Public library in Long Island City’s Citigroup Building will close next month

Posted On Mon, January 6, 2020 By

Posted On Mon, January 6, 2020 By In Long Island City

Streetview of the library; Map data © 2020 Google

A popular public library in Queens is shutting its doors next month. The Queens Public Library at Court Square, located at 25-01 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, will close sometime in February after occupying the ground floor of the Citigroup Building for more than 30 years. The library faced threats of eviction after Amazon pulled out of its plan to move its headquarters to the neighborhood last year, which included its lease agreement at One Court Square.

The Court Square branch has paid an annual rent of $1 since it opened in 1989 as part of a deal with Citigroup, whose lease ends at the tower in May. As part of Amazon’s plan to open a second headquarters in Long Island City, the retailer said it would move some staff to about 25 floors at One Court Square. Amazon pulled out of the deal in February of last year, withdrawing from the agreement with the building’s landlord, Savanna.

Citigroup will move out and relocate staff this year, leaving the library to look for a new home, as LIC Post reported on Thursday. “We are committed to having a presence in a neighborhood we have served for 30 years, and continue to look for new space there,” Elizabeth de Bourbon, a spokesperson for the Queens Public Library, told the Post.

The lease on the 3,200-square-foot space was originally up last August, but the bank reached an agreement with the Queens Public Library to renew its lease until March 2020. The library will vacate the space before the lease end date.

Queens Community Board 2 pushed for a new library at the new residential development at the former 5Pointz site. But developer Jerry Wolkoff, who demolished the graffiti murals at the site in 2014, said it didn’t make financial sense to include a 5,000-square-foot library at the towers, according to THE CITY.

Although the branch was smaller than most in the borough, the Court Square branch saw nearly 100,000 visits from patrons last year. The neighborhood gained a brand new library on the waterfront last year designed by Steven Holl Architects; a disability rights group filed a lawsuit against the Queens Public Library that claims the new space does not provide full access for those with mobility challenges.

[Via LIC Post]

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Neighborhoods : Long Island City

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