What New York Reopening Means for Commercial Offices

Here’s a Breakdown

It’s become apparent that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Thankfully, New York seems to be on the right track (compared with the rest of the country) as New York leaders have seemingly taken the correct precautions so that businesses and other establishments can reopen safely in a limited capacity this summer. At the end of June, New York entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan which allowed many of these businesses to reopen – including many businesses housed in commercial space like The Cigar Factory. What does that mean exactly? How do Phase 3 and 4 affect commercial office space? Here’s a breakdown of info to know about New York reopening plus how we’re handling it at The Cigar Factory.

New York’s Reopening: A Breakdown

After adhering and paying attention to precautions and guidelines set by the WHO, CDC, and other notable health organizations — such as hospitalization and infection rates — New York rolled out Phase 1 of its 4-phase reopening plan. Phase 1 allowed curbside pickup at retail stores as well as certain manufacturers and construction sites to resume work again. 

Exactly two weeks later, right on cue, Phase 2 of New York’s reopening plan went into full swing at the end of June. This is exciting as Phase 2 allowed people to start enjoying life more as they knew it before COVID-19: Outdoor dining, in-store shopping, hair and nail appointments and other similar establishments were all allowed to reopen (under strict restrictions, of course) in this phase. Most importantly for The Cigar Factory, many commercial offices were allowed to reopen with limited capacity and with strict precautionary measures in place.

On July 6th, Phase 3 rolled out in New York City. This phase allows more businesses in the hospitality industry to reopen. Additionally under this phase, gatherings of up to 25 people (rather than 10) are now allowed. 

Some regions have already begun rolling out Phase 4 of the plan which allows “low-risk” art and entertainment establishments — such as outdoor zoos, parks, higher education campuses, museums, and more —  to reopen. Additionally, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed under this phase. However, movie theaters, malls, and gyms are still not allowed to reopen in Phase 4. Governor Cuomo has announced that New York state will evaluate whether or not public schools will reopen in the fall at the beginning of August. 

There are talks of a potential Phase 5 since many businesses are not included in the 4-phase New York reopening plan, but nothing is concrete at this time. 

What Restrictions Are Still in Place?

As much as we’d like to say it’s back to business as usual, it will be anything but usual for a while still. Under New York’s reopening phase plan, certain guidelines must still be followed in order for this rollout to stick. None of us want to revert back into full lockdown, so here are some important tips on what we must do as a community in order to keep things rolling:

  • All businesses are required to follow social distancing guidelines (ie: patrons/employees must stay at least 6 feet away from each other). Businesses are encouraged to purchase and display social distancing decals to help patrons remember and adhere to these guidelines correctly. 
  • Only one person only is allowed in confined spaces (such as elevators or behind a register) at a time.
  • Wear a mask at all times in public places.  
  • Limit in-person meetings (if you must have them, follow social distancing and mask guidelines).
  • Constantly disinfect surfaces – between each interaction is preferable – and put up signs/markers to help patrons correctly social distance from one another. 

What Does New York Reopening Mean at The Cigar Factory?

Like the rest of the world, we have been carefully following the progression of COVID-19 in the U.S. as well as locally here in New York City. We are ecstatic to announce that our tenants can come back to work (as long as all mandated guidelines are followed). Please maintain social distancing, disinfect your office as well as all the equipment in it, and wear masks. We will do our part to make sure the rest of the building is properly disinfected and cleaned at all times as well. 

We’re here to answer any questions you may have, either as current or prospective tenants. Please feel free to contact us at (646) 964-6184 and we’ll be happy to help however we can. 

Available Tenant Options at The Cigar Factory

How Our Creative Office Space Can Help Your Business Achieve Its Goals

New York is poised to reopen for business and many people are starting to venture out in small groups back into this new normal. Are you a small business looking for office space to move into once the “all clear” comes through? Look no further than the creative office space at The Cigar Factory in Long Island City. Whether you need a smaller area or a larger one, The Cigar Factory has available office space ranging from 1,000 rentable square feet (RSF) to 11,000 RSF all primed and ready to fit your business’ needs. 

Everything Business Owners Need Under One Roof 

Tenancy with The Cigar Factory means well-rounded access to modern day urban amenities like full-sized shower and locker rooms, a landscaped tenant courtyard where you can take a well-deserved break, and onsite parking. Every space is ready-to-move-in and our team is always available should you have any questions or maintenance issues. Our goal is meet all of our tenants’ daily needs from the moment they step foot through the doors until they leave for the day. 

The Cigar Factory is an eclectic, unique space that will stick in the minds of your prospective clients and business partners. Welcome your clients and other guests into a little piece of New York history when they enter the newly renovated entrance and lobby area bedecked with historical photos from the Long Island City neighborhood. Hold meetings in your designated office or use the well-manicured tenant courtyard – the world of The Cigar Factory is your oyster.  

Some Questions to Keep in Mind While Office Hunting

Committing to an office space is a big step for any business, especially a startup or one that is moving from another office or work from home setting. Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping around.

How Much Space Do I Need?

This answer is ultimately left to the business owner as he or she is the one with the most accurate knowledge of the business. However, a good general rule to follow is to allot roughly 175 sq. ft. of space per person. Take into consideration future hirings, how much of that space is taken up by furniture, and whether or not a reception area will be in the space. 

What Is Included in My Lease?

At The Cigar Factory, everything onsite is at our tenants’ disposal unless otherwise specified. For those who prefer biking to and from work, for example, there is a newly renovated bike storage room as well as showers and locker rooms where you can securely keep your things while you tackle the day. As mentioned, there is also a private tenant courtyard that you can access at any point during the day, completely equipped with complimentary wi-fi. 

Is the Area Safe?

The safety of our tenants was always of paramount concern so picking where to lay roots was in the forefront of our minds. Long Island City is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City and has a high score for nightlife activities for those after-work get togethers. 

Have More Questions? Contact Us Today to Learn More

While we still have some time before it’s totally back to “business as usual”, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. If you are in need of office space post-quarantine, consider The Cigar Factory and all of the tenant options we offer. 

Although our physical space is currently closed, we are still available by phone. Please contact us today if you would like to schedule a future appointment or have any questions that we can answer in the meantime. 

How to Promote Creativity During Quarantine

Maintaining Mental Health While Under Immense Stress

As the world continues to trek through a post COVID-19 world, we also continue to try and find ways to cope with this stressful situation. In times of such uncertainty, we struggle to maintain control over our daily lives. Rest assured that there are still things you have complete control over even while the ship is sailing choppy waters at the moment. One of these things is fostering creativity.

Whether you consider yourself to be a creative professional like our tenants at The Cigar Factory or not, everyone has the ability to create something beautiful that will also contribute to providing peace of mind and relaxation. 

Ideas to Inspire Positivity and Pure Creation in Isolation

Are you a professional artist? A casual crafter? Don’t worry, there’s something everyone can do in the creative world that will spark some joy.

Create a Space Just for You

Introverts and extroverts alike are starting to feel a little crazy being cooped up with loved ones — or even alone — 24/7. Try creating a space, even if it’s just a corner of a room, that’s only for you. Decorate your space with whatever pleases you that will re-energize and inspire you when you look at it. This space should be away from where you get work done so you can better disconnect. Decorate your space with favorite quotes, music posters, art, a bonsai tree, salt lamp, or zen garden — whatever you want to make it uniquely yours.

Keep a Visual Journal

A thought journal works too, just get whatever is inside of you out on paper. Even if you start drawing and don’t have an idea in mind, just see where that thought pattern leads — you might surprise yourself. Don’t worry about whether your drawings are “good” or not, just create for the sake of creating. Don’t have a point, don’t put any pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece or follow formal rules, just draw whatever comes to mind. Try drawing one entry per day until the end of quarantine and see what comes out. If anything, your journal will serve as an interesting keepsake from a unique time. 

Create an Inspiring Playlist

It sounds simple, but the power of music is undeniable. Think about your favorite song — why is it your favorite? Likely because, in some capacity, it makes you happy. Why not create something that brings you happiness for hours on end? Compile a playlist of your favorite songs and get your tools out, it’s time to create…and take a dance break every now and then.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out these “Pandemic Playlists” from The Atlantic

Alternate Between Quick and Long Projects

Your brain gets tired of working on the same thing for too long. Give it a break by having both short and long projects on your docket to keep it active and inspired. For example, try writing a two sentence horror story (or any genre) one day while taking a break from a more intricate painting, music, writing, or other creative piece that you’re working on. 

Crafting Projects

For those of you who prefer to unwind with crafts, there are a plethora of options out there — especially in light of the current circumstances, it seems. There are plenty of options for those of us who are not artistically talented, but would still like to create. If you’re under quarantine with other members of your household as well, crafts can be a fun, time-consuming activity for kids and adults alike. Examples of crafts that the whole family can do are paint by numbers kits, scratch art, and vision boards.

Practice Your Craft of Choice

Now’s a good time to perfect your preferred craft. Are you an aspiring filmmaker and/or photographer? Take this time under quarantine to practice angles and lighting inside your own home. Artist? Practice drawing different forms using different materials; or, alternatively, use this time to attempt drawing a different style or use unfamiliar materials you’ve been meaning to try. 

Mama Always Said “Creative Is As Creative Does”

Ok, so that’s our own variation of the quote, but the sentiment remains. The power to be creative lies in your hands alone. While there will certainly be days where all you want to do is chill out — and that’s ok, we all need those days  — studies show that fostering creativity can boost health and productivity. Even if you do not consider yourself an artist per se (or even creative in general), there are definitely ways for you to express yourself that will help alleviate the stressors of outside life while connecting with yourself and your loved ones. 

Looking for more tips? Check out The Cigar Factory’s blog on Promoting Wellness While Working From Home During Quarantine.

Working From Home Tips: Promoting Wellness During the Health Crisis

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Mental and Physical Health

It’s hard to escape COVID-19. It seems like information about the health crisis is everywhere as the world tries to make sense of this new normal and what it means for families, the economy, and the world at large. It may feel like you can’t catch a break from being inundated with information related to the health crisis. 

As many of The Cigar Factory’s tenants have moved remotely, along with the rest of the world, so many things seem outside of our control. This situation can easily seem hopeless and without end. Rest assured that you’re not the only one who feels that way and there are steps you can take to alleviate some of these worries. Emotional health and wellbeing is often something that’s neglected when there’s not a pandemic — turning your attention inward could be just the key you need to set your mind at ease during troubling times.

Control the Controllable

One of the main reasons panic ensues is because it’s easy to let thoughts snowball into an uncontrollable mess of nerves and worries. This isn’t good for anyone and is a direct route to a panic attack. While the seriousness of the health crisis is not to be understated, there is little you can do about the current state of things — pay attention to what you can do to alleviate anxiety. 

So, what can you do?

Beyond adhering to practices advised by prominent health organizations, like the WHO or CDC, such as social distancing and staying indoors whenever possible, there are other techniques you can turn to that allow you to focus your care inward. After all, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others. 

Practice Mindfulness

Have you ever considered mindfulness techniques? Mindfulness has deep roots in Hinduism and Buddhism, but its techniques can be practiced in everyday life while doing everyday things. You may have heard Thích Nhất Hạnh’s famous example about practicing mindfulness while doing the dishes? He says “while washing the dishes, one should only be washing the dishes”, which is the perfect summation for practicing mindfulness in general. It’s all about focusing completely on the task at hand. Why? Simply to stop your thoughts from snowballing, to keep you grounded and focused while you traverse a stressful landscape. This technique may sound simple, but you might be surprised at how effective it can be. 

Limit Media Consumption

While it may be tempting to stay on top of the news, it could very well be what’s bringing you down. It’s good to stay informed, but try limiting your consumption of news and media during this time. When you do tune in to the news, keep it only to informed sources, like Dr. Fauci and the NIH, and limit your consumption to twice a day. Try implementing this strategy by checking the news once in the morning and then again in the evening. Choose times that work for you, but do your best to only check during those times.

Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Now that many people are working remotely, the temptation to work longer hours may be stronger as it helps take your mind off things. However, your fun gauge will suffer, and with it, your mental wellbeing. Consider designating a specific area of your living space for work — preferably a separate room where you can close the door, cutting yourself off from the work world — and maintain a regular schedule. 

Have a solid beginning and cut-off time for work, reserving time in the evening for hobbies and activities to give your mind a break. Do a quick yoga session, cook your favorite dish, or watch a show you’ve been meaning to catch up on — anything that makes you feel happy and rejuvenated. 

Feeling disconnected from friends and family? Consider setting up a virtual activity — even if it’s just virtual dinner and/or drinks — one night in an effort to regain some normalcy and connection. 

We Are In This Together

While we’re not all in the same boat, we are all in this situation together. If you are struggling with this new normal, you are certainly not alone. Try practicing the above techniques and reach out to your support network. This network can include your co-workers and superior(s); don’t be afraid to reach out if you find yourself needing more professional support, whether that be about work flow, morale, or concerns about deadlines. It is all about teamwork now more than ever. 

Most importantly, remember that this situation will have an end and all you can do is your part, which includes taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing. 

The Cigar Factory Offers Historical Prime Long Island City Office Space

Step Into History…

Long Island City (LIC) is already an area wrought with history as old as New York City itself. It was home to many establishments that have since taken their place as prestigious names in their industry — such as piano manufacturers, Steinway & Sons, the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Company, and other historical landmarks — which can still be seen today across LIC. The original De Nobili Cigar Company — now The Cigar Factory LIC — is among one of those landmarks, although it has since been transformed into prime Long Island City office space.

We knew that we wanted to uphold and foster the history that had been made here. In addition to the physical historical landscape, tenants and visitors of our creative office space can enjoy many historical accents and artwork that pay tribute to the original tenants of 9-20 35th Ave. Read on to learn more about the De Nobili Cigar Company and their contribution to New York history. 

The De Nobili Cigar Company Story

The original De Nobili Cigar Company was first conceptualized and built in two phases. The first phase of construction started in 1896 with an expansion occurring in 1930 as De Nobili started to make a name for themselves as one of the most authentic domestic Italian cigar manufacturers in the city. The De Nobili Cigar Company was responsible for employing thousands of local New Yorkers in their heyday and continued to create a prestigious reputation until they were bought in 1952 by the now infamous Avanti Cigar Company

The Avanti Cigar Company Story

Avanti was founded by three brothers — Dominic, Anthony, and Frank Suraci — from a picturesque coastal town in Southern Italy called Calabria. Already equipped with a love of cigars, the brothers emigrated to America where they formed “Suraci Brothers” in 1912. This brand would go on to take many names over the years —  such as “State Leaf Factory” and “Parodi Cigar Company of New York” — and survive the notorious stock market crash of 1929 (albeit not without suffering massive hardships) before eventually evolving into the present-day Avanti Cigar Company operating out of Scranton, PA. 

In 1952, the Saraci’s cemented their place in history when they purchased their biggest competitor: The De Nobili Cigar Company of Long Island City. According to Avanti’s website, at the time, De Nobili was responsible for “over 90% of Italian cigars sales in the metro New York area”. 

The Saraci’s continued buying up their competitors and bought the last — Petri — in 1963. Seven years later, the cigar that Avanti is best known for first hit the market and the company rebranded officially as the Avanti Cigar Company. The rest, as they say, is history. 

The De Nobili Legacy Lives On at The Cigar Factory LIC

Although the original De Nobili cigar factory is now prime Long Island City office space and the product is manufactured by another company, the legacy of the original company lives on in LIC and across the cigar community. Avanti still manufactures original De Nobili cigars crafted in the same authentic way; they remain one of the most sought after machine-made, Italian cigar brands on the domestic market. 

It was imperative to us to maintain the integrity of the original space as much as possible when renovating the building as well as pay homage to the times with artwork around the building. Does working in the middle of New York history sound appealing? Tenants come into work every day and witness history for themselves at The Cigar Factory LIC’s creative office space. Creative professionals and those looking for a more communal and creative workspace can work in an office setting that offers historical character with a 21st Century flair, all nestled in the center of Long Island City.

Long Island City Creative Office Space: The Heart of NYC History

LIC Office Rentals With Historical Character

The location of The Cigar Factory was carefully chosen. We knew we wanted to foster a creative environment for working professionals and that the location was going to have a large impact. Not only did the area have to inspire, but it had to offer a variety of leisure activities and local amenities for people to unwind after a hard day’s work. We searched high and low until we found the perfect spot for our Long Island City creative office space: 9-20 35th Ave.

Local Attractions

The following are just some of the area attractions that are only a short walk or ride away from The Cigar Factory.


Whether you have a sweet tooth, eat vegan, or love seafood, Long Island City can satisfy your craving for all of the above and everything in between. 

Melting Pot Cuisine (Jamaican/American food)

Astoria Seafood

The Strand Smokehouse (BBQ)

Chip Bakery

Gossip Coffee 

Milkflower (wood-fired pizzas, Italian small plates, salads, and craft beers)

3 Greeks Grill

Bars/Breweries/Wine Rooms

LIC is home to some of NYC’s best drinking spots. Happy hour anyone?

LIC Beer Project

Big aLICe Brewing

Break Bar and Billiards

Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar

Dutch Kills

The Beast Next Door

Museums/Art Galleries/Parks

Looking to kill some time after work? There’s plenty of cultural institutions and beautiful parks in the area to keep you busy…or tranquil, whatever you prefer.

The Noguchi Museum (displaying the works of artist and architect, Isamu Noguchi)


Socrates Sculpture Park

Rainey Park

Hallet’s Cove Beach

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park 

Flux Factory

Long Island City Is An Area Chock Full of History

History buffs will find a match made in heaven in Long Island City (LIC), an area once below sea level that is still full of history and industry. 

It is believed that the Mespat (also known as “Mespeatches”) tribe first settled the area now known as LIC largely because they were drawn to the abundant resources (such as wild strawberries, grapes, chestnuts, and walnuts) and wildlife. Later, around 1614, Dutch colonists began settling in the area, creating abundant farmland well into the 1640s in what is now Brooklyn and Queens. Around the same time, English colonists started to come over — only allowed to pass through Dutch land after swearing fealty to the Dutch form of government. In 1664, roughly 24 years later, the English would take over the whole island. 

By the American Revolution, the area was still mostly farmland. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that Long Island City started to flourish industrially. 

On May 4th, 1870, Governor Hoffman approved the creation of Long Island City with Abram Ditmars as the city’s first mayor. New York & Flushing Railroad moved in and constructed a terminal in Hunter’s Point where people then (and still can) catch a ferry to 34th Street in Manhattan. Infamous piano manufacturers Steinway & Sons purchased over 400 acres of land and eventually built a flourishing industrial community that came to be known as “Steinway Village”.

Local LIC Historical Landmarks

There are still many significant buildings left standing from the 19th Century in LIC — The Cigar Factory being among them. 

Hunter’s Point Historic District is home to several townhouses, known to some as “white collar row”, that were built in the 1870s. One of LIC’s earliest mayors lived in this neighborhood. Close by, under the Queensboro Bridge, are the landmarked former offices of the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Company with its beautiful moldings made of terra-cotta and Art Noveau accents, created by architect Francis H. Kimball

Perhaps the best place to witness unobstructed history is the Steinway area. Many structures remain from LIC’s golden era, including William Steinway’s home (the owner of Steinway & Sons) at 18-33 41st St. Built in 1858, the home actually predates the company’s move to the area. Additionally, parts of Steinway Village are still left standing on 20th Ave. They can be seen between Steinway and 42nd St. and on 41st St. between 20th Ave. and 20th Rd. Steinway & Sons constructed these townhomes so they could charge workers a subsidized rent, making Steinway Village the only “company town” to ever be erected inside NYC’s walls. 

If historical religious architecture is your thing, there are a few houses of worship left standing from the late 19th Century in LIC. 

Hallet’s Point is home to the Gothic Revival-style church known as the First Reformed Church — dating back to 1836 — at 27-26 12th St. Close by is St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, an exceptional Renaissance Revival-style church at 39-50 29th St. built in 1898. 

In Hunter’s Point, there’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church — designed by Patrick Kelly, one of the most renowned ecclesiastical architects in the United States — built in 1887. Nearby, in Astoria, you can see a stone church built in 1868 called The Church of the Redeemer at 30-14 Crescent St. 

Of course, there are townhouses dating back to LIC’s inception scattered all around the area. However, a majority of them have been renovated to the point where they likely do not qualify for landmark status anymore.

Inspired By LIC? So Were We.

We would be here all day if we went into all the things we love about Long Island City. From its historical character to all the local hotspots, we knew that this area was the perfect place for our Long Island City creative office space. After a tour, we got to work putting a plan of action into place. The result is thousands of square feet of rentable creative office space in the historical heart of New York City.

The Cigar Factory Boasts Modern Office Amenities With Tenants Top of Mind

Tenants Now Have More Control Than Ever

The Cigar Factory was designed to be a creative office space in LIC that offers modern office amenities — such as a secure bike storage and locker area and a private tenant courtyard — and allows tenants to have maximum control over their space. For example, our ready-to-move-in office suites offer open concept workspace layouts which can be built out based on tenants’ needs.

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The Cigar Factory Offers Newly Renovated LIC Creative Office Space

Long Island City (LIC) is an area rich with history. In fact, the very building that now houses creative studio space, The Cigar Factory, was once an actual cigar manufacturer in the 19th Century. Our goal behind renovating this historical building into LIC creative office space was to provide 21st Century service and amenities while still paying homage to the history behind the building and the surrounding area.

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Introducing the New and Improved Cigar Factory

Long Island City, say hello to the neighborhood’s newest creative office space: The Cigar Factory. We wanted LIC’s newest creative office destination to pay homage to the history behind the four-story loft building — once an actual cigar factory in the 19th century — while still offering the best 21st-Century office experience that the area has to offer. The goal behind The Cigar Factory? To foster a creative work environment as well as a community.

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9-20 35th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11106