July 25, By Nathaly Pesantez
Restaurants, pharmacies, and grocery stores are the top three shops residents in Long Island City say are most needed, according to a survey.
“What are the top three shops needed in the LIC community?” was the question posed by the Long Island City Partnership in a June online survey to 1,347 area workers and residents.
People surveyed were asked to choose the three types of shops needed most, which resulted in over 4,000 answers.
Restaurants received close to 770 responses—the most responses—making up 57 percent of people surveyed. Next came pharmacies with close to 730 responses, which made up 54 percent of people surveyed. Grocery stores closely follow, with about 700 responses, or 52 percent of those surveyed.
Clothing and shoe stores, and health and beauty shops made up 22 percent of the over 4,000 responses combined.
The rest of the responses fell under books and gifts, housewares, hardware, stationary, and dry cleaning.
LICP President Elizabeth Lusskin said the survey was open to residents in all parts of Long Island City.
“There’s a dense collection of people in Queens Plaza and Court Square,” LICP president Elizabeth Lusskin said. “But we did open it up to all of LIC.”
There were no real differences in the answers on a geographic basis, according to Lusskin.
The survey also revealed that 33 percent of people said that they go to a restaurant or bar in LIC once or twice a week, and 42 percent said that it is “extremely important” to have a variety of shops close to home.
Of the 1,347 people surveyed, 976, or just over 72 percent, live in LIC, while 12 percent said they both live and work in LIC.
Lusskin says the results of the retail survey are encouraging and useful, especially given the fact that more 10,000 housing units are opening over the next year.
“What it showed is that people who are here already are getting out into the community and shopping and eating—they just want to do it more,” Lusskin said. “People want to spend more of their time in the neighborhood.”
“It’s not surprising,” said Patricia Dunphy, a senior vice president at Rockrose Development Corp., a company with several projects in Long Island City. “It’s really good information to know that people that are moving here really want to stay in the neighborhood.”
“It’s good for the retailers—it’s an affirmation,” she continued.
The survey results have come out in time for the Department of City Planning’s public meeting Wednesday, where there will be a discussion on the retail, arts and culture landscape of the Queens Plaza and Court Square area that is slated to be rezoned. The meeting is part of City Planning’s LIC Core Study, an analysis of a 50-block section of the Queens Plaza/Court Square area where the department is looking to find ways to add more affordable housing and office/commercial space.
“It’s very complimentary to it,” Lusskin said of the LIC Core Study and the LICP’s retail survey. “What city planning is doing is thinking of the area as a neighborhood that has needs as a community and trying to refine to zoning to provide what the area needs.”
“It reinforces what we’ve been hearing from city planning in terms of the way they’re thinking of how newer development can compliment and really serve a community,” Lusskin continued.
The DCP study has worried some residents who say Long Island City is lacking in neighborhood services
The LIC Core study area makes up almost the entirety of one of the LICP’s business improvement district—the north subdistrict—and a small portion of the south subdistrict.