With LIC complex complete, TF Cornerstone looks to Battery Park City for inspiration

July 29, 2013 09:30AM

TF Cornerstone has completed construction on its seven-tower complex on Long Island City’s waterfront, and is now focusing its efforts on building a vibrant surrounding community, Crain’s reported.

Tom and Fred Elghanayan – who split from their brother Henry, of Rockrose Development, recently – paid $85 million for the 21-acre site about a decade ago. Now, with the final building at 4610 Center Boulevard topping out, TF Cornerstone will look to shape the complex — which has 3,193 apartments, a handful of shops and a 12-acre waterfront park — in the mold of Battery Park City, the Lower Manhattan community that is home to a growing number of families.

“We took a lot of what we learned over there and applied it here,” Jon McMillan, TF Cornerstone’s director of planning and a former Battery Park City Authority executive, told Crain’s.

The developer was able to build out the project, called East Coast, at a significantly lower cost than Battery Park City, due to the lower land costs in Long Island City and excellent access to the 7 train. As a result, rents at the complex are 20 to 30 percent below those seen across the river.

At 4545 Center Boulevard, for example, one-bedroom apartments are $2,900 a month and three-bedrooms are around $5,500  per month.

But one of the challenges they face in creating a thriving community is the scarcity of retail options in the area, Tom Elghanayan told Crain’s.

“If New Yorkers have to walk more than two blocks to the store, they think they’re in Outer Mongolia,” he said. [Crain’s]Hiten Samtani