When Citigroup erected its Long Island City tower in the 1980s, it hoped to spur an office district that would become a less-expensive Midtown offshoot. Now, 30 years later amidst company-wide post-recession woes and the neighborhood's residential boom, the financial institution is abandoning that dream. The Times and TRD report that the bank is looking to sell a 36,000-square-foot development lot adjacent to the Citigroup Building, where once they planned a third Court Square tower, for a sum between $140 million and $150 million. The lot, bounded by 44th Road, 44th Drive, and 23rd Street, could give rise to a 40-story office, retail, hotel, or apartment tower.
Citigroup has been slowly selling off its stake in its Long Island City properties; in 2005 the bank sold a controlling interest in the iconic One Court Square to SL Green Realty for $470 million (which later sold in 2012 for $481 million to real estate private equity firm Savanna), and in 2010 the company sold six floors of Two Court Square to CUNY Law School. Although the bank still owns Two Court Square, their deal with the city to bring a 1.5-million-square-foot development to the neighborhood has crumbled beneath the bank's cutbacks and the neighborhood's embrace of residential buildings.
· New Housing to Benefit as Citigroup Sells Queens Site [NYT]
· Citigroup looks to sell massive LIC development site [TRD]
· All One Court Square coverage [Curbed]