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NYCEDC Selects Developer For Former Queens Family Courthouse


The Dermot Company will Invest $130 Million, Create More Than 800 Jobs and Affordable Housing.

New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) today announced that The Dermot Company, Inc. has been selected to acquire and develop the two-acre site of the former Queens Family Courthouse in the heart of Jamaica. The proposed project consists of about 380 residential units, 18,500 square feet of retail space, and parking for approximately 190 cars, as well as 25,000 square feet of space for community or cultural uses. The $130 million project will create more than 750 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs.

EDC President Andrew M. Alper said, “This development project includes all the components we were looking for at this site. Featuring high-quality, sustainable green design, it has the right mix of residential, retail and parking to meet the needs of the neighborhood, and it will encourage more private investment in Jamaica. With 25,000 square feet dedicated to community and cultural uses, it will be an asset to the entire neighborhood. It is also a good example of Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to breathe new life into neighborhoods in all five boroughs.”

“New York City needs more housing, and lots of it,” said Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “We welcome more mixed-income housing in Queens. This new construction will complement the senior housing, owner-occupied town homes and apartment building rehabilitations that the City has completed over the last few years in South Jamaica.”

The property contains a four-story courthouse building and a three-story annex building. The developer plans to demolish the annex building, but will retain and restore the Italian Renaissance-style façade of the courthouse building as well as several of its interior spaces. Dermot expects that the residential portion of the project will include about 300-low income, middle-income and market rate units, as well as about 75 affordable co-op units. The project will also include amenities such as a health club, clubhouse and outdoor terrace. The Queens Public Library, the original tenant of the courthouse building, has been identified as a partial user of the 25,000 square feet of community space.

“The revitalization of downtown Jamaica is one of my priorities. That is why I am delighted that this former courthouse will be brought back to life with mixed income housing, retail space and community uses, including a potential library,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “This entire project will continue to enhance the attractiveness of Jamaica as a great place to live, work and shop.”

In addition to Dermot, the development team includes Fox & Fowle Architects and construction manager Kajima Construction Services. Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLC will provide legal services. Dermot is committed to incorporating low-impact design and green technology techniques. The project will be LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the United States Green Building Council.

“Early this year we completed The Opal in Kew Gardens Hills, a 388-unit rental project that is the most upscale rental project constructed in Queens in quite sometime,” said Stephen N. Benjamin, a partner of Dermot. “The success of that project prompted us to pursue the Queens Family Courthouse Request for Proposals to serve the Jamaica submarket. We believe the project will help pave the way for future new residential development in downtown Jamaica and bring additional job growth to the local community.”

Carlisle Towery, President of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation said, “We are delighted to have another private development of mixed-income housing at this prominent location in the heart of downtown Jamaica. With York College, cultural facilities, new shopping, exceptional transportation and easy access to jobs, this growing downtown is an excellent place to live.”

Constructed in 1928 as the Parsons Central Library, the 75,000-square-foot courthouse building underwent major renovations in 1966 and the 32,000-square-foot annex building was constructed to accommodate the Queens Family Courthouse. Although the building’s exterior remains intact, the renovations sacrificed all interior architectural integrity.

About The Dermot Company Inc.
The Dermot Company Inc., based in New York City, was formed in 1991 as a real estate investment and management company focused on multi-family sector opportunities. The company has evolved into a fully integrated real estate company employing nearly 200 real estate professionals, investment, finance, management and development. Dermot currently manages about $500 million in assets and owns or holds investments in more than 5,000 multifamily units. In addition to this project and The Opal in Kew Gardens, Dermot is also active on the conversion to condominiums of the Williamsburg Saving Bank in Downtown Brooklyn and the construction of a 633-unit, mixed-use building at 53rd Street and Tenth Avenue in Manhattan.

About EDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. EDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. EDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities.

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Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (212) 312-3523