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The Queens Plaza district to be celebrated next week

Clocktower (Bank of Manhattan Building)

Clocktower (Bank of Manhattan Building)

Feb. 28, 2013 By Bill Parry

The LIC Partnership and Modern Spaces are hosting an event in the Queens Plaza section of the neighborhood that will showcase that area’s growth and development.

The event, called “Celebrate LIC”, will be held at the Clocktower (29-27 41st Ave.) on Thursday, March 7th, and will feature restaurants that surround the Queens Plaza area, such as The Burger Garage, Triple Shot World Atlas Café, Raj’s Indian Kitchen and Stop-N-Go Chicken.

Eric Benaim, co-founder of Modern Spaces, has hosted LIC events in the past but not in this part of Long Island City. “I wanted to draw attention to Queens Plaza,” he said, adding, “everyone focuses on the waterfront but what’s happened here in the last 7-8 months is amazing.”

Several major corporations/businesses have moved into Queens Plaza in the past year, while developers have unveiled plans for high rise residential buildings. Meanwhile, more restaurants and stores are expected to open in the area.

Real estate experts believe that as many as 2,000 to 3,000 apartments could hit the market in the Queens Plaza area in the next few years.

The Department of Health moved into the area in the past two years. And nearly 1,000 JetBlue staffers moved into the Brewster Building, at 27-01 Queens Plaza North last March.

Benaim said the Clocktower is the perfect place for the event. “I look at it every night from my apartment, I love the space,” he said.

Benaim said the building is symbolic of the explosion of activity in the area. He said the building was vacant for decades until an art group called ‘No Longer Empty’ brought it to life with a major exhibit that’s winding down after a three month run.

“Part of our urban initiative is to promote the neighborhood,” said Lucy Lydon, No Longer Empty’s communication director.  She also said Modern Spaces and the LIC Partnership have been the group’s biggest advocate.

Next Thursday’s event is free and it will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

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