2016-02-17 / Features

Katz To Queens Chamber: Boro Closer To Manhattan

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz addressed the Queens Chamber of Commerce at the annual joint meeting with the Queens Borough Cabinet last week.

Speaking to a large breakfast gathering of business and community leaders, including District Managers of the 14 Community Boards at the LaGuardia Marriott in East Elmhurst on February 9, Katz reflected on the borough’s growth and pointed to a narrowing gap between Queens and Manhattan.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) reported job growth in Queens rose by 6.1 percent from December 2013 through July 2015, more than twice the 2.9 percent growth reported in Manhattan, and second only to Brooklyn’s 7.7 percent for the same period.

In a February 1 press release, NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer said, “More and more New Yorkers are able to access good jobs right in their own neighborhoods and as we continue to invest in industries like technology and manufacturing, we expect to see this trend continue.”

Private sector job growth in health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services and hospitality and food services since December 2013 accounted for the growth, according to the EDC release, with average wages rising citywide by $78 a week in that time period.

The average cost of a three-star hotel in Queens was $154 dollars, $87 dollars cheaper than in Manhattan, according to a report in the November 22, 2015 New York Times’ Frugal Traveler, with all the hotels in or near Long Island City. Queens was named Lonely Planet’s top destination in the United States for 2015.

The Queens real estate market also showed strength in the third quarter of 2015 with the median sales price of one- to three-bedroom family homes, condos, and co-ops rising to $450,865, as reported in the January 2016 issue of Queenborough, the Chamber’s monthly magazine. Total sales went up by almost 65 percent compared to the previous year as well.

Queens also experienced the highest growth in home sales prices and the second highest growth in rental prices across the five boroughs, according to a December 16, 2015 press release by the Office of Borough President Katz.

Moreover, 5 of the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the city projected for increased housing demand in 2016 are in Queens, according to StreetEasy’s Hot Market Index that ranks neighborhoods on changes in asking rents, asking sales prices and population, including the neighborhoods, in descending order, of Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Woodside, Elmhurst and Kew Gardens Hills. What is true in Jamaica is also true in greater Queens, according to StreetEasy.

“It is no surprise that Queens’ neighborhoods will lead among the city’s hottest markets,” Katz said in the December 16 press release. “The strong growth is a testament to the borough’s appeal, especially for families.”

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