When the Vanbarton Group, a privately owned real estate investment and advisory firm, purchased the Zipper Building in Long Island City, Queens in February of 2015, they had big plans for the 51,200 square foot building. But they knew a key part of transforming the former storage facility into a state-of-the-art commercial space was bringing business-class broadband into the building for Vanbarton’s future tenants.
“The Zipper Building historically lacked any connectivity, which of course is necessary for growing businesses in today’s marketplace,” says George Karnoupakis, Vice President of Vanbarton Group LLC. Called the Zipper Building since it was the former home to the Waldes Zipper Factory, it sits at 47-16 Austell Place between Skillman Avenue and 27th Place, within walking distance of Queensboro Plaza and all the residential development under construction in Long Island City. This area is one of the city’s digital deserts, a place where gigabit internet speeds had historically been unobtainable.
“We learned about Xchange Telecom and Skywire Networks through WiredScore when we were looking for internet access for another one of our buildings in Astoria,” Karnoupakis says. “As soon as we purchased The Zipper Building we knew we would bring in Skywire Networks for connectivity.” Skywire Networks delivers business-class broadband ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps as well as advanced voice systems to businesses in underserved areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
A Telecomunications Solution Small Businesses Can Afford
Vanbarton’s first significant tenant was The Joffrey Ballet Center, which leased 15,500 square feet – the entire fourth floor of the building. “Since we had a previous relationship with Skywire, we were able to introduce them to Joffrey very early in the process, assuring them that they would have enough broadband when they opened their doors.” Skywire was able to light Joffrey Ballet Center immediately with a large broadband, managed WIFI and voice implementation. Skywire Networks provided Joffrey with their solution, Skywire HQ, which gives small- to mid-sized businesses a complete, robust and affordable Business Connectivity Platform with enterprise-class internet, adaptive voice, and personalized service. For Joffrey, Skywire Networks becomes the much-needed telecom department that most SMBs cannot afford, enabling them to leverage an enterprise-class communications infrastructure without having to manage it themselves.
Brokerage firms JRT Realty Group and Cushman & Wakefield know firsthand that when leasing properties outside of Midtown and Wall Street, ample broadband is not a guarantee. These firms, who are in charge of leasing The Zipper Building, know that a strong internet connection is critical in the search for new tenants, especially in Industrial Business Zones like Long Island City. “Having business-class broadband makes a property very attractive to companies looking to move into the city’s new centers of commerce,” says Greg Smith, president of JRT Realty Group. “Skywire Networks is allowing us to attract the perfect mix of tenants for The Zipper Building.”
Vanbarton is still actively recruiting tenants for The Zipper Building. It was recently certified with a WiredScore rating, letting future tenants know about the connectivity of the renovated space. “Skywire’s product has been a formidable, relatively low cost telecommunications option,” says Karnoupakis. “It has been very helpful in attracting tenants to our redevelopment.”
Karnoupakis says he actively promotes Skywire Networks for its excellent product and personalized customer service to other buildings that are renovating in the neighborhood. “With Skywire Networks, our tenants have had a seamless transition, easy access, and professional service. They are a great broadband provider for our buildings and tenants.”