Commercial Observer: The Plan: Former LIC Zipper Factory to House Studio, Office and Retail

  • Client News
  • Client: Cushman & Wakefield

A former LIC zipper factory is being converted into a retail, studio and office building.  47-16 Austell Place, owned by the Vanbarton Group, is undergoing a major capital improvements program, including renovations to the facade, lobby, ground retail and elevators.  Leasing of the amenity-rich building is being led by brokerages JRT Realty Group, the nation’s largest woman-owned commercial real estate services firm – in conjunction with Cushman & Wakefield.

Per the story from Commercial Observer’s Liam la Guerre:

The 60,000-square-foot building has been many things: first a zipper factory in the early 20th century, then a fish market and finally a warehouse. In other words, it’s perfect for today’s technology, advertising, media and information, or TAMI, tenants, the group being targeted by leasing brokerages JRT Realty Group and Cushman & Wakefield, who together are exclusively marketing the property.

Vanbarton, which acquired the building for $7.7 million in February 2015, handled construction services in-house and pumped an additional $7 million into the renovation. Today it features polished, glossy concrete floors, a fresh black and white façade, a new roof and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. The lobby of the building is fashioned out of a converted loading dock and has paved floors and a glass wall.

After Vanbarton transformed the building’s freight elevator into two new passenger ones, the company snatched the original 1903 elevator hoist for a lobby sculpture (for character, of course). And that classic character can be felt throughout the building in the widely spread columns on industrial floor plates with 12- to 14-foot exposed ceilings throughout.

“People want … the industrial, kind of raw, loft look,” Greg Smith, the president of JRT Realty Group, told Commercial Observer during a recent tour of the building. “These are massive industrial floors—you could park a car on these floors.”  

For the full article, click here.