John Brown Smokehouse on 44th Drive in LIC via Flickr
The owner of a Long Island City barbecue restaurant flew to Seattle on Monday in an attempt to revive the city’s deal with Amazon. Josh Bowen, who owns neighborhood joint John Brown Smokehouse, met with executives from the company for two hours, according to Qns.com. Earlier this month, Amazon announced it would no longer open a headquarters at the proposed waterfront location in Queens after facing resistance from local politicians and activist groups. During the meeting, the businessman asked if they would reconsider their decision to pull out of the project. Their response? “Never say never,” the executives told him, according to Bowen.
A rendering from 2017 depicting the proposed mixed-use site; courtesy of TF Cornerstone
The city’s plan to bring a thousand residential units and a mix of industrial space to Long Island City is back on the table after Amazon last month announced it will not open a complex in the neighborhood. James Patchett, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said during the Crain’s New York Business breakfast on Thursday that the city will forge ahead with its original plan of bringing a mix of businesses and homes to the Queens neighborhood, Gothamist reported.
Leasing has officially begun at 10 Halletts Point, the first tower of seven to rise at the Durst Organization’s development in Astoria. Designed by Dattner Architects, the rental building features two towers, at 22- and 17-stories, originating from the same base. The no-fee rentals at 10 Halletts Point start at $2,150/month for studios, $2,525/month for one-bedrooms, and $3,595/month for two-bedrooms. According to a Durst spokesperson, two studio apartments rented the same day leasing opened and “a couple of thousand” more people have expressed interest. Current concessions offered include one free month of rent on a 13-month lease, and two months free on a 26-month lease.
Details this way
Image of Sunken Lounge pre-construction in 2017, courtesy of MCR and Morse Development; Photo: Max Touhey
When its retro cocktail bar opens this May, TWA Hotel guests will be able to sip Sixties-style beverages in an expertly designed space. The Sunken Lounge will not only offer classic drinks like Old Fashioneds and Martinis but also views through its floor-to-ceiling windows of the 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane parked outside. MCR and MORSE Development announced on Wednesday that Gerber Group, of Mr. Purple and The Campbell bar fame, will operate the restored Sunken Lounge, which will officially open on May 15, the same day the first guests will be welcomed to the hotel at John F. Kennedy Airport.
Drink it in
Amazon said on Thursday it will no longer build a new headquarters in Long Island City, the New York Times reported. The online retail giant selected the Queens neighborhood last year for its “HQ2” campus following a 14-month nationwide contest. Amazon had promised to bring 25,000 jobs to New York City in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives. In a statement, the company said it does not plan to look for another location at this time.
Photo by David Mitchell
The TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy Airport is now accepting reservations for its 1960s-themed guestrooms, ahead of its soft opening on May 15. Rooms, decorated with Eero Saarinen-designed Knoll furnishings and martini bars, start at $249 per night. The 512-room hotel sits in two low-rise buildings behind Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center, which has been closed since 2001 and which will serve as the hotel’s lobby.
Rendering via CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design
6sqft reported last May on a proposal for a civic design project aimed at reconnecting the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City. Brooklyn-based studio CRÈME‘s concept, called Timber Bridge at LongPoint Corridor, calls for constructing a floating bridge made of durable timber that would span Newtown Creek and expand past it to the LIRR rail yard in LIC. Not only would the new bridge provide greater access to transit options, but, according to the design team, Timber Bridge would give cyclists and pedestrians a safer commute than the car-jammed Pulaski Bridge. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that this grassroots initiative is now just a bit closer to becoming a reality with the creation of a nonprofit and new support from local civic leaders.
Bridge love, this way
Rendering via NYCEDC
News broke last week that Amazon was reconsidering its move to New York City after facing opposition from residents and local officials. But a new poll released on Tuesday shows a majority of New York voters actually support the deal for the tech company to open its headquarters in Queens. According to the Siena College Research Institute, 56 percent of voters in the state back the project, while 36 percent disapprove. City residents support the Amazon deal even more, with 58 percent approving, according to the poll.
Since Amazon announced it had selected Long Island City for its new headquarters last fall, a lot of people have wondered what will happen to the neighborhood and its surrounding communities. While LIC has already undergone a series of radical changes of the past two decades—first there was an influx of artists seeking larger live-work spaces and later a wave of condo developments—the arrival of Amazon promises to have an even deeper impact on LIC.
And the potential negative effect of the tech giant moving into town has not gone unnoticed by public officials and locals, who have led a strong opposition campaign. It was reported on Friday that Amazon was reconsidering its plan to move to the neighborhood after facing an intense backlash from those who fear increased rents and even more congestion. But with no plan to officially abandon Queens, it’s important to understand what could happen if Amazon does put down roots in LIC by first looking at how the company has already changed Seattle, where it first set up shop back in 1994.
More on the effect
After facing months of intense backlash from residents and local officials, Amazon is rethinking its plan to open a massive complex in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Sources told the newspaper, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, that executives at the tech company have had discussions to reassess the plan to open its “HQ2” in New York City. “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming,” a source told the Post.
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