Jan. 29, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Around 200 people turned out for a meeting in Hunters Point Monday night to discuss how a large tract of land on the Long Island City waterfront should be developed.
The event was organized by a group of developers who have formed YourLIC, an entity that aims to provide residents with a voice on what will go up on a 28-acre area by the waterfront.
The workshop focused on three main elements–schools, recreational facilities and space for arts and culture.
The meeting was the third in a series of workshops being organized by YourLIC, where residents are being asked for input on how the land located by Anable Basin should be developed.
The land is owned by private developers, with the exception of three parcels. There are two city-owned sites on 44th Drive as well as the Department of Education property. The two city-owned sites are being overseen by the Economic Development Corp. and developed by TF Cornerstone.
The privately-held sites are owned by L&L MAG, Simon Baron Development and Plaxall.
Previous workshops discussed the opportunity for open space and industry. The workshops are also being augmented by an online portal where the public can submit ideas.
Monday night’s event was co-moderated by Dr. Gail O. Mellow, who is heading up YourLIC, with Urban Upbound’s Bishop Mitchell Taylor.
The developers did not present any plans for the site.
Bishop Taylor asked audience members for general ideas for the large tract of land, before getting down to the specifics on schools and recreational facilities.
One audience member immediately shouted, “public land for public use,” which was greeted by loud applause as some residents are against any private development taking place on the publicly owned parcels.
Calls for a ban on luxury housing, affordable housing for families earning under $40,000 a year and the formation of a community land trust (a public entity to ensure community stewardship of land), also received applause from the crowd.
Taylor then asked attendees to break off into groups to discuss their ideas pertaining to the workshop’s theme.
Some groups stressed the need for affordable artist studios, and the need for a large dedicated area for culture and the arts.
Other groups called for an outdoor movie theater, a community center, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, mini mall and subsidized small business spaces.
However, no concrete plans were formally presented in terms of size and/or capacity. For example most of the schooling proposals centered on the types of education and training that would be incorporated into a facility.
The ideas will be summarized into a report and made public on the YourLIC website.
The next workshop will deal with housing and infrastructure. It is scheduled to take place in late February.
— Michael Dorgan (@MDorganNYC) January 28, 2020