As retail flounders in Manhattan, demand for new restaurants in Long Island City seems to be on the rise.
According to a survey conducted by the Long Island City Partnership, which operates the area’s business improvement district, restaurants are the most needed type of brick-and-mortar retail in the neighborhood. Forty percent of the more than 1,300 surveyed reported going to a bar or restaurant in the area one to three times a month. One-third of those surveyed said they went to these places one to three times a week.
“An entirely new market for retail is being created in all of these buildings,” Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, told the Wall Street Journal. “Retail is extremely important to people here, and they want more of it, better access and they want the kind of retail that is not replacing things online, but things they want right away.”
One of the main forces driving this demand is the high volume of new residential construction in the neighborhood. The partnership estimates that 22,000 apartments are planned or under construction in Long Island City — nearly 9,000 of which is expected to be completed this year. By 2020, more than 465,000 square feet of retail development is expected to be completed. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel