BY TRONE DOWD
A 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Long Island City is bringing along promises of new housing, jobs and a school for the rapidly developing western Queens neighborhood.
The project is being handled by New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in conjunction with TF Cornerstone (TFC), Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), C4Q and BJH Advisors.
The building will bring approximately 1,000 housing units to the Long Island City waterfront, 250 of which will be affordable units, as well as industrial, commercial, residential and educational space to the neighborhood. This will include a new 600-seat school, which will be fully funded by the city’s School Construction Authority, as well as workforce training programs, 25,000 square feet of art space, more than an acre of open space and ground-floor retail. The site is also expected to bring 1,500 permanent jobs to the community.
The newly developed site could also provide space for new businesses and startups.
In fact, the NYCEDC said that the development would contribute to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “New York Works” plan to create 100,000 well-paying jobs in innovative and industrial sectors throughout the city.
“Long Island City has emerged as one of the fastest-growing centers of our city’s economy, especially when it comes to innovation and modern industrial jobs,” NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett said. “With this project, we are creating a first-of-its-kind work-live-play structure, with affordable housing, incubators and space for cultural institutions. We’re investing in the continued revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront and delivering on our commitment to create good middle- class jobs for New Yorkers.”
In an effort to make good on protecting this investment, the building will feature 100,000 square feet of light industrial space, including 50,000 square feet of affordable workspace co-developed by GMDC. It will also have 400,000 square feet of commercial space, including prebuilt incubator spaces; education, training, incubation and economic opportunities; classroom space for workforce development and career training; and 80,000 square feet set aside primarily for startup office space.
Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said that the development will help to bolster Long Island City’s identity as a top spot for new industry and housing.
“This dynamic new development on the Queens waterfront will bring new diverse assets to this community,” Torres-Springer said. “The project will include critically needed affordable housing for an area that will undergo a major transformation.”
And Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said that new space allocated for schools is always beneficial.
“New schools are an incredible investment in our communities, and this state-of-the-art facility will provide hundreds of new seats for families in the area, while helping to alleviate overcrowding,” Fariña said.
Construction is expected to wrap up in 2022.