It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the JetBlue sign!
The enormous cobalt insignia, looming atop the Brewster Building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, now speckles the skyline. The nearly 40-foot-tall sign — the marker of a controversial business move — has been installed over the past couple weeks and is expected to be ready for takeoff sometime in the next week after lighting tests are completed on the structure.
“We are proud to be New York’s hometown airline with the largest domestic presence at JFK Airport,” said JetBlue spokesperson Allison Steinberg. “We’re proud to keep our headquarters here in New York and in Queens. [The sign] really cements our position here and our presence in New York City.”
According to Steinberg, the logo was designed as an honor to Long Island City’s other iconic signs, including the memorable Pepsi and Silvercup emblems that welcome visitors journeying over the Queensboro Bridge. The sign will light up blue during the day and shine bright white at night.
In April, the city council voted unanimously to approve a zoning amendment — after a push from JetBlue — that would grant companies the ability to erect signs on non-residential buildings along a 14-block stretch of the Queens Plaza sub-district, running between 23rd Street and the Sunnyside railroad yard.
JetBlue houses roughly 1,000 workers in Long Island City, making it one of the biggest employers in the area.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Jennifer Dudek who runs ice cream shop Malu on Jackson Avenue. “This is a great neighborhood and JetBlue is a good neighbor.”
Dudek, whose store catered JetBlue’s opening weekend, is confident the sign will help bring more foot traffic to the neighborhood’s many shops and restaurants.
“I think them putting a sign up just makes it more permanent,” she said.