Photo via Flickr cc
On weeknights in January and the first week of February, as well as all weekends in January, the 7 train will not run between 34th Street-Hudson Yards and Queensboro Plaza, the MTA announced. As 6sqft reported last month, after seven years of installing modern signals on the 7 line, the system failed the first day it went live. The upcoming work will address repairs needed on a 2,000-foot section of track near Grand Central, “where defects were discovered” during this recent Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) modern signaling system installation.
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Rendering via Hill West Architects; frame via Pixabay
The votes have been tallied, and it’s time to name the 2018 Building of the Year! The winning title belongs to none other than Long Island City’s Skyline Tower. The 778-foot-tall tower beat out 11 other significant NYC buildings in a competitive two-week competition held by 6sqft. Out of nearly 3,000 votes cast, the Hill West-designed structure took first place with a whopping 1,021 votes or 35.5% of the total. Was it the fact that the Skyline Tower is on course to become the borough’s tallest building? Or that it has an estimated $1.088 billion sellout, the first in the borough to break the one billion mark? Or perhaps it’s the LIC location, the forthcoming home to 25,000 Amazon employees?
More on this year’s winner!
A rendering of One Court Square, where Amazon will temporarily move in 2019; via NYCEDC
City and state officials lured Amazon to open its new office complex in New York with an extensive pitch, complete with four suggested neighborhoods and the promise of prime real estate, according to documents released by the city’s economic development corporation on Monday. In exchange for 25,000 new jobs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are offering Amazon nearly $3 billion in incentives and grants. And while last month Amazon selected the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City as its new home, officials had proposed bringing Amazon’s campus to the Farley Building, 3 World Trade Center, Brooklyn Height’s Watchtower building, Bjarke Ingels’ The Spiral, and even Governors Island.
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Rendering via Handel Architects
New renderings were released this week of the one million square foot development coming to the Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South neighborhood. Designed by Handel Architects, the complex features two high-rise towers, retail, and community space. Notably, the project is expected to bring 1,100 new residential units, with 80 percent of them permanently affordable. The complex sits less than a mile from the planned office complex of Amazon, which chose the Queens neighborhood last month for its new home. As CityRealty reported, the two towers will rise 57 and 33 floors, with the taller of the two reaching 600 feet high, which would make it the tallest building on the waterfront.
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Rendering of Plaxall’s proposed (but not approved) mixed-use LIC project courtesy of WXY architecture + urban design
A majority of New Yorkers approve of Amazon moving to Long Island City despite opposition from Queens activists and politicians, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Fifty-seven percent of all respondents said they support the company’s plan to build a waterfront office complex in Queens, with 26 percent disproving. And approval among Queens residents is even higher, with 60 percent supporting the deal. But the poll did find a more divided opinion about the potential $3 billion in public incentives and grants offered to Amazon by the city and state, with 46 percent approving of the subsidies and 44 percent disapproving.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris announced on Tuesday plans to draft legislation aimed at cracking down on insider dealing in real estate. The proposed law comes after a report in the Wall Street Journal found Amazon employees were buying condos in Long Island City before the company had publicly announced plans to build their second headquarters in the neighborhood. The legislation would prohibit anyone from using confidential government information to buy or sell real estate, according to Gianaris.
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Citing concerns about the closed-door deal that drove Amazon to choose Long Island City as home for its second headquarters, the New York City Council announced it will host three hearings to question both city leaders and company exeuctives. Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the first hearing will take place on Dec. 12 to look at how the deal happened, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. “One of the major perversions of this is that was all done behind closed doors, with nondisclosure agreements, and without the public or elected officials who weren’t including feeling like they had any say,” Johnson told the WSJ.
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While real estate prices are expected to rise in Long Island City and the surrounding area due to Amazon’s impending move to the neighborhood, one listing has lowered its price. The most expensive apartment in the borough of Queens, located at 46-30 Center Boulevard, is on the market again, the New York Post reported. The penthouse, which sits just north of the Pepsi-Cola sign, is asking $3.65 million, less than the $4.25 million it was listed for in 2017. Soon after Amazon announced their move to Long Island City, interest in the neighborhood surged. As 6sqft previously reported, searches for residential apartments in the neighborhood are up 281 percent compared to the daily averages prior to the Amazon news.
Take a tour
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the new Long Island City showroom of Stickbulb, a sustainable light fixture company. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
Before opening their first showroom, sustainable lighting brand Stickbulb had just one wire rack of shelving and one workbench, with their supplies spilling out into the communal areas of their building. They desperately needed more space. The company found it this year in a 10,000-square-foot former steel factory in Long Island City. With its terracotta walls and wooden floors, not only does the new space aptly complement Stickbulb’s modern LED light fixtures, but the former factory gives them enough room to show off how their products are made and the people who make them.
Sustainability remains a core mission for Stickbulb, which was founded six years ago by Russell Greenberg and Chris Beardsley, the creative team behind RUX Design. Using salvaged wood from demolished buildings and dismantled water towers, Stickbulb products always have a story to tell. “The idea is that the customer can trace back the wood that they have in their light fixture back to the original building it was a part of,” Russell told us during a recent visit to the company’s showroom. Ahead, take a tour of Stickbulb’s new space and hear from Russell and Chris on starting the studio, the process behind finding reclaimed wood, and the bright future of the growing company.
Department of Education facilities via Google Earth
Long Island City advocates are requesting ownership of a city-owned building that sits on land soon to be developed by Amazon for its second headquarters, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. The sprawling, block-long structure at 44-36 Vernon Boulevard currently houses offices related to the city’s Department of Education along with over 1,000 staff members. For the past three years, local residents have asked for the building to be turned into a community facility. With all eyes on Long Island City due to Amazon’s impending move there, advocates believe this is their last chance for the community to take over the property.
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