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Help Design Open Space Within City’s 44th Drive Project in Public Workshop This Month

A rendering of the proposed Long Island City Innovation Center at 44th Drive. (EDC)

June 14, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A workshop will be taking place later this month where the public can help design the open space that will be part of the city’s massive and controversial 44th Drive development along the Long Island City waterfront.

The workshop, organized by the Economic Development Corporation, will take place on June 25 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Manducatis Rustica, located at 46-35 Vernon Blvd.

The open area in focus spans over an acre, and is part of a proposed 1.5 million-square-foot development that includes nearly 1,000 residential units (of which 25 percent will be affordable), a public school, and thousands of square feet of office and industrial space over two parcels of publicly-owned land.

The project, to be built out by TF Cornerstone, has since been dubbed the “Long Island City Innovation Center.”

The workshop will be an opportunity for local residents to collaborate with the EDC and voice what they would like to see included in the design, an EDC spokesperson said. Attendees will be able to share their ideas and provide feedback during the meeting, no matter how general or specific.

The EDC says the open space design is intended to be a collaborative effort, and that the space, as of now, does not have any designs attached to it. The open space will connect directly to the esplanades from both Hunters Point South and Gantry Plaza State Parks.

via EDC.

The project has been heavily criticized since the city announced TF Cornerstone as the selected developer for the site last year. Locals have questioned the city’s transparency in the process, and believe that the EDC is not planning comprehensively for the neighborhood.

Elected officials, including Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, have also come out against the project, and participated in a rally against the city-led project in March.

The EDC said incorporating public input is “critical” to making sure their projects meet the needs of all New Yorkers.

“Throughout this process we heard that the community felt it was important for them to be able to collaborate on the design of this space,” an EDC spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the agency has taken this approach in the past, as was the case when collaborating with local stakeholders on the design and build-out of both Hunters Point South Park phases.

Those unable to make the workshop will have more opportunities down the line to pitch ideas to the city. The EDC said it will discuss the project with stakeholders, local civic groups, Community Board 2, and local officials.

In addition, with the ULURP process for the development expected to kick off in the first half of 2019, the public will have more chances to voice their thoughts during the months-long public review process.

To RSVP to the public workshop, email Eleni Bourinaris at or call 212-312-3896.

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“The spokesperson said the agency has taken this approach in the past, as was the case when collaborating with local stakeholders on the design and build-out of both Hunters Point South Park phases.”

Collaborating with local stakeholders is not the same as collaborating with the community. Local stakeholders are in it for the kickbacks just the same.

Collaborating appears to be a synonym for pretending you care about community input and then steamrolling us anyhow.


I understand your concerns with the expanded development’s impact on the community. These 1000+ new units will do nothing to improve the quality of life for current tenants, and will make commuting in and out of the neighborhood more challenging for all residents. The high price of this real estate will ensure that this will never be a neighborhood where small business can thrive.

I promise you an over engineered greenspace that will cost tons of money and do little to improve the existing issues. The bottom line is, these greenspaces make the surrounding units more desirable, and since the developers handed me wads of cash, they’re gonna get it.

To the current residents of the area, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but unless you want to had me wads of cash, you can shit in a hat. I appreciate your votes in our forthcoming elections.


I feel Anonymous is right. The city will drive these 1,000 apts. down our throats no matter what the public says or does. there will be no transit or stores for the people that choose to live there. It makes it harder for current LIC residents and the new ones. What kind of city does that to its people. Why have a public outreach if you are going to do it anyway no matter what the public thinks. This plan should be scrapped. Now if it was 75% really affordable ( not the the BS they call affordable)and 25% Luxury we could make a small dent in affordable housing. If all the projects were 75%-25% in favor of affordable things could change in NYC. Homelessness could go down. Since the developers run roughshod on the poor here it won;t change. Keep voting in the same people, Cuomo-DeBlasio and nothing will ever change.


Yeah these greedy NYC luxury condo developers, like the president you voted for, are destroying the community. It’s a shame you gave them so much more power by voting one of them into office.


So they’re still going to add 1,000 apartments there no matter what the community says or wants? OK


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