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City looks at zoning change in Long Island City, WSJ reports

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Jan. 16, 2015 Staff Report

The city has preliminary plans to rezone a section of Long Island City—which would lead to further construction in what is already a crane-filled neighborhood.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the city is targeting Long Island City “along the East River and just north of the Long Island Expressway for a possible rezoning that would promote the construction around Queens Plaza of more high-rise apartment buildings, including ones with lower rents.”

The Department of City Planning is about to conduct a study of 100 blocks around Queens Plaza, Court Square, Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, the Journal reports.

The new zoning would prioritize mixed-income housing, as well as potential growth for arts and tech industries.

The first rezoning in 2001 led to 8,000 new units in the neighborhood, 20,000 more under construction, and a 5.9 percent rent increase over the past year, according to the Journal.

The plans are in their early stages.

Source: LIC Partnership

Source: LIC Partnership

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Anonymous visitor

Hopefully the rezoning is only focused on bonus density for providing things that this area needs other than high-end housing: affordable units, upgraded/more light manufacturing space, more office space, schools, small neighborhood parks…maybe even bonuses for providing trunk infrastructure upgrades (we need more fiber optic trunk capacity badly, among other things).

Most rezonings just gift property owners millions in higher land values, but I hope the city would at least create some sort of extra tax to capture the value they end up creating. Think about it – when the city does anything that directly devalues a property, that property owner will sue the city for their lost revenue. If the public has to take responsibility for private losses they cause, shouldn’t the public be able to benefit from the private gains they cause?

Ex – If properties were allowed to build 10 stories before and are allowed to build 5 stories afterward, the city just magically created 5 stories of air rights. Each property owner (or whoever that property owner would agree to sell their property to) should have to buy those air rights from the city at the same price per buildable sqft as that property had been valued at before the rezoning. Imagine the millions (billions?) of dollars the city could have had to build new schools, upgrade transportation systems, or invest in community assets if they had done the same thing before this building boom happened…

Reply
Anon

If they want to attract tech they’d better rethink demolishing warehouses and not build any high rise office towers. Innovative tech companies don’t work in high rise office buildings. (Google in Chelsea, anyone?) Had the neighborhood kept 5Pointz and renovated, that would have made an great tech campus. High rise buildings are not progressive enough for the real innovators.

Reply
Mike

neighborhood is already packed
we need more transportation options

how about the infrastructure to support all these new towers?

Reply
Anonymous visitor

JVB for it?
The city has a history of promising transportation, parks etc. and not delivering. Why add housing to meet a political goal of the mayor which will reduce the quality of live and affordability for thousands of others?
Rezoning in the past has never lead to better transportation or infrastructure but always made money for a few.

Reply
Awesome

more cranes and less trains, that what i say.

love the lack of parking as is, but when the construction zones clip off half a block at a time? well that’s pure heaven.

disregard the people that live there and pander to the tax evading developers. they are what makes new york, new york!

Reply
JonoJohnson

How about some more retail, and a few more diverse restaurants? LIC can be even better than Astoria with the proximity to Manhattan — A reliable 7 train will help for sure. I’m not one of those people who is mad at every new thing being built, but lets grow the neighborhood the right way!

Reply
Anon12

I’d rather not lose my public amenity of having sunlight. Who wants more high rise buildings creating wind tunnels and darkness. Thanks, but no thanks, City Hall and City Planners. If you absolutely must, look at more low-rise buildings and not the glass tower atrocities.

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