Category Archives: Real Estate

WHY IS BROOKLYN RUNNING QUEENS?

Making it happen in LIC

Making it happen in Long Island City

YESTERDAY at the LIC Summit one of the speakers marveled at how everyone on the panel lived in Brooklyn and was talking about LIC.  In fact given that this panel and several others included NYC policy makers the reality is that they were not only commenting about Queens but also deciding its fate when it comes to big decisions.  Which I guess is how these things shake out when hiring decisions are made, but shouldn’t there then be extra special attention paid to the community voice and an awareness that these areas are not blank slates?

The obvious answer is ‘yes’ but the bureaucratic one is ‘huh?’  Our last post talked about the ‘Water’s Edge’ development, and that proposal should be an interesting litmus test.  I learned yesterday that a) an answer should be forthcoming soon and b) there never was the intention of having a bake-off.  We’ll see.

More disconcerting was the advocacy of ‘densification’ by all the Brooklyn Intelligentsia as the solution to the city’s problems, and how Queens was Ground Zero to test their urban planning theories.  I believe it helps a few people and diminishes the quality of life for all – the only question is ‘To what extent?’  Either way, we will experience de facto densification in the addition of roughly 10,000 new units to LIC by 2020 and thousands of other units along the 7-train line outside of LIC.  Why not wait to see how that plays out?

Another sign of cluelessness occurred Continue reading

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WHAT’S UP WITH THE WATER’S EDGE DEVELOPMENT SITE?

Que pasa?

Que pasa?

In February of 2016 the City decided to develop the land in and around the former Water’s Edge Restaurant on 44th Drive by the East River.  Given the prospective zoning variance the city was offering, a pair of 60-story towers were possible on this choice piece of property1, so the proposed project is massive.  RFP’s from developers were due that May and were required to include a new school, some affordable housing, and a few other stipulations most notably a set aside for light manufacturing.

After submission the proposals would be reviewed by the NYCEDC (Economic Development Corp) and I was under the belief that shortly after the New Year they would pick 2-3 of those they deem viable for a bake-off, during which time there would be some community review and recommendations and then a winner would be chosen.  Now I’m hearing grumblings that the city is going to bypass the middle step and just render a final decision.

Which is really a shame because in addition Continue reading

  1. actually two properties across the street from each other []
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ALTICE USA, fka CABLEVISION, MOVING HEADQUARTERS TO LIC

Altice USA, formerly known as Cablevision, is moving it’s headquarters to Long Island City from Bethpage in Long Island.  In addition, it’s Manhattan offices, where a lot of the big hitting advertising and sales executives are located, will also be folded into the new headquarters location.  As such, this $17.7 billion corporation1 will be the largest headquartered in LIC.

The implications of this are even bigger for Long Island City because Continue reading

  1. It’s Enterprise Value (EV) when purchased last year []
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HUNTERS POINT SOUTH PHASE 2 BACK ON TRACK?

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Adios view of the Chrysler Building?

What’s going on at the residential lots of Hunters Point South Phase 2?  For the last year absolutely nothing as the anointed developer TF Cornerstone wrangled with Amtrak and the New York Power Authority over underground rail and electrical lines – admittedly no simple feat.  Yet according to a story in Crain’s, the issues seem to have been worked out and the building plans might be back on track and starting soon.

Which brings us (once again) to the more important issue of Continue reading

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STARBUCKS IS COMING TO JACKSON AVENUE

Hey that looks crowded, why don't we put one there?

Hey things are burgeoning over there, why don’t we plop one down in the middle of it?

A Starbucks is coming to 26-14 Jackson Avenue, about one block north of the Citi Tower.  It will be the first free-standing Starbucks in Long Island City and nearby residents and workers will now have two baristas to choose from on the block, as it’s Continue reading

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LONG ISLAND CITY CHOSEN AS ‘CENTER OF UNIVERSE’

We are the  world, We are the children... LIC...

We are the world, We are the children…

One would think that Long Island City was the ‘center of the universe’ based on all the coverage it received in The New York Times this past weekend.  Of course that’s an honorific LICtalk has repeatedly been bestowing on this town since we began publication, 160 years after the ‘Gray Lady’.  Despite the Times incumbency, we were able to wrest the scoop of a book store coming to Court Square from a lengthy piece on the neighborhood it put out a day later.  That article detailed the tremendous growth the neighborhood is experiencing, something we’ve been writing about ad nauseam for well over a year.  The main difference in the two publications is that we don’t get drop-of-a-hat access to anyone named Elghanayan nor do we get exclusive scoops dropped in our lap – we have to fight for every scrap.  Other than that I’d say we’re identical in every way, ex a few Pulitzers.

One recurring date on which we refer to LIC as the ‘center of the universe,’ is the Fourth of July. Continue reading

BOOK STORE COMING TO COURT SQUARE

Somewhere in there, will lie a book store

Somewhere in that sea of concrete, will lie a book store

“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They’re Caeser’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, “Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal.”

UPDATE: May 5, 11:30am – the NYT has just reported that “Book Culture, which has several Manhattan locations, has leased a 2,300-square-foot space at 26-09 Jackson” from Rockrose

Who says hard copy is dead? Not Rockrose.  Who says retail is dead?  Not Rockrose.  Today at a Queens real estate event held by Bisnow, Rockrose SVP Patricia Dunphy announced that the developer will be leasing space to a book store in Court Square.  While Patricia was coy as to which book store1, I’m going to make a few assumptions.  The first is that it will be located in The Hayden, their new mega-tower on Jackson Avenue.  Secondly it will open by the end of the year at the latest – because unlike a restaurant, the buildout should be fairly easy.

What other tidbits were shared at the Bisnow event? Continue reading

  1. eg. Barnes & Noble, independent – I think those are all the choices in 2017 []
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THE DOWNSIDE OF GENTRIFICATION IN LONG ISLAND CITY

Making Deep Purple Proud

Making Deep Purple Proud

THE New York Times is out today with a story on the emptying out of the Blanchard and Paragon buildings on Borden Avenue, in order to make way for higher-paying office tenants.  Whole businesses are vacating the premises, typified by the protagonist of the story, a furniture upholsterer who is leaving for Long Island.  LICtalk has previously profiled two businesses in the Blanchard.  The first BklynBooks (aka iPodMeister) was mentioned in the Times story, and is moving to Paterson, NJ.  The second, Manhattan Fruitier, has moved a little further east to the LIC/Sunnyside border.  Prophetically, the owner of the latter sent me this quote when I asked him about the sale of the building a year ago: Continue reading

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EGGS AND FLEAS AND RENTALS AND FLEES

Bunnies big and small

Bunnies big and small

From the day we arrive on the planet
And, blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

THE stories of the week are the stories of life.  Yes I am making that profound statement, despite its only having a filigree of connection at best.  Though aren’t egg hunts, food festivals posing as flea markets, and real estate a suitable analogy for the basic necessities of LIC in 2017?

Anyway, for those not leaving town, the LIC Flea begins this Saturday.  You know the deal, what began several years ago as a market of goods, is now predominantly gourmet food stalls and craft beer.  Nothing wrong with that!  Moreover as the beer swilling continues it helps to grease the wheels of an egg hunt of sorts for adults. Capisce?

//I don’t know what’s more highly anticipated, the Annual Trinity Grace Church Queens Easter Egg Hunt in Gantry Park, or the registration for it?  Either way, Continue reading

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FEUDIN’ N FIGHTIN’ LIC-STYLE

no fighting here

No fighting here

I’ve seen you ’round for a long long time
I remembered you when you drank my wine

I’ve seen you walking down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around

The color of your skin don’t matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony

I’d kind of like to be the President
So I can show you how your money’s spent

Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?

Have you ever walked by a building in Long Island City and thought “I wonder who owns it?” or “How does it remain ‘as is’ in light of all the changes going on in the neighborhood/city?”  Real estate investing is idiosyncratic.  Unlike a stock or a bond, which can easily be compared, quantified, and traded, every single home, building, and piece of land is unique.  So are the circumstances behind their ownership.

Proof of that comes in a story today about Continue reading

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