JetBlue headquarters opens today in LIC

[Updated at 2:53 p.m. with responses from JetBlue] Today marks the opening of the 200,000-square-foot headquarters of JetBlue Airways in Long Island City, according to a press release issued by the city this morning.

JetBlue now occupies the Brewster Building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North between 27th and 28th streets, which is owned by Brause Realty. Built in 1911, according to the release, the Brewster Building is the site where the Brewster Aeronautical Company built the Brewster F2A, which was the first monoplane fighter airplane flown by the Navy during World War II. As previously reported, JetBlue had to clear at least six hurdles to install a 40-foot top-of-building sign that would be visible from Manhattan.

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As The Real Deal previously reported, JetBlue’s move combines office spaces. The new headquarters houses over 900 employees who previously worked in the Forest Hills office with the approximately 70 employees who worked in the Darien, Conn. location, the release said. This news comes at the time of Fresh Direct’s departure from the neighborhood.

JetBlue will sublease the space from MetLife, which the release indicated will still maintain its presence in the building. JetBlue declined to provide the rent, but a spokesperson told The Real Deal that Jones Lang LaSalle represented JetBlue in the deal, and the lease is for 10 years.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced in the press release the completion of the $45 million Queens Plaza roadway, pedestrian and bicycle improvement project. — Zachary Kussin