Central Business Districts

Long Island City

Long Island City Overview

Long Island City is known for its thriving arts community, waterfront parks, and rapid residential growth. Spurred by several major development projects such as Gotham Center and Hunter’s Point South, streetscape improvements along Jackson Avenue and a rezoning of 37 blocks in 2001 that aimed to facilitate mixed residential, commercial and light industrial development, LIC has produced more than 10,000 new apartments and over 1.5 million square feet of office space in recent years. To capitalize on the strong real estate market, the Department of City Planning is conducting the Long Island City Core Neighborhood Study to identify strategic investments in infrastructure and neighborhood amenities and establish mechanisms that will further accelerate affordable housing and business development.

Integral to Long Island City’s rapid growth is its transit connectivity to Midtown Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn. With eight subway stations, 13 bus lines, 2 LIRR stations and an East River ferry terminal, LIC is a multi-modal transit hub and an ideal location for a variety of businesses. More than 29 arts & cultural institutions are located in the neighborhood including MoMA PS1, Noguchi Museum, the Sculpture Center and the Museum of the Moving Image. LaGuardia Community College and businesses such as Citibank, MetLife and JetBlue also serve as critical anchor institutions that draw people to Queens Plaza and Court Square – Long Island City’s two primary business districts – 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 strong, diverse base of business activity, cultural and educational institutions and growing housing stock positions Long Island City as a flourishing, innovative neighborhood immediately across the East River from the future campus of Cornell Tech, a 12-acre applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.

The Long Island City Partnership serves the LIC area 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.

Long Island City Map:

Development Projects

Cornell Tech

CornellTech is at the center of NYCEDC’s Applied Sciences initiative to establish world-class applied sciences and engineering campuses in New York City that will drive innovation, research and technology. In 2011, Cornell University, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the City of New York announced a plan to build a two million square foot campus on Roosevelt Island that will nearly double the number of full-time graduate students enrolled in leading NYC Master’s and Ph.D. engineering programs. The campus will feature a river-to-river experience and “Techwalk” connecting a network of cutting-edge academic buildings, 2.5 acres of green space and housing for the projected 2,000 students and 280 faculty and researchers. CornellTech is a revolutionary model for applied sciences and technology education.

More information: See the NYCEDC Applied Sciences page or Cornell University’s NYC Tech page.

Hunter's Point South

Hunter’s Point South is transforming a formerly vacant and underutilized waterfront site into a vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use and affordable neighborhood. NYCEDC is charged with the design and construction of the infrastructure, roadway and 10-acre waterfront park. The first phase was completed in August 2013 and the second phase kicked-off in the fall of 2015. Once completed, the project is expected to offer up to 5,000 housing units, 60% of which will be affordable to low and moderate income families. Related Companies, Phipps Houses and Monadnock Construction completed the first phase of the housing component with the construction of two buildings designed by SHoP Architectures that feature 20,000 square feet of retail space and 925 housing units, all permanently designated for low, moderate and middle-income families.

More information: See the Hunter’s Point South page.

Jackson Avenue Streetscape Project

Jackson Avenue serves as Long Island City’s primary commercial spine. In 2009, the City of New York funded a streetscape improvement project that transformed the avenue from Queens Plaza to 23rd Street into an attractive corridor with tree-planted medians, new sidewalks and streetlights, improved roadway design and triangular parks surrounding Court Square. The project contributes to NYCEDC’s overall vision in Long Island City to implement major public improvements in the commercial core that will enhance the physical environment with active, well-designed streets and public spaces.

More information: See the Jackson Avenue Streetscape Project page.

Entrepreneur Space

Located at 36-46 37th Street, Entrepreneur Space opened in 2009 to serve as an incubator for new and growing food manufacturers, bakers and caterers. Since then hundreds of entrepreneurs have utilized the space that offers more than 5,000 square feet of commercial kitchen space in 4 separate stations, as well as 7,000 square feet of flexible back office workspace for general business operations, networking events and business counseling programs. Funded in part by a grant from NYCEDC, the incubator is operated by the Queens Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Kathrine Gregory, Founder and Director of Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen.

More information: See the Entrepreneur Space page.

Gotham Center

This 21-story office tower in the heart of Long Island City’s growing business district is home to the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The building replaced the decaying Queens Plaza municipal parking garage, received LEED Silver Certification and now offers 9,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space enhancing the neighborhood’s economic activity and quality of life.

More information: See the Gotham Center page.

Long Island City Waterfront Mixed-Use Redevelopment

Long Island City has seen significant new residential development in recent years. The City has an opportunity to support this growth by investing in emerging commercial and light manufacturing uses that are important to the character of the district by bringing a first of its kind industrial-commercial-residential project to the Long Island City waterfront. Development of the 1.5 million square foot project is expected to create approximately 1,500 permanent and more than 2,500 construction jobs. The project will also include more than 250 units of affordable housing, a new 600-seat school, workforce training programs, 25,000 square feet of art space, more than an acre of resilient open space, and ground floor retail. This development delivers on key goals of New York Works, Mayor de Blasio’s plan to create 100,000 quality jobs over the next ten years, by catalyzing job growth in both the innovation and industrial sectors, and providing good paying jobs that are accessible to New Yorkers from all backgrounds.

More information: See the press release.

News & Updates