A pair of job postings listed by online retail giant Amazon kicked the excitement level up a notch in anticipation of the company’s new “HQ2” headed for Long Island City, Queens. According to Bloomberg, the ads, seeking a software development manager and software engineer, referred to the company’s impending New York expansion by saying the new HQ would be the site of a 50-person team starting in 2019 as part of its Intelligent Cloud Control group. Following a flurry of press inquiries, Amazon quickly added that though they would begin hiring for HQ2 later in 2019, the listings were for positions in an already-existing office.
Long Island City
Google Street View of Long Island City’s engine 261
In 2003, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg shuttered six city firehouses including Engine Company 261 at 37-20 29th Street in Long Island City, the growing neighborhood was nowhere near its current density. Since then, a veritable mini-city of high-rise residential towers has sprung up in the once-industrial Queens neighborhood; the FDNY has been considering the need for more firepower to keep the mini-metropolis safe. The recent announcement of Amazon’s impending arrival with 25,000 jobs in tow has given more urgency to concerns about the increased demand for emergency services, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Rendering via Binyan Studios
The Skyline Tower, a 67-story condo building under construction in Long Island City, ended the year on a very high note. In addition to being named 6sqft’s 2018 Building of the Year, the Hill West Architects-designed, 778-foot-tall tower became the first in Queens to pass $1 billion in total sell out. Plus, the property, which developer United Construction & Development Group first filed plans for in 2016, sits across the street from One Court Square, where Amazon is leasing one million square feet of office space before the company moves to its new HQ2 complex along the waterfront. On Wednesday, new renderings of Skyline Tower were released, showing off the interiors, views, and new subway entrance at the future tallest tower in Queens.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 disproving.
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.
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.