RXR Realty, the real estate investment firm that has become one of the largest office landlords in Manhattan, is now also one of the busiest buyers in the outer boroughs, where it has just cut a deal to acquire the Standard Motors Building in Long Island City, Queens, for $110 million.
The six-story property at 37-18 Northern Blvd., may be best known as the headquarters for the Jim Henson Co., the famed puppet-making shop and children's programming production outfit. Other tenants in the 95-year-old, 315,000-square-foot property include the one that gave the building its name—Standard Motor Products Inc., a manufacturer of automobile engine parts and systems, which continues to base its operations there.
RXR Realty is buying the property for nearly three times the $40 million that seller Acumen Capital paid for it six years ago in a bad market. Among other things, the big run up in the price is a reflection of how much values have risen in gentrifying markets like Long Island City that have become more attractive among office users. In another sign of a changing market, three of the city's biggest property brokers—CBRE's Darcy Stacom , Bill Shanahan and Paul Gillen—handled the sale for Acumen Capital.