Feb. 25, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
A City redevelopment plan will bring up to 1,000 new apartments to Long Island City.
Two sites totaling more than 4.5 acres on the Long Island City waterfront, just north of Anable Basin, have been targeted by the City for mixed-use development that prioritizes commercial uses but will also include up to 1,000 residences and a new school.
The Economic Development Corporation released a Request for Proposals to developers Thursday that outlines their plans for a “thriving mixed-use development” with an emphasis on creating at least 300,000 square feet of commercial office space and light production (such as digital fabrication or art and décor design).
The two City-owned properties are located on either side of 44th Drive.
“This catalytic waterfront development will build on the residential growth we’ve seen in recent years, bringing much needed office space and amenities to the community,” NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer said in a statement. “Our goal is to continue investing in Long Island City as a true live-work-play community, one where a parent living in an affordable apartment can walk their child to school and then continue on to work at a good-paying job. At the same time, we’re responding to the tremendous demand we’re seeing for new and flexible commercial space in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan.”
The two properties are also close to the future Cornell Tech campus and Long Island City’s Industrial Business Zone, which the EDC states will help foster the type of innovative companies it is hoping to draw.
According to EDC spokesperson Ian Fried, up to 1,000 residences will also be created. The EDC states in its RFP that developers should incorporate affordable housing into the residential component.
In addition, the RFP states that developers should include a plan for public access to the waterfront with more than an acre of open space, as well as a retail/community facility.
The RFP also states that the development “must accommodate a 80,000 square-foot school… to serve approximately 600 students.”
Fried confirmed that a school will necessarily be built as part of this project.
“With the release of this RFP, the SCA will be well positioned to move forward as quickly as possible to bring additional seats to Long Island City families. We are excited that a new school for School District 30 residents will be included in this RFP,” Lorraine Grillo, President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority, said.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement Thursday that including a school was a priority of his.
“I’m especially proud of the work I did in conjunction with the EDC to ensure that this Long Island City development includes space for a school for nearly 600 students in our community,” he said.
“As more people come to realize that Western Queens is a fantastic place to live, it’s important to ensure that not only do we provide significant affordable housing so that our community is accessible to all, but to also make sure that increased housing comes with more jobs, parks, schools, and transportation.”
The two sites are currently zoned for manufacturing.
However, the EDC anticipates that they would need to be rezoned in order to develop the project as the agency envisions it.
Update: This story has been updated to include statements and additional information that were released by the EDC Thursday afternoon.