Educational Affiliates Ink 40K in Queens

Educational Affiliates is signing a 40,000-square-foot lease at 97-77 Queens Boulevard, a large office building owned by the LeFrak Organization in Rego Park, Queens.

The tenant operates career schools that train nurses, medical assistants, commercial drivers and computer specialists among other professions.

A source familiar with the lease said that Educational Affilitiates plans to open a nursing school at the location.

97 77 queens boulevard 2 Educational Affiliates Ink 40K in Queens

97-77 Queens Boulevard.

The deal is the second substantial lease that LeFrak has recently done in its sizeable Queens portfolio. The company owns hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial and residential space in Queens, much of it in Rego Park, a bustling section of the borough known by most New Yorkers for its big-box retail mall.

In recent weeks, LeFrak completed a 25,000-square-foot deal at the nearby office property 95-25 Queens Boulevard with New York Life Insurance. New York Life took the space for 10 years, at rents in the $30s per square foot. Rents in the Educational Affiliates deal were similar, said a source, but the tenant may have been eligible for discounts that are offered by the city as a way to incentivize leasing in the area and would lower the actual rates it will pay.

The discounts reduce certain taxes and can lower a tenant’s electricity charges as well, credits that can reduce a rental rate by as much as $10 per square foot or more, according to brokers familiar with the programs. It wasn’t clear by press time yesterday whether Educational Affiliates is benefiting from these incentives.

Roy Chipkin, a leasing executive with the real estate services firm CBRE, represents LeFrak at both properties. Mr. Chipkin couldn’t be reached for comment on the deal with Educational Affiliates, nor did a spokesman at LeFrak return calls seeking comment. Executives at Educational Affiliates, which is based in Baltimore, Maryland didn’t return repeated calls for comment. Darren Shibuya, a broker based out of the brokerage firm CresaPartners’ Los Angeles office, represented the school in the deal. Mr. Shibuya also couldn’t be reached.

The deal is part of a recent swell of activity in Queens, an area where leasing is normally under the radar. Last month, as The Commercial Observer first reported, the Queens District Attorney’s Office is considering a 180,000-square-foot relocation to Forest Hills Tower, a large office property on the corner of Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. The Queens DA would take space being vacated by the airline JetBlue, which is relocating to Long Island City.

Dgeiger@Observer.com