Apr. 26, 2017 - Commercial Observer

Rockrose Development Corp. spent 2016 continuing its transformation of Long Island City, Queens.

The 51-story Hayden, the tallest residential building in Queens and the largest 80/20 project outside of Manhattan, began leasing its 974 luxury apartments, the beginning of a transformation that will see over 2,500 units added to Long Island City over four buildings.

“We just started leasing there,” said Justin Elghanayan. “That was a goal for the year, and it’s leasing very, very well.”

Now that leases for the largest for the largest building for the borough are on track, Rockrose is building an even bigger one with the nearby Eagle Lofts, which will rise 54 stories and house 790 units. The company expects to begin leasing Eagle Lofts in 2018.

These buildings are the foundation for Rockrose’s creation of a new neighborhood. In addition to four residential buildings in the Court Square area, the company has purchased several historical buildings that will house a new retail center and is signing deals with restaurants like Luzzo’s Group’s Levante and Toby’s Estate coffee roasters.

On the office side, Rockrose is completing construction of Alexander Court in Washington, D.C. The project combines two existing buildings into a new, nearly 1-million-square-foot entity, connected by a 12-story glass atrium. The new office building will be will be the largest in the city’s central business district.

Elghanyan said Rockrose just signed the Akin Gump law firm as the new building’s anchor tenant. As if this isn’t enough, Elghanayan believes there will be greater opportunities in the condominium market for Rockrose this year.

“The banks have shut down condominium lending, but the big banks sometimes overreact,” he said.”So I think there could be some opportunities coming out of that in 2017.”