Local residents could have enjoyed a new ice skating rink and soccer field above the popular batting cages at the Astoria Sports Complex in Queens. Instead, the 53,500-square foot building will be replaced by a self-storage facility.
Storage Deluxe bought the building at 34-38 38th Street on Aug. 17 for $20 million, property records show. The company plans to add seven stories atop the structure, opening 125,000 square feet of storage by early 2023, a representative said. New York added 15.7 million square feet of self-storage space in the past decade, alongside 140,000 new apartments, according to a report by RentCafé.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation,” said attorney Mitch Ross, who helped the complex petition the city’s Board of Standards to exempt it from a rear-yard zoning requirement that ultimately prevented an expansion. Setbacks required by zoning rules effectively prevented full-floor additions to the complex, while storage units can accommodate them more easily.
A truss system to build two new floors for the rink and soccer field would have been “financially unfeasible” without new external walls, he said.
It was only one week of mid-level investment sales, but perhaps indicative of the way things have gone in the New York City real estate market in recent years: The two priciest deals under $30 million were for stuff, not humans.
Astoria residents will likely get a self-storage facility at 34-38 38th Street, where Storage Deluxe paid $20 million for a sports complex that failed to secure permission to expand.
The other deal, for $17.5 million, was for warehouse space, also in Queens. Three sales for residential property rounded out the mid-market list, which has a $10 million cut-off.
Self-storage and warehouses have been hot for years, with developers adding and leasing space like never before. Meanwhile, housing development has failed to keep pace with population growth this century, pushing rents and home prices up — and creating business for self-storage when people are displaced.
Steve Poliseno, owner and operator of the Astoria Sports Complex since 1977, never could secure an exemption from zoning to redevelop his 38th Street property into a four-story sporting complex.
“I am beyond frustration,” Poliseno told QNS last year.
The other three mid-market deals were in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. The five combined deals fetched $83 million, up from $59 million the week before.
Living in a shipping container has never been so glamorous — or expensive.
A Williamsburg townhouse made out of 21 shipping containers was the most expensive home that went into contract in Brooklyn last week, according to Compass’ weekly report.
The 6,000-square-foot single-family home at 2 Monitor Street was last asking $5 million, or $833 per square foot. Designed by architect-firm LOT-EK, it has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, three terraces and a media room with stadium seating.
The home was one of 26 contracts asking $2 million or more that were signed in the borough from Aug. 23-29, staying up to speed with the 25 contracts signed the week before. Buyers inked deals for 15 condominiums and 11 townhouses.
The asking prices of those homes totaled $75.8 million, and the median asking price was $2.7 million for the third straight week. The average price per square foot was $1,390.
The next-priciest listing was a 4,049-square-foot townhouse in Park Slope asking $4.9 million, or $1,211 per square foot. The home at 593 3rd Street has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a roof deck and a library.