BY MICHAEL STAHL
Set just across the East River from a collective of intimidating Manhattan high-rises, One Court Square, otherwise known as the Citigroup building, has proudly stood alone in the Queens skyline with an almost novel quality about it. The green-tinted, glass-wrapped building and all its 50 stories in central Long Island City has maintained the title of tallest building in the borough through two nationwide recessions since its completion in 1990. But it is finally expecting company closer to the clouds. Recent permit filings for new developments and groundbreakings in construction zones serve as promises that the now virtually uninhabited air five hundred feet up in the outlying area will soon appear very different, featuring towers ascending farther than anything Queens has ever known. Here’s a rendering-based rundown of what some of the planned changes will look like and where they will be located:
29-37 41ST AVENUE
Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization are developing this “Manhattan-caliber” apartment building designed by SLCE Architects, known for the Bloomberg Tower, Gotham West and an upcoming ritzy residential building on Park Avenue with “mansions in the sky.” This proposed construct would be 77 stories tall, shoot 915 feet into the air, and house 930 new apartments along with 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Not only would it dwarf One Court Square and easily become the tallest building in New York outside of Manhattan, but it would cast quite a shadow upon the newly-landmarked, historic Long Island City Clock Tower building located just next door. No timetable has been set for construction to begin on this project yet.
42-12 28TH STREET
Known as 28 on 28th, this luxury rental tower is now slated to be the second-tallest building in Queens, should all go according to plan at 29-27 41 St. Developed by Heatherwood Communities and due for completion in 2017, future residents will enjoy a full suite of Manhattan-esque amenities and flawless bridge, river, and skyline views. The building is estimated to reach a height of 646 feet—or 58 stories—and include 477 apartments. Certainly the potential downgrade of the building from Queens’ tallest to second tallest won’t bother Heatherwood Communities’ co-founder Douglas Partrick. He told the Queens Tribune last spring: “I didn’t even know the project was going to be the tallest building in Queens until I read it somewhere,” and added the choice of design was made due to its “efficiency,” not grandeur.
43-22 QUEENS STREET
A 54-story, 783-unit mixed-use tower at the old site of the Eagle Electric warehouse is in the works, developed by Rockrose. This glassy, gigantic building will rise 580 feet and likely be the borough’s third-tallest building upon its as-yet undetermined completion date. SLCE Architects is also designing the 623,337-square-foot construct that will contain 34,477 square feet of ground-floor retail space and be known as the Eagle Lofts.
43-25 HUNTER STREET
Another Rockrose development in the area is this proposed 50-story construct that will have a 14-story adjoining tower and occupy 970,000 square feet. SLCE Architects was initially on board to design this mixed-use building, but a source there told the Queens Tribune last week that the company is no longer involved in the project and that it has “been put on hold.” Still, construction is already underway, and there’s no indication that Rockrose won’t eventually put something sizable up in the plot. Permits at the site indicate plans to include more than 760,000 square feet of housing—some of it affordable—and nearly 19,000 square feet of retail space.
22-44 JACKSON AVENUE
This dual-towered housing complex is being built on the site of the 5Pointz graffiti mecca that was controversially whitewashed nearly two years ago by the building’s owners Jerry and David Wolkoff. The new construct will contain approximately 1,115 rental units, some of which will be deemed affordable, with one tower standing 41 stories and the other topping out at 47. A handful of floors at the bottom will host 20 artist studios and galleries, along with public and private parking and 40,000 square feet of retail space. The plans also call for two pleasant green spaces: an expansive interior courtyard and a private park. HTO Architects are designing the beige stone-clad and glass-cornered buildings.