JUST DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST TENANTS ARE SCHEDULED TO MOVE INTO THE 42-STORY, 709-UNIT RESIDENTIAL TOWER KNOWN AS LINC LIC IN LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, OWNER ROCKROSE DEVELOPMENT HAS NABBED A GOURMET GROUND-FLOOR TENANT.
Food Cellar, a natural-foods supermarket based in Long Island City, has inked a deal for 14,500 square feet on the ground floor and basement of Linc, located at at 43-10 Crescent St., in the neighborhood’s Court Square section. The asking rent on the 15-year lease was $40 per square foot. The store will open next summer.
The entry of a high-end supermarket marks a milestone in the transformation of the Court Square area into one where people live as well as work. It is a transition driven largely by Rockrose, which is set to add about 2,500 units to the area with four residential properties—including Linc—in coming years.
“The supermarket is really going to be the tipping point for the neighborhood to have a more residential feeling,” said Justin Elghanayan, president of Rockrose. “That’s why we chose a really nice supermarket.”
In addition to produce and groceries (largely organic and natural), the store will boast a café and a deli section with a wide selection of prepared foods, which Mr. Elghanayan expects will cater to the large population of office workers in Court Square.
Five-year-old Food Cellar has only one other location, 13 blocks away at Center Boulevard and 47th Road in Long Island City, in another property owned by Rockrose.
“Growing in Long Island City is the most exciting part for us,” said Metin Mangut, one of Food Cellar’s three owners. In the five years since it opened, the store has seen its customer base grow dramatically.
“When we opened we were in the midst of the economic crisis,” Mr. Mangut said. “The foot traffic now is so much better.”
Mr. Mangut said his store’s good experience with Rockrose was one reason he ultimately chose Linc as the grocer’s second location. Another reason was the neighborhood’s explosive growth, which is set to continue with the addition of thousands of residential units in the coming years.
Co-owners Erhan Baceci and Burak Can represented the grocer in-house. Rockrose was represented by Patricia Dunphy, a senior vice president at that firm.
“Our store was born in Long Island City,” Mr. Mangut said, “and growing with Long Island City is very exciting.”