BY MICHAEL STOLER
It is a place which is considered to be the fastest growing neighborhood in the city, at the geographic center of NYC, just a few minutes from Midtown Manhattan.
One of the most vibrant business communities in the city and the largest manufacturing centers in New York City, has more than 6,300 businesses with over 93,000 employees. It is adjacent to the new home of the Cornell/Techion Campus, a hip place to live, work and visit. The location is not Brooklyn, or the Bronx, it is Long Island City.
Thousands of new residential rental and condominium apartments have been built since 2006 with a pipeline of new construction of 22,500. It is the home of more than 25 hotels with at least a similar amount in planning or construction.
In addition to all of these events occurring in Long Island City, it is becoming the home of small and large corporations relocating from Manhattan all or a portion of their office space.
As reported in the Commercial Observer Polo Lauren is the latest creative tenant to LIC where the clothing company has signed a lease for 19,105 square feet on a lower floor at the 1.1 million square foot 30-30 47th Avenue at the converted former warehouse known as the Factory. The company is expected to use the space as a photo studio for its products, becoming the second clothing retailer to do so, after Macy’s signed a massive deal last August to consolidate its Brooklyn photo studio into 150,000 square feet at the building.
Companies from Manhattan are flocking to this building, which sits just south of the Sunnyside Yards. Last February, elevator construction company TEI Group, joining Applied Research & Consulting, a data analysis company, who signed a 3,500 square foot lease last June to relocate to the building.
Major real estate investors have been active in purchasing commercial real estate in Long Island City. Over the past five years firms which include Vornado Realty Trust paid $142 million to purchase the Center Building, a 437,000 square foot office building that houses the New York City Transit Authority, the Human Resources Administration and the New York Founding Hospital.
Other leading developer/owners include RXR Realty, Jamestown, Atlas Capital, Invesco, Emmes Asset Management, and Time Equities who have acquired and converted the former industrial to office space, offering tenants from Midtown Manhattan significant rental savings.
In addition to a savings in rent, companies that relocate to Long Island City from other Boroughs and neighboring communities are able to apply for Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP). The REAP provides tax credit of up to $3,000 per employee per year for businesses relocating to eligible area. Other business and financing incentives are available to companies relocating to this vibrant community. Expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.