BY MICHAEL STAHL
Though favorable rezoning laws and incremental economic healing have paved the way for a number of new developments in Long Island City the past few years, 42-12 28th Street will stand above them all—literally and, perhaps, figuratively as well.
More affectionately dubbed “28 on 28th”- by the Heatherwood Communities development firm, the team responsible for the rising glass construct, this building, named for the street it will rise on, will be the tallest residential tower in Queens when it opens, stretching 635 feet into the sky `- the second tallest building in the Borough after nearby One Court Square, also known as the Citi building – and housing 477 luxury rental apartments.
But for Douglas Partrick, a co-owner of Heatherwood Communities, the goal isn’t to cast a sizable shadow over the rest of the neighborhood.
Indicating that he wasn’t even aware the project would be the tallest residential building in the Borough until he “read [it] somewhere,” Partrick, speaking nonchantly in a recent interview near the construction site, said it was “just the way the design worked most efficiently” for Heatherwood Communities. He added that the project is focused on providing fresh, high-end housing opportunities for Queens.
Heatherwood Communities purchased the 18,000-square-foot lot on Queens Plaza South four years ago, citing the developer-friendly area zoning laws, the growth of the community, the presence of mass transit and the abundance of new jobs that have recently been created in the neighborhood as reasons for the buy.
“With all the construction happening on the waterfront, it only seemed like a natural progression to come up [north],” Partrick added. “You have the Citi building that has sat here alone for a long, long time. There were hopes that would be the core and things would be built around the Citi building; it just took a little longer than people anticipated.”
Heatherwood Communities broke ground on the project last May and expect to begin occupation of the building in either late 2016 or early 2017.
Though the list of amenities at 28 on 28th is tentative, the tower’s design firm, Whitehall Interiors NYC, revealed that it’s expected to feature a swimming pool, 50-space parking garage, bicycle storage, additional tenant storage space, a resident’s lounge, fully-equipped fitness center with a spa, a screening room, children’s playroom and gaming lounge.
“It’s not going to be about just what goes on in their apartment,” Partrick said. “People want to experience a lifestyle in the [entire] building. That’s what people can look forward to.”
Two outdoor spaces – an outdoor deck along with a spacious rooftop terrace and sky lounge on the 56th floor – are also in the plans. Naturally, western-facing units should have some extraordinary city views, with 432 Park Avenue – Manhattan’s tallest residential building – prominently on display just across the adjacent Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
Critics have questioned a number of new high rises across the city, including the pillar-like 432 Park Avenue, often characterizing the architecture as bland and uninspired. However, Partrick is pleased with what the Goldstein, Hill & West firm have designed for his company’s latest mega project.
“It’s a glass tower with some interesting detail on it,” Partrick said. “It’s not just a straight glass tower; we have some fritted glass, top to bottom, which is really going to give it a nice look, not a sterile look.”
About 60 percent of the units in the tower will be one-bedroom apartments, with studios, two-bedroom flats, and just a handful of three-bedroom homes available for rent as well.
“Families are starting to move into the area on the [LIC] waterfront,” Partrick said. “I don’t foresee, in the immediate future, [Queens Plaza] being as much of a family area. With the waterfront, you have the esplanade, the green areas, all of which are conducive to taking the kids out with a little less traffic.”
Considering the proximity to Manhattan, Partrick feels 28 on 28th will attract a more career-oriented clientele who can certainly appreciate a swift commute. It’s too soon for Heatherwood Communities to announce rent rates, but Partrick noted that the local market is currently creating a demand range of $45-$55 per square foot, which would mean a typical one-bedroom apartment, like those in the company’s neighboring 27 on 27th building, projects to go for at least $3,200 per month.
No matter the cost, Partrick is confident residents are going to like what they come home to.
“If you look at the other buildings we’ve done, you’ll see quality,” he said. “We put a lot of time into the finishes. I don’t want to be replacing things in 28 on 28th right away.”