 38th Street and 30th Avenue. Firstly, at 21-80 38th Street there are 35 residential units and 6 commercial ones. Secondly, the next property is at 21-81 38th Street with 24 residential and 5 commercial units. Thirdly, there is a building at 23-05 30th Avenue with 42 residential units. Lastly, the fourth one is at 23-15 30th Avenue, with 42 residential units.

As we said, RockFarmer acquired the portfolio two years ago. This was a joint venture along with Rye, New York based CapRok Real Estate. Before this transaction, these four buildings were part of a 14 building portfolio sold by Dermot Property Associates. Furthermore, this company sold the whole thing for a little over $190 million.

After the purchase, RockFarmer renovated the buildings and remodeled some units. Petras said they turned some one bedroom apartments into two bedrooms. Nowadays, all four buildings are completely occupied and the residential rent is averaging at $1,750 per month. There are eleven commercial units and they vary in size and pricing. In this case, rents  go from $40 per square foot to $100 per square foot.

Furthermore, 2014 was a big year  for Kushner Cos. The company reached $2 billion in deals. According to its website, the company purchased 2,000 multi-family apartments in New York City and Maryland.

What’s in store for Kushner Cos.

Another big transaction for the developer occurred last month, were they paid $131.5 million for a 16-building portfolio. These properties included 291 rental apartments and five retail properties. Fourteen of these buildings are in Manhattan and the other two in Brooklyn. Plus, other projects of the company in Brooklyn include several townhouses in Brooklyn Heights and a high-tech office complex in Dumbo.

Nevertheless, the company has several other projects in the works. One of them is a tower currently in development. Kushner Cos., along with KABR Group are working together and the building will be at 30 Journal Square. In addition, they will purchase a two-acre site in Jersey City, which is vacant, for $27 million. [The Real Deal]