WHAT if Amazon did an about face and bid adieu to locating HQ2 in Long Island City, stating that the rancor over subsidies, additional demands, and outright opposition to gentrification made it untenable. How would that make you feel? There’s a good chance that those on the threshold of being sent packing due to higher rents, be they residents or artists, would be thrilled, and justifiably so. Yet those on the margin are a small minority and subject to the whims of capitalism, whether they be good or bad1.
What about the protesters, of which I read there only a few dozen at a rally two weeks ago? Are they speaking for the majority? How about the two local pols most visibly anti-Amazon, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and State Assemblyman Mike Gianaris? How will they feel upon waking to the headline “Amazon Says Adios LIC?” Think about that and be careful what you wish for this Christmas season…
//ONE of the many articles last week on HQ2 was about a group called Justice for All Coalition that wants to claim the DOE Building on Vernon and 44th Drive for a community center.
Great idea, wrong building. As long time readers know, no one has advocated longer and more repeatedly for a community center in Hunters Point than The Editor. In doing so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what would flourish in this neighborhood, and what location would be ideal. Regarding the latter, proximity is the key for maximum utilization. The DOE building is on the fringe of Hunters Point and a significant distance from the center of the residential community. For example, the main attraction of a rec center in Hunters Point would be a community pool. Whether used by daily swimmers or by parents taking their kids for swim lessons, who wants to shlep an extra 8-10 blocks out on Vernon? Same with an exercise gym. The best location is where the library is, the best location available today is the Rockaway Brewery block, or if you prefer to take it out of Amazon’s hide instead of Plaxall’s, then the parking lot where the LIC Flea is held. Furthermore, this center should be built new for customization. I doubt any consideration has been given to what it would cost and entail to retrofit the DOE building, or if putting a pool in it is even viable. Start from the ground up in a better location, that’s the way to do it right, otherwise you may regret what you wish for…
//LAKE Vernon is the name given to the large vacant lot just north of the DOE Building perpetually swamped with a pool of water. Owned in recent years by the Durst family, The New York Times hints that in light of Amazon they may be dusting off plans to develop what could add another 1 million square feet of residential…
What Amazon Means For Long Island City – while the headline sounds smugly definitive, it is a pretty good encapsulation actually
These Resi Brokerages Are Primed to Cash In on Amazon’s Moving In – is HQ2 deal a bailout for NYC real estate developers? Condo price hikes and a slowing of rent decreases
Anable Basin Named in 19th Century – interesting history of ownership way back when
Koufouku Market To Open in Queensboro Plaza – Japanese market coming soon
Another Hotel Planned for Blissville – 14 stories, 282 units
- remember, those in any type of affordable or public housing will not see any changes to their rent increases because of AMZN [↩]