Futuristic hotel/condo tower designed by a Zaha Hadid alum will rise near LaGuardia Airport

September 17, 2021

Renderings courtesy of SASI Studio

A high-rise hotel and condo building designed by a former senior architect at Zaha Hadid’s firm is coming to Queens. Located at 112-51 Northern Boulevard in Corona, the 25-story mixed-use development, dubbed Eastern Emerald, will have roughly 250 hotel rooms, 191 apartments, and a conference and performing arts center. The 370+ foot project, which will break ground this month, features a futuristic, environmentally-friendly design that will reduce carbon emissions and use clean energy for heating and cooling systems.

In 2013, developer Fleet Financial Group planned to bring a 25-story convention center, called the LaGuardia Airport Convention Center. Fleet’s president Richard Xia later scaled down the project in 2019 to a 14-story hotel.

Since the 1930s, the Queens site was home to a car service repair shop and gas station, which led to severe groundwater and soil contamination.  The project entered a Brownfield Cleanup Agreement with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to remediate the property. As of December 2020, the contaminated soil has been removed and the developer received a Track-1 remedial certification, allowing work to continue.

Now, with the plan for a 25-story hotel-condo back on the table, a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the end of the month. The building stretches a full city block and will contain a “world-class” conference center and a performing arts center, and a Japanese restaurant led by Michelin Star chef Shinichi Inoue.

Designed by SASI Studio, whose co-founder Mattia Santi formerly worked as a senior architect at Zaha Hadid, the complex consists of three towers that rise from a shared podium. It features a unique open-air atrium that runs through the core of the building to the top floor. Eastern Emerald will have a double-height rooftop deck and bar, an outdoor pool, several terraces, and other amenities.

Energy-efficient elements include a five-layer photovoltaic glass curtain wall that will charge the building’s emergency power and a community geothermal heat pump system. In July, the project was one of 23 recognized under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program to advance community thermal networks that use geothermal and waste energy to heat and cool buildings.

Bounded by Astoria Boulevard, 112th Place, and Northern Boulevard, the property is near the Flushing Bay Promenade, Citi Field, and sits just south of LaGuardia Aiport.


Renderings courtesy of SASI Studio

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