Pepsi Property In West Queens Project Area Center Of Bidding War
The Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of New York plant at the far northern tip of the Queens West Development Corporation site in Hunters Point, on top of which is displayed the visual landmark Pepsi Cola logo sign, is up for sale.
The 19-acre parcel, which has housed the popular soft drink company for about 65 years, has reportedly drawn the interest of five major real estate developers, who view it as a prime location for high-rise apartment house development.
Although the bottling plant may soon become history, the 1936-vintage red neon Pepsi Cola sign will continue to glow under the proposed sale terms. It’s estimated it could be worth $1 million a year to Pepsi.
The firm, according to reports, is asking $44 million for the property around 49th Street on the land side and on the East River opposite Roosevelt Island on the water side.
Real estate sources report that the new owner of the land can build up to a total of 2,800 apartments in seven apartment towers on as many sites in buildings that can be as tall as 42 stories. That’s the height of the Citylights Co-op several blocks south of the bottling plant, which was the first of many apartment buildings that will rise on the huge Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC) site.
Other great incentives for a prospective developer are an expected favorable rezoning of the presently industrially zoned property and legislation pending in Albany to give the QWDC the right to offer apartments as condominium units.
"Condos would go here like hotcakes," declared Carolyn C. Bachan DQDC president and chief executive officer.
Selling apartments as condo units is currently allowed in state-run developments on Roosevelt Island and at Battery Park City in Manhattan.
The rezoning from industrial use, real estate sources reported, would cause the property parcel to undergo a "friendly condemnation" so that the developer would enjoy the benefit of greater density available under state-run QWDC sponsorship.
Real estate firms reportedly ready to bid for the PepsiCo property are Related, Rockrose, Herb Greenspan Associates, Avalon Bay Communities and Time Equities. Reportedly there is also a sixth major developer which has shown interest in the property.
The ambitious plan, which will also include many commercial office towers, restaurants and other retail stores as well as a river front boardwalk, parks and a street system, was approved during the administration of then Governor Mario Cuomo about a dozen years ago. The second and third residential towers called for in the Queens West Development Corporation plans are currently under construction. The redevelopment site covers the Hunters Point waterfront from Newtown Creek on the south to the PepsiCo plant on the north. In between is a long line of dilapidated, decaying piers.
The one reported negative aspect of an otherwise attractive prospect of development is whether and what the state through the QWDC will provide in the way of infrastructure, a street, water and sewage system being necessary for any new community. Depending on whether this is included or not will make a significant change in the numbers each developer will come up with.