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Petition created to oppose City-backed development along LIC waterfront, calls for park space instead

Proposed use for the area by the LIC Coalition

Aug. 15, 2017 by Nathaly Pesantez

A petition denouncing city development along the Long Island City waterfront has been created, and is demanding the area be used for park space instead.

“Save the Waterfront – Oppose Cornerstone Project” is the name of the petition created by the newly-formed community group the LIC Coalition, and invokes TF Cornerstone, the name of the Manhattan-based real-estate firm recently chosen by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for its massive proposal that includes two towers totaling nearly 1,000 residential units near the Anable Basin on 44th Drive as part of a development project.

“This is a chance for Elected officials to respond favorably to the public demands for more parkland,” the petition reads. “We will never have a chance to reclaim this city owned property if it is handed over to EDC as proposed.”

The LIC Coalition, a local advocacy group, is demanding an overall stop to residential and commercial development in the sectioned off land, whether through ceasing development plans or the rezoning of the area, and is calling instead for the area to become a public park and to hold a community center focused on the environment.

The demand for a park is partially in response to fears of flooding and other environmental concerns for the area if it is developed, and is also an attempt to stop what the petition creators see as potential overcrowding of the LIC waterfront.

“We the Community are tired of the City’s promise of affordable housing at the expense of open/ public space, and in exchange for massive density that further contributes stress to the waterfront and the flood plane,” the petition reads.

Furthermore, the petition asks city officials to support Community Board 2’s request to take the abandoned site at 44-02 Vernon Blvd (nicknamed Lake Vernon, since it is filled with water) and convert into a space for community benefit. Lake Vernon is not part of the EDC development.

The petition, which has 178 signees out of 200 needed, will be presented to Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Queens borough president Melinda Katz, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, and other political leaders.

The leaders of the LIC Coalition could not immediately be reached for comment.

In February 2016, the city put out a request for proposals for an area over 4.5 acres near 44th Drive and 5th Street, inviting developers to devise a concept for the two locations—currently a DOT site and a parking lot—that includes residential space, affordable housing, a public school, and public space.

At the end of July, the city chose a $925 million concept developed by TF Cornerstone for the waterfront area, which includes one-acre of park space for the public along with the above.

But plans for the development will not commence until the area, currently a designated manufacturing zone, goes through a lengthy public process to be rezoned. If successful, the project should be completed in 2022.

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33 Comments

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MyBackYard2

Gotta Love how a few vocal local property owners can have such a devastating impact on development and community improvement – Stop Development! all in the name of “protecting the community character.” Hiding their real objectives of making their own personal residences worth literally exponentially more than they paid for them by artificially objecting to increasing supply to meet demand.

These misguided zealots are personally enjoying millions of dollars in property value increases for their homes, while blocking the city’s attempt to house the steadily increasing population.

At the same time, LIC developers like Simon Baron Development & Plaxall promise 1,000’s of affordable units, then later scale back their projects to include only luxury condominiums to house the wealthy.

BTW, tiny parks will do nothing to “absorb” hurricane floodwaters. Instead responsible development creating barriers against the tides will effectively reduce and help manage the flow of such disaster.

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Peter

The proposed area is in hurricane evac Zone1 – the red zone.Why would the Govt approve new residential construction in the danger zone?

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MRLIC

California Bound: I too am waiting for my wife to retire to get out of LIC and NYC in General. What was once the “Greatest City In The World” has been transformed into a city for the Rich along with Powerful Corporations. Homelessness is at an all time high.Someone once said a City or a Country that can’t take care of it’s own people is destined to FAIL. Rents prices are a major culprit along with Illegal Immigration and over Immigration, not to mention Too many Tourists. It’s a tight mess with no place as you said to “BREATHE”. Over Development without planning never works. This is why there is not enough Green Space (Parks) or enough transit. Terrible City Planning.

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brooklynmc

Overpopulation is not a problem for a city. The problem is urban planning and politicians. LIC has been owned by salivating developers for the past 30 years or so. They have been patiently waiting. The city has done nothing. This was all ver foreseeable.

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California bound

How many more MEGA developments have to go up in an already overcrowded area ????? People need open air spaces to relax and have children enjoy themselves outdoors, especially since most of them “live ” in daycare circumstances. Everybody cannot travel to Astoria or Central Parks. Parking is also a nightmare . Not everyone can afford $300 a month to park or give up their car.
Proper construction will create a breakwater for possible flooding. Our mayor and his “affordable housing” (?) debacle is chasing middle class (what is that ?) people out of the NYC area.

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the August 16, 12:07 pm post. Heshe does have a point on the absorption process of water however

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MRLIC

Grass in parks will act as a giant sponge to soak up floodwater. It’s a shame mayor DUMBlasio wasn’t aware of this scientific FACT.

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California bound

DB is not interested in accurate science…he is too busy pandering to special interest groups to prepare for his way to the White House. Construction is now being crammed into “green spaces” for more so called “affordable housing”. If we have another Sandy, the waterfront WILL FLOOD. Not only is a park a scientific investment, it is necessary to have places to “breathe” ……..we are living between gigantic “alleyways” of tall buildings that have devoured fresh air or sunlight. Astoria was a wonderful “small town” but then again , that generation is moving on or out………including me.

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brooklynmc

It is good for the city and for quality of life to have both green space and waterfront living so do both. It is a big space. Plus, the city should be allowed to profit off its longterm investments. I think a pedestrian bridge needs to be considered as well, or a tram. Obviously the overcrowded subway is not a viable solution. I love the transformation of NYC’s waterfront from industrial to residential.

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Anon2

Are you kidding me? LIC was a warehouse dump, nativist populism be damned. Not only that, but LIC & Greenpoint residents take a huge risk living close to Newtown Creek. So take your nativism and holier than thou attitude and move to Long Island. You’ll be in good company there.

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Basta

Ha, accusations of “nativism” reek of someone that can’t come to terms with the fact that actual NY’ers know more about what is best for the city. You moved here because it was a city shaped by the so-called natives, and now you want to turn it into something else? Brilliant.

LIC may have been mostly industrial, but I don’t see why that is an issue. Large cities need industrial areas in order to properly service millions of residents. Some development would have been fine, but there should have been a limit. Center Blvd is quite nice (aside from most of the residents), but the line should have been drawn there.

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Frank

Usually when trolls whip out the “Real New Yorker(TM)” canard, they are trying to cover up for the fact that their own objectively sorry lives do not provide them with the ability to adapt to change. What would make New York better? Fewer speed bumps like Basta.

Tony A

Ladies and gentlemen…..This is what you voted for! More development not just in LIC but also at Willets Point. Now the same people that you voted for are doing what they said and you want them to stop?? Make up your minds! Katz shouted it loud and clear that she was for future development of LIC with a tech center and more housing! As for the lessons learned after Sandy…why are there still no laws or regulations mandating builders to place mechanicals above grade of the building if its located within a flood zone. Where are the electeds to push that legislation?? No where because they would be cutting off their $$ for their campaign funds.
You can’t have it both ways…either vote into office people that will work for you or continue to vote and listen to what candidates say when they campaign.

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Anon2

I’m a bigger proponent of affordable and market rate housing for 1,000 families over more park space. Gantry Park is plenty big, guys!!

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Anonymous

100% agree. I’m guessing the petitioners are already wealthy renters or owners in the neighborhood that only care about more park space. The park is already beautiful and is already big and is already being extended south with Hunters Point South! Add more v. affordable housing and a community space??? Also, have the City pay for more park space and a community center (aka our tax $s) v. letting a private developer pay to build affordable housing and a community center? Seems like an easy choice to me. Also, if anyone reads the RFP, they’re already proposing to build over an acre of public park space!

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brooklynmc

It is not that some people only care about parks or that they are wealthy. That is a childish view. It is that when you have an opportunity like this, you need to take advantage of it. Parks are a quality of life issue that is good for people of all economic backgrounds and all races. If you go to the waterfront parks on a Saturday you will see that there is a need. They are overrun.

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Basta

Affordable and market rate housing? What? Market rate housing is ridiculously expensive, and affordable housing only goes to a very narrow band of people, and rarely seems to help your average NY’er or Queens resident.

In any case, it’s just more crowding in an overcrowded area. If you want wall to wall concrete and buildings, with little to no green space, go and live in Manhattan. Queens is supposed to be different, not that all of the transplants and hipsters would have any clue about that.

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brooklynmc

Basta, if you want less crowding and more green space, you could always move to Connecticut.

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Anony

Gantry is crazy crowded on the weekends. Why do people enjoy the crowding that much? LIC needs more green.

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MRLIC

Anony is RIGHT. Best to try and stop Flooding. Over Development has run rampant for years. Give the people of this district what they want DumBlasio. Mind you however that the city has gone against Community Boards wants in he past. Just recently a Queens Community Board voted against Select Bus Service (Queens Blvd)and the city put it into effect anyway.

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Anony

During Hurricane Sandy, the streets flooded all the way up to 11th Street in the Ct. Square area. It is imperative the city use this space for parkland to help protect the area against future flooding. The unchecked greed needs to stop.

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