New Development Spreads Throughout Borough
On December 14, members of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) toured NYCEDC projects in Long Island City and along Sutphin Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Jamaica. In both locations, they were witness to the promising future of the borough.
Gotham Center, rising in Long Island City under NYCEDC auspices, is one of the largest commercial developments currently underway in the five boroughs. The 3.5 million-square-foot project will become a catalyst for the city’s fourth largest central business district. Nor is it the only sign of burgeoning life in what was once one of the city’s leading industrial areas. The city continues to make significant advances, both in residential developments such as Hunter’s Point South and at the commercial hubs along Jackson Avenue. Long Island City offers close proximity to Manhattan with the ease of a suburban environment—in short, the best of both worlds.
In Jamaica, the city is undertaking $145 million IMAX enhancements along Sutphin Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment around this transportation hub. In a city where walking and public transportation are two major ways of getting around, this is a welcome development.
The projects in Jamaica and Long Island City are far from the only such endeavors currently underway in this borough. Twenty-nine groups—a variety of commercial, residential and mixed-use developers across the U.S.—have responded to the city's request for qualification expressing their interest in reviving the 62- acre Willets Point area, according to the EDC. The city is seeking a developer to create New York's first “Green Neighborhood” with more than 5,500 residential units that would create more than, 5,300 permanent jobs and 18,000 construction jobs, according to EDC President Seth Pinsky. Approximately 18 acres of the southwest portion of Willets Point will be developed. The development would allow for a maximum of 980,000 square feet of destination and entertainment retail businesses, 2,000 units of mixed income housing, 500,000 square feet of office space and 400 hotel rooms, as well as a school. “The quantity and quality of these responses are strong indicators that the development community has confidence in the successful redevelopment of Willets Point despite current economic conditions,” Pinsky said in a statement.
All over Queens, new construction offers signs of resurgent economic activity. College Point offers exciting new opportunities for retail enterprise, as do similar establishments in Long Island City. A revamped Rego Park Mall presents a shopping venue the equal of any such commercial hub anywhere. Hotels are springing up in Long Island City, making some neighborhoods close to the Queens Plaza- Queensboro Plaza transportation hub a gateway to the metropolis as well as to New York City’s other boroughs and Long Island.
Queens is more than a place to shop or maintain an office or business enterprise. All around us the borough continues to show signs of growth and prosperity. We are truly fortunate, especially at this holiday time that we live and work in a borough that takes pride in its diversity and at the same time seeks to bring each of us into its fold. Building projects like the one the NYCEDC group toured on Monday will give us a whole new lens through which to view the exciting new developments coming our way.