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.
Find out more
Via Creative Commons
Amazon is close to reaching a deal to lease 10,000 square feet at the Chrysler Building, the New York Post reported on Sunday. News of the impending lease comes less than a week after it was reported that the Art Deco landmark is up for sale. Amazon announced in November plans to open a massive office complex in Long Island City to serve as their “HQ2.” The company will start moving to the neighborhood this year, temporarily leasing space at One Court Square, a 50-story building with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. More here
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.
See the renderings
Via NYCEDC and Wiki Commons
This week the city’s Economic Development Corporation released documents of its detailed pitch to lure Amazon to move to the city, which included offering up prime real estate in four different New York City neighborhoods and nearly $3 billion in incentives. Another thing city and state officials pitched to the tech company, which chose Long Island City last month for its HQ2 complex, is the state’s famous “I love NY” logo. In their pitch, city and state officials swapped the iconic logo’s heart out for Amazon’s arrow-smile, which assumingly reads “I Amazon NY.”
Glaser’s thoughts ahead
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.
See the full pitch
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 disapproving.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris announced on Tuesday plans to draft legislation aimed at cracking down on insider dealing in real estate. The proposed law comes after a report in the Wall Street Journal found Amazon employees were buying condos in Long Island City before the company had publicly announced plans to build their second headquarters in the neighborhood. The legislation would prohibit anyone from using confidential government information to buy or sell real estate, according to Gianaris.
Find out more
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.
Get the details
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.
Take a tour
Department of Education facilities via Google Earth
Long Island City advocates are requesting ownership of a city-owned building that sits on land soon to be developed by Amazon for its second headquarters, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. The sprawling, block-long structure at 44-36 Vernon Boulevard currently houses offices related to the city’s Department of Education along with over 1,000 staff members. For the past three years, local residents have asked for the building to be turned into a community facility. With all eyes on Long Island City due to Amazon’s impending move there, advocates believe this is their last chance for the community to take over the property.
More this way