Jan. 6, 2015 By Christian Murray
A comprehensive study is about to be conducted that will investigate this neighborhood’s recent transformation from an industrial hub to an area filled with luxury apartments, big-name hotels and cultural institutions.
The study, to be conducted by the Long Island City Partnership, will be the foundation for a long-term plan that aims to ensure that the neighborhood still maintains its industrial roots — which still supply jobs — while also making way for residential development, commercial space, the tech sector and cultural institutions.
The Long Island City Partnership recently received a $100,000 grant from the New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC) to aid it in its quest to create an area plan—which would be a first for the neighborhood.
“Currently experiencing a period of explosive transformation, much of it thirty years in the making, Long Island City is now ready for its own, comprehensive look, as a matter of citywide urgency and as a regional priority,” said LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin in a statement.
“Funding for this study will allow us to work to set a vision and priorities consonant with the neighborhood’s goals,” Luskin added.
The LIC Partnership applied for the grant with the support from elected officials and community leaders.
“I am pleased our advocacy led to a State grant which recognizes the great work the LIC Partnership is doing, and the amazing growth taking place in our community,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris in a statement. “I look forward to working with everyone who loves Long Island City to ensure our community continues to grow in a responsible way.”
1) I don’t understand where all this animosity towards non-profits is coming from, especially towards the LIC Partnership, formerly the LICBDC, which has been active in the community since the 70’s.
2) That being said, these “comprehensive plans” are done frequently all over the country, but are rarely put to good use. Anyone can create a plan, it’s getting people to read, listen to, and implement the plan that is important. This isn’t by any means the first comprehensive plan, public, private, or otherwise, that has been funded for the neighborhood. Hopefully, the LIC Partnership and their new leadership will be able to create something great, get elected officials and community leaders to listen, and really boost the existing historical and incoming industries.
Let’s face it; New York City is growing and people need places to live. Long Island City, with it’s relatively new zoning, large parcels of land, and excellent connectivity/close proximity to Manhattan is a natural option for the NYC market. The transition is inevitable, and I for one am very skeptical on whether or not the industrial past will be able to be able to hold on at all. This is simply because of the continued high demand for the new amenities being built in LIC. I think this comprehensive plan is probably a total waste of money, as keeping artists and industry in LIC was a concern even before the neighborhood started to shift. Local leaders and politicians are trying to save face and show they care about the industry and artists, but probably know the market and all-might-dollar is going to win.
If the community boards weren’t informed, my apology. Transparency to the public by government is shrinking from national to local and not looking to start a political war but one click of the keyboard will show our current elected leadership in Washington promising bills will be posted online before being signed. Unfortunately, this is catching on politics and a further example is the casino the local government approved in Westbury LI recently with 0community input.
If the community boards weren’t informed, my apology. Transparency to the public by government is shrinking from national to local and not looking to start a political war but one click of the keyboard will show our current elected leadership in Washington promising bills will be posted online before being signed and meetings held on C-Span to debate them. All of DeBlasio’s meeting are closed to public as well. Unfortunately, this is catching on politics and a further example is the casino the local government approved in Westbury LI recently with 0community input.
uuuhhh, we have no choice but to complain after the fact. We weren’t given a heads up that this was even a planned use for OUR tax dollars. Gimme a break! Reading our thought about it on the message boards AFTER they’ve already spent our money is the least they could do.
NoMad Meatpacking Midtown West FiDi Williamsburg all went through similar transformation recently. This isn’t the work of some evil empire it is continued development of a community. That said, this LIC Partnership should have been shown more support then – not now as it seems a bit late. Community Boards do make a difference and have a say. Look at the Bowery and the influence that board has on what restaurants/venues etc are placed in their area. Message board complaining after the fact will continue to be the least effective way at influencing any changes (positive/negative) in a community.
LIC is undergoing changes that will shape the community for generations to come, so this and even more planning would be a wise use of funds, in my opinion. I think that some people have a hair-trigger for criticizing our community leadership, which is understandable. Consider this: we are about to spend more than five times this amount on a piece of sculpture that no one except the artist’s mother likes.
“community leadership”? These people aren’t community leaders. They’re just a group of people who started a “non-profit” and gave themselves fancy, highfalutin’ job titles.
According to her bio on the LIC Partnership page, “Ms. Lusskin was appointed as a Public Member of the New York City Loft Board by Mayor Michael Bloomberg after serving on the NYC Rent Guidelines Board.” WTF is the NYC Loft Board??????? What the hell is this city doing with taxpayer money? Do we have so much excess cash that we can throw money at Ivy league brats to create fake non-profits and BS civic groups designed to gentrify us into oblivion? This is complete nonsense.
This facebook comment said it best: “I could go out and do a study for free… and would probably find what most people want is more affordable supermarkets/stores, schooling, health center and for parts of the neighbourhood to be cleaned up & for the rents to not be flying through the roof”
Our actual leaders, (i.e. democratically elected leaders like Jimmy Van Bramer) need to be more responsible with taxpayer money instead lining the pockets of his friends in the arts communities.
Their organization has been around since the 70’s and is very active in the business community, including industrial businesses (which there are still a lot of here). They’ve been getting involved in the residential community side of things for the past 10 years or so (that block party on Vernon last spring was set up by them). The organization is not some made up thing or newcomer to the neighborhood, so I don’t know where you’re coming from on all that.
^^^I think we have a member of a “non-profit” in our midst^^^
Wake me up when we have non-profits that actually help the community, like free after school programs for students, a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. Real ways for the community to get involved, help people and network at the same. time.
We don’t need anymore self-serving artist types forming group and throwing parties to collect cash.
No sir, but I have worked with them.
I agree that free after school programs, soup kitchens, and animal shelters would all be fantastic uses of public funds and, given more taxpayer input on how to spend money, could be more desirable for our community than this study/plan. However, the money came from an economic development organization (which is confusing, because I’ve never heard of it and they later say it’s a State grant, but the state’s EDC is Empire State Development) so it wouldn’t have gone to any of those things this year anyway. I don’t know that $100,000 is really necessary to do a study/plan, but if it results in changes to City/State policies to help drive LIC’s competitive advantages, it could turn out to be money well spent. It’s all speculation at this point, though, so we’ll have to judge this later.
I just don’t see why you think they’re “artist types” “throwing parties to collect cash” or “people who started a “non-profit” and gave themselves fancy, highfalutin’ job titles.” The organization has been around for a long time and they’ve helped tons of local businesses (they helped me find some energy efficiency incentives). Your needs as (I assume) only a resident are different than mine and therefore you might not interact with the same people/organizations that I do, but that doesn’t mean that the people/organizations you don’t interact with are recently created scams.
blah blah blah.
And it’s Ma’am!
I think development plans are typically a good thing – at least everyone is aware of where the neighborhood is heading, for better or for worse.
I wonder, will this plan be binding or just a suggestion? Who will the plan be presented to?
Beautiful waterfront park, new playgrounds, a running track, a soccer field, more cafes, more restaurants, more community services, more people to interact with, and more taxis. This really is hell on earth!
This neighborhood was intentionally destroyed, as is patently obvious, by 30 years of work to develop it. I find it beyond ludicrous that anyone would give anyone else $100,000.00 to find out how to preserve it.
From my perspective the granting agency is run by numbskulls, the grant writers are dim wits and the writer of this article is simply shameless for putting this up as straight news.
Or, is this a reprint from the Onion?
The other issue with LIC is lack of any good public schools for the neighborhood. It has become a transient neighborhood for many young couples but once their kids reach school age they leave.
the problem is the breeders.
I think another school would be useful, since the city and developers are jamming a additional 30,000 people down our throats over the next 10 years, and a great deal of the current lot have kids that aren’t even school-aged yet.
Perhaps today I’ll start my own group centered around all things LIC, make it a non-profit (since non-profit status is so easily awarded), ask people for money and give myself a salary. There is a new breed of entrepreneurship that operates under the guise of non-profit groups. Many happen to be localized in LIC, but somehow LIC becomes less affordable and increasingly unoriginal each year. LIC was a real neighborhood with a small town feel, but has almost become a sad wannabe Battery Park (which was never a neighborhood to begin with and artificially built for d-bags in finance). I don’t care for small towns or Battery Park, however, it seems that now, LIC is a medley of upscale artificial developments inhabited by short-term high income residents, a group of people native to the area who are generally resistant to any change whatsoever, and an art community with selfish motives and no real direction or plan for how to maintain a sense of community.
So how will $100k help the identity crisis that has plagued LIC over the last decade? Has anyone ever heard of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council before today? Will the LIC Partnership tell the taxpayers how every single dollar of that grant is spent? Also, “a long-term plan that aims to ensure that the neighborhood still maintains its industrial roots — which still supply jobs”??? Isn’t it a bit late for that? Many of the factories in the area have been abandoned for decades, bought up by developers and turned into residences. The factories that remain are responsible for their own success. How about surveying the community (for free!) and asking what we feel is most needed in the area instead of paying a group mainly composed of artists to walk around, take pictures and eat lunch.
I’ve been around this neighborhood since the day dot and have seen and heard every promise, grandiose plan and utopian scheme from every goddamn urban planner visionary for LIC at least 40 years now. This one? PFFFT. Throw it on the heap.
Every “pioneer” who’s emerged wide-eyed from the Vernon Jackson station in the past several decades like they landed on a new habitable planet seems to know what’s best for us and fancy themselves as experts on the neighborhood. No offense, but I suspect you are just one more of them. You say, “LIC is a medley of upscale artificial developments inhabited by short-term high income residents, a group of people native to the area who are generally resistant to any change whatsoever, and an art community with selfish motives and no real direction or plan for how to maintain a sense of community.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. So where do you fit in? Who are you? And why should I listen to you over the last 50 schmos who trotted into town ready to fix what ails us?
I guess I fit into your pejorative “people native to the area” category. And buddy, you couldn’t be more wrong in your depiction of people like me. “Generally resistant to any change whatsover” you say. Really? Do you know nothing of LIC? I think so. Did you even stop for a second and contemplate just what seismic change we’ve been absorbing in this area since the 1970s? If we’re “resisting change,” I can assure you we’re doing one lousy job of it!
Let me tell you what I think the “problem” with this area is. LIC might be marketed as a neighborhood and look that way on a map, but it doesn’t exist as one anymore. The reason: there is no real community of people here with common interests. You yourself in your comments unwittingly expose that. You don’t seem to like anybody much. Here’s our reality: we, my friend, are living in a gold rush town where big money is driving everything. It doesn’t give a shit about me, you or anyone else.
So let this stupid nonprofit do its survey, just like the last 20, 30. It doesn’t matter.
I’ve actually been here since 1982 and my family since the 1950s. Also, I never asked you to “listen to me”. I could not give a rats ass what you do with my comment. I’m simply exercising my right to anonymously post.
You must only be thinking about the southern tip of LIC if you think the industrial roots of the neighborhood are gone. Our area is still to this day one of the biggest centers of manufacturing left in the region (mainly light manufacturing, but a lot of stuff is made here). You as a resident with a very narrow idea of what LIC is might find this a waste of money, but our existing manufacturers and increasing number of small, high end manufacturers need city policies to change and adapt as the business environment does.
That’s why I said, the factories that are still operational are responsible for their own success. If they’re doing well and they can pay their rent or they own the space where they operate from, noone can force them to move. I don’t see where the threat lies. If you own a small residential building in LIC and a developer offers you money for it, nobody holds a gun to your head forcing you to sell it. If you choose to sell it, what happens to it is out of your hands. What policies need to change other than the fact that we need to halt developments on massive high rise apartments until we can sort out the transportation issue? We don’t need to give a group of people from some lame made-up group our tax dollars to “study”. What’s even more maddening is that this happened behind closed doors without any input form the community, once again, just like the decision to put that hideous pink sculpture on the median.
Elizabeth Lusskin ? Do these folks go to the Community Board meetings? Where are these not for profits coming from ?? What is happening to LIC with the “affordable housing” is both tragic and a flagrant affront on its inhabitants. What is this group about to do to the neighborhood?? THIS IS RIDICULOUS