Warehouse frenzy spawns another Queens project
Long Island City building will cater to small users
Barone Management is raising a building in Long Island City to tap into the city’s warehouse craze.
The firm plans to spend about $30 million to develop a three-story, 88,000-square-foot commercial building at 9-03 44th Road with warehouse space on the ground floor.
Interest in warehouses has grown dramatically among investors as e-commerce and other logistics tenants have sought out storage space for last-mile deliveries in the city.
Scott Barone, the founder and president of Barone Management, said that has displaced demand from traditional users of industrial space, such as construction contractors. Barone’s plan is to partition the warehouse space into individual units of 2,000 to 3,000 square feet for lease by small businesses including construction firms.
“I think at least half of my warehouse tenants will be contractors that service New York City,” Barone said. “Plumbers, electricians, businesses that install sprinkler systems. These are tenants that traditionally were in Long Island City but have gotten pushed out.”
By creating small spaces, Barone believes he can get a premium for the warehouse units, which will allow users to store equipment, vehicles and materials close to the city’s business center. Most warehouse spaces in the city are expansive and available only to large users. Asking rents for the space will range as high as in the $40s per square foot, at least double the price of most warehouse space in the city.
Barone said the newly built spaces will have 21-foot ceilings, polished concrete floors and large garage bays that allow easy entry.
The second and third floors, which together will total about 44,000 square feet, will be office space. Barone said it will attract typical office users, including creative tenants that have been moving in greater numbers to Long Island City. It will also allow warehouse tenants on the ground floor to take offices upstairs.
“Usually industrial tenants have a crappy office in their warehouse, with low slung ceilings and maybe even no windows,” Barone said. “This is a chance for a warehouse user to have a first-class office.”
Barone began building in January and plans to finish construction within a year.