March 22, 2019 By Christian Murray
The Court Square Library, a long-time tenant on the ground floor of the Citigroup Building, may soon be looking for a new home.
The library’s lease is coming to an end later this year and it remains unclear whether it will be renewed.
“We are having conversations with the landlord to extend the lease,” said a spokesperson for the Queens Library.
The landlord is Savanna, which owns the 50-story Citigroup Building also known as One Court Square.
The company is leasing a 3,200 square foot space to the library under a deal struck many years ago with a previous owner.
Savanna, which is currently in negotiations with the library, was dealt a body blow earlier this year when Amazon
decided that it was no longer coming to Long Island City. The tech giant had agreed to rent about 1 million square feet of the 1.4 million square foot Citigroup Building in November—but pulled out in February.
Savanna is now tasked with filling that space in a year, as Citigroup moves ahead with its plan to relocate its staff when its lease expires in 2020.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said he is keeping an eye on the library negotiations.
“We are monitoring the negotiations between the library system and the owner of the building and will support any effort to maintain and expand library service for the families in the area,” he said.
Tavros Capital, which is seeking a zoning text amendment in order to build a 45-story building a block south of the Citigroup Building, is offering to fill the potential void.
The landuse lawyer for Tavros told Community Board 2 on Wednesday that it was willing to provide space for the library as a public benefit.
He said the company had been in talks with both Van Bramer and the Queens Library about its offer–as Tavros looks to get its parcel rezoned. The attorney did not say what the rent would be.
Lisa Deller, the chair of CB2’s Landuse Committee, said that the library was currently paying rent of $1 per year.
Savanna did not respond for comment.