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Nolan Demands ‘Moratorium’ on New LIC Developments After News of Queens’ Tallest Building

Hill West

July 16, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan is demanding that the city put a stop on new building construction in Long Island City following recent news of a developer securing a half-billion-dollar loan to build what will stand as Queens’ largest tower to date.

The proposed 67-story condo-project at 23-14 44th Dr., in the works since 2016 and with construction beginning last year, came into the spotlight yet again just last week, when the Wall Street Journal reported that the developer had secured a $502 million construction loan for the massive $700 million project.

With the loan, Chris Jiashu Xu, the developer, will be able to build out the 780 foot, 802-unit “Court Square City View Tower” by 2022, the WSJ reported, with LIC’s Modern Spaces in charge of marketing.

But Nolan, who released a statement on the project this afternoon, said the tower is “another illustration of the inadequacy of the current zoning in Long Island City.”

“I have written numerous letters opposing such large towers and asked for changes in zoning,” Nolan said.

She claims that City Planning’s LIC Core Study, a neighborhood study that could lead to a rezoning, has been “put on hold,” while as of right towers continue to spring up in the community.

The Department of City Planning, however, said the city is working on the core study.

“Over the past two years, DCP has held 17 outreach sessions on the LIC Core Study, enabling the City to gather feedback from residents and other stakeholders about their neighborhood. The City is evaluating this, and a larger strategic approach for the future of Long Island City.”

Still, Nolan recalled a recent effort by the city to trade off its air rights in exchange for affordable units in a private Long Island City development, which had the added effect of boosting the size and volume of the project three-fold.

“LIC is facing an emergency situation,” she said. “Therefore, I ask for a moratorium on any new Buildings Department permits for new construction in Long Island City until the city can present a plan for properly increasing the infrastructure.”

The letter follows a series of statements made by Nolan on the state of development in Long Island City. Back in February, for example, she bashed a city proposal to develop two towers on publicly owned land on 44th Drive, and is also part of a group of Assemblymembers who pushed back against a plan to eliminate a cap on zoning allowances for building height in New York state.

The development, while in the works since 2016, is also under construction at a time when the city is preparing to submit its plans for 44th Drive for public review, and also as Plaxall, the plastics manufacturing company, recently announced plans to bring 5,000 units to the waterfront around 44th and 45th Drive. Both plans have alarmed many residents in recent months.

In addition, the Queens Plaza area is also set to see the Durst Organization’s 70-story, 710-foot tower, which will be completed in Spring 2021.

DiBlasio Letter July 16 2018 by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]

52 Comments

LICer

I actually welcome more development in this area…north of 41st Ave though. Because of these zoning laws, there hasn’t been any development for high rises north of 41st Ave, so we haven’t been able to get the price we want for our house to be sold at. It’s annoying! Meanwhile on the next block from me, there’s several new buildings within one block. 😒




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Anonymous

I demand Nolan to back off and let them build, build and build high!!
I can my property value increasing right before my eyes!




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Soulless chainsmoker

“Queens’ Tallest Building” – WOW, what a low and unnecessary aspiration with a tinge of compensating for something else.




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MRLIC

The Fake MRLIC wrote the earlier comment. From now on, I will end my comments with “YABBA YABBA DON’T!!” which is my catchphrase.

As for the overdevelopment in LIC, I actually don’t really have a opinion on it.

YABBA YABBA DON’T!




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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the July 17, 2018 comment on ending with his/her catchphrase YABBA YABBA DON’T. Now you will know it is the FAKE MRLIC when you see YABBA YABBA DON’T.




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MRLIC

Looks like the FAKE MRLIC is back again, and wants you not to believe in my new catchphrase. You can tell it was the FAKE MRLIC because it didn’t end with my catchphrase. I am the real one.

YABBA YABBA DON’T!




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Jackson Strong

Every one of you supporting a building moratorium is supporting higher housing prices for everyone else! Talk about greedy! Let these developers build houses. This is one of the few areas of the city that rents are actually declining. Stop building, and the developers will no longer have competition. These buildings are going to be paying tremendous amounts of tax revenues and its the city’s job to ensure that the monies are adequately utilized to enhance infrastructure and increase services. The NIMBYs supporting this moratorium are supporting existing landlords, fewer construction jobs, and higher rents. This attitude of “keep new people out of my neighborhood” is PRECISELY the same attitude that anti-immigrant Trump supporters have when saying we should no longer allow immigrants. Disgusting!




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MRLIC

Jackson Strong–You are so OFF BASE on your ideas it is almost laughable. Remember they are getting tax abatements for 10-25 years. We are losing taxes right now when we could use them. You say rents are declining? If so they are still only affordable for the well off and rich. ($2,850) for a studio is ridiculous. Don’t worry about the construction industry,they are doing just fine now. The money you speak of for infrastructure is not coming now , when the tax abatements end, maybe? Citylights residents are losing their abatement and want to move out because their maintenance will go up to $3,900 a month in a couple of years. What will happen when these abatements end in 1o years or so? Will they want a extension to 35 years as Citylights residents do? Where is the tax money if the abatements are extended. 421a Tax abatements ended a year ago but Gov. (Corruption) Cuomo put them back so we would endure more large out of character buildings in the area. More construction such as Queens Plaza where traffic can’t move and sidewalks taken away from the public also bus stops moved. Noise, dirt etc..Leave LIC Alone, enough damage has been done. Not to mention Hotels being turned into homeless Shelters, such as the Verve a former luxury building not long ago. The owner figured out he would do better dealing with the city than the public as other hotel owners will figure out. As for Trump stop believing the Fake News Media that Trump hates all Immigrants. He just wants the Illegal ones out of the country. As it should be. The word Illegal always escapes the media when they report about Trump and immigrants. Remember the word ILLEGAL next time.




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Anonymous

He is right! As soon as luxury condos went up, rents here in Astoria went up! He lost me with his last comment. Keep trump and immigrants out of this. We are talking about Cathy Nolan and the over building of LIC and surrounding area.




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OAR

Wrong! These new buildings are not mixed use! They are purely luxury resisdential and all have tax abatements. Most of the people who work in LIC can’t afford to live here. Let them build some where else. You obviously are another real estate tool who doesn’t live here.




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Astoria resident

We allow immigrants. The ones who come here legally. Not sure why it’s so difficult to understand the difference.




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Anonymous

demand they stop building in queens?
are you kidding me?
who does she think she is?
who is she to dictate building height?
are you kidding me?
like she is the queens urban planner who must approve everything?
are you kidding me?




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MRLIC

Anonymous who thinks Cathy Nolan is wrong. YOU ARE WRONG. People who live here don’t want all this over development without planning. It is turning into a disaster for the neighborhood as there are no stores and not enough space for the existing residents to travel to work on buses and trains never mind shop here. WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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Midtowngirl

The Assemblywoman is right to be concerned. I would like to see a city wide moratorium on building anything. Improve the infrastructure first. Do we have enough schools? Can electric and sewer handle? Can the subway and busses handle? NO. Can’t even handle the amount of people now. I predict this will continue to happen as the current administration pays no attention to the concerns of constituents or local politicians




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stan chaz

Better yet –tie in approval of massive projects with concurrent improvements in the surrounding infrastructure as part of the project itself, paid for by these developers and building owners in partnership with the city.
Why should the rest of us taxpayers be the ones to be solely responsible foe the infrastructure upgrades that these developments require? Otherwise they make money off of us – literally not paying their “rent”, as we foot the bills for making their developments both livable & accessible. They profit off being in the City–therefore they need to be partners not merely exploiters and free-oaders.
An example, although one that does not go far enough, are the infrastructure improvements to be funded by the massive skyscraper now rising next to Grand Central in mid-town.
An important part of living in a democracy is having a meaningful say in what’s happening to your community,
and how it affects both you and your family.




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Billie

Can we do the same in Astoria? Can we get some housing that is NOT luxury,not just for the poor,but for middle class?




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Gabriel

No one cares about the middle class anymore unless it’s to continue taxing us into oblivion. Not the developers nor the phony politicians whose pockets they’re lining. Soon Astoria, LIC, etc, will be just an extension of Manhattan with no room for the middle class.




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Daniel Lafave

Increasing the supply of housing (ANY housing) helps the middle class. Housing has gotten so expensive in this city in part because we haven’t allowed building to keep pace with the demand. If you build luxury housing, a rich buyer buys that unit instead of competing for another unit with middle-income folks who she will be able to outbid. This is common sense and also backed up by empirical studies.




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gdfgfs

No one lives in this area currently. If you don’t build housing they’ll just try to convert EXISTING housing. So rents will go up for people in Astoria and Sunnyside if LIC development is stopped.




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CBP

They are talking about where a developer can build 18 floors on 2 sites as of right in the most densely populated area of court square. And giving away air rights to increase that luxury gated community by 49 floors with only 25% going to MIH increasing Lions Group’s profitability by 330%.
THANK YOU CATHY for calling a moratorium. We do not have the infrastructure to maintain another 100,000 people in LIC. We need comprehensive planing, not city give always just for the Mayor’s MIH legacy, that is not affordable.




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OAR

You obviously are a real estate tool, because a lot of people do live in this area! This neighborhood has become over developed and we do not need a tower this tall that will have apartments that no one lives in because it will be bought up by people stashing their illegal money in real estate. The infrastructure cannot handle all these buildings and people.




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Brian

You can’t keep building without doing something for the infrastructure. Where are you going to fit theses people on the already crowded subway?




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Anonymous

gdfgfs- You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’ve obviously sold your soul to the real estate industry.




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MRLIC

“No one lives in this area” are you out of your mind? Take a look around. Who gave him all the likes ? Developers???????????




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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the July 16, 2018 comment on greedy developers. My take on this is as I always say, building without planning never works. Nolan is RIGHT. LIC is turning into Manhattan. Shame on Bloomberg who started all this BS and DumBlasio for continuing it. Van Bramer and Cuomo do not go blameless .Cuomo put the ta breaks back after they expired.




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WeAllWanttheSameThing

LIC should 100% be like Manhattan, in that there should be basic amenities and conveniences. Sadly, these things have yet to follow the massive overbuild of residential units




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vcdcgad

Most of the buildings don’t even have residents yet, the interiors are still being finished. It would explain why retail hasn’t followed yet.




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WeAllWanttheSameThing

fair point…however, commercial rent levels are certainly not providing any incentive for retail to move in




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MRLIC

Manhattan is an overcrowded city for Tourists and the rich. I guess you want to live like sardines just as people are in the falling apart subways system. We are no longe”The greatest city in the WORLD”.




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MRLIC

If you want LIC to be overcrowded and overpriced which it already is, go live in Manhattan and leave LIC alone. It used to be so less crowded and don’t believe the developers that it was crime ridden. IT WASN”T. There is more crime now, but you don’t hear so much about it. Developers don’t want you to know by suppressing it for a while until it is released. Also as I always say look at COMPSTAT and how the NYPD fudges crime statistics. WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!




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Anonymous

I agree with you 100%. King Mike ruined our school system and flooded us with luxury housing.




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John O'Reilly

Please define “numerous letters”. Assemblymember Nolan should produce copies or it didn’t happen. Meanwhile, she should really be worried about the UFT planning to have Sen Joe Addabbo become chair of the State Senate Education Committee.




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D.

My hero. Local, mainstream, committed to the schools and a sane building policy. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio appear to be in a race to stuff their campaign war chests with real estate money. Unfettered growth was started by Bloomberg, the Mayor who deconstructed social supports–ended housing of youth, and sold their buildings, killed social programs. Result: Rikers filled with homeless youth, crime. Logical end of deconstruction of community is chaos–too many, too small a space. “Uberization” of the public sphere. “Freedom for all!” Yep, sure. It was called the 19th Century.




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MRLIC

As someone who loves luxury condos, this is disappointing. I love greedy developers so much, I voted for one for president!




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Native New Yorker

Hey, Cathy. Way to pander to the NIMBYs! Good job! 🙄

L.I.C. is no longer Queens’ best kept secret. The cat’s been out of the bag for years.




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OAR

How is supporting her constituents pandering to NIMBY’s as you say. Do you even live in the neighborhood? All these luxury apartment buildings have gone up, with out looking at the infrastructure especially transportation. Plus more people, but still no meaningful retail. These buildings are gated communities with all kinds of amenities’ that the residents never need to leave their buildings. The rest of the neighborhood that does not live in these buildings are then deprived of things like gyms and other retail because there isn’t enough foo traffic.




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vcdcgad

Most of the buildings are mixed-use, so they’ll be attracting a lot of people who will be working in LIC.




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