MetLife Finances Utopia Center Buy


A three-story medical office and retail building adjacent to St. Johns University in Queens has changed ownership in a deal financed by MetLife, Commercial Observer has learned.

New York-based Prestige Properties & Development purchased the Fresh Meadows property, Utopia Center, from New Jersey-based Wharton Realty Group for $75 million on May 1, according to the buyer.

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MetLife provided the new owner a ten-year, $50 million loan towards the purchase.

“We are going to hold the property and upgrade it,” said Sam Shalem, chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties.

The 118,186-square-foot building at 176-60 Union Turnpike, off of Utopia Parkway, is almost fully leased, he noted.

A Barnes & Noble store at Utopia Center closed at the end of last year, right before its lease expired in January 2015, according to reports.