Since the 1990s, the Regional Plan Association has been advocating for the restoration of passenger service to a rail line that runs from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Ridgewood, Queens and is now used as a freight line. Known as the Bay Ridge Branch, the line is owned by the Long Island Railroad, but at the end of the year, the MTA hopes to begin a study to determine if this idea is feasible. The RPA’s Kate Slevin explained to NY1, “We don’t have unlimited resources here in New York City, as we know, so the fact that we already have tracks there, that are underutilized, really means a lot.”
Rendering: Binyan Studios.
Skyline Tower in Long Island City, Queens, has officially become the city’s tallest building outside of Manhattan. The luxury condo tower has now topped out at 778 feet. As 6sqft recently reported, the 67-story building surpassed its neighbor and previous record-holder, the 673-foot-tall Citigroup Building, in September. Located at 23-15 44th Drive, the new Long Island City tower will offer about 800 studio to four-bedroom condominium apartments, priced between $500,000 and $4 million.
Reports find open space falls short of key goals in Bushwick, Long Island City, and part of Staten Island, Fri, October 11, 2019
New Yorkers for Parks has released three new Open Space Index reports, a series of in-depth “neighborhood snapshots” of parks and open space in Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor, Bushwick, and Long Island City. According to the reports, the Bay Street Corridor failed 11 of 14 open space goals, Bushwick failed 12 of 14, and Long Island City failed 11 of 14. The goals factor in characteristics including the total amount of open space, access, tree canopy, and overall maintenance. According to the City’s own standards, all of the neighborhoods lack sufficient open space and what does exist is often hard to get to or improperly maintained.
Photo © Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl’s Hunters Point Library has garnered glowing architectural reviews since it’s opening last month, but visitors quickly pointed out a critical issue with accessibility in the $41 million building. Although the library has an elevator, it doesn’t stop at the fiction section which is tiered on three levels above the lobby and accessible only via stairs. In light of the criticism, a Queens Public Library official has announced that books in that section will be relocated to an accessible area of the library, as Gothamist reported.
Photo © Paul Warchol
Despite standing just 82 feet tall, the new Hunters Point Library manages to stand out among its skyscraper neighbors on the Long Island City waterfront. The concrete structure, designed by Steven Holl Architects, officially opened to the public Tuesday, about two decades after officials proposed building a new Queens Public Library branch. The delays, and the whopping $40 million price tag, appear to have been worth it, as the building, with its carved windows and incredible skyline views, continues to garner approval from top architecture critics.
Rendering courtesy of IKEA U.S.
IKEA is coming to Queens. The Swedish furniture store announced on Tuesday plans to open a new location at a shopping center in Rego Park next summer. The store, located in the Rego Center, will be the first in the United States with a new layout, according to the company.
Rendering of Mott and Central Avenues next to the planned new public library, courtesy of NYCEDC
About 25 blocks of Downtown Far Rockaway will soon see major changes as the Queens neighborhood gears up for one its largest infrastructure project in decades. Construction will kick off this week on a $139 million plan to revamp the area’s streets, pedestrian space, and stormwater drainage, city officials announced Wednesday. The project, expected to take three years to complete, falls under the city’s Far Rockaway rezoning plan, which was approved in 2017.
Robert de Niro-funded studio taps Bjarke Ingels to design $400M ‘vertical village for film’ in Astoria, Fri, September 20, 2019
Renderings courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group and Wildflower Ltd.
The star power involved with Robert de Niro’s planned production studio in Astoria continues to grow. The development group—which includes developer Wildflower Ltd, Raphael De Niro, and Jane Rosenthal—has just revealed a first look at the 650,000-square-foot facility designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. The $400 million project, called Wildflower Studios, will establish a hub for the creation of film, television, and other forms of entertainment, including augmented reality and virtual reality. The facility is expected to create more than 1,000 daily union jobs.
Previous rendering of Anable Basin, courtesy of WXY architecture + urban design
Soon after Amazon canceled plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, the city began reviving earlier plans to bring a mix of residential and industrial spaces to the neighborhood. Developers and city officials are still in talks over how the 28-acre site—which includes land owned by both the city and plastics company Plaxall—will be used. As Politico recently reported, the vision is starting to come into sharper focus with property owners now engaging the neighborhood and community board to help determine the future of the waterfront site.
Next week, Citi Bike will begin the first phase of a four-year expansion that will double the system’s New York City footprint. The blue bikes are coming to a larger area of Bushwick and, for the first time, Ridgewood, Streetsblog reports. L train riders will have more options thanks to 85 new stations in those neighborhoods.