FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 03, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES MAJOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT TO BRING 180 SMALL BUSINESSES AND 1,000 EMPLOYEES TO COLLEGE POINT CORPORATE PARK
New Distribution Complex To Include Portion Of Long-neglected Flushing Airport Site
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced College Point Wholesale Distribution Development LLC has been designated to develop an approximately 26-acre site in the College Point Corporate Park as an import/wholesale center for small businesses. The developer, a consortium of mostly Korean business owners, plans to invest $175 million to construct a 585,000-square-foot distribution complex for 180 small businesses that import and distribute products such as toys, hats, jewelry, perfumes and small electronic goods from Eastern and Southern Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. These companies currently employ more than 600 workers, and the developer expects the project to create an additional 420 new jobs in the next five to seven years. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper, and Pil Jae Im, Managing Member of College Point Wholesale Distribution Development LLC joined the Mayor for the announcement.
“As I said last month in the State of the City address, this is a banner year for our industrial park in College Point, Queens,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “When EDC issued the Request for Proposals for this site last spring, it attracted a great deal of attention, and we have identified an ideal developer for this unique site including a portion of the long-neglected Flushing Airport. Not only will the project bring hundreds of employees to Queens, it will create more than 1,100 jobs during construction, and eventually create about 400 new industrial jobs for Queens residents. This development symbolizes the strength of the City’s diversity, and it is fitting that it should be located in Queens – our most international borough. Because of the significant economic benefit associated with this project, the City is committed to funding the $8 million dollar reconstruction of Linden Place through the City’s capital budget so that Linden Place once again becomes an important arterial road in and out of the College Point Corporate Park and surrounding residential community.”
“The development of this site is a milestone in the history of the College Point Corporate Park,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “The College Point Wholesale Distribution Center will give new life to a long dormant, but valuable tract of land, and will create hundreds of jobs – many for people who live in Queens. I am delighted that the City is committed to the construction of additional roads that will ease the traffic congestion that has plagued this community for many years.”
“This project is a fitting addition to other recent projects announced in and near College Point Corporate Park,” said EDC President Alper. “The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association recently broke ground for the construction of a new automotive training and conference facility that will prepare thousands of young New Yorkers for well-paying jobs in the automotive field, Gelmart Industries announced plans to return from New Jersey to its former headquarters and distribution center adjacent to the Corporate Park, and Crystal Windows, a true New York success story, continues to expand rapidly.”
“The College Point Wholesale Development LLC is honored to be given this extraordinary opportunity by the City to develop this project, which offers an exciting new home for the wholesale distribution community,” said Mr. Im. “This is a proud moment for us and for the Korean-American community, and we look forward to working with the City and the surrounding neighborhood to create a place where our businesses can grow and thrive.”
As a part of its strategy for growth, the developer plans to continue to bring in a diverse mix of tenants to create a truly international import and distribution center. The majority of the consortium’s member businesses are currently located in Midtown Manhattan, and the new center will allow for the expansion of existing businesses that is not possible in their current congested locations in Manhattan along the Broadway corridor. Many of these businesses are facing relocation pressures from increasing rents and overcrowding, and moving to the Corporate Park will lower their operating expenses and provide room for expansion. In addition, these moves will create attractive development opportunities in Midtown for new retail shops, restaurants and other amenities to serve the neighborhood’s growing residential and professional populations.
The plan for the import/wholesale center calls for construction of a number of two-story buildings totaling 585,000 square feet to accommodate 25 to 75 businesses each. The developer is committed to incorporating Low Impact Design and Green Building Techniques into the site plan and building design. The developer has also agreed to construct and maintain a public nature trail to be built around the perimeter of the wetland preserve adjacent to the development. College Point Wholesale Distribution Development also will contribute $100,000 toward new construction at the College Sports Complex and/or other community projects. Also as part of the City’s effort to support this thriving mixed-use neighborhood, the City has committed to fund the $8 million reconstruction of Linden Place.
The developer has assembled an impressive team of real estate, planning, design and construction professionals to help bring the project to fruition, including the Jonathan Rose Companies, K. Backus & Associates, the architectural firm of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Turner Construction Company and Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn, attorneys. The project site is located on a portion of the old Flushing Airport south of 20th Avenue, west of Mill Creek and the Whitestone Expressway Service Drive and east of Linden Place. Triangular in shape, the property fronts 20th Avenue for about 800 feet and is set back about 200 feet into the site, allowing for minimal disturbance of a small freshwater swale that divides it from 20th Avenue.
The announcement was made at the headquarters of Crystal Window and Door Systems, one of the fastest growing companies in the College Point Corporate Park. The maker of vinyl and aluminum windows has continued to expand with assistance from the City’s Industrial Development Agency, now occupying facilities in Flushing and College Point and employing more than 300 people. In addition, the company plans to expand its operations to a six-acre site on College Point Boulevard that could add an additional 150 new manufacturing jobs in the years ahead.
College Point Corporate Park is one of New York City’s most successful business locations. It combines the advantages of a bustling urban location with the amenities of a suburban environment and is easily accessible to a variety of transportation networks that connect it to destinations throughout the New York City metropolitan region. The corporate park is one mile north of LaGuardia Airport and one mile south of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, adjacent to the Whitestone Expressway.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman / Janel Patterson (EDC)