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Developers Working on Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, A Series of Public Meetings to be Held

An aerial view of Anable basin, where Amazon had planned on building new headquarters. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Oct. 14, 2019. By Shane O’Brien

A number of developers that plan to build on the Long Island City waterfront–including parcels where the Amazon headquarters was slated to go–are working on a comprehensive waterfront plan.

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” for local input.

The developers will be working with the community and the City Council to put together a series of public meetings in coming months with the goal of coming up with a comprehensive framework.

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.

The developers announced today that Dr. Gail Mellow, former president of LaGuardia Community College, has joined “Your LIC” to help produce the plan by soliciting input from the public and industry.

Plaxall, which plans to develop about 12 acres by Anable Basin and owns much of the land where Amazon was slated 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.

The City Owned Parcels TF Cornerstone was looking to develop

The three developers that are part of the coalition all have interests in the 28 acres.

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.

The three developers, in a unified statement, said that they are working on a collaborative process to bring jobs, a resilient waterfront, open space, affordable housing, and arts and community space to the waterfront.

Matthew Baron, President of Simon Baron Development, said that the process will provide residents with a real say in terms of the outcome of the area.

“With three developers coming to the table to work with each other, the community, and the City Council, we believe so much can be achieved for the benefit of Long Island City,” Baron said.

Jeremy Shell, Principal of TF Cornerstone, said that the collaboration between developers and the community was a unique approach to development in New York City.

“This is a completely new approach for Long Island City and an unprecedented process in New York. We look forward to working closely with Dr. Mellow and all of the residents, businesses, and stakeholders in Long Island City for the months and years to come,” Shell said in a statement.

Mellow will lead community engagement and workforce development initiatives to ensure that the waterfront sites are developed with community input.

She will work with a number of local groups, including NYCHA Tenants Associations, to form recommendations.

“This is such an exciting and important project for our neighborhood and the city at large, and I am thrilled to be doing what I love most – working with the community – to help turn their vision into a reality,” Mellow said in a statement.

The workforce development initiatives and community benefits engagement will be supported in consultation with Bishop Mitchell Taylor, founder of Urban Upbound.

“The Long Island City waterfront provides so much hope and opportunity for Queens, and its future must be planned carefully by the people who live and work here,” said Bishop Taylor, Founder of Urban Upbound.

“I look forward to collaborating with Gail and the Your LIC team to create an inclusive process that prioritizes strong community benefits and good jobs for all.”

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21 Comments

JD

Amazon’s brought 70 jobs to Crystal City. But rent’s already increased so all the residents get to pay more for housing and food, even if Amazon never hires them. Storefronts will sit empty because it’s too expensive to do business there. The Business Improvement District grew so that’s higher fees on everyone.
Meanwhile 1,000 Bloomingdale’s workers are coming to LIC in 2020, far surpassing what Amazon promised, and you can’t trust them anyway.

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Anon

And let’s add to this- currently, in Seattle, Amazon has spent over $1 million to try to take over the local elections and gain control of Seattle’s city council. If they succeed, billionaires will never get taxed. Tell me again how Amazon would have been good for LIC? Oh right, the empty promise of jobs that would have mostly gone to outsiders anyway. Get over it, RE brokers.

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Getyashitright

Amazon would have sucked the life and beauty out of Queens and anything within 25 miles +. When did they say that all hiring would have been exclusive to only NYC residents?

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Kenneth Grant

Waterfront property is a scarce public resource. Any and all private developers must pay a substantial annual royalty to the community for the use of that resource, particularly when the development blocks the views and access of prior residents. It’s not unreasonable to demand that developers underwrite the construction and maintenance of mass transit upgrades to serve the neighborhood.

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STJM

Hard to see how any development will result in a better outcome for the people of LIC / Western Queens than the lost 25K jobs from Amazon that the JVB & Mikey G stole from neighborhood! FIRE JVB & Mikey!!! These phony corrupt politicians must go! A trade 25K jobs for waterfront luxary rentals and park, how is this a good deal for the neighborhood?

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SuckaFreeQueens

Do you have any idea what has happened to Seattle? Greedy Queens landlords increased rents 20-30% based solely off the news of an Amazon deal. They don’t give a shit about you and neither does Amazon.

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marta

To:everyone against Amazon From: Reality Re: the highrises going into Anabel Basin. Talk about community centers and green space all you want but you ran Amazon off and now we’ll be stuck with high rise apartment buildings.

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Lisa Daglian

This is a great opportunity for investment in transit infrastructure… subways, buses and LIRR could all be made better to serve our growing community. Transit investment needs to be part of any rational development!

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LIC Direct

Part of the project should include a recreation center with an ice skating rink, swimming pool with a retractable roof, bowling alley, sports complex, with restaurants, indoor shopping concourse, affordable and market rate housing, an office complex and outdoor theater as venue for shows and concerts,etc. Make it a a must see and visit destination, a creator of office and service jobs which can hire from the local community and keep the slimy local politicians like Jimmy Van Bramer, Mike Gianaris out of it and support the politicians that support progress.

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Anon

Will these developers actually listen though? Always seems as if community input falls on deaf ears.

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Anonymous

If people want more offices, does that mean JVB is going to force those companies to unionize labor? Isn’t that the entire reason Amazon isn’t here? Otherwise, bring back Amazon and continue to work with them and the community. Amazon was ready to do so from what I recall!!

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Anonymous

Who are they fooling? If history is a guide, nothing significant for the community will come from this process except postage-stamp sized “arts and community space” and more gigantic buildings jam-packed with apartments for the wealthy.

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LIC Direct

A recreation center bigger and better than the one in flushing like chelsea piers on a smaller scale with restaurants, bowling alley, ice skating rink and swimming poolWith a retractable roof to open up in the summer.

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VVNY

I’m positive about the outcome. Look what they did with waterfront. It’s amazing. Now some parts Queens don’t feel like developing country anymore and I see people coming to take pictures from all over. This is an example that anything is possible. Queens can be just as developed as Manhattan or Hoboken. Wish more office space was built. With it more foot traffic and more small business would come for the benefit of the local population.

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JaimeB

Just cater to the few hundred activists who make public policy these days and erect giant homeless shelters on every parcel.

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stan chaz

Compassion is not “catering”. It’s fulfilling your human & moral responsibility: “Whatever you did for the least of these you did for me”.
There but for fortune go you or I my friend.
As for “activists” exercising their democratic rights:
With the continued help of activists like AOC, and enlightened local politicians, we may still obtain a positive mix of affordable housing, recreation, schools and well paying union jobs from responsible businesses for this controversial land parcel —instead of backroom deals that give tax breaks & grants to small-business-busting corporate behemoths like Amazon, who already pay zero in Federal taxes and want more more more!

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Anonymous

You literally have zero idea what you’re talking about. Keep reading the headline news produced by the idiots. These people have STILL done nothing productive other than make cameo appearances catering to certain people. Where are their big, new ideas? They wait and posture.

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