April 1, 2010 - NY Residential Magazine

Rockrose Development Corp. has fully leased the retail space in its Queens West development, at 4705 Center Boulevard in Long Island City. The recent leasing transactions – Skinny’s Cantina and Emily’s Salon and Spa — comprise a total of 4,440 square feet of storefront space at the base of Rockrose’s 31-story luxury rental building. These final two leases complete the retail and garage offering at Queens West, totaling 256,117 square feet.

Skinny’s Cantina, a Mexican taqueria, is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2010. The restaurant owners (who, in 2008 opened Shi, the 2010 Michelin Guide-rated Asian fusion restaurant nearby, at 47-20 Center Blvd.) worked directly with Rockrose on the 2,040-square-foot leasing transaction. “We have a 20+ year relationship with Rockrose and they took a chance on us with Shi, so we were eager to open our new restaurant in another Rockrose building,” says Skinny’s Cantina co-owner Shih Lee. Lee notes there is a definite need for good Mexican food in the area and knew “a fun Mexican place here is just what the doctor ordered.” The menu will boast traditional favorites like burritos, enchiladas, and guacamole as well as new concoctions, a full line of tequilas and frozen margaritas.

By fourth quarter 2010, a 2,400-square-foot Emily’s Salon and Spa is slated to open at 4705 Center Boulevard, too. Booming business at the original Emily’s Spa (also in LIC at 474 48th Avenue) and customers requesting additional services prompted owner Myunghee Seo to open a second shop. In her new location, Seo will have the space to offer her original spa menu – with items such as pedicures, aromatherapy and deep tissue massage – in addition to a full service hair salon. Seo contributes the success of Emily’s “to the rapid residential growth of the neighborhood over the past 3 years,” she says.

The building already houses a CB Richard Ellis, which opened a retail and commercial leasing office last October in a 2,200-square-foot space (CRBE served as the broker for Emily’s Spa), a 9,000-square-foot Duane Reade and a 19,000-square-foot Food Cellar. Duane Reade, a longtime Rockrose tenant, introduced one of the first of its corporate redesigns in this store location; the 4705 Center Boulevard location is also the only Duane Reade in the neighborhood. Food Cellar opened its doors in the fall of 2008 as the only gourmet grocery store in Long Island City. The store incorporates items such as a wood burning pizza stove, a large prepared foods area and a massive variety of fresh, organic produce.

“We wanted to create a certain synergy with our tenant mix at 4705. Our ultimate goal was to provide every service we could for our residential tenants as well as complete the community; everyone of our retailers offers something unique and special not only to our residents, but to the neighborhood itself,” explains Patricia Dunphy, Senior Vice President at Rockrose Development Corp. “Rockrose will continue to play a key role in the retail transformation of LIC.”

4705 Center Boulevard is a 31-story mixed-use building with a 221,477 square foot-garage (825 parking spaces). It was completed in conjunction with Architect Arquitectonica & SLCE in 2007 and has 394 luxury rental apartments and five high-speed elevators. Amenities in the pet friendly building include a 24-hour doorman, roof deck with bocce ball, BBQs and cabanas, an American Leisure fitness center, health club, saunas, indoor pool, club room, screening room, yoga/pilates classes, massage room, billiards, children’s play room (8th Floor), laundry Room (5th Floor), valet and a bike room. The rental building is currently at 100 percent occupancy.

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