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Court Square Library’s Lease is About to End; May Soon be Looking for New Home

Court Square Library

March 22, 2019 By Christian Murray

The Court Square Library, a long-time tenant on the ground floor of the Citigroup Building, may soon be looking for a new home.

The library’s lease is coming to an end later this year and it remains unclear whether it will be renewed.

“We are having conversations with the landlord to extend the lease,” said a spokesperson for the Queens Library.

The landlord is Savanna, which owns the 50-story Citigroup Building also known as One Court Square.

The company is leasing a 3,200 square foot space to the library under a deal struck many years ago with a previous owner.

Savanna, which is currently in negotiations with the library, was dealt a body blow earlier this year when Amazon

Citigroup Building (Photo: David Shankbone)

decided that it was no longer coming to Long Island City. The tech giant had agreed to rent about 1 million square feet of the 1.4 million square foot Citigroup Building in November—but pulled out in February.

Savanna is now tasked with filling that space in a year, as Citigroup moves ahead with its plan to relocate its staff when its lease expires in 2020.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said he is keeping an eye on the library negotiations.

“We are monitoring the negotiations between the library system and the owner of the building and will support any effort to maintain and expand library service for the families in the area,” he said.

Tavros Capital, which is seeking a zoning text amendment in order to build a 45-story building a block south of the Citigroup Building, is offering to fill the potential void.

The landuse lawyer for Tavros told Community Board 2 on Wednesday that it was willing to provide space for the library as a public benefit.

He said the company had been in talks with both Van Bramer and the Queens Library about its offer–as Tavros looks to get its parcel rezoned. The attorney did not say what the rent would be.

Lisa Deller, the chair of CB2’s Landuse Committee, said that the library was currently paying rent of $1 per year.

Savanna did not respond for comment.

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Liz Lee Nope

The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history. They’re mean, conniving, rude, and extremely well-read, which makes them dangerous.

How old have you gotten Jimmy

I hope the library on Hunter Point Park when finalized, will host the smelly homeless and neighborhood drunks so they can sit and occupy the new comfy sofas on a hot sweltering day and cool off like they do at the sunnyside branch
– they are not reading a book, just occupying a chair while our kids don’t have a place to sit and the librarian can’t tell them to leave either. So I will be sending them down your way to your new facilities, probably you’ll have cake and coffee, refreshments out for them as well.

How old have you gotten Jimmy

LIC Hunter’s Point Library is a waste OF OUR HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS — That parcel Would have made a great Recreation Center with an Ice Skating Rink and Swimming Pool ESPECIALLY IN LIC, AN AREA WHICH LACKS GREEN SPACE — rather THAN that Rubix Cube CONCRETE box of library $50 Million in cost overruns and several years delayed. ALL THANKS TO OUR BELOVED, GOOD FOR NOTHING, SLIME BALL, TWO TIMING, KEY LIME PIE LOVING

John O'Reilly

Whatever Mr. Van Bramer says about a planned opening date for a new Court Square library location, add 10 years. Perhaps some of the $6.5 million Mr. Van Bramer announced with Joe Crowley last June, one week before the Democratic Party primary for Mr. Crowley’s Congressional seat, for a “massive redesign” of the Woodside Library can be shifted to a new Court Square branch, since not one single thing appears to have been done regarding use of the funds at Woodside.

Ray Johnson

Yet another negative impact to the AOC, Ginaris, van Bramer, O’Leary push against Amazon. Add this to the list opportunity bucket.

stan chaz

Yet another uninformed comment relating to AOC, Ginaris, van Bramer, and O’Leary, and their efforts to make our democracy & politics work for all of us.
The library space is very small in its current location.
It definitely needs a larger space for a rapidly growing community. Hopefully it will find a larger space nearby on similar terms, perhaps in the new building mentioned.
Of course if Amazon had intended to be a true neighbor to the community, they would not have had the richest man in the world demanding extortion payments.
Instead Amazon should have given back to the community in concrete & substantive ways before coming in, instead of trying to come in through a secret undemocratic backroom deal like an arrogant & demanding bull in a china shop.
Bravo to all the people & politicians who stood up for due process and true democratic input in telling Amazon to play by our rules, on our turf.
They did not want to play ball with the community so they took their ball, turned tail and ran, just like the uncooperative & anti-union bullies that they are.
These behemoth companies like Amazon have grown so big and powerful due to lack of regulation, as they squash competition, democracy, our politics and small businesses in the process. They should be broken up just like we did to the trusts of the past, and for the very same reasons.
To do so is not anti-capitalist by any means. It’s the way to bring back true capitalism – with fairer competition & markets, and a more level playing field with greater opportunity & fair-play for all.

Princess Vespa

No library should have a lease. With what revenue will they be able to pay the lease??? Libraries are free, essentially.


Maybe if the library on Center Blvd had been finished on time there might not be an issue. Unless the intention was for there to be two libraries in LIC


The intention is for there to be a library in Hunters Point, Court Square, and Long Island City (one exists).


Does that area really need 3 libraries? Sunnyside (1 small but very good one) serves a broad base of residents–elderly, immigrants, families with very tight budgets. That doesn’t describe the residents of the Gantry area.


I wasn’t aware a person has to meet certain criteria to enjoy public library service, paid for by their taxes. I think if you ask Queens Library to break down the demographics by branch your generalizations about library users won’t stand up to scrutiny.

Common Sense

Let me guess…you live in Sunnyside? LIC is the fastest growing neighborhood in the country. There are thousands of apartments being added every year so it’s best the city has a little foresight and understands that a library in Court Square and Hunters Point is necessary.


Among other things needed, street pavings,more trains and buses, less tolls and are hikes (NO Congestion Pricing). More stores,lower rents both business and residential. Less TALL Monstrosity LUXURY BUILDINGS. LIC is in OVERKILL already. Leave the Library alone.


Jimmy Van Bramer cares only about the community so there’s no way this will ever happen. Right?

no problem thanks do democrats

we got lots of space now that aoc and co ran amazon out of town…


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