Long Island City’s The Yard Nearing 50 Percent Sold
- Aug 19, 2011
New York–As unofficial “mayor of Long Island City,” Eric Benaim is among the burg’s greatest ambassadors, and rarely misses a chance to invite folks to move to his favorite river town. In fact, he’s not only urging them to come, but he’s got a brand-new condominium overlooking the New York City skyline and the East River, featuring studio to two-bedroom homes.
Benaim is president and CEO of Long Island City residential brokerage firm Modern Spaces, which just announced that buyers have begun moving into The Yard, a 12-story, 83-unit sister building to The Powerhouse. Modern Spaces is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for The Yard, which was developed by Chess Builders. Architectural services were provided by Karl Fischer, and interior design was handled by Durakan Design, Benaim says.
The Powerhouse, once a power plant for the Long Island Railroad, was transformed into a 177-unit condominium building. “This was literally the yard of the powerhouse,” Benaim tells MHN. “This was ground-up construction.”
Because of its heritage as the grounds of an industrial building, The Yard’s design borrows from both nature and industry. Outdoorsy decor elements include a forest mural, a wall of moss and extensive reclaimed woods. As for its nod to industrial chic, The Yard shows off rusted metal columns and a sprawling reclaimed wood-and-concrete concierge desk. “And we’re using the old iron grills of the powerhouse as little sculptures in the outdoor space,” Benaim says.
The Yard should appeal to those who enjoy an automobile-free lifestyle. It takes just a little more than four minutes to be whisked to Grand Central Station on the 7 Line, or 53rd and Lexington on the E Line, Benaim says. And, he adds, “it’s literally a block or two from the main avenue, Vernon Blvd., and all the shops. There’s a supermarket nearby, and a Duane Reade.”
For those who do want or need to drive, The Yard offers parking for about 160 cars, with valet parking services. Zipcars are also available for resident use.
Construction on The Yard began in February 2010; units went on sale last December. A temporary certificate of occupancy was received two months ago, allowing Modern Spaces to begin closing units. The building is now about 46 percent sold, and Benaim anticipates being fully sold by October.
Few challenges arose in constructing The Yard, Benaim says, calling the building’s evolution “knock on wood, a smooth process.” The only real hurdle took place in the design stage. “The developer had originally planned the building a couple of years earlier,” he says. “And the design of the building didn’t really reflect the name. So in pre-construction, we redesigned the building to reflect the name.”
Units are priced starting at $320,000 for studios, with two-bedroom, two-bath condos with large terraces commanding prices in the $800,000s.
More than 1,400 more multifamily units, both for sale and for rent, are in the pipeline for Long Island City, Benaim says. Reassuming his ambassadorial role, he adds, “We have a lot of people moving into the neighborhood. Jet Blue is moving over here, a lot of big companies and corporations are starting to notice, and it’s bringing a lot of excitement to the area.”