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MTA project to renovate five 7 train subway stations draws near as contractor leases command center in Jackson Heights

Judlau Contracting leased space at Heritage Tower in Jackson Heights for its command center as it begins a years-long renovation project of 5 stations on the 7 line beginning in May. (Courtesy of RockFarmer Properties)

March 17, 2023 By Bill Parry

In a sure sign the MTA is about to embark on a long-awaited project to renovate subway stations along the elevated 7 train from Woodside to Corona, RockFarmer Properties announced Judlau Contracting LLC has signed a long-term lease for office space at Heritage Tower in Jackson Heights.

Judlau Contracting, which specializes in capital improvement and public works projects, was looking for a location to serve as its “home base” for its team as the company begins work on the MTA’s “Five Stations Renewal” project along the Flushing line, which will include improvements to the 52nd Street and 69th Street stations in Woodside, 82nd Street-Jackson Heights station and the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza and 111th Street stations.

The MTA said the project will strengthen and extend the structural lifespan of each subway station for the next 25 years, improve stair conditions by replacing stairs from street to the mezzanine level and mezzanine to the platform level, upgrade lighting by providing new and additional lighting fixtures, install a Passenger Identification CCTV camera system to enhance passenger safety and upgrade customer experience with new windscreens, artwork and painting throughout the five stations. The construction will get underway at the 82nd Street station in Jackson Heights and the 111th Street station in Corona beginning in May.

The MTA has an outreach plan including multilingual project signage and information will be available to customers, notifications regarding service impacts, and project information will be provided well in advance and around each of the stations.

The 82nd Street-Jackson Heights station (pictured) and the 111th Street Station in Corona will be the first of five stations to be upgraded. (File photo)

A project website will be updated periodically here. Judlau Contracting will start moving into its command center at Heritage Tower this spring. Michael Lee, First Vice President of CBRE represented the landlord, RockFarmer Properties, in the direct transaction. Judlau Contracting’s new lease encompasses 11,126 square feet — the entire eighth floor — and 3,261 square feet on the fourth floor. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the asking rent at Heritage Tower is approximately $50 per square foot.

“Judlau Contracting needed a strategic location for its team as it begins its years-long work on the renovation of several subway stations along the 7 line,” Lee said. “Heritage Tower is conveniently located in the middle of the five stations, making it a fitting location for the team to set up its operations.”

Built in 1998, Heritage Tower is located at 82-11 37th Ave. in the heart of the Jackson Heights retail and commercial district.

Judlau Contracting leased space at Heritage Tower in Jackson Heights for its command center as it begins a years-long renovation project of 5 stations on the 7 line beginning in May. (Courtesy of RockFarmer Properties)

RockFarmer Properties recently completed a $4 million renovation of the nine-story office tower that included a complete upgrade of the building’s common areas, lobby and three-story atrium; the installation of new elevator cabs and mechanicals; the installation of a new roof; and the addition of turn-key incubator spaces for small businesses and entrepreneurs on the lower level.

Tech upgrades and additions included public Wi-Fi in all common areas; the installation of high-speed fiber optic and coaxial cables; increased rider capacity; and a backup generator to provide continued, seamless service to tenants during a power outage — a must-have for today’s high-speed medical, creative and professional service tenants.

“After renovating, modernizing, and rebranding Heritage Tower, we are thrilled to see the building approach 100% leased, and are further encouraged that the surrounding subway stations will see significant upgrades in the coming years,” RockFarmer Properties COO Kostas Koutsothanasis said. “We expect to announce an exciting new lease for the retail space in the next several weeks.”

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