City to develop two LIC sites totaling 1.2M sf

EDC plans resi, office and manufacturing at the waterfront properties

Long Island City (credit: jlwelsh/Flickr) (inset: Maria Torres-Springer)
Long Island City (credit: jlwelsh/Flickr) (inset: Maria Torres-Springer)

UPDATED: Feb. 25, 5:20 p.m.: The city is planning a big development push in Long Island City.

The Economic Development Corporation will put out requests for proposal Thursday morning for two waterfront sites near Gantry Plaza State Park, at ‎5-40 44th Drive and 4-99 44th Drive, totaling 1.2 million square feet.

Officials are aiming at at least 300,000 square feet of office space and up to 1,000 apartments, including many that will be affordable, plus a school and a small park, Politico reported.

The announcement comes amid the buildout of Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island and an emerging office sector near the Queens waterfront. Commercial rents have been rising and startups have been quick to take advantage of cheaper office rents in Long Island City.

It’s the first time the city has planned to develop commercial space on the waterfront in 15 years, Politico reported.

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The parcels — which currently house a restaurant and a one-story Department of Transportation building — would require a rezoning if offices were developed.

Maria Torres-Springer said the goal is to make Long Island City a “true live-work-play community,” where parents can live in an affordable apartment, walk their kids to school and then zip over to a good-paying job. “At the same time, we’re responding to the tremendous demand we’re seeing for new and flexible commercial space in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan,” she said.

The Real Deal last year reported that the retail sector lags far behind the office and residential markets in Long Island City. [Politico] – Ariel Stulberg

The properties’ addresses were appended.