Kamran Hakim, owner of the Hakim organization is willing to pay up for rising Long Island City real estate prices, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. It led the joint venture purchase of a building known as the Clock Tower, a 1920s era building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North for $30.9 million, double the value of six months ago.
Hakim feels this is a good investment to turn into residential space to complement the robust building of offices occurring in the area, as those looking for office space are now priced out of Manhattan.
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Prices per square foot of office space in Long Island city have risen, but in Manhattan, they have reached dramatic heights as foreign investors look for Manhattan properties and are willing to pay a hefty price tag. Vornado Realty Trust purchased the Center building in Long Island City for $142 million, a 70% premium to where it sold 2 years ago. At that time, properties in the area averaged $12 to $18 per square foot. Now it is closer to $30 to $35 per square foot. In Manhattan, the price is double, at around $60-$65 per square foot.
Concerning the boom in Long Island City, Arvind Bajaj of Madison Marquette told WSJ, “One of the main drivers is that it is a low cost alternative to midtown Manhattan.”