Following the country’s economic recession, neighborhoods throughout the United States have witnessed an apartment boom. According to a report by RENTCafe, since 2010, apartment buildings have been popping up at an increasingly faster rate. Unsurprisingly, Long Island City came in first for the largest number of new rental apartments, with 41 new apartment buildings and 12,533 new units built in the past seven years. Nearly 36 percent of all apartments are brand new in this Queens waterfront neighborhood.
Long Island City
Long Island City isn’t known as a neighborhood of historic townhomes–especially considering all the new development–but it does boast the impressive Hunters Point Historic District, lined with incredible residential architecture. One such building in the historic district is the Italianate townhouse at 21-20 45th Avenue built by developers Root and Rust in 1870. It’s now on the market for $3.5 million. According to the listing, the exterior use of Westchester stone–a durable sandstone resembling marble–“has allowed this and other townhouses along the row to survive almost 150 years looking almost as good as the day they were built.” Inside, there’s tin ceilings, marble mantels and exposed brick, as well as a sunroom that leads out to a truly incredible backyard.
While all of Long Island City seems to be undergoing development, one block in particular, Purves Street, remains the neighborhood’s most concentrated construction hub. Applications open Monday for 34 affordable units in one of these new builds, Watermark LIC (formerly Watermark Court Square) located at 27-19 44th Drive and 44-16 Purves Street. The 27-story building designed by Handel Architects offers 168 apartments and has 2,500 square feet of retail space. New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for the below-market rate apartments that range from $908/month studios to $1,176/month two-bedrooms.
With another skyscraper proposal approved, Long Island City moves one step closer to looking like a Manhattan copycat. The latest sky-high tower to get its site cleared and zoning approved sits in Court Square at 43-30 24th Street. As covered by CityRealty, the permits show this building, developed by commercial real estate firm Stawski Partners, will hold 921 condos and rise 731 feet, almost 75 feet higher than the borough’s current tallest building at One Court Square. And if it finishes before the Court Square City View Tower next door, set to rise 66 stories and become Queen’s tallest, it will briefly hold that title.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Starting with the news that the iconic graffiti-covered warehouse known as 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens, visible from passing trains since its beginnings the 1990s as an artists’ studio and exhibition space, was being razed and replaced by rental apartments, the building has been the subject of heated controversy. As 6sqft previously reported, in 2013 the complex was whitewashed of its colorful exterior murals under cover of night, and renderings surfaced for the rental towers that would replace it; as if to add insult to injury, the building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff of G&M Realty, revealed plans to use the name 5Pointz as a marketing angle for the new development. Several attempts were made at intervention–and prevention of a similar fate for artists’ spaces since then. Now, the New York Times reports, a federal lawsuit filed by 23 5Pointz artists against Wolkoff, who ordered the art destroyed, is getting its day in court. On March 31, Judge Frederic Block of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled that the federal lawsuit against Wolkoff, who ordered the artwork destroyed–could have a jury trial, an incremental legal victory for the artists and a chance to confront Wolkoff in court to seek redress.
It never hurts to think of warmer months on days like today, and MoMA PS1’s announcement of whose design will fill their courtyard this summer certainly does the trick. The winner of their 18th annual Young Architects Program is Jenny Sabin Studio. The Ithaca-based experimental architecture studio created “Lumen” in response to the competition’s request for a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, and water, while addressing environmental issues such as sustainability and recycling. The result is a tubular canopy made of “recycled, photo-luminescent, and solar active textiles that absorb, collect, and deliver light.”
View of residential towers from Queens Plaza as of last week, via CityRealty
Of the 30+ under-construction and proposed projects in Long Island City, many of the tallest and bulkiest are located near Queens Plaza, including this trio of slab-glass rental towers from Tishman Speyer and H&R Real Estate Investment Trust that will bring nearly 1,800 new apartments to the area. The residential buildings–located at 28-34 Jackson Avenue, 28-10 Jackson Avenue and 30-02 Queens Boulevard–are directly adjacent to Tishman’s two-towered commercial venture that will be home to WeWork, Macy’s, and a food hall. CityRealty recently stopped by the construction to see how things are shaping up at the rentals, which from the looks of it are well on their way to welcoming in LIC’s newest batch of residents.
When it’s completed in March, Long Island City‘s Tower 28 (formerly 28 on 28th) will be the tallest residential building in Queens at 647 feet and 57 stories–that is, until it’s taken over by the 66-story Court Square City View Tower nearby (this will also overtake the 673-foot 1 Court Square as the tallest overall building in the borough). Though its superlative will be short-lived, Heatherwood Communities‘ rental at 42-12 28th Street will still offer panoramic views, which new renderings from architects Hill West tell us will be taken in from a top-floor observatory, as well as a host of swanky amenities to “rival any vacation destination.” According to CityRealty, the new exterior and interior views also come with news that leasing will begin in March, ranging from $1,900/month studios to $7,500/month three-bedrooms.
When plans were originally filed in February 2016, the Long Island City skyscraper since dubbed Court Square City View Tower was set to reach 964 feet. In April, it got bumped up to supertall status at 984 feet, making it Queens’ future tallest building. It’s since been dropped to 66 stories, but according to a new project page from architects Hill West (formerly Goldstein Hill & West), it will still be Long Island City’s tallest tower, and therefore the tallest in the borough. CityRealty first noticed the updated details, which come with the first true renderings of the 800-unit condominium at 23-15 44th Drive. In addition to 360-degree views of Manhattan, the tower will offer an all-glass curtainwall facade, a retail base, and a slew of corner-apartment balconies.
It’s been three years since Long Island City‘s beloved graffiti mecca 5Pointz was whitewashed overnight and a year and a half since renderings first surfaced of the bland 41- and 47-story rental towers that would replace the site at 22-44 Jackson Avenue. Despite a perceived lack of respect towards the artistic community, G&M Realty’s David Wolkoff eventually said he planned to set aside 20 artists’ studios and displays to make up for those lost at 5Pointz, and it looks like he’s making good on his word. HTO Architect, who designed the towers, initially put forth views of a large public park and rotating mural exhibit that would fill the space between the buildings, and now 6sqft has uncovered renderings from Mojo Stumer of the artsy entryway, lobby and pool, which reveal the graffiti-inspired logo for the project.