In New York City, the borough of Queens is seeing some major renovations as a $400 million development, which includes a soccer stadium that will house the New York Cosmos, is coming to pass. The Belmont project, helmed by Carl Mattone of The Mattone Group, will include 200,000 feet of retail space, nine restaurants and a 175-room hotel.
While the developer selection is currently in progress, The Mattone Group is confident that the project could be completed in as little as two years. Says Mike Mattone, CFO of the Mattone Group, “I think real estate in Queens is hot and getting hotter. From a real estate developer’s point of view, we’re seeing more guys venturing into developing in Queens that were traditionally either Brooklyn or Manhattan based.”
Businesses are thriving in Queens, which makes it an excellent candidate for new additions. One of the greatest assets the borough has is their transit system, which Mattone calls “phenomenal.” Near the Queens Center Mall, a development in Elmhurst is completing and offers three new restaurants that are set to open in late summer. That project cost around $12 million.
“People are waking up to the fact that you can be in downtown Flushing one minute and be in Manhattan in 15 minutes by subway or the Long Island Railroad,” he cited as one of the reasons Queens is seeing a boom in growth. “Businesses are thriving here in Queens, so it’s not like everybody’s commuting to Manhattan. There are people who live in Queens and work in Queens.”
The development company is also interested in Flushing, Bayside and Jamaica as well as Southeast Queens, for other renovating projects. But Mattone says of their current neighborhood reformation, “Queens is kind of our home turf. Queens is cool. Is Queens the new Brooklyn? I think that’s an insult to Queens.”