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Queens Chronicle

Old St. John’s Hospital, garage sold for $47M

Set for retail, medical, residential use

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 10:59 am, Thu Jan 16, 2014.

The former St. John’s Hospital on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and a parking garage across the street on 58th Avenue have been sold to a new developer for $47 million, the real estate firm that handled the deal announced Monday.

The city has approved converting the old hospital into a mixed-use building that will have stores on the first floor and lower level, medical facilities on the second floor and housing on the remaining floors, according to the real estate company, Massey Knakal.

Stephen Palmese, Massey Knakal’s senior executive vice president of sales, who handled the transaction with broker Thomas Donovan, linked the sale to the increasing value of rental units in Queens.

“For the first time, Queens is beginning to see a trickle-down effect of rising rents from primary neighborhoods, like Long Island City,” Palmese said in a statement announcing the deal. “This is similar to Williamsburg’s effect on Bushwick. As a result, secondary markets, like Elmhurst, which also have great transportation, are experiencing strong increases in residential rents.”

Massey Knakal noted that the site is across the street from the Queens Center and Queens Place malls, as well as being near the Long Island Expressway and other highways, numerous bus routes and the Queens Boulevard subway line.

The firm did not say who the buyer is, but Crain’s New York Business reported that it is a group of Asian investors led by New York builder Steven Wu. Crain’s said Wu intends to spend $45 million remodeling the building for its planned new uses.

The seller was Jack Gutman, who bought the hospital for $14.3 million in 2009 after it was shut down. Gutman made renovations to the 266,322-square-foot building and secured the zoning variances that will allow it to house stores, offices and apartments.

The parking garage has 290 spots.

St. John’s is one of several former hospitals around the city that are being converted into residential use, including Mary Immaculate in Jamaica.

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