Film and television prop rental company, Prop n Spoon, signed a 45,165-square-foot lease at 32-00 Skillman Avenue in Queens, a.k.a, the Swingline Building—the former headquarters of the Swingline Stapler Company. The ten-year contract – signed in early December – will give the firm a large area to house its prop and furniture products, as well as a showroom for its set fabrication capabilities.
Prop n Spoon, represented by Studley managing director, Jarod Stern, had searched for about three years for a new expansion location, looking in Manhattan as well. The company chose Long Island City because it was economically advantageous and was close to entertainment industry clients, including Silvercup Studios – where smash hits like NBC’s 30 Rock and the CW’s Gossip Girl are filmed – and Kaufman Astoria Studios, said Dyann Klein, co-founder of the Prop n Spoon. The company’s sets and props are also used by Saturday Night Live, Person of Interest, Blue Bloods and the new Judd Apatow film, This is 40. The company also has a 60,000 square foot shop in Rahway, New Jersey, focused on set fabrication.
The Skillman Avenue location, owned by Stellar Management, offered a large, open space, as well as loading docks and freight elevators—perfect for the company’s needs. Proximity to the 7 Train is also a plus, Ms. Klein said. “That was very important for us,” she said. The building is also near Queens Boulevard and the 59th Street Bridge. About 25 employees will work at the new prop rental facility and showroom.
According to Mr. Stern, Long Island City resonates strongly for many creative companies looking for larger flexible floor plates and increased visibility within the borough’s emerging art scene. In the case of Prop n Spoon, he noted that the Swingline Building “met all of the operational needs of the tenant, including proximity to transportation.” Stellar made minor renovations, including painting, electrical work and the construction of several offices.
The need for space became more pressing following the merger that created the company in its current form. Ms. Klein’s company, Props for Today, joined forces with The Spoon Group, headed by Harlan Silverstein, in the spring of 2011. The company will likely need even more space in the long term, Ms. Klein said, though it has yet to be decided when and in which neighborhood Prop n Spoon will seek further expansion.
Sholom and Zuckerbrot Realty executive vice president, Lawrence T. Smith, represented the landlord but neither he nor Stellar Management responded to calls for comment.