Category Archives: Politics

HQ2 YEA/NAY, KATZ TO JVB TO O’LEARY, CHANGE A KUMON’, 80%?

57 and 33 story towers coming here

The only thing that is constant is change – Heraclitus circa 500 BC

POLLS can be funny, so I try not to read too much into them.  Let’s take one released this week showing 60% of Queens residents favor Amazon coming here.  Maybe. More likely 60% are neutral or “Don’t Know” where they stand on HQ2 in LIC.  If the deal really is even-handed that’s where the majority should sit under the bell-curve of a standard distribution.  But that doesn’t make headlines.

Well thought out analysis can also be buried in favor of sensationalism.  The most eloquent opinion piece I have read in the morass that has been written about HQ2 in the last month, was scripted by Seth Bornstein who heads the Queens Economic Development Corp. which despite its industrialist-like moniker is largely dedicated to helping out people from modest backgrounds. Having read his monthly letters for years, I can tell you that Seth knows Queens.  He also knows the history of New York City, which in a nutshell is that it’s always changing, and usually at a faster pace than the rest of the world.  Continue reading

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Which side of the Basin?

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? Continue reading

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AMAZON HQ2 IN LONG ISLAND CITY, GOOD DEAL OR NOT?

Reactionary? Yes. misguided maybe, redirected for sure

Reactionary? Yes. Misguided? Maybe. Redirected? For sure

Since it cost a lot to win
And even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
Wondering what to choose

I have read the 32-page Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Amazon and NYC/NYS.  I have read most of what others have written on the HQ2 deal and incentives. I am a financial analyst by training.  Most importantly, I have lived in Long Island City for ten years and have closely tracked all that goes on here, both economically and non.  Despite all these attributes Continue reading

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JVB NO DINERO; CUOMO EL RIO AMAZON POR HQ2

LICtalk is having some technical difficulties this week, but rest assured that we have our 40-person programming team in Bangalore working 24/7 to fix it. As a hard-hitting (but non-partisan) news source, we get more than our fair share of hacking attacks from all over the world. Nevertheless we’re still able to spread the word from our secure backup location in Parsipanny, just no pics.

Some big LIC headlines out from The Daily News in the last 48 hours: JVB won’t take developers cash in his run for Queens Borough President, Cuomo would change name of Newtown Creek to Amazon if they choose to locate HQ2 in LIC.

Also comes the story of a dominatrix working out of an LIC hotel who got robbed of her cash and wares. See the video, maybe you know one of these gentlemen? Definitely going to get a lot of clicks given the subject matter.

//TROJAN horse? Crain’s speculates the rationale behind the $180 mil going to LIC is possibly a set-up for a big zoning variance. That would explain the intricate website LIC.NYC the city put together.

//THE ferry stop at Hunters Point South has re-opened

//DANCING With the LIC Stars is tomorrow night at the Plaxall Gallery, buy tickets here.

//FINALLY, the NYC Marathon is this Sunday and Long Island City is blessed with its (omni)presence.

Van Bramer Pledges Not to Take Real Estate Cash in Likely Queens Borough President Run – no dinero por favor

Cuomo Ready to Name LIC Creek the Amazon River for HQ2 – sure, why not

City to Invest $180 Mil in LIC Infrastructure – may presage upzoning

Group of Men Break Into LIC Hotel Room, Rob Dominatrix – they got more than they bargained for, $4k worth

All Aboard Again at Hunters Point South – read why it closed in the first place

Thousands of Queensbridge Residents W/O Heat As Winter Nears – raze…

Chinese Firm Takes 70% Stake in $253 Mil Condo Project – for $67 mil

NYC Marathon Chief Takes Measure of a Long Journey – w/ a stop at Sweetleaf

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$180 MILLION DEDICATED TO LIC BY NYC, WHY NO BRIDGE?

SO, the city made the announcement today that “Long Island City, New York City’s fastest-growing neighborhood, will get a $180 million infusion of capital to build and improve schools, streets and parks.”  Before you get too excited note that $95 million of it will be spent on sewers, $60 million on a new school that had already been announced, $10 million on street improvements – all of which are necessary infrastructure for the fastest growing neighborhood in the U.S.  That leaves $15 million for parks, so maybe a better headline is “City Allots $15 million for Long Island City Parks.” Continue reading

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“KNOCK DOWN THE PROJECTS AND BRING IN THE CRANES”

Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright

3 1/2 years ago LICtalk proposed razing Queensbridge.  Not because it was a blight on Long Island City – its presence has minimal impact, but instead as a pragmatic solution to the endemic problems of, well …the projects.  It took awhile, but now others are making similar arguments, most notably in Continue reading

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SUNNYSIDE YARDS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

All leased up and no place to go, nice looking building though

All leased up and no place to go, nice looking building though

AN article in The New York Times this week rehashing the proposed development of Sunnyside Yards pulled the editorial staff here out of their late-summer stupor.  I could spill lots of ink rebutting the rationale put forth by the proponents of this pipe dream, but I’m on the beach and the waves are so soothing.  Plus I’ve already done so in the past, so I’ll boil it down to the two main arguments: Continue reading

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CITYLIGHTS TAX SAGA, TWO LESSONS FOR ALL LIC CONDO OWNERS

Meals on Wheels making its daily delivery to Citylights

Meals on Wheels making its daily delivery to Citylights

Just as the tax abatement for the Citylights Building was about to start rolling off, NYC boosted the buildings assessed value by 87%.  For good measure they tacked on another 5% this year.  The near doubling in possible tax payments has the co-op’s residents looking at a 50% increase in already steep monthly maintenance over the next five years, which if implemented on this tower of over 500 units will force out many residents who can no longer afford to live there.

You can read the story below for more details.  Instead I’d prefer to focus on two takeaways that all apartment owners in Continue reading

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BIG DIG PLOWS FORWARD AND ‘WE ARE FAMILY’ IN LIC

Gone fishin'

Gone fishin’

Living life is fun and we’ve just begun
To get our share of the world’s delights
(High!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal’s in sight

THE next step in the quest to deck over and develop Sunnyside Yards has been announced.  An architecture firm has been hired by the city to form a master plan for the massive development.  In addition the city created a local steering committee which according to Curbed “will spend the next 18 months organizing public meetings and workshops to elicit feedback from Queens residents on how best to proceed with the megaproject’s development, and address the needs of local residents.”

My thoughts on this project are well-known: Continue reading

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STEPHANIE CLIFFORD TO RUN FOR JVB’s CITY COUNCIL SEAT

New leadership on the horizon?

New leadership on the horizon?

Don’t know why
There’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time

Just when you thought her hour and 15 minutes of fame were over, Stephanie Clifford storms back into the limelight by announcing she will be seeking the City Council seat in District 26 currently held by Jimmy Van Bramer when he’s forced to leave in 2020 due to term limits.

While she currently has no affiliation with Long Island City whatsoever, like every resident she recognizes the opportunity and high visibility of being directly across from the heart of Manhattan.  “Since TF Avalon is currently offering 3 months free rent on every lease, it’s so much more affordable on this side of the river.  Plus I hear you can pay-in-kind.”  In addition, Continue reading

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