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 to ignoring those who are in the best position to determine local needs, it will also completely cut-off the possibility of what could be a fully integrated grand master plan for the entire northern riverfront section of Long Island City. The most obvious piece of this puzzle, the large lot just north of the Water’s Edge, is already ‘in-play,’ and the group controlling it has submitted a proposal incorporating this piece of land. This group had previously been shopping a plan just for their property that would have included a pedestrian bridge to the Cornell Technion campus on Roosevelt Island.
I don’t know anything about the rest of their plan, but that bridge alone might be worth its weight in gold to Long Island City. As an interested resident I would very much want to see how their plan stacks up to whatever other proposals the NYCEDC chooses.
Another interesting question, is did Plaxall submit a proposal? Similar to the ‘bridge’ developer above, they could incorporate their holdings just south of Water’s Edge into a plan and provide a link between Center Boulevard and the rest of the RFP site.
Needless to say, both of these ‘lot’ owners should naturally be viewed as incumbents to win this proposal given the economies of scale and the flexibility to submit a more optimal plan. Or the city could skip the bake-off period and just hand it to another developer without any discussion.
//CONTINUING our coverage of big business in Long Island City, we’d like to note the following big stories currently circulating. First, Blue Apron, which was started in 2012 by three guys working out of LIC, is going public next week and hoping to raise over half a billion dollars. Secondly, the Ravenswood Generating Plant on Vernon Boulevard has been sold. Affectionately known as ‘Big Allis,’ it’s red and white smokestacks are easily viewable from many locations in northern LIC. Finally, following up on the Altice HQ’s story in our last post, Crain’s is reporting that they’ll be moving into the Citi Building.
//IT’S not just big business, but deals of all kind that are being struck in this town. This townhouse assemblage on 23rd Street around the corner from the Citi Building, has finally been massaged through – no easy feat considering there were seven different sellers. Needless to say, expect the buildings to be demolished and a new tower to arise from the ashes.
With the help of Adams & Co., Tavros Capital completed the acquisition of its Court Square Assemblage, a group of seven properties totaling 167,177 buildable square feet in LIC. The company closed on the last batch of townhomes (45-05 23rd Street; 23-16 45th Avenue; 23-14 45th Avenue; 23-10 45th Avenue) for a total of $21,550,000; this brings the total cost of the seven-property assemblage to $32,800,001. Evan Daniel, David Roger Grossmann, Edward DiTomasso and Ashley Grebow of Modern Spaces exclusively marketed the townhomes and represented the property owners in the sale.
//SUMMER is near and the best options for kids are local! With that in mind:
The Long Island City Soccer Club will be offering a soccer summer camp for two weeks in July
They’re teaming up with Michele Kelber from Gantry Kids & Teens to offer a full program with activities like, (aside from soccer), Yoga, The Mechanics of Lifting (intro to strength and conditioning), Sculpture (found objects on a life size scale), Swimming, and Mobility and Movement. Each activity is geared specifically to support the soccer program, and yes, even art appreciation!
For those of you that don’t know her, Michele has owned and operated Gantry Kids & Teens in the neighborhood for four years. She is still a licensed attorney, but prefers to spend her days with our children, engaging them in the art of fitness. She is specifically trained in strength and conditioning for children and understands the gaps in city life that must be filled to support the busy, hectic lives of the average LIC kid, including their pursuit of sport. Each activity is appropriate for the ages of the Long Island City Soccer Club participants. Michele will be coaching most of our activities, and has also engaged some experts in the field to work with the kids. All coaches maintain extensive credentials in fitness, are CPR & First Aid Certified and background checked.
July 10th – 14th
July 17th – 21st
M-F 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Cost: $550 per week or $1000 for the two weeks.
Age: 2nd grade and up
For more information and a full daily camp agenda, please contact Lajos Geenen at [email protected]
Big Development w/ Bridge to Roosevelt Island Pitched for LIC – originally proposed in 2015
Blue Apron Aims to Raise as Much as $587 Mil in U.S. IPO – that’s alotta dessert!
Altice Negotiating Lease at One Court Square – north of 100K sq ft
Utility Company Helix Gen Funding Buys LIC Power Plant – that doesn’t sound like a utility company
Amy’s Bread in LIC Can’t Loaf Around Even After 25 Years in Business - interesting numbers on what it takes to run a conventional business out of LIC, incld’g rents etc.
The Forge Launches Leasing From $2,485 – 38 stories, 272 units and an outdoor pool on Purves St.
Quiet Queens Neighborhood Becomes New Mecca for Street Art - the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria
- actually two properties across the street from each other [↩]