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LIC residents want more restaurants, pharmacies, and grocery stores, according to survey

Future development

July 25, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

Restaurants, pharmacies, and grocery stores are the top three shops residents in Long Island City say are most needed, according to a survey.

“What are the top three shops needed in the LIC community?” was the question posed by the Long Island City Partnership in a June online survey to 1,347 area workers and residents.

People surveyed were asked to choose the three types of shops needed most, which resulted in over 4,000 answers.

Restaurants received close to 770 responses—the most responses—making up 57 percent of people surveyed. Next came pharmacies with close to 730 responses, which made up 54 percent of people surveyed. Grocery stores closely follow, with about 700 responses, or 52 percent of those surveyed.

Clothing and shoe stores, and health and beauty shops made up 22 percent of the over 4,000 responses combined.

The rest of the responses fell under books and gifts, housewares, hardware, stationary, and dry cleaning.

LICP President Elizabeth Lusskin said the survey was open to residents in all parts of Long Island City.

“There’s a dense collection of people in Queens Plaza and Court Square,” LICP president Elizabeth Lusskin said. “But we did open it up to all of LIC.”

There were no real differences in the answers on a geographic basis, according to Lusskin.

The survey also revealed that 33 percent of people said that they go to a restaurant or bar in LIC once or twice a week, and 42 percent said that it is “extremely important” to have a variety of shops close to home.

Of the 1,347 people surveyed, 976, or just over 72 percent, live in LIC, while 12 percent said they both live and work in LIC.

Lusskin says the results of the retail survey are encouraging and useful, especially given the fact that more 10,000 housing units are opening over the next year.

“What it showed is that people who are here already are getting out into the community and shopping and eating—they just want to do it more,” Lusskin said. “People want to spend more of their time in the neighborhood.”

“It’s not surprising,” said Patricia Dunphy, a senior vice president at Rockrose Development Corp., a company with several projects in Long Island City. “It’s really good information to know that people that are moving here really want to stay in the neighborhood.”

“It’s good for the retailers—it’s an affirmation,” she continued.

The survey results have come out in time for the Department of City Planning’s public meeting Wednesday, where there will be a discussion on the retail, arts and culture landscape of the Queens Plaza and Court Square area that is slated to be rezoned. The meeting is part of City Planning’s LIC Core Study, an analysis of a 50-block section of the Queens Plaza/Court Square area where the department is looking to find ways to add more affordable housing and office/commercial space.

“It’s very complimentary to it,” Lusskin said of the LIC Core Study and the LICP’s retail survey. “What city planning is doing is thinking of the area as a neighborhood that has needs as a community and trying to refine to zoning to provide what the area needs.”

“It reinforces what we’ve been hearing from city planning in terms of the way they’re thinking of how newer development can compliment and really serve a community,” Lusskin continued.

The DCP study has worried some residents who say Long Island City is lacking in neighborhood services

The LIC Core study area makes up almost the entirety of one of the LICP’s business improvement district—the north subdistrict—and a small portion of the south subdistrict.

Some of the findings

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The pharmacy that used to be on 21st Street was the absolute BEST. The owner really cared about her customers.
Add me to the list of LIC residents who did not receive this survey, but then again, I don’t live in one of those high rise buildings and I’m not a transplant. I clearly don’t count.


I was really sad when our tiny pharmacy on 21st St and 44th Dr closed. I used to walk all the way to Duane Reade by the water. Recently I started ordering from Capsule Pharmacy. They deliver all prescriptions within 2 hours at no charge.


Yes, Court Square hasn’t had a pharmacy for at least three years, when the tiny one on 21st street closed. And we are in dire need of more restaurants, which is very slowly happening. This survey hardly describes Hunters Point at all. (And even the desolate Dutch Kills area has three pharmacies and quite a few restaurants)


We do need a Target and some other stores around LIC. There are plenty of restaurants. Parking also is needed as someone said. A real park would be nice. Not just a playground. for a school. We also need to get a Shop Rite and the streets paved. Get out those stupid beautification (Weeds) planters on Jackson Ave along with the Pepto Bismol statue of Van Bramer’s.


We need a Doctor. Not an urgent care but a regular general practitioner. One option is not enough


There must be some sort of a mistake. These are the things we have the most of in Long Island city! We need PARKING above all else. Clothing stores, a target, a Trader Joe’s. No way do we need more restaurants.


LI City is big and the Court Square area definitely is lacking. Not for long though.


Yes we do…There is no Mall around here…We need that cause you are buliding alot that means more people to shop…We had a supermarket called Green Apple on 21street…They closed it down…Its a big space for a little mall.. Its a great spot…I been here for 9 years in November…I hate taking the train and bus to go shopping….I want a mall in my neighborhood…


Was there an LIC post article that announced this survey? How were LIC residents invited to participate – I was not aware of the survey at all and read this site (and others, including neighborhood FB groups) regularly. What parts of LIC were the respondents primarily from? I live in more of the Hunter’s Point area of LIC (between the VJ 7 and the 44th dr E/M) and cannot fathom the need for more pharmacies (we have 2 chains and 2 independents) or grocery stores (we have key food, urban market, food cellar and natural frontier). Is there more information regarding the survey’s “methodology” and the breakdown of respondents somewhere? I have a hard time taking this as a representative sample of our sprawling neighborhood.


Would have been nice to see an LIC post article on the opportunity to take the survey – I must have missed it. It would also be great to see the distribution of these LIC residents given the size of LIC overall. I am curious because in the area I live in (e.g. closer to Hunters point than Court sq or further) I do not think we are at a loss for pharmacies (2 chains and 2 independents), nor grocery stores (Urban market, Key food, Food cellar, natural frontier)


What we need are stores that don’t think everyone here is rich and stupid and take advantage of us like we are on an island. I bet the cost our groceries is twice the national average.


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