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Billion-Dollar Ground Lease Signed for Site of Macy’s Building

It’s what’s on the inside that counts—or rather, underneath.

Crown Acquisitions, a family-owned real estate company, has signed a 99-year ground lease for a 250,000-square-foot site in Queens, New York, that’s currently fully occupied by the Flushing outpost of Macy’s. The deal, valued at more than $1 billion, was brokered by Colliers International on behalf of the site’s long-time owner, Benider Company.

The department store’s current lease on its lot expires soon, Crown Acquisitions principal Isaac Chera told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, but he remained mum on how many years are remaining and called the deal a “long-term play” for his company.

While a Macy’s spokesperson said the retailer has no plans to vacate the property, that doesn’t mean it’s out of the woods. “We believe at some point in the near future the rents will be greater than what Macy’s is paying,” Chera said. Given the department store’s recently announced cost-cutting measures, including store closures, higher rents might be more trouble than the Flushing market is worth.

Last July, Colliers told Bloomberg that investors saw potential for residential development and upscale retail on the site.