Nov. 8, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
Developers who plan to build on the Long Island City waterfront – including areas where Amazon’s New York headquarters was slated to go – have launched a public engagement process to form a comprehensive plan for the area.
TF Cornerstone, L&L MAG and Simon Baron Development are looking to guide the development of 28 acres of public and privately-owned land by Anable Basin and north of 44th Drive.
They are reaching out to the public to help them shape the plan and have established “Your LIC,” a community-driven, open and collaborative process, for local input.
The developers will be holding four public workshops over the next few months to gather community feedback about the 28-acre area.
The first workshop, entitled “Economic Empowerment and Career Development,” will be on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Jacob Riis Settlement House (1025 41st Ave.) and will focus on job creation and promoting entrepreneurship.
Other workshops in the coming months include: “Community Resources,” which will focus on schools, recreation and culture; “Comprehensive Neighborhood Planning,” which will tackle issues like housing, infrastructure and mobility; and “Resiliency and Public Open Space.”
The meetings are being coordinated by Dr. Gail Mellow, Community and Workforce Development Adviser for Your LIC, and Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Co-Founder of Urban Upbound – an organization which aims to provide employment opportunities and resources to people living in public housing.
Residents will also be able to go online to Your LIC to submit ideas and engage in discussion. The online component will work in tandem with the public workshops.
The first online conversation will run from Nov. 19-23 and members of the public can log into Your LIC and submit feedback to Taylor and Mellow.
“Creating a vision for a great community starts with shared goals. We’re excited to bring LIC together to start talking,” Mellow said.
“This is an opportunity for all of Long Island City. We want to engage everyone in the community. Since many people cannot attend a workshop in person, our online activities are designed to engage the broadest group of residents possible.”
Taylor said that Your LIC aims to make sure the public get a say on how the waterfront is developed.
“This is an inclusive, community-led process that puts Long Island City resident needs front and center,” said Taylor. “It’s important for everyone in Long Island City to get involved and have their voices heard, either online or at one of our public workshops.”
The collaborative development process has been in the works since the summer.
The City Council gathered stakeholders with developable property along the waterfront during the summer and called for them to formulate a unified plan. The city wants to make sure that the community’s needs are met through one comprehensive plan, as opposed to each developer acting separately.
TF Cornerstone was in the process of developing two city-owned sites where 44th Drive meets the East River– before the Amazon deal led to those plans being shelved.
L&L owns a five-acre waterfront plot at 44-02 Vernon Blvd., known as Lake Vernon, which is north of 44th Drive.
Meanwhile, Simon Baron owns the Paragon Paint building at 45-40 Vernon Blvd., which backs onto Anable Basin.
Plaxall, which plans to develop about 12 acres by Anable Basin and owns much of the land where Amazon was expected to go, is not part of the Your LIC coalition. However, the company has conducted extensive community outreach in recent times and has a decades-long history in the area.