Fleet Financial seeks to build luxury hotel, condo in Queens


Renderings of Eastern Emerald (Courtesy SASI Studio)

A zero-carbon luxury hotel and condominium, partnered with Michelin-starred chef and former senior architect Zaha Hadid, looks like a new development in Chelsea or Tribeca.

But Richard Xia’s Fleet Financial Group is looking to bring the concept to Corona, Queens, just two miles from LaGuardia Airport.

The group plans to launch the 25-story project, known as the Eastern Emerald, at the end of the month. Totaling 350,000 square feet, it will have 256 hotel units and 196 condominium residences. The project will also include a conference and performing arts center, as well as a bar and restaurant run by chef Shinichi Inoue, formerly of Michelin-starred restaurants Sushi Azabu and Sushi Inoue.

To design the facade, Fleet Financial enlisted the help of SASI Studio, whose co-founder, Mattia Santi, was previously a senior architect at Zaha Hadid. The design appears to mimic some of the styling of Hadid’s use of curves.

Xia said the project already had funding using existing money from private investors as well as federal cash program money for the EB-5 visa.

Renderings of Eastern Emerald (Courtesy SASI Studio)

Renderings of Eastern Emerald (Courtesy SASI Studio)

He said the project may also qualify for the C-PACE funding program, which allows developers and homeowners to get cheap funding if they make certain energy upgrades. The site housed an auto repair facility and gas station that Fleet Financial remediated. It has received Track-1 corrective certification, which allows unrestricted future use.

The luxury building is expected to be completed in about three to four years, according to Xia.

The Eastern Emerald would be an outlier for Corona, which is not known for the development of luxury. The average rent in Corona is $ 2,110 per month, compared to $ 3,217 in Long Island City, according to RentCafe, which tracks apartment rents. The area is close to Citi Field and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.


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