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City to Invest $180 Million to Improve Long Island City Infrastructure in New Plan

King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Oct. 30, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The city has committed to investing millions in Long Island City under a new plan released today aimed at supporting sustainable growth in the neighborhood.

The Long Island City Investment Strategy, as the longterm plan is called, outlines the ways the city is and will be addressing practically all infrastructure in the neighborhood, ranging from parks, schools, transportation, and sewage systems.

To fund the improvements, the city is funneling $180 million into the neighborhood on top of $2.2 billion it says it has invested into the area over the years.

The city admits the impetus for its strategy comes from rapid residential development that has strained neighborhood resources and the quality of life of people living in the neighborhood since the 2001 rezoning.

The plan, additionally, stems from coordinating with multiple city agencies and engaging with the community since 2015, where the city heard concerns from distressed locals on infrastructure keeping pace with development.

“For Long Island City to continue to be a livable community there must be a massive infusion of infrastructure dollars now,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement. “The investments being announced today are necessary and welcome, but they are also just the beginning.”

Seven areas of focus are identified in the plan, along with steps the administration is taking to bolster each sector at present and future investments it plans to pursue.

With transportation, for instance, the city is looking toward upping roadways, supporting street improvements, and expanding capacity. Some actions include allocating $10 million to fund the ongoing LIC/Hunters Point Area street infrastructure project and a study to determine the impacts of for-hire vehicles on neighborhood streets.

The city will also vouch for several train stations in the area to undergo accessibility improvements as part of the MTA’s Fast Forward plan.

As for its water and sewer system, the city will invest $95 million in implementing a first phase of upgrades to combined sewers in the area west of Sunnyside Yard as part of an upcoming drainage plan.

The city is also attempting to add open space in the inland portions of the neighborhood, like under the Queensboro Bridge ramps on Dutch Kills Street, while enhancing existing parks, like Queensbridge Baby Park and Court Square Park, with a total of $15 million in funds.

Part of its strategy, however, includes working with private developers to encourage investment into these spaces, and looking into creating open space on existing public land.

With schools, the city has already budgeted $60 million toward the construction of a new school in Court Square, and says it is committed to accelerating school projects in the pipeline to address needs now. But here, too, the city will continue to work with private partners in identifying additional school site opportunities.

While the report highlights the area’s influx of market rate housing, the city’s plan is to promote a mixed-income neighborhood in part by encouraging developers to include affordable units in their projects and “significant affordable housing” on projects in public sites.

Current actions being taken to address affordability, according to the city, include the continued build-out of developments like Hunter’s Point South, the potential rezoning of the Anable Basin, and tenant protection tools the city has launched as of late.

Jobs, along with arts and culture, will also be targeted as part of the investment strategy. The aim is to turn Long Island City into a central business district by increasing space for more business; possibly implementing new zoning tools to bring about commercial development rather than residential construction; and connecting businesses to local institutions.

As for arts and culture, the city will bring at least 35 new affordable work-spaces for artists to the area and continue to explore public arts programming. Initiatives already underway, according to the strategy, include the $43 million Hunter’s Point South library and more than $30 million of city funds allocated area museums and arts institutions since 2014.

The investment strategy does not provide a timeline for some future projects, but says it sets forth a “bold path” toward a sustainable Long Island City. Some projects and proposed actions, additionally, require funding and even land use or City Council approvals.

The plan is one of many that have been released with a focus on Long Island City, including the LIC Partnership’s Comprehensive Plan, Borough President Katz’ Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic plan, and presentations from local civic associations.

It also precedes upcoming plans for the neighborhood like the LIC Core Study, which will likely result in a rezoning of the area.

Many local leaders and activists said the investment strategy acknowledges concerns that the community has voiced over several years on all aspects related to Long Island City living.

“This is an important first step and recognition of the infrastructure needs in Long Island City,” said Denise Keehan-Smith, Community Board 2 Chair, in a statement. “There’s still a lot more to be done.”

For the full report, visit www.LIC.NYC

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I feel like with the random creatures growing in the toxic place it is, it would be nearly fitting.


The good news is that Amazon plans to spend $2.5 billion in development and hire 25,000 people for $100k+ jobs plus all the other companies that will follow and hire. I only hope the city upgrades our infrastructure, especially trains.

Pat Macnamara

More doublespeak to overdevelop the area while professing to be thinking about the quality of life issues. Fuck these people


Amazon isn’t coming to NYC. BDB is doing everything in his power to prevent it. Google the stories to see him calling out Amazon as a terrible place the day they started talking about where the new place will be.


Re: the three planned/footprinted hi-risers going up in Hunters Point South–where is the plan for increase of subway & bus lines, supermarkets, schools, etc. to support the thousands of tenants expected to explode the already stressed & limited neighborhood resources? Silly me for asking such an un-Tammany Hall friendly question…


Exactly. They keep building and building, without even the slightest consideration for how crowded the area (and the city as a whole) already is. The quality of life in NYC has already taken a nose dive, but most of the new transplants don’t even realize because they don’t know any better.


The city has $180 million to improve this neighborhood, but meanwhile the poor low income people in public housing continue to freeze without heat, rat infestation, lead and mold! What’s wrong with the picture?


Nothing. You get what you pay for…said public housing should be closed, demolished, and replaced with market rate units.


Simple math. The $180 million investment by the city will bring new PRIVATE sector development that will create jobs in the PRIVATE sector, boost tax revenue and bring in upper middle class residents.
Investments in public housing for people living in taxpayer subsidized apartments will go into corrupt public pockets and will always be an endless money pit.


it’s so silly that this entire area was built up without infrastructure in mind. it’s convenient to start working on it now, more than two decades after the first few buildings went up. the new LIC just barreled forward with no regard for how people would be getting in and out and apparently where their poop would be going.


“…the city will invest $95 million in implementing a first phase of upgrades to combined sewers in the area…”

So half the allocation going toward sewage, and that’s just phase 1. It’s obvious city jobs need to attract better talent that can better manage projects. Unfortunately, to live in this damn city, it requires private sector salaries!


NYC/LIC made the short list of 20 states competing for the new Amazon HQ which consists of a $5 billion dollar investment plus 50,000 high paying ($100k+) jobs.
“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pulling out all the stops for HQ2, the New York Daily News reports. Cuomo is said to be offering hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies and proposed renaming Long Island City’s Newtown Creek the “Amazon River.”


To with.held. NO, not in your lifetime. This article does not really address transit. It is sort of a BOLD DREAM. Most not funded or thought out very well. A park under the Queensboro Bridge Ramps would be a haven for the homeless. The street near the LIC Courthouse Court Square west has not been paved in at least 17 years. It now has heavy Truck Traffic from a garage across from the public garage. The trucks also use the dead end for illegal Truck parking on the street overnight. Trucks unloading in the middle of the street after 10 pm. Backing up and beeping at all hours. Sewage and other infrastructure is fine. The fact at Queensbrige Park is they cut the grass in April when the softball league starts. The grass grows so long ,the ball does not make it through the grass to the outfield when hit on the ground. it used to get cut mid season , but no longer. If you are lucky they cut it again before snowflake softball starts in April. I don’t think many of the items proposed will be done very quickly to help NOW. 10 years from now ,MAYBE. Don’t TRUST DEVELOPERS PROPAGANDA.


But I do know they filled a couple of nasty potholes in that block of Court Square in the last year or so. In other spots the pavement has worn through to the ancient blocks that have to be from the 19th Century. Over by Vernon, it took the city over thirty years to repave the numbered streets, which is only because of Queens West, of course, and I guess we know who footed that bill.


My sidewalk tree in front of my house needs a fence around it, my sidewalk corner ramps need to be expanded and bumped out to avoid another car hitting my fence will these changes/improvements come in my lifetime?


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