Queens Crossing, the first major mixed use building to be built in downtown Flushing, is set to open in February.
The 120,000 square foot structure is located on Main Street and 138th Street, between 38th and 39th avenues. It replaces the Queens County Savings Bank building and adjacent parking lots.
“It’s a very exciting time for our company. It (Queens Crossing) and Flushing Commons will transform downtown Flushing,” said developer Michael Meyer, president of Flushing based TDC Development Corp.
Flushing Commons will be located behind Queens Crossing, on the site of Municipal Parking Lot 1. Construction is expected to begin in a little over a year.
Queens Crossing is a 12 story structure that will feature office condominiums and community facilities, including the Long Island Business Institute on the top floors. There will also be three levels of retail space with restaurants and two levels of underground parking with valet service and space for 400 cars.
Meyer said the condos are all sold and that his company is in advanced discussions with prospective tenants for the retail and restaurant levels. “Some are well known names and will include jewelers, a spa and beauty shop, a major bank and apparel stores,” he said. “The restaurants are a mix of well known names and local ones.”
He expects to announce the names of the businesses in early January. A major bookstore was supposed to be among them, but Meyer said that has not happened yet. He expects eventually to have a bookstore there or at Flushing Commons, when that project is completed in 2010.
Last year, the city announced that TDC, in conjunction with the Rockefeller Group, was the successful bidder to transform the municipal parking lot into another mixed use project to be known as Flushing Commons. The five acre site will include a one acre town square, 500 units of residential apartments, 350,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel, youth center, movie theater and underground parking for 2,000 cars.
Meyer expects construction on Flushing Commons to begin in early 2008. The seven month land review process will begin in 2007 and is expected to be finished by next fall. “We have accomplished a lot already,” he said.
The current municipal lot holds 1,100 cars and during construction of Flushing Commons, TDC is providing interim parking at its Prince Street and College Point Boulevard lots. “We can’t physically enlarge them, but we can add stackers to increase the number of cars,” the developer said.
TDC is also one of seven finalists that may redevelop nearby Willets Point. Its plan would reserve nine acres of the site for mixed use including a hotel, office tower and expo center.
Meyer said the city’s Economic Development Corp. has asked TDC to work with another developer, Westfield Group, to come up with an overall plan for the 75 acre site across the Flushing River from downtown Flushing. Westfield is the largest retail property group in the world.
That puts TDC in the unusual position of presenting a partial plan as well as a combined overall plan for the site. Other finalists include the Macerich Company, which owns Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, in a joint venture with AvalonBay Corp., which has recently built high end apartments in Long Island City.
Among the other finalists are Forest City Ratner, builders of Queens Place, an Elmhurst mall and the planned Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn; the Related Companies, builders of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan; and a consortium of General Growth Properties, Rosenshein Associates, LCOR and Sage Hotel Corp. Also in contention is Muss Development, a Forest Hills firm currently developing a 14 acre site on College Point Boulevard in Flushing.
EDC is performing the Willets Point environmental impact study and will handle the land review process. Following that, the winning developer will be announced. Meyer estimates that will happen next fall.
But he adds that any undertaking at Willets Point will be a long time coming since the current businesses there—mostly car junkyards and auto parts stores—will have to be relocated.