Press Releases

Transwestern Advises School in 85,000 SF Transaction in Queens

February 25, 2021

New York City – Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) announces it represented Central Queens Academy Charter School (CQA) in an 85,000-square-foot transaction for a new school to be located in the Justice Avenue Tower at 88-08 Justice Ave. in Queens. Transwestern’s Stephen Powers, Lindsay Ornstein, Arthur Skelskie, Jake Cinti and Alexander Smith provided tenant advisory services to CQA.

CQA’s new school is scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 academic year and will serve approximately 900 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school will be located on the first, third and fourth floors of Justice Avenue Tower, which is currently under construction. The school will include numerous classrooms, administrative offices and a cafeteria. The expansion includes plans for a 4,000-square-foot gymnasium on the same block that is expected to be open in 2024.

“Opening this state-of-the-art, purpose-built school is a milestone achievement for Central Queens Academy,” said Ashish Kapadia, Interim Executive Director, Central Queens Academy. “Expanding our reach within District 24 has been a longstanding goal, and this facility will allow CQA to consolidate three schools and buildings, double the number of students we serve, and vastly increase our ability to collaborate in providing high-quality education to a diverse community.”

Justice Avenue Tower is being developed by United Development & Construction Group and is expected to total 340,000 square feet. In addition to the new CQA school, the mixed-use building will have 184 residential condominium units and four floors of retail and office spaces. The building is located in the Elmhurst neighborhood, across the street from the Queens Place and Queens Center malls and within walking distance of the E, M and R subway trains. Building ownership was represented in the transaction by Steve Zhu of Urban Compass Inc. The deal for the new school was structured as a leasehold condominium, which offers significant savings by utilizing CQA’s tax-exempt status.

“Central Queens Academy has produced dramatic learning gains for its students, and the new school provides the opportunity for a cohesive K–8 program under one roof,” said Powers, who also leads Transwestern’s national Nonprofit Advisory Group. “By commencing negotiations during construction, we are able to achieve the benefits of a purpose-built facility in half the time of a traditional ground-up construction project.”

Transwestern has extensive experience helping nonprofits of all sizes minimize occupancy costs and capitalize on the tremendous savings uniquely available to tax-exempt organizations. The Transwestern Nonprofit Advisory Services Group starts every project from a mission and program perspective and then uses that understanding to build a real estate solution that addresses key considerations for nonprofits, including tax-exempt status, deal structure, space needs, board consensus, and fundraising and financials.

About Transwestern Real Estate Services

Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) adds value for investors, owners and occupiers of all commercial property types through a comprehensive perspective and by providing solutions grounded in sound market intelligence. Part of the Transwestern companies, the firm applies a consultative approach to Agency Leasing, Asset Services, Tenant Advisory + Workplace Solutions, Capital Markets, and Research & Investment Analytics.

The privately held Transwestern companies have been delivering a higher level of personalized service and innovative real estate solutions since 1978. An integrated approach formed from fresh ideas drives value for clients across commercial real estate services, development, investment management and opportunistic programs for high-net-worth investors. The firm operates through 34 U.S. offices and global alliances with BNP Paribas Real Estate and Devencore. Learn more at and @Transwestern.

About Central Queens Academy Charter School

Central Queens Academy Charter School (CQA) is an award-winning, high-performing, free, public charter school which opened in 2012. The mission of CQA is to prepare students for success in education, the workforce and the community through a school that integrates literacy, standards-based academics and culturally responsive supportive services. CQA was founded to serve the families in District 24, specifically those who live in and around the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual communities of Elmhurst, Corona and Woodside. Our scholars and their families hail from over 30 different nations and speak over 20 different languages at home. More than 80% of our scholars would be the first in their families to attend college. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Dan Foley