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Developer Looks to Bring Big Box Retail to Northern Blvd. Complex

 A rendering of Alma Realty's plan for 30-30 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City.
A rendering of Alma Realty's plan for 30-30 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City.
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Winick Realty Group

LONG ISLAND CITY — The next big thing might be in store for Northern Boulevard.

The developer behind the massive Astoria Cove development is planning to turn the vacant "Apple Building" warehouse into a retail and office complex that is a destination for the area, with a big box store and rooftop restaurants and lounges.

Part of developer Alma Realty's plan for the retail and office complex at 30-30 Northern Blvd. — a vacant building known for the "Apple Tag & Label" sign that sits atop it — is to construct another building alongside it with three floors of retail space.

The new structure, which will connect to the original, will also have office space. The two buildings will house about 3,000 employees, according to Winick Realty Group, which is marketing the retail space in the complex.

The company is looking to draw big-name retailers to the project, according to a statement, which says they're "seeking tenants of all use groups, including restaurants and lounges that could make use of multiple available rooftop spaces."

"This is a perfect opportunity for a big box retailer to make their presence known in Long Island City," Winick Realty Group President Steven Baker said in a statement. "We are pleased to be part of this incredible project that will help reshape the Long Island City retail landscape as we know it."

In an email, Winick broker Aaron Fishbein said they're aiming to draw apparel, home goods and department stores, as well as gourmet markets, restaurants and financial institutions.

"There will also be smaller spaces available for coffee uses, quick service restaurants and electronics retailers," he added.

The Apple Building will be ready for occupancy in September, while construction of the new building will begin once an anchor tenant is secured, Fishbein said.

Alma Realty — the company behind plans for Astoria Cove, a large residential complex on the Astoria waterfront — purchased 30-30 Northern Blvd. in 2011 for $21.5 million, property records show.

The site's previous owner, Edward J. Minskoff, had once wanted to turn it into a 19-story student dormitory, according to The Real Deal, but scrapped those plans to focus on other projects in Manhattan.

It wasn't clear what school the dorm would have served.