Residential boom goes on in lucky Long Island City

From industrial area to sought-after community, Long Island City (LIC) continues to grow and attract more people who choose to live and play in this waterfront part of Queens.  

The convenience of a quick commute over the East River to Manhattan and breathtaking skyline views of Midtown are driving people to LIC. Developers like TF Cornerstone, Rockrose Development Corporation and Toll Brothers Development have built successful high-rise condo and rental buildings with first-class amenities in the area. With more options for living, LIC’s popularity has increased thus raising rental and condo prices to new levels. More than 25,000 people now call LIC home.

LIC’s transformation began in 2002 when the Avalon Riverview by AvalonBay Communities opened. Before that, the only co-op tower was Citylights, built in 1997. Other developments followed in the mid to late 2000’s, including Arris Lofts, Powerhouse, Vere condominiums and 5th Street Lofts by Toll Brothers Development.

Several developments are clustered around the giant Pepsi-Cola sign that has been a long-time LIC landmark. People can choose to live at 47-05 Center Blvd., built in 2008 and marketed by Rockrose Development Corporation, or across the street at 47-20 Center Blvd., completed in 2008 and marketed by TF Cornerstone. More recent new developments are the Solarium on 48th Avenue finished in 2010 and the Murano on Borden Avenue, completed in 2011.

Currently, TF Cornerstone is working on two rental projects, one at 45-45 Center Boulevard with 806-units and another at 46-10 Center Boulevard with 586-units. Both are slated for completion in 2013.

Accessibility to transportation is also a great pull for residents. There are a dozen subway stations in LIC, with six of them one stop away from Manhattan, a handful of bus lines and access for motorists to both the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and Queen-Midtown Tunnel.

On the waterfront, the 12-acre Gantry Plaza State Park runs along the East River with spectacular views of Midtown’s skyline. The Park has four piers, a garden, a mist fountain, playgrounds and basketball and handball courts. Gantry Plaza State Park also features centerpieces of restored gantries, which were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges.

LIC is now home to trendy new eateries along Vernon Blvd, the area’s commercial strip, in addition to other restaurants and shops along the waterfront. LIC is also a large and dynamic artist community with galleries and museums, including a branch of the Museum of Modern Art called MoMa PS1, as well as an active theater scene, with performance spaces used for comedy shows and other productions.

Development is expanding to surrounding areas. Projects are being developed to the south, at Hunter’s Point South, where the city is planning 5,000 housing units, with 60 percent of them affordable to middle-income families. The first phase, being developed by three organizations, including Related Companies and Monadnock Construction Inc., should be finished in 2014.

Additionally, residential projects are moving inland to the Queens Plaza and Court Square areas, near the Citigroup tower.  Alan and Stuart Suna of Silvercup Studios developed The Industry LIC, a 75-unit condominium building in Court Square. LINC LIC, a 709-unit rental tower, being built by Rockrose Development Corporation is near completion.

As the development in LIC continues, more people will consider moving to this growing waterfront community, which is just a stone’s throw away from Manhattan.

In other REBNY News:

It’s your last chance to sign up for REBNY’s Fall Golf & Tennis Outing on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 at Metropolis Country Club, 2899 Dobbs Ferry Road, in White Plains. Golfers pay $425 and tennis players are $315. For those wishing to attend only the lunch and dinner portions of the event, lunch/dinner is $225 and dinner only is $150. For more information, contact Kathleen Gibbs kgibbs@rebny.com or 212-616-5246.

Get your nominations in for REBNY’s Residential Division “Deal of the Year Awards.” The deadline is Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. Review your re-sales, new development sales and rental transactions that have closed or will close between Sept. 16, 2011 and Sept. 14, 2012 for the Deal of the Year Contest and submit nominations for Most Promising Residential Rookie Salesperson of the Year. The winners will be announced at the Residential Deal of the Year Awards and Gala on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. For more information, contact jtaylor@rebny.com.

REBNY members please check your membership profile by Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 on the member’s side of www.rebny.com to ensure an accurate listing in REBNY’s 2013 Diary & Manual. Once you log into the site, under “Enter Website” go to “My Account” and click “My Profile.” If you have changes, please call REBNY’s membership department at 212-616-5245.