New life for the Paragon Paint Building development?

New life for the Paragon Paint Building development?

The NYC EDC has put out a request-for-proposal (RFP) to develop the land currently occupied by the Water’s Edge Restaurant and the adjacent parking lot along the East River, as well as a long thin lot across the street on the south side of 44th Drive.  In total, it’s about 4.5 acres, with the choice river front property about 75% of that total once one includes the possibility of reclaiming, via landfill, a portion of the lot that’s currently underwater.

The city’s RFP makes it clear that they want the developer to think big and ignore the current zoning restrictions1, and while paying lip service to including space for light manufacturing, heavily emphasizes the desire for affordable housing, on the magnitude of ~1,000 new apartments. Also, it begs the question: now that the city has shown their hand and a willingness to quickly change zoning in this specific neighborhood, does that mean the Paragon Paint Building should be given an exemption, as the previous complaint against doing so per Community Board 2 was that a comprehensive plan was needed?

Also, the RFP requires that a new school be included in the plans, large enough to accommodate 600 students.  Thus the second school location is now known.

While there are a whole bunch of additional doodads mentioned in it, they seem to be negotiable and thus not worthy of mention.

What I find interesting about this plan/RFP, which was first reported by Politico NY, is that there is absolutely no mention of the huge empty lot abutting it just north along the waterfront.  The owner of this lot proposed an enormous development including a bridge across the East River to Roosevelt Island, back in August of last year.  From a master-planning perspective, it makes no sense not to try to develop the whole thing at once, including a currently occupied DOE building on Vernon, in order to maximize the givebacks to the community, and optimize the space.

Let’s face it, that bridge would be very valuable to the current residents of LIC, as it would really tether the Cornell Technion campus to Queens, as opposed to Manhattan or more likely nowhere.

Howsabout a little coordination and forward thinking on this one?  The good news is, there are several months of back n forth before the RFP’s are due.  Let’s see what comes out of it…

City to Develop LIC Land ‘a stone’s throw’ From Cornell Tech1.2 million square feet expected to be built

The actual RFP from the NYC EDC information meeting open to all on April 1

Apartment Market Facing Slower Lease-up of New Construction in 2016“Urban submarkets within New York City, Denver, Chicago, Nashville, L.A., Atlanta and Dallas saw the highest number of construction starts in 2015.  By far the highest was Long Island City and Hunters Point, which is now one of the fastest growing residential submarkets in the New York City metro, with 8,871 units started in 2015 and a total of 12,000 units now under way. The supply wave has pushed Long Island City/Hunters Point vacancies up 60 basis points year over year to a still-tight 3.5%, but that number is certain to move upward over the next 12 months, Cohen said”

LIC Condo Market Robust“Resale units commanding the highest pricing are those with Manhattan views on high floors, and have sold for as much as $1800/square foot.”

World Wide to Buy LIC Office to Rental Conversion for $70 MillionMeadow, a Midtown East investment firm, paid $19 million for the nine-story office building on the site in 2012

Pepsi-Cola Sign One Step Closer to Landmark Statusnow the questions remains, who will pay to maintain it?

Steven Tyler Played a Small Intimate Gig in LICand this Sunday at 11pm it will be on PBS




  1. M1-M4 = low slung manufacturing buildings []
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  1. LIC Mom says:

    Oh great, so both new schools recently announced for LIC won’t be built until at least 2020!

  2. JR says:

    More housing in LIC sounds great in theory, especially when it comes with a school, but how will all these people get to work?

  3. Astoria says:

    Isn’t this a flood area??

    • Random says:

      It is a flood area. I work in the DOE building mentioned in the article. We were severely flooded during Sandy and building was inaccessible for two weeks. Obviously any development needs to make plans for this type of issue.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We needed this, as a resident of LIC for over 10yrs i feel this is a great step towards beautifying 44th dr along with vernon blvd once the paint factory gets approved. As residents of ling island city one should look at the economic benefit of such projects.

  5. […] February of 2016 the City decided to develop the land in and around the former Water’s Edge Restaurant on 44th […]

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