Long Island City (LIC) is buzzing due to the 2001 rezoning of 37 blocks in the central business district (CBD). The neighborhood is notable for its rapid residential development, waterfront parks, and thriving arts community. Opportunities to develop office space at rents significantly lower than those of nearby Midtown Manhattan make LIC an affordable and competitive location for many businesses. Several major development projects have spearheaded LIC’s redevelopment, including Tishman Speyer’s 3.5 million square feet Gotham Center and Rockrose’s 800,000 square feet 10 Court Square project The rezoning and consequent new development is estimated to have added 30,000 new daily office workers and 35,000 new residents to the area in the last decade.
Located less than ten minutes from Midtown Manhattan, LIC is an ideal location for a variety of businesses The 2001 rezoning allowed for substantial mixed-use development, creating new opportunities for growth. What was once a collection of large industrial buildings and parking lots is fast becoming an edgy office market bordered by galleries, art museums, and a burgeoning residential community.
Two primary districts – Queens Plaza and Court Square – make up the 37-block CBD, with Jackson Avenue serving as the main thoroughfare connecting the two. East of the CBD, many large, former industrial buildings are being repurposed for office or light industrial use. They provide a low-priced alternative to the newer, Class A buildings found in the LIC CBD or in nearby Midtown Manhattan.
Many high-profile companies have already discovered the benefits of LIC, including Citigroup, HSBC, JetBlue, MetLife, Silvercup Studios, United Nations Federal Credit Union, and Barclays.
Amid Long Island City’s well known galleries and art museums, like PS 1 Contemporary Art Center and the Noguchi Museum, a vibrant retail community is growing. All along the East River waterfront in Queens West and Hunters Point South, developers are working to keep pace with demand as young artists, business professionals, and families move in from all around the City. Planned residential development will house as many as 50,000 new residents in the area. The result is a burgeoning retail community centered mostly along Jackson Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, popular corridors where dozens of new shops have opened their doors in the last several years. Exciting bars and restaurants are springing up next to new art and theater venues carved from the area’s classic industrial façade, creating a new quality of life for residents and capturing the imagination of developers throughout the City.
The Long Island City Partnership serves the CBD and surrounding areas by advocating for economic development that benefits LIC’s industrial, commercial, cultural, and residential sectors. Their goal is to attract and retain businesses, welcome new residents and visitors, and promote a vibrant and authentic mixed-use community The LIC Partnership provides many valuable services that help support the retail experience in LIC, such as removing refuse from the sidewalks and streets of Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue; providing nightly security patrols along Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue; hosting networking and educational events; and facilitating graffiti removal.