NGKF Capital Markets has completed the $30 million sale of the 85-year-old RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing, New York. The landmark theatre-considered the gateway to Flushing-located at 135-35 Northern Boulevard at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street, will be redeveloped into a dynamic mixed-use residential development that will anchor the continued rejuvenation of downtown Flushing.
The seller was Northern RKO LLC, owned by Patrick Thompson. The buyer was Flushing Square LLC headed by Jerry Karlik. Kenneth L. Zakin, senior managing director of NGKF Capital Markets, represented both parties in connection with the transaction.
In 2011, the property was approved by the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) for the development of a 407,173-square-foot, 17-story, mixed-use complex containing as many as 357 residential units, 385 parking spaces, 17,000 square feet of retail space and a community facility dedicated to seniors. The theatre’s landmark ornate lobby will be preserved in connection with the redevelopment of the property. The development team intends to redevelop the property in accordance with the plans as approved by BSA and the community.
For over 60 years, the RKO Keith’s Theatre served as the centerpiece of entertainment in Flushing hosting vaudeville shows starting in the 1920s and evolving into an iconic movie theatre by the 1980s, when it ceased operations.
“The opportunity to redevelop the property into a mixed-use luxury residential development is now in the hands of an experienced and well-capitalized team that has the expertise to redevelop this historic structure into a new centerpiece of Flushing as a luxury residential and retail complex that will serve as the lynchpin for the development of the northern section of Flushing,” said Mr. Zakin.
The Flushing Square development team has significant experience renovating and redeveloping properties that have historic character. Jerry Karlik, the principal of JK Equities, heads up the development team. Mr. Karlik has been in the real estate business for over 30 years and has most recently been active in residential development in Chicago, where he has completed nearly 1,200 residential units and is credited for being the catalyst that sparked the revitalization of Chicagos South Loop neighborhood with its adaptive reuse and development of Dearborn Tower, a 750,000-square-foot residential building.
Past awards for Mr. Karlik include: 2000 Chicago Sun-Times “city builder of the year,” 2003 Chicago Sun-Times, city of Chicago “landmark award for preservation excellence - adaptive reuse for 888 South Michigan Avenue.”
Mr. Karlik’s partners on this project include Eddie Ni, Min Ouyang and Ching Lam.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with its affiliates and London-based partner Knight Frank, NGKF employs more than 12,000 professionals, operating from more than 320 offices in established and emerging property markets on five continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. Its integrated services platform includes leasing advisory, global corporate services, investment sales and capital markets, consulting, program and project management, property and facilities management, and valuation services. A major force in the real estate marketplace, NGKF serves the local and global property requirements of tenants, landlords, investors and developers worldwide. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets. For further information, visit www.bgcpartners.com.