LONG ISLAND CITY — Construction will begin soon to convert a three-story warehouse on 48th Avenue and 30th Place into an amenities-packed office building with food vendors, a communal lobby, bike room and gym.
The Bindery, at 30-02 48th Ave., will be one of three similar modern office spaces within blocks of one another in this area east of Sunnyside Yards, where realtors are offering perks to draw companies and young workers from Manhattan and Brooklyn into Queens.
"The market has completely changed," said Steve Klein of Brickman Real Estate, which bought the building almost three years ago. "I think there are more and more folks who want to come to Long Island City."
At a real estate panel hosted by the LIC Partnership Wednesday morning, Klein laid out Brickman's plans to completely "gut renovate" the 160,000-square-foot factory, with work that's expected to start in the next few weeks.
The renovations will include adding a communal work area in the lobby with comfortable furniture and WiFi — a setup he compared to the lobby of the Ace Hotel in Manhattan.
The 4,000-square-foot lobby will also include space for four food vendors that will be open to the public and will likely feature merchants culled from local flea markets or food trucks.
The building will also have a bike room for commuters, including repair spaces for tune-ups, as well as a small gym with showers where employees can freshen up before their workday.
"We want to give these tenants not only a financial reason to come here, but we want to give them the opportunity to enjoy the experience," Klein said.
The Bindery follows in the footsteps of other local office projects like Jamestown's The Falchi Building, a five-story former factory just an avenue away that's attracted big-name tenants like Uber, Lyft, Doughnut Plant and the co-working company Spaces.
Just across the street, 30-30 47th Ave., is The Factory, a former furniture warehouse that's been turned into an office complex with a coffee shop and deli on the first floor. Macy's leased space in the building last year, according to The Real Deal.
A recent real estate report from the LIC Partnership says there are currently more than 6,000 businesses and more than 90,000 employees working in Long Island City.
According to Klein, companies are drawn to the area for its ample public transit options and easy commute, as well more affordable office rents — what he estimates can be about $25 cheaper per square foot in Queens than in Manhattan.
"I think tenants are beginning to realize that it's a real opportunity for them, for the branding of their company, to be able to come to LIC, to be able to give their employees this great environment to work with," he said.
Long Island City's former factory buildings also offer lots of space, high ceilings and large windows, he added.
"You have stuff that Manhattan, for the most part, really doesn't have," he said.
Renovations at The Bindery are expected to take about eight months to a year, he said.