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. 

//THE announcement that Melinda Katz is running for Queens DA in an election that won’t take place for almost a year would not normally merit a mention in this column.  Except if she wins the position than her current gig of Queens Borough President becomes open early.  That role is not-so-secretively coveted by Jimmy Van Bramer, who’s been raising campaign $ despite being term-limited out as a City Councilman come November 2021.  Of course were he to win QBP in an early election it would be two years prior to his final term ending.  Which might explain the reason that Brent O’Leary officially announced his campaign for JVB’s spot this past August for an election that seemingly won’t take place for over three years – before most candidates have “officially” declared for President of the USA the year prior (2020)!  Me thinks so.

//KUMON, the word alone strikes fear into the heart of every child under the assumption that the weekend is two days long.  Anyway, they will soon be vacating their current Long Island City location only to move right next door.  In a deal signed this week and brokered by Brian Jaffe of Jaffe Realty LLC, they will be occupying 4,100 square feet at 12-17 Jackson Avenue for the next decade once the build-out is complete in roughly six months.  Kumon is paying $40 a square foot and half the space will be on the ground floor and the other half in the basement.  At $16k a month that sounds like both sides split the difference putting the deal right in the middle of the bell curve.

//NEW renderings were released this week for the pair of 57 and 33 story towers that will be built at the bottom of Hunters Point South and containing 1.110 residential units, 80% of which will be affordable.  The renderings are new but the announcement has been out for a year now.  Yet it gives me a chance to wonder again how the 20% living in market rate apartments will feel about the 80% of their neighbors who get a rent break?  Why doesn’t the city just make it 100% affordable and stop torturing people?

The Amazonletter from Seth Bornstein, “NYC must always reinvent itself to remain a world class city”

New Yorkers Support Amazon’s Queens Location, but Split on Tax Breakssounds familiar

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz Will Run for DA and now we know the rest of the story

New Renderings of 1100 Unit HPS Project in LICwhere 80/20 becomes 20/80

NYT Gives Chocolate Factory’s Final Play in Hunters Point Location the Thumbs Upthru Dec. 15

How Innovation Shapes This LIC ManufacturerStickbulb is located at 10-40 46th Ave, see the pics of their space

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