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LIC Electeds Reject City’s Plan to Build 1,000 Units on Public Land, Rally Planned

A rendering of the city’s plans for 44th Drive in LIC (via TF Cornerstone)

Feb. 19, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The city’s current plan to bring a massive mixed-use project on public land along the Hunters Point waterfront has been rejected by Long Island City’s elected leaders.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblymember Cathy Nolan say that the Economic Development Corp’s plan to build 1,000 residential units (25 percent affordable) in two towers scaling over 500 feet by 44th Drive and Vernon Boulevard is simply unacceptable.

“I think it needs to be re-envisioned,” Van Bramer said of the 4.5 acre proposal, which also includes a public school, a park, and industrial and commercial space. “This project as it stands is perhaps the dream of some people in City Hall, but it is not one that I share.”

The two sites slated for development by the EDC.

Van Bramer added that the community’s concerns over green space, recreation, the number of affordable units, and the overall density of the project are valid. “What the community is saying, and what I’m saying, too, is for too long the city has not paid attention to the infrastructure needs of LIC,” he said.

Nolan said the development is “too massive” and fails to take the repeatedly-raised needs of the community into consideration.

“I urge Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Economic Development Corporation to take a step back, put the RFP on hold and listen the community, civic organizations and residents on what they believe this parcel of land should be,” she said. “Schools, parkland, green space and a community center are many ideas that I have heard and the city has a golden opportunity to make good on these suggestions.”

The assemblywoman’s opposition to the plan follows a September 2017 letter she sent to the mayor, where she called the EDC’s plans “problematic”.

Both Van Bramer and Nolan plan to join the community next month in a rally to express their opposition to the EDC’s plan.

The LIC Coalition’s vision for 44th Drive.

The rally, organized by the LIC Coalition, a grassroots group formed nearly two years ago, is an extension of frustrations raised by the community since the EDC’s controversial plans were detailed last summer—that the city should not be using scarce, publicly-owned land to build luxury waterfront towers in a neighborhood overwrought with development.

The March 3 event, aptly titled “This Land Is Our Land”, will see residents, civic groups, and local leaders call for long-demanded public goods, like open space that would enhance the waterfront’s resiliency, job training centers, and space for the arts at the site. Their demands are written out in an updated petition by the group, first released in August.

A recreation center, as outlined in a new petition created several weeks ago, is also on the list. And given the overcrowding issues currently plaguing PS 78 just a few blocks down, a school, to be built immediately, is also on the table.

Diane Hendry, a member of the LIC Coalition and a 30-year resident of the community, said the rally is a chance to “scream from the rooftops” and demand that the city engage in comprehensive community planning.

“Everything in our neighborhood has been pushed on us,” Hendry said, referring to past rezonings. “We want the mayor to finally get it. We want EDC out of the picture.”

“We don’t need them telling us how to build our community,” she added. “It’s that simple.”

Van Bramer noted that unlike the dozens of residential towers completed or under construction in Long Island City, this project requires a zoning change, and therefore needs his approval when it hits the City Council. “We have a lot of influence and a lot of say in this one,” he said. “I’m going to stand with the community.”

The EDC told the LIC Post that their project will deliver many goods and features to the community.

“We’re proud that this project will deliver hundreds of affordable homes, good jobs, a new 600-seat school, workforce training programs, and more than an acre of open space for Long Island City,” said Shavone Williams, a spokesperson for the EDC. “We look forward to continued discussions with community members in the months ahead, as we look for ideas on how to make this great project even better.”

The rally is planned for midday on March 3 at 44th Drive and Vernon Boulevard. The LIC Coalition is still working to finalize the lineup of guests and speakers at the event.

 

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22 Comments

andrea

Notice those two gaping holes in the earth next to the Board Of Ed building? That’s where the FILA tennis courts used to be before a “developer” bought them and started building two massive buildings and caused the land to cave into the river. I doubt anyone who now lives in the area actually did the historical research before they bought here. The entire area is a BROWNFIELD of toxic landfill. Go ahead and build something there with your tax breaks. We’ll see how far you get.




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Voice of reason

Government set pricing is not a new idea. It’s called socialism and it doesn’t work. If you don’t believe that, google USSR. This city is a major financial hub and will continue to appreciate in price. If you want to lock in a price, save some money and then buy something. Then when the neighborhood triples in price you can sell your place and be a millionaire in Tallahassee. Let me see you complain of rising prices after that happens. There is very little room for dumb in NYC and if you feel yourself getting pushed around, you might be suffering from some dumb. Get some smart friends and let them help you.




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DO

“Voice,” above, betrays his/her Russian bot origin. Retire to “Tallahassee” is a dead giveaway. Sowing dissension, indeed.
Good luck, Vlad.




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Lorraine

Wait a minute, they are saying massive residential buildings were actually rejected?! You mean there is still HOPE for our area!!??? I will stuff a tooth under my pillow tonight!!




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Lisa Forsee

It would be nice to have a huge public pool and waterslide for families like in Astoria for hunters point residents that don’t have a pool in their buildings. Have a park & water side picnic tables and hammocks like on Roosevelt Island does in the summer. Maybe build a lighthouse. Have a nice place to relax for us in the Summer to go and get
away from the tourists 🌴🌷🌸😔😎




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MRLIC

Somehow reasoning won out on this terrible idea, very strange for GREEDY DEVELOPERS & he City to give up. (See WIllets PT) . How about a Park/Community center which is badly needed. The park could shield against future Super Storms Flooding with a wetland area.




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PattyKB

We need to bring back the charm of Astoria/LIC. We are not mini Manhattan. Fix the danged streets that are being torn up. Add some more public parking that you’ve eliminated or caused to be in short supply due to overbuilding and not requiring parking in new structures. Thanks for standing up to all this ugly overbuilding!




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brooklynmc

Yeah! More parking lots! That will bring back the “charm” of LIC! We should focus our money on the 10% of the population that wants to drive in a congested city.




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Agatha

LIC has much more than enough 4the very rich. I grew up in that Neighborhood & been forced out 2x . The other boro’s I don’t consider my home . The hills + stairs of the Bronx is where I’m constantly being sent! This city would rather make my physicle Disablities worse + more expensive 2treat than help me get Housing in LIC or Astoria! They r constantly telling me “Rents r Cheaper in the Bronx! Year they refuse 2see everything else is more expensive in the Bronx ! Everyone that’s become homeless 4the rich 2get richer should b given the ability 2return home! All the excuses is 2force people 2 b worse off than they were B4!




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brooklynmc

What is this community center? Not really sure who is calling for that. We have amazing parks and (almost, eventually, if they can get those expensive European windows on) a brand new library. We have a tennis facility and the YMCA. Personally, not sure why someone thinks a community center on waterfront property is the best use of this land.




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Joe

The YMCA and tennis center are both 1.5 miles from the waterfront area. Hardly convenient for the many people living in the Hunters Point area.




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DO

The second “plan” would invade the New York City Dept. of Education facilities management building–the large white building purple lettered for “student training,” for housing–it’s on the waterfront. Just north, that “lake” was deliberately left there after the last hurricane, in an attempt to destroy the foundation of the DOE building and infest Queens with mosquitoes. The “pond” was once a tennis court/pool area, circa 2000. The owners apparently want to build luxury housing on the “lake” and DOE building. There is an unsafe fence that’s been left fronting Vernon for many years, without a peep from the City. The purported designation of “wetlands” is a sick joke., as an effort to drain an fill the mosquitoes and safety hazard should be attempted immediately.




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DO

The area designated Board of Ed RFP is a City property. The clever idea of a wetland park is in fact a sick joke–the wetlands were the result of the last hurricane, and invade the DOE building. As City property, merely underutilizing it with the new label, would invite the wrecking ball–the City sold so much property to Bloomberg’s friends in real estate, it is a miracle of survival, holding hundreds of workers and valued property in a prime area for distribution of supplies. That’s the building’s job. The scummy pond next to it abuts the foundation–as seen in the first photo, top. There is a shaky fence on Vernon, with large gaps, so that between the mosquitoes and dangerous gaps, children can drown and lots of us get bitten. Welcome to NY real estate.
Who else guessed that the land grab would go north?




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Joseph Karwacki

I think it should be 75 percent affordable. The rich have enough places to live as it is in this city. Stop pushing people out. I left because the rents sky-rocketed. Disgusting




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brooklynmc

In NYC, couples that both work and squeeze their 3 or 4 person families into 1 or 2 bedroom rentals are not rich. Comfortable middle class maybe, but not rich. It is thoughtless and pointless to just be angry at people that have more than you.




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Stephanie L.

I don’t think the other poster was calling a middle-class family “rich.” More affordable housing could help BOTH low-income families and the middle class!




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MRLIC

brooklynmc, you just don’t get it. Mostly “RICH” people can afford $2,540 for a studio or $3,200 for a 1 bedroom or, $4,200 for a 2 bedroom. This is not “MIDDLE CLASS”. people just want to be able to live here. The Real Estate Developers don’t give them much of a chance. It is not just about despising the rich , it is they are given pfeferential treatment that people don’t like. Everything is “LUXURY” or “HIGH END”. Average people don’t like this. Wake up and smell the coffee.




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