Yesterday the de Blasio Administration released the Long Island City Investment Strategy, an effort by the city to support sustainable growth in the waterfront neighborhood. Following an upzoning in 2001, the area has seen incredible transformation in the form of thousands of new apartments and waterfront towers. The city admits that the reason behind its strategy is such rapid development, which has strained neighborhood resources and the quality of life of residents.
$180 million is designated for the area, which is on top of $2.2 billion the city says its already invested over the years. “We are investing $180 million in Long Island City to address the needs of today while preparing for a more sustainable future.” Mayor de Blasio stated in a press release.
Screenshot from the Long Island City Investment Stategy website
Seven areas of focus are identified in the plan — jobs, housing, transit, infrastructure, open space, education and arts/culture — with steps the administration is taking to bolster each sector right now and in the future.
Here’s how funding will break down. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection will increase its funding commitments to $95 million, for improvements to the area’s sewer system and water mains. $60 million will go toward the construction of a new school in the Court Square area. An additional $10 million from the DOT to supplement existing plans and funding for the Hunter’s Point street reconstruction project. Finally, $15 million is going to NYC Parks for targeted open space improvements at Queensbridge Baby Park, Old Hickory Playground, Bridge and Tunnel Park and Court Square.
There are no plans by the city to change any more zoning in the neighborhood, which would bring more development in. “What we have heard consistently from this community since 2015 is that infrastructure investment has not kept pace with new development, and this investment strategy is a direct response to this feedback,” a City Hall spokesperson told Crain’s.
Still, there’s been plenty of talk about rezoning Sunnyside Yards, located north of LIC, for residential and commercial development. So this may be seen as an investment on the neighborhood, with plans for more residents and buildings still to come.
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Neighborhoods : Long Island City