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 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.”