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Nolan claims that LIC’s infrastructure is too stretched for big development, opposes city’s plan to develop Jackson Ave site

Jan. 24, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan came out strongly today against the city’s plan to develop a large-scale building over a LIRR rail yard site in Long Island City.

The criticism comes a day after the city announced that it is looking for a third-party developer to build a structure that includes retail space and housing units over the LIRR tracks at 11-24 Jackson Avenue. The city put out a request for developer proposals Monday.

The site, bordered by 21st Street, Jackson Avenue and 49th Avenue, is 58,000 square feet and is currently owned by the city and used as storage space for the LIRR.

“This project has high probability to be outsized and not right for Long Island City. I oppose such overdevelopment,” Nolan said. “Considering the size of the site and its proximity to other large scale development in Long Island City there must be a better plan to increase basic services before such large scale development is considered.”

Nolan pointed out that in order for the project to be profitable, a developer would likely have to rezone the site to build taller than the 125 feet currently permitted, and guessed that the development would reach between 50 and 60 stories.

The RFP states that a developer would be required to build over the existing LIRR rail yard on the site, similar to what the development of Sunnyside Yards would entail. The RFP looks for the development to include mixed income housing, retail and commercial space, and a community facility.

Nolan has opposed large developments in the past. She came out against the Sunnyside Yards project when it was first proposed in 2015, saying that the massive project would be out of context and could not be supported by the infrastructure in place.

Cathy Nolan

She expressed concern about overcrowding of the area contributing to sewage backup in to Newtown Creek, and added, “I feel that we are now playing catch-up. Our schools remain the most overcrowded in the city and every subway rider knows the daily overcrowded conditions on the 7, E, F, M, N, Q, and R.”

More recently, Nolan also voiced her apprehension over the upcoming clock tower development in Court Square.

“I do not support a height of seventy stories for any building in Long Island City and will continue to press for whatever changes are necessary to keep some sense of scale,” Nolan said in December about the clock tower development purchased by the Durst Organization.

All proposals for 11-24 Jackson Avenue are due to the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the MTA in April.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said he is currently having discussions with community leaders about the city’s proposal for the Jackson Avenue site.

“I will not support any plan that does not have the community’s approval.”

Meanwhile, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he is reviewing the proposal too. “We will review the proposal along with the community and community board and won’t support any project that isn’t right for our community.”

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Drumpf Lover

The crap that Joe Conley pulled on this project is exactly why our country is going to shit. Big money players always win out and it leaves regular folks high and dry. JVB and Gianaris “reviewing” the proposal? What they really want to do is to have a little chat with those developers that want to get involved with this project and see how the developers can further their political careers. The excuse that they are throwing at us about “reviewing” the project is BS. What do they really need to review? The question is simple, do you want this development to happen or not. These guys are such pussy’s.


thanks cathy nolon, this needs to be stopped. as a long time LIC resident, i want to make sure we dont lose the cahracter of neighborhood.
the new comers are killing the industry at the heart of LIC. not the manufactoring industry but the strip club industry. its places like show palace and scandals that built the character of the neighborhood. why do you need new retail space when you can chase tail? also, these fancy new building will add clean sidewalks with no charm, and plant disgusting new trees, DESTRYING the current cityscape kaleidoscope
of broken glass and cab driver piss filled plastic bottles.everyone knows you cant spell idealic without LIC and cathy will keep it that way


THANK YOU Cathy Nolan. Now stop the upcoming proposed rezoning and maybe we will be able to catch up to the current development.


so what are those basic services that Cathy Nolan is referring to, and what is she doing to obtain those? How can it be quantify rather based on some whim.


Where was Cathy Nolan when the rezoning took place in Long Island City 15 years ago. It was then she could have stopped what has become “As of Right” building in Long Island City and all the future infrastructure problems. This statement of hers is too little too late.
When the rezoning took place all those years ago Nolan was probably socializing with the community board 2 chairman Joe Conley (a developer of Long Island City property for Modells at the time), city planning and all the other insiders.
Her statement is a joke
By the way: Joe Conley has a lot to answer for.


Cathy Nolan is right. Anon you are dreaming about the MTA adding more trains. Their trains are so overcrowded and how close do you want to run them together. The Transit system wasn’t built to handle the amount of people it moves. You put too much faith in the MTA. LIC is being overdeveloped and poor planning of these buildings is causing it. Sewage, power, transit, roads and the such will suffer. Rents for everything from retail to living are too high!!!!!!!


How about more schools, more trains, more buses first? LIC is filled with restaurants and bars but not much retail. Hardly any clothing stores and such.


Ronnie, no worries, with the $3 fare hike, you’ll have plenty of room on the train – rookie cops will have a field day wrangling in the immigrants that can’t afford the train, but need to feed their families.


I guess we could just continue allowing the NYC housing shortage problem to worsen, fewer new buildings means higher rents in existing ones. Not to mention all of the homeless. The city desperately needs more housing supply, and there aren’t exactly thousands of options for this. Overcrowding on trains can hopefully be addressed over time by adding more trains and further improving the infrastructure.


No LIC resident would ever say that.

Nice try greedy third party developers.

There is no housing shortage. There’s plenty of apartments for rent. There’s just people who can’t afford it. If you can’t afford to live in LIC, then don’t live in LIC.


Actually, lots of LIC residents would agree with it. Just not the cranky ones who post on this site about the good ole days.


I live in LIC and I agree. These greedy developers will overbuild which will lower rents. Rents are already flat. We just resigned a 2 year lease for less than we paid for the same apartment for the last 2 years. Something has to be done about transportation but the ferries will definitely help. We need a pedestrian bridge or a tram to LI City.


Can Bramer help me get a LIC income based apartment? I’m that douche with a Masters, that works a full-time job / doing that “responsible” thing…fxcking crackheads and $9/hr security guards have City-water views.


Awesome @ ChristopherLIC I know a few people that recieved a few of them apartments because who they knew inLIC Partnership… SCAM!!

silent majority

Absolutely true. Let me tell you a few things about these affordable housing scams. The selection process is run by the development/management company not the city. The city just stamps the paperwork that is submitted. There is not checks for accuracy in the selection process. The companies charge anywhere for $25 to $100. Thats ten of thousands of dollars in there pockets. You know someone you get one. I was selected submitted, waited for months then they said sorry we made a mistake your wait listed. Sorry burst your bubble but its just tax abatements for the developers.

silent majority

I agree I was notified for Hunters South qualified sent all paperwork was told will be called in and nothing. Months of emails back and forth then alomost a year later guess what? We made a mistake your waitlisted. Really? No oversight at all. Affordable housing in just a way for developers to get tax breaks.


She is absolutely right.
The subway system will not be able to handale the additional thousands of riders in rush hours.

Councilman Van Bramer’s non response to the issue is questionable. What are Councilman Van Bramer’s priorities ? Our well being or the well being of real estate developers ?


Misattribution. Rep. Conley has sadly come out big for this. Either he is adding to his post elected office resume, or he’s lost his moral center. He was first up for covering all of the yards not long ago. Not a few years ago, he helped develop the plan for the humane salvage of low density beyond the waterfront at LIC. “Sad,” as a tweeter in chief would opine.

silent majority

He wants more protests so he can wear his little pink hat ( [email protected]#$Y HAT) really that’s want its called. He is such a shady character.

I bathe in liberal tears

Trump is the only real estate developer Jimmy van Bramer doesn’t have a boner for.


That’s because Trump hasn’t been an important developer in this city since the early 90s. But hey, he had a cool TV show, so he’s probably qualified enough to be president.


Couldn’t disagree more. . .

Everyone complains about the cost of housing in NYC but few want any more of it to get built. It’s simple supply and demand. More housing = lower rents across the city.

7 train has excess capacity now and will have even more once CBTC signal upgrades are completed, increasing the number of trains per hour.

The ironic outcome of Nolan’s opposition is that fewer projects get built and everyone pays more in rent, pushing developers profit margins even higher.


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