Feb. 26, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Amazon has signed a lease for a 300,000-square-foot space in Middle Village’s Rentar Plaza, according to a new report.
The lease agreement comes just one year after the e-commerce giant pulled out of a deal to build its second headquarters in Long Island City.
The company will take over about 300,000 square feet at 66-26 Metropolitan Ave., The Real Deal reported.
Part of the space, 109,000 square feet, was leased to the Metropolitan Museum of Art up until July, according to The Real Deal, and the remaining 190,000 square feet is vacant after Toys R Us went bankrupt and closed at the location.
The building owner, Rentar Development, has been trying to find new tenants since its previous ones, Toys R Us and Kmart, shuttered.
The Long Island-based real estate company owns about 1.6 million square feet of office, retail and warehouse space at Rentar Plaza, including the shopping plaza that houses a B.J.’s Wholesale Club, Raymour & Flanigan, a Funtopia U.S.A amusement center and other shops.
The company has been struggling to fill the space since two of its anchor stores closed.
In January 2019, Felice Bassin of Rentar Development, appealed to Queens Community Board 5 to approve a plan to create curb cuts and loading docks at the Rentar Plaza building in order to attract new tenants, the Queens Chronicle reported at the time.
Bassin said it was difficult to find retail tenants to rent such a large amount of space and was looking to either break up the space or find a tenant looking for storage space instead.
“It’s very possible that it’s not going to be retail,” Bassin said at the January 2019 community board meeting. “It’s possible that it could be a logistics warehouse, which is the way things are going today.”
Community Board 5 approved the request in February 2019, reported the Juniper Berry.
Amazon is also moving forward with plans to lease another warehouse in the Community Board 5 district, Crain’s reported in December.
The retailer is in talks to lease a distribution facility at 55-15 Grand Ave. in nearby Maspeth. The property — which also encompasses 54-15 and 56-19 Grand Ave. — was bought by RXR Realty and LBA Logistics in 2018 for $72 million. The developers filed plans to build a 770,000-square-foot logistics center at the site.
In July, Amazon opened a Woodside distribution center at 26-15 Boody St., furthering its operations in Queens.