Food Delivery Startup Orbital Kitchens Picks Long Island City for New HQ

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Food delivery startup Orbital Kitchens has a new home base at the Steinway Building in Long Island City, Queens, Commercial Observer has learned.

Orbital signed a 15-year lease for 34,953 square feet on the lower level and first through third floors of 42-45 12th Street, according to landlord broker Igloo, the brokerage arm of Queens developer The Vorea Group.

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Asking rent at the six-story industrial property was in the mid- to high-$30s per square foot, said Igloo’s Adam Joly, who arranged the deal for landlord Superior Management along with colleague Rachel Cohen.

Orbital is a virtual restaurant founded in 2019. It brings fast-casual meals to New Yorkers’ doorsteps and offers catering, all through an online-only presence. The company lists 12 restaurant brands on its website that range from the chicken-centric Wing Box to Little Mint, which serves up Thai comfort food.

Orbital will keep its current office address at 74 Fifth Avenue near Union Square but move its headquarters to its new Long Island City outpost, Joly said. It plans to use the space as its main commissary kitchen and research and development hub.

42-45 12th Street is between Queens Plaza South and 43rd Avenue, on the south side of the off-ramp for the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. The deal “reinforces the trend of industry leaders and disruptors flocking to this pocket of Queens because of how accessible it is to Brooklyn and Manhattan,” Joly added.

The historic manufacturing neighborhood around 12th Street in Queens “still has authenticity and grittiness” Cohen added. The building got its Steinway nickname because the warehouse was used by Steinway Moving & Storage, a company with no connection to the famous piano maker.

Superior’s Adam Nagin and L&L Capital Partners acquired the foreclosed 41,400-square-foot warehouse from bankrupt developer Isaac Hager last summer for $12.4 million, according to city property records and Queen County Supreme Court filings.

It’s unclear if Orbital had its own broker in the deal.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.