I’m just trying to find the bridge
Has anybody seen the bridge?
Have you seen the bridge?
I ain’t seen the bridge!
Where’s that confounded bridge?
THERE’S going to be a protest this Saturday. In general, the impetus behind it is to make sure the LIC community has a say in the development of three adjacent waterfront plots: Anable Basin, Waters Edge, and Lake Vernon. Of equal importance is the request to recognize and rezone these three lots as a whole, not in isolation. The belief is that in doing so it will not only optimize the space for the neighborhood but also for the city, inasmuch as it will allow more comprehensive planning and be able to incorporate much larger economies of scale and/or amortization of concessions. The most obvious example, and one near and dear to The Editor’s heart, is a rec center.1
The logic of creating a Master Plan for the three lots is self-evident, yet the powers-that-be have been completely dormant in recognizing the tremendous opportunity right in front of them. That’s what the protest is for!
Now, while the Rec Center is the most obvious oversight, and almost de rigeur when talking about concessions for variances or granting a rezoning, there’s another need that also lends itself to amortization, and frankly might be more timely than even, ahem …affordable housing. That would be a pedestrian/bike bridge to Roosevelt Island, and a Master Plan without it would be an epic mistake because the three lots in question are the only logistical landing on the Long Island City side that would inextricably link it with Cornell Technion.
The irony is that there would be no greater beneficiary of this bridge and relationship than …TF Cornerstone!2 Followed closely by Plaxall, Rockrose, Avalon, and the owners of the Lake Vernon lot.3
In fact one may argue that this bridge would so greatly enhance the value of these three properties that another demand of the protesters – fewer units to curtail overcrowding in Hunters Point and the 7-train – should also be given some credence. Heck I’m even willing to put aside my distaste and acquiesce on having an affordable housing component in this grand compromise. But I think it’s also time to put the request for wetlands on the cutting board. Lake Vernon is a private lot which I believe is zoned to allow a pair of 30-story buildings. The city would have to purchase this lot at the market price out of it’s own pocket – killing the economics or requiring even taller buildings on the existing plots. Plus if builders wanna build in these flood plains and insurers want to insure them, that’s none of my business.
In summary, while it’s a little more prickly given that two plots are private and one is public, there’s something to be gained for everyone by upsizing and developing the whole waterfront. In fact there’s almost a free lunch vis-a-vis the Technion bridge. Think big! The tangible link would be huge for Long Island City and all the things it aspires to be. It’s time to get what we want and the city needs – be there Saturday.
Estee Lauder Moving IT Jobs from Long Island to LIC – “Long Island City is a growing hub for startups, tech and digital companies, and our team will greatly benefit from being at the center of this fast-paced and vibrant environment,”
Cyclists Plan Women’s Ride Along Queens Blvd – starts in LIC on March 25
Checking In at 29-26 Northern Boulevard – 45 stories, 415 units, yet another massive building
Big 10 Network Revamps Astoria Basketball Court – while they’re at it, how about the bball courts at Murray Park too?
- and that rec center can also be optimally located where the most people could potentially have the closest walk to get there: on 5th Street & 46th Rd. [↩]
- They’re already long 3,000 apartments w/ 2,000 more proposed! [↩]
- The same could be said for a Rec Center, especially one located on the southern periphery of the Plaxall property [↩]
MyBackYard saysMarch 26, 2018 at 9:30 am
Focus Please – the 7/E/M train crowding has so very little to do with our growing population and everything to do with the MTA raping the budget for years – now an expensive fix, but necessary: simply upgrade the signaling to allow these existing tracks to double their current capacity.
LIC is growing because it is such an attractive place to live. Don’t let the few vocal homeowners who have personally profited greatly due to the shortage of quality housing ruin the future of LIC for those who now choose to make it their home.
Schools, community recreation, a bridge to our future (which could also connect via ConEd’s training facility), preserving waterfront public land can all still be thoughtfully planned out in the best interests of our children rather than the vocal minority.
– terminate the misguided RFP that was given to TF Cornerstone and instead develop an amazing public amenity
– demand Plaxall provide a real community center at 5th & 46th Rd,, and give back something actually substantial if they are to be given hundreds of millions of dollars in free FAR from the toxic Anable Basin
– let Lake Vernon enjoy a substantial increase in density in exchange for privately funding a bridge to Cornell Tech and a new public park at Waters Edge
– allow the SCA to build a spectacular school on the 44th Ave site currently occupied by DOT
We get ONE chance to do this right – get woke
BH saysFebruary 16, 2020 at 10:37 am
There is no Saturday, March 3. March 7th?