New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the closing of a deal with Tishman Speyer to develop two new office towers providing 1.1 million square feet of much needed commercial space in Long Island City. The project will bring more than 1,500 construction jobs and more than 2,000 permanent jobs to Western Queens. In addition, more than 800,000 square feet of the available office space in the development has been pre-leased, including 250,000 square feet to WeWork.
The new commercial project, located on Jackson Avenue from Queens Boulevard to 42nd Road, includes two 27-story towers designed by Raul De Armas of MdeAS Architects. Construction will commence in early 2017 with completion anticipated in 2019. The towers will be connected by a four-story podium featuring a dynamic mix of retail, complemented by a food hall, restaurant, and parking garage, providing valuable amenities to local workers and residents in the vibrant mixed use neighborhood.
This project is the latest effort by the City of New York to bring jobs to Long Island City, and to grow the community as an innovation hub anchored by the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. The 1.1 million square feet of office space will also help meet growing demand, with an NYCEDC analysis expecting the city to need up to 60 million square feet of new commercial space by 2025.
“This project will be a major job generator for Long Island City,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “We are focused on growing good jobs across the outer boroughs and meeting the demand for new office space. What rises at this site will not only spur our economy, but make Queens Plaza a more dynamic place to live and work.”
“Long Island City continues to emerge as a vibrant hub of jobs and economic activity,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “These new towers will bring 2,000 permanent jobs to Western Queens, and represent a major step forward in solidifying Long Island City as a premier business district.”
“Thanks to the City of New York’s investment in the area’s infrastructure, enlightened policy decisions and the active support of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the local community and its elected officials, Long Island City has become a model for 21st Century urban development,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer. “Tishman Speyer is proud to continue our role in unlocking the area’s full potential as one of the most dynamic, live-work-play neighborhoods, not just in Queens but in all of New York City.” NYCEDC and Tishman Speyer previously partnered on a 21-story, 662,000 square-foot Class A office tower on the corner of Queens Plaza and 28th Street. The office portion of that tower, which was completed in 2011, is 100-percent occupied by the New York City Department of Health. The acquisition and development of the remainder of the block represents the completion of the City of New York’s vision for the transformation of what had once been an underutilized public parking garage into a vibrant job hub in Western Queens.
Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing efforts of the de Blasio Administration to invest in Long Island City as a live-work-play community and a new center for the 21st century economy. In February, NYCEDC began soliciting proposals for a catalytic, mixed-use development on two City-owned sites on the Long Island City waterfront, with a combined 1.2 million square feet of buildable space. This was the first time the City had issued a commercial-focused RFP along the LIC waterfront since the 2001 rezoning, and the RFP specifically asks respondents to maximize the amount of commercial space. The City’s goal for the sites is to deliver 300,000 square feet or more of office and light manufacturing space; between 700 and 1,000 units of housing, many of which will be affordable; and more than an acre of waterfront open space and a school for the LIC community.
And last November, Mayor Bill de Blasio broke ground on new infrastructure for Phase II of Hunter’s Point South, the largest new housing complex built in New York City in nearly forty years. Phase II will create nearly 3,000 new apartments, at least 60 percent of which will be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income families. 2,000 units of housing are already under construction on Phase I of the project.
Compliments of NYCEDC