And if I say to you tomorrow. Take my hand, child, come with me.
It’s to a castle I will take you, where what’s to be, they say will be
Last week there was a breakfast get-together for all the people with businesses in LIC. My first thought in receiving an invitation to attend was: smoky rooms, men with hats on, and side deals partitioning a small towns business. Think Chamber of Commerce meets Lions Club meets Rotary International. Obviously as a member of the press I am a natural cynic yet still curious, especially as to who actually shows up at these things. Alas, my day job calls and I was not able to satisfy my voyeurism. Fortunately, a reader of LICtalk was able to attend and passed on the following summary, and you know what? It was fascinating!
Just went to the networking breakfast with Seth Pinsky at the Water’s Edge organized by Queens Courier. The main theme was “forget about LIC as the third incarnation of Soho after Williamsburg and Dumbo as a haven for artists and musicians! From now on, LIC will be promoted as the ’emerging tech capital’ or high tech hub for all the start up’s emanating from the new Cornell campus that will be completed on Roosevelt Island in 2017.” There have always been competing paradigms for envisioning and promoting LIC: the yuppie-narrative (commute like a rocket), the artists narrative (LIC will be the next SoHo, just look at the avant garde museums), the young families narrative promoted by the NY Times, and now the “LIC as high tech hub”-vision triggered by the Cornell campus.
Pinsky laid out that NYC has become the #2 recipient of VC funds ahead of Boston and that employment growth in the tech sector in the city has been 35%. There will be 2000 graduate students on Roosevelt Island and all the professors will be entrepreneurs or entrepreneurially oriented. My take is that the graduate students will probably not reside on Sutton Place or the Upper East Side but in Astoria and other parts of Queens.
Andrew Kirby from Plaxall explained that they have assembled a 12 acre lot surrounding the Anable Basin. Plaxall originally wanted to develop residential towers with some ground floor retail with waterfront access but couldn’t agree with the city on height and density for the project. Now they are planning a mixed use project with office space, residential space, and ground floor retail.
Everybody is dreaming of LIC as a hub for incubators, start up’s, and VC money and the guy from the Queens Tech Meetup/Coalition for Queens stated that they have already 750 members and attendance of 150 people at their events.
Bottom line: all good for the neighborhood, at least on a 5-10 year time horizon.
Wow, there’s a lot there to digest, and I am really appreciative of the reader who sent it to me, but the one thing I can say to all the regulars of this site is “I told you so.”
Cutting Edge Design for Roosevelt Tech Campus – of course, nothing but the best for the little island right off our shore, maybe we should annex it?
Artist Handpaints Off Old Signs For LIC Businesses – he might want to finish his graphic arts degree by 2017 too
LIC Businesses Mourn Exodus Of Fresh Direct – what, no mention of Sparks Deli?