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Mega Queens Project Harvests Brooklyn Grocer

A rendering of Hallets Point, Astoria, Queens The $1.5-billion project at Hallets Point in Astoria will feature up to 2,400 rental units at full build-out. Credit: Dattner

NEW YORK CITY—The Durst Organization’s $1.5-billion Hallets Point project landed a key component for its first phase—grocer Brooklyn Harvest Market.

Brooklyn Harvest Market, which operates two locations in Brooklyn at 204 Union Ave. and 25 North 5th St., is now expanding into Queens with the lease of 24,036 square feet of ground and mezzanine space at Building 1 at Hallets Point, which is currently under construction. The lease term is for 26 years, according to Durst officials.

Ashley Gee, leasing manager, tells Globest.com that Durst was in talks with Brooklyn Harvest Market for about a year prior to inking the long-term deal. Brooklyn Harvest Market was represented by managing director Richard Kave and managing director/principal Gary Steinberg of Lee & Associates.  The Durst Organization was represented in-house by chief leasing administrative & legal services officer David Neil and Gee.

Jordan Barowitz, vice president of public affairs for the Durst Organization, says ground was broken on Building 1 in February 2016. Brooklyn Harvest Market’s Hallets Point store is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018, which will coincide with the completion of the 22-story Building 1. The new tower on the Astoria waterfront will also feature 405 rental apartments. The first phase will also include a below-grade parking garage.

The entire project will total 2 million square feet and will consist of seven buildings with up to 2,400 rental residences, including at least 483 affordable units. Durst expects to break ground on Building 2 next month.

Jonathan Durst, president of the Durst Organization, says, “We wanted to bring a grocery store to the site to serve as an amenity to our residents and also the surrounding community, which currently does not have a supermarket in close proximity. Our plan is not only to build new housing along the waterfront, but also to foster a community and provide resources to current and future residents. This grocery store is essential to help achieve our vision for the neighborhood.”

Gee adds that while some national grocers expressed interest in Hallets Point, in the end Durst believed that Brooklyn Harvest Market was the best fit for the project. She notes that the grocer’s organic and gourmet product offerings and conventional food products proved attractive. “Brooklyn Harvest’s location in Williamsburg really impressed us with both their presentation and the way they presented their produce, but also its variety of products,” Gee says. The retailer had to fit into not only the project, but into the surrounding neighborhood.

In addition to the supermarket, a vibrant mix of retail, an extended and rebuilt waterfront esplanade and renovated playgrounds and parkland are also planned.

“We think that there is tremendous potential in not only Astoria, which is a vibrant, diverse and exciting neighborhood, but on this slightly neglected slice of Astoria on the waterfront,” Durst’s Barowitz says. “Hallets has been largely cut off from the rest of the neighborhood for decades.” He adds the Durst Organization is confident it can transform the parcel that was home to light industrial and storage operations into a vibrant community that will attract new residents to the area and also benefit the surrounding Hallets Point community.


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