2016-06-08 / Front Page

Apple To Shine On Alma Media, Tech Complex

By Liz Goff

The long abandoned Apple Tag & Label factory at 30-30 Northern Boulevard in Long Island Coty will open this fall as an office and retail complex featuring a free gym and a rooftop garden for tenants.

Developer Alma Realty is adding some finishing touches to the Apple Building, a $600 million, 213,000-square-foot development featuring a free fitness center and two outdoor spaces dubbed “Apple Terraces,” for its tenants.

The Apple Tag & Label building was part of the local landscape during its heyday, with its red “Apple” sign greeting straphangers on the nearby 31st Street elevated subway line and motorists on Northern Boulevard.

The large, red “Apple” sign was all that remained when the manufacturer licked its last envelope at the site more than two decades ago.

An Alma spokesperson said developers are planning to install a restored “Apple” sign to the top of the new development. The sign will light up the local skyline at night as a tribute to the history of the 99-year-old building, the spokesperson said.

Construction began in 2012 at the building in the heart of the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City. Original plans called for construction of a connected, three-story retail building adjacent to the new development, but those plans are still pending, the spokesperson said.

The site is located within walking distance of the Queens Plaza transportation hub and the Queensborough Bridge and is just minutes from Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside by car or via public transportation.

Local residents have been hoping that a big box retailer would move into the building. “Most people are tired of traveling to malls outside the area,” Dutch Kills resident Sal Penscipo said. Penscipo said he moved to New York City in 2011 and recently settled into a new apartment in Dutch Kills. “This neighborhood keeps growing and there are a lot of small shops and stores nearby. But it really needs a K-Mart, a Target store or other large store where you can do all your shopping without worrying about parking,” he said.

“People have been waiting for a long time, for a big box retailer like Target to open in this neighborhood.”

There are currently no plans for a big box retailer to open at the site, an Alma spokesperson said.

Alma is hoping to lease space in the building to media and tech firms, Alma commercial property manager Peter Kosteas said. “In a matter of months, this building will become home to what we envision as a world-class group of tenants who will enliven and enrich the community,” Kosteas said.

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