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Developer in Contract to Buy Six Parcels on Three Blocks in Astoria

Location of 13 parcels acquired by Silverstein Properties (Google Maps)

March 8, 2019, By Meghan Sackman

A large Manhattan-based real estate company is buying six properties in an industrial section of Astoria, near 35th Avenue, according to city records.

Silverstein Properties, owned by real estate magnate Larry Silverstein, signed contracts in December and February to purchase the properties all located within a three block radius bound by Steinway Street and 35th Avenue.

The company has not disclosed what its plans to do with its newly-acquired parcels. Meanwhile, the contract agreements do not list the purchase price or the effective closing dates.

The parcels are located in area that consists of industrial buildings and warehouses. All but one of the parcels, located in a zone referred to as M1-1, are zoned for light industrial uses such as low rise storage facilities or wholesale stores.

Silverstein Properties already has a big presence in this section of Astoria. Last May, it entered into a deal to lease seven parcels from Queensboro Farm Products, a distributor of dairy products.

With the latest flurry of deals, the firm will have control of 13 parcels in that area, which comprise of a total of 182,890 square feet of property.

The first contract was signed between Silverstein Properties and Mayer Malbin, a plumbing supply distributor, for properties located at 35-42 41st Street, 35-33 41st Street and 35-45 41st Street.

Silverstein then secured the property located at 42-11 Northern Boulevard, currently occupied by a Harley Davidson sales and service location. 

The remaining properties, both pertaining to a single warehouse, include at 35-10 43rd Street, and 35-18 43rd Street from Alfess Realty.

Silverstein has yet to respond for comment.


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From Wikipedia:

Silverstein was born in Brooklyn, and became involved in real estate, together with his father, establishing Silverstein Properties. Silverstein separated from his business partner, Bernard Mendik, in 1977, and bought a number of large office buildings in Midtown and Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s. In 1980, Silverstein won a bid from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to construct 7 World Trade Center, to the north of the World Trade Center site. Silverstein was interested in acquiring the entire World Trade Center complex, and put in a bid when the Port Authority put it up for lease in 2000. Silverstein won the bid when a deal between the initial winner and the Port Authority fell through, and he signed the lease on July 24, 2001.

Soon after the September 11 attacks, in 2001, Silverstein declared his intent to rebuild, though he and his insurers became embroiled in a multi-year dispute over whether the attacks had constituted one event or two under the terms of the insurance policy, which provided for a maximum of $3.55 billion coverage per event.[2] A settlement was reached in 2007, with insurers agreeing to pay out $4.55 billion,[3][4] which was not as much as Silverstein had sought. Silverstein also ran into multiple disputes with other parties in the rebuilding effort, including with the Port Authority. In an agreement reached in April 2006, Silverstein retained rights to build three office towers (150 Greenwich Street, 175 Greenwich Street, and 200 Greenwich Street), while One World Trade Center (previously referred to as the “Freedom Tower”) would be owned by the Port Authority, as would Tower Five, which it would have the option of leasing to a different private developer and having redesigned as a residential building.[5]
Early life and education

Silverstein was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn in 1931 into a Jewish family.[6] Growing up, Silverstein enjoyed classical music and played the piano. He attended the High School of Music and Art in New York, and then New York University, graduating in 1952. During college, Silverstein worked at a summer camp, where he met his wife, Klara. The couple married in 1956, and had three children: Lisa, Roger and Sharon. His wife worked as a school teacher, supporting the family on her salary for the first few years of their marriage while Silverstein attended classes at Brooklyn Law School.[7]

Silverstein became involved in real estate, together with his father, Harry G. Silverstein, and then friend and brother-in-law, Bernard H. Mendik. In 1957, they established Silverstein Properties, as Harry G. Silverstein & Sons, and bought their first building, in Manhattan. Mendik and Silverstein continued the business after the elder Silverstein’s death in 1966. In 1977, Mendik divorced Annette Silverstein Mendik, with the business partnership also splitting up at that time.[8] Mendik also cited disagreements over real estate strategies, with Mendik wanting to buy buildings while Silverstein wanted to build.[9]

After splitting with Mendik, both remained involved in the real-estate industry, but in separate firms. By 1978, Silverstein owned five buildings on Fifth Avenue, as well as 44 Wall Street, and a shopping center in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1980, he renovated the building at 11 West 42nd Street, and acquired the lease for the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway.[8] In 1983, Silverstein sold the building at 711 Fifth Avenue to Coca-Cola for $57.6 million.

Also in 1980, Silverstein bought the building at 120 Wall Street, which was constructed in 1930.[10] In 1991, Silverstein set aside 20 floors of 120 Wall Street to be leased by non-profit organizations, as an Association Center, with tax incentives for the tenants and bonds for Silverstein to undertake building renovations.[11][12] By 1994, Silverstein had signed up 14 nonprofit tenants for 120 Wall Street,[13] and the building was nearly at capacity by 1997, with 38 nonprofit tenants including the National Urban League and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.[14]

Read the rest yourself:

A nice person who HELPS!!! Greedy realtor trying to destroy Astoria for profit HATE Silverstein cause He want to rebuild and help tenants as opposed to destroy and make poor people not afford their homes like his ex brother in law. Greedy hipsters please understand you will one day too be old and not be able to afford what you now think is the norm. Don’t hate a kind older gentleman who has lived the ups and downs through his generation and helps society as a whole while also making a profit to support the scholarships he probably has given you! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Shame on all you NYU and Hunter Collage Grads!
Learn don’t sneer! You just sound like a whiny child with alopecia..
Now children who are pouting, hit the thumbs down button!


Anybody who trusts Wikipedia is either naïve, senile, or a total tool.
Want to know some true facts about Leapin’ Larry?
Look up “Pull it”.


Finally! This place looks like a dump. Mixed use is better than all these warehouses.

I hope they start moving east and buy up everything from 35th St to 47th St.


As a newly former astorian for 40 years left astoria do to the overly congested astoria, it saddens me …in the direction it’s going, i miss what astoria used to be, guys. …there’s already one Manhattan !!!!


Guess all those people who left Astoria to go to Bayside in the 90’s and early 2000
s got out while they had a chance.


Hey jerry, i just left, barely a year ago and definitely not to Bayside much further, Bayside isn’t any better these days, regardless what Astoria has become. ..i still love Astoria, be kind for what’s left of it.


Funny that the Astoria Post is weeks late in posting this story directly relating to Astoria. Living in that part of the neighborhood, I have been following this fairly closely.

Silverstein is working with Kaufman (with their huge multiplex theater parcel and Tacuba restaurant on 35th ave and 36 st) and King Kullen (owner of the huge PC Richards site) to rezone the entire area up to 36 or 37 street to build a mixed use development with 4000 market rate and “affordable” apartments, condos, stores, possible whole foods/trader joes space, offices, a new public school, greenspace and transit infrastructure improvements like elevators at the trains.

There are continuing lawsuits between the guys who dreamed up the idea but had no money to see it through and Silverstein, Kaufman, et al. Most of the legal stuff has been dismissed.
My understanding is that the original guys had contracts to buy or ground lease most of the properties above Steinway St. They tried to get it rezoned and failed, possibly due to their lack of any track record or the finances as builders of anything near this scale. Upon the re-zoning failure, they reneged on their contracts by stopping making payments to the property owners to hold the properties. At that point Silverstein moved in and put into place their own agreements for the same parcels plus a couple more.

Since Silverstein has a 99 year lease on the Queensboro farm land, and Larry Silverstein is 88 years old I expect he’ll want to start something asap.

The area has also been deemed by the federal government as an opportunity zone which gives some nice capital gains benefits to developers/investors in this project. Interesting that in the past few weeks Silverstein partnered with Wall St firm Cantor Fitzgerald to for an opportunity zone investment fund – coincidence? Maybe or maybe not.

With the collapse of industrial and manufacturing in NYC over the past 20-30 years, this will revitalize a big part of this old industrial neighborhood on the Astoria/LIC border.

All good stuff for the neighborhood with the addition of no government handouts to stir up the folks who didn’t understand the math making the Amazon deal a huge net positive for NYC.


Thanks for the information. However, I disagree with the comments on the Amazon deal (would have driven up rent and everything else around here). I don’t think the developers have the well-being of Astoria residents at heart, so I am leery of real estate grabs like this. If it goes forward, there should be a lot of community input.


From his website:
June 13, 2018
Silverstein signs the ground lease for a massive Astoria dairy plant site
Silverstein signs the ground lease for a massive Astoria dairy plant site

Silverstein Properties acquires the ground lease on a seven-parcel Astoria development site in what marks its first major outer-borough expansion.

© 2018 Silverstein Properties, Inc
From that seems like he’s going to create jobs for the dairy plant he’s building! Better than Amazon! Dairy = Milk, Ice Cream, Butter, etc. Smart move! Healthy & Profitable! Healthy for the body and the wallet! People need dairy and their will always be a market for ice cream and dairy products and while creating him profit he creates us jobs!
He said on his website that it was bought for a dairy plant! Why is everyone guessing instead of reading his site of realty history! ????
Thank you Mr. Silverstein for bringing families in Astoria something that will bring more jobs to our community while keeping us healthy. God Bless if you ever read this!?

Caucasian Rascal

Get with it. This is old news. The guy that owns Metropolitan Lumber was piecing this parcel together but he wasn’t big enough to finish it so Larry Silverstein took over. Those entire blocks have been an eyesore for decades. Glad Larry will build something there.


Larry Silverstein is a piece of garbage and should never be allowed to develop anything!


Eyesores, maybe, but they also serve a useful purpose. If Metro is gone, then that’s one less resource for lumber and such. It’s only Home Depot and their CEO is a Trump-y.

Caucasian Rascal

Metro is not leaving. That parcel is not even part of this deal. Robert Gans, owner of Metropolitan Lumber (and also owner of Scores Strip Clubs) was working on putting together the Queensboro Dairy parcels but couldn’t pull off the deal so Silverstein stepped in. Mayer Malbin sold their parcel to Larry for a pretty penny and then got taken to the cleaners on the new building they bought for their business on 30th ave in Woodside. And enough with Trump already. Not everything is about Trump. He’s the President, he’s not getting impeached and he’s running again in 2020. Geez.


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