Tag Archives: LIC Partnership

Enjoy LIC Springs! and get Mother’s Day gifts at the LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@licflea

As you make your way to the LIC Flea & Food this weekend to pick out something out for mom, make sure to get your groove on at the LIC Springs! block festival.

The LIC Partnership will host its second annual LIC Springs! free community block festival this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. on Vernon Boulevard between 50th and 46th avenues.

Throughout the day there will be live music, dance and theater performances, art and sculpture making, fitness classes, outdoor dining, sport games and much more open to all ages.

When you are done checking out the block party, make your way to the popular LIC Flea & Food, located just blocks away at the waterfront outdoor lot at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

Visitors can find that special gift just in time for Mother’s Day, whether it be unique soaps and candles, one-of-a-kind handcrafted or vintage jewelry and clothes, sweets and more.

Along with over 80 vendors each day, the LIC Flea also has a beer garden, exclusively serving beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths. The bar will also offer a great selection of wines.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.


LIC Partnership offers a snapshot of Long Island City’s growth now and for the future

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jessica Frankl

It’s no secret that real estate in Long Island City is booming.

Thousands of apartments have been built within the last decade and land prices have risen to historic highs. With the influx of residents, the retail side is witnessing growth and more offices are moving across the East River.

In front of hundreds of real estate industry members at the LIC Partnership’s ninth annual real estate breakfast on Wednesday, experts agreed that it’s a good time for the area as it blooms into one of New York’s most desirable neighborhoods, and that real estate activity is set to multiply.

“Today’s breakfast featured a very enthusiastic discussion among some of the area’s industry leaders on the growth and demand for real estate in Long Island City,” said David Brause, president of Brause Realty, who moderated the panel discussion at the event. “The general consensus is that it’s a great time to be in this market, and that the area will only continue to take off in the coming years.”

More than 8,600 residential units have been completed in LIC since 2006, and more than 22,500 units are in the planning or construction phase, according to a LIC Partnership analysis released simultaneously with the event.

Some additional growth may come by way of the Sunnyside Yards — a rail yard used by Amtrak, the MTA and New Jersey Transit — where Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to develop 11,250 affordable housing units, schools, open spaces and community facilities. The city’s Economic Development Corporation will announce the company that will perform a yearlong feasibility study for that plan in the coming weeks.

If accomplished, the Sunnyside Yards plan could again expand LIC, but panelists at the event weren’t immediately on board with the ambitious idea, which has been pitched for decades by various figures.

“My attitude is every time everyone gets all these visions, I’m like you know what I don’t have time for this,” said panelist David Dishy, president of development and acquisition at L+M Development Partners.


LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin addressing the crowd.

One thing that is clear is that more and more people want to buy homes and stay in LIC.  To meet the high demand for homes — and rising land values — developers are pushing to build more condos.

However, buying residential property in the neighborhood is also becoming a pricey endeavor. The average price for condominiums in the first three months of 2015 was $678,333 for a studio, $820,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, and $1.1 million for a two-bedroom unit, according to the LIC Partnership analysis.

The neighborhood has also emerged as a hotel destination for New York City. More than 20 hotels have opened in the area in seven years and 26 more are planned or currently under construction, the Partnership said.

The foot traffic increase in LIC has helped fill in vacant spaces on retail corridors, but for most it’s still hard to pinpoint the neighborhood’s Main Street.

“It’s hard to point it out, but I would say Vernon [Boulevard],” said Matthew Baron, president of Simon Baron Development. “There’s really no Main Street, but I think that’s okay.”


City considering rezoning Long Island City for even more housing

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The residential construction boom in Long Island City may continue for much longer as the city mulls over a potential rezoning to allow more high-rise apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

City Hall is considering up-zoning an area covering about 100 blocks, which includes the Queens Plaza and Court Square sections, to promote more residential buildings, including many with mixed-income units, to combat the affordable housing crisis in the city, according to a published report.

The plan has support from some in the community, but also draws concern about upgrading public amenities for current residents, such as transportation and schools, before bringing in more people. Even without the up-zoning, thousands of new residents will be coming to Long Island City in the near future.

There are already about 20,000 units under construction in the neighborhood, business advocacy group Long Island City Partnership told the Wall Street Journal.

Other community leaders feel it could further diminish the shrinking manufacturing sector in the burgeoning neighborhood and put pressure on the balance the community is trying to maintain.

The LIC Partnership will conduct its own planning study, focusing on how to balance business, residential, tech and industrial growth in the area in years to come.

The New York City Regional Development Economic Council awarded a $100,000 grant for the study and subsequent plan that will be created from it.


Developer TF Cornerstone to be honored for role in transforming LIC  

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of TF Cornerstone

TF Cornerstone has been one of the main faces in the real estate development boom currently occurring in Long Island City.

Recently, the real estate firm completed its 10-year, $1.4 billion Center Boulevard project, which includes six residential towers on the LIC waterfront with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline that provide a high-quality living space for a community of more than 6,000 people.

TF Cornerstone was also selected to develop two residential towers for the second phase of the city’s Hunter’s Point South affordable housing project, further bringing more residential opportunity to the neighborhood. The buildings will have 1,193 apartments, 796 of which will be affordable. The towers will also feature a gym, rooftop gardens and decks, and an on-site senior recreational center.

Because of these investments in the neighborhood, the Long Island City Partnership, an organization that focuses on fostering economic growth in the community, will honor the founding brothers of TF Cornerstone, K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan, at its 27th annual luncheon on Nov 13.

“We’ve come to love this community as we’ve watched it grow and, for that reason, receiving this award is truly special,” the Elghanayan brothers said. “We’d like to thank the Long Island City Partnership for this honor, and we’re looking forward to many more years of partnerships with groups and individuals in LIC as we begin our next chapter of development in Hunter’s Point South.”

Aside from constructing towers, TF Cornerstone has played a major role in building the community aspects of LIC through supporting local events and institutions, such as the LIC Flea, LIC Arts Open and P.S. 78 and developing Gantry Plaza State Park.

“They’ve been part of that revolutionary vision of what LIC can be as a residential neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “People who were attracted to the dollar value now want to stay here for the community value, and that is a testament to the Elghanayans and TF Cornerstone.”

Hundreds of attendees are expected to attend the luncheon, which will be held at Astoria World Manor.

Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development, will give the keynote speech and Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley will receive the William D. Modell Community Service Award.


LIC Summit to highlight booming western Queens neighborhood

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto. Courtesy of Museum of Moving Image

The various traits that contribute to the boom of Long Island City will be the talk of a day-long conference dedicated to the western Queens neighborhood.

The Long Island City Partnership, along with co-hosts Modern Spaces and The Queens Courier, will showcase the first LIC Summit, called “LIC Now: Perspectives and Prospects.” The day-long event will take place on Tuesday, June 17, at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave., starting at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a cocktail reception and networking at 4:30 p.m. at Kaufman Astoria Studios.

“The summit is intended to really highlight the incredible authentic mixed-use community that is Long Island City and it is important not just locally but citywide and nationwide,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “It’s also an opportunity to dive into the issues that are continuing challenges for the community and a moment to take stock on how we should plan for the future.”

The LIC Summit will highlight Long Island City’s real estate market, infrastructure, arts, cultural, television and film community, industrial sector and expected future as a technology hub.

“Long Island City is experiencing an explosive change right now and is a huge economic driver for not only western Queens, but the city as a whole,” said Eric Benaim, CEO and president of Modern Spaces. “This summit was created to address the ongoing and emerging trends and needs of this transformative neighborhood.”

The keynote address will be delivered by the city’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, and other featured speakers include Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and many more.

“This is really meant to be a dialogue between the panelists with the audience. Everybody who is there is part of the content of the conference,” said Lusskin, who hopes the LIC Summit will become an annual event. “We really hope that we will have a really diverse and high quality audience that is both local constituents and citywide leaders.”

For more information and to register click here.


Below are the categories for the LIC Summit panels, which will each be moderated by experts and leaders in their industries.

Keynote Panel – LIC: Big City, Big Picture 9:15–10 a.m.

Services & Amenities: Current Successes, New Opportunities – 10:15-11 a.m.

Television & Film – 10:15-11 a.m.

Commercial & Industrial Real Estate
11:20 a.m.-noon

Keynote Speaker: Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen
1-1:45 p.m.

LIC as a Tech District – 2-2:45 p.m.

Residential Real Estate – 2-2:45 p.m.

Arts & Culture – 3-3:45 p.m.




LIC scheduled for a weekend of fun

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Long Island City is the place to be this weekend.

Three events will be taking over the western Queens neighborhood, bringing residents and visitors from near and far the best in food, drinks, activities, the arts and much more.

The first of these events is the ongoing LIC Flea & Food located at the outdoor lot on the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. Items for sale include food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, and fashion. For the remaining weekends in March, the LIC Flea will only be running on Saturdays.

During the weekend the 2014 LIC Arts Open, which began Wednesday, will also be taking over with local artists holding open studios on Saturday, and on Sunday hosting a closing party and silent auction.

             LIC ARTS OPEN POSTER © Luba Lukova

On Saturday, the first-ever free LIC Springs! block party, which is part of the city’s Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walks program, will shut down Vernon Boulevard to vehicular traffic from 50th to 46th avenues. From 1 to 6 p.m. the block party will feature performances, activities, and food and items sold by local business owners.

“Together these events show that there is something for everyone in Long Island City and should draw New Yorkers of all ages to LIC,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership. “Arts, culture, lively performances, activities and, of course, a cornucopia of culinary options — and all from local participants.”

Also for this weekend, the MTA has announced the No. 7 train would take a break from its weekend disruptions and will be running to help visitors get to and from Long Island City.

Just a neighborhood away, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will be entering its third of eight Sundays of operation. After paying a visit to Long Island City, don’t miss out on the numerous vendors at the Astoria Flea.



LIC real estate still has room for more growth: experts

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Long Island City community is sizzling, and it is only the beginning.

The LIC Partnership hosted its annual Real Estate Breakfast on Wednesday, where a group of panelists discussed the recent developments and market trends taking place in the western Queens neighborhood’s increasing real estate market.

This year’s breakfast, held at The Learning Center at Con Edison, was moderated by David Brause, president of Brause Realty Inc.

Panelists included Arvind K. Bajaj, managing director of Madison Marquette; Erhan Bahceci, owner of Food Cellar & Co. Market; Cathy Dove, vice president for Cornell NYC Tech; Amanda Fung, senior news producer for Crain’s New York Business; and Rachel Loeb, director of development for World-Wide Group.

Subjects during the breakfast included developments in residential and commercial real estate, as panelists discussed up and coming projects, such as the multiple apartment buildings going up and the Cornell NYC Tech campus moving to Roosevelt Island.

Business owner Bahceci said Food Cellar & Co. Market, which opened up in Long Island City in 2009 with a focus on all-natural and organic products, has seen nothing but success. Business has been so good that Bahceci plans on opening a home goods store in the upcoming months.

“It’s an amazing experience being in Long Island City, the reason being not just having a store, [but] the community itself is growing,” Bahceci said. “It’s not just you’re a store owner, you become more like a friend to the community.”

Even with the real estate market already booming, Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership believes this success is only the beginning and the community needs to work together to guide the growth without hindering it.

“We’ve just sort of opened the gates,” Lusskin said. “It is all still on the edge of the horizon and there is so much more that’s going to happen. LIC has grown very organically and there’s still room for good surprises.”



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Thursday: Sun and clouds mixed. High 54. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph. Thursday night: A clear sky. Low 34. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: LIC Partnership Networking Night

Join the LIC Partnership for our next Networking Night at See.Me. Explore the gallery’s current exhibit Year in Review, opening during Armory Arts Week. Meet your business and community neighbors over a wine and cheese tasting with wines provided by SquareWine & Spirits and cheese from LIC newcomer Artisanal Premium Cheese. Starts at 6 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police find gun, drug stash in Sunnyside home

Cops busted a Sunnyside man Wednesday after uncovering an arsenal of guns, ammunition and drugs in his home. Read more: The Queens Courier

Queens man sold hundreds of counterfeit coins: police

A Queens man has been accused of selling hundreds of counterfeit silver dollars to three Long Island stores, police say. Read more: NBC New York

MTA to install cameras, audio recorders on MNR, LIRR trains
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Wednesday that it plans to install video cameras and audio recorders on most Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road trains. Read more: CBS New York/AP

‘Mansion Tax’ produces geyser of revenue for New York
These members of the 1 percent are bringing smiles to the state’s tax collectors. Read more: New York Post

‘Credible lead’ investigated in search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
 Authorities say 18 ships, 29 planes and 6 helicopters are searching for two large objects deemed a “credible lead” in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Read more: AP

Long Island City lights up for the holidays

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer's Office

The Long Island City community came together to welcome the holidays and make the season bright.

Over 100 residents young and old gathered with local elected officials and community leaders on Tuesday night to celebrate the holidays by lighting festive snowflakes along Vernon Boulevard.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer worked together with JetBlue to a secure a $5,000 grant to bring the holiday lights to the thriving neighborhood.

The holiday celebration included Christmas carols sung by students from P.S. 78, led by Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, owner of Manducatis Rustica located at 46-33 Vernon Boulevard.

The night also included readings of special Christmas stories by the fireplace of LIC BAR, located at 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, and a performance by local jazz group, The Charlie Brown Christmas Trio.



LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market: One of a kind gifts, food and fun

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Trees

The LIC Flea & Food Market is back for a fun-filled holiday season.

Starting Saturday, December 7, the LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will feature a wide selection of Flea favorites and new vendors.

Vendors will be selling food, jewelry, clothing, furniture, arts and crafts, antiques, collectibles and more.

Shoppers can also buy fresh Christmas trees, wreaths and other handmade decorations from brothers Louis and Harold DeLucia of J&L Farms, who provided shoppers with fresh produce during the outdoor LIC Flea market. The brothers have now launched NYC Trees, selling Christmas trees in Astoria, Manhattan and elsewhere in Long Island City.

“It just seemed the next step to be there for the holiday market,” said Louis DeLucia. “We want to keep the relationships going and continue to provide the Long Island City residents fresh products, trees and produce.”

The DeLucias will be bringing shoppers top quality, full foliage fraser fir trees that have not been sprayed with chemicals and were picked from local farms to take home and decorate for Christmas. For a small additional fee, the trees could also be delivered to your apartment.

The brothers will be selling handmade wreaths of different sizes, made from the same trees, and decorated with pinecones and ribbons. Their LIC Flea stand will also feature kissing balls, made from tree trimmings, and winter bouquets made of white birch.

Christmas trees are also available on the NYC Trees website at www.nyctrees.com where shoppers can purchase the perfect tree and have them delivered, with installation included.

Aside from the countless vendors, LIC Flea will host live holiday music, including the Danny Wellington Band, free pictures with Santa and activities from ping-pong to soccer with the New York Cosmos soccer club, the new NASL Soccer Bowl Champions.

The New York Cosmos players will be signing autographs at the holiday market each day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with names of players still pending. Visitors will also be able to practice kicks using inflatable goal stands.

Before the newly-launched LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market’s opening day, the LIC Partnership will be hosting a VIP Holiday Party on Thursday, December 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the site of the market. The celebration, sponsored by Modern Spaces, will include networking, a sneak peek of a selection of the Flea’s unique vendors, and installation by local artists. To RSVP for the party email yhuang@licpartnership.org.

This holiday’s LIC Flea will run Saturdays and Sundays, starting December 7, in the warehouse connected to the original outdoor lot at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue.

The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea has partnered with the East River Ferry, Queens Economic Development Corporation, TF Cornerstone, the champion New York Cosmos and LIC Partnership.

Interested vendors can still apply by visiting www.licflea.com or calling 718-866-8089.



Tea N Milk
djinaba konde
Stella Sparkle Jewelry
Frank Gabrielson
J&L Farms
Laila Alexander
Elephants Factory
Vint & York
Imran Jewl
Baked Apple
Forever B, LLC
Sweet Drift
Clean Plate
Hormans Pickles
Vivian Jewelry
Al Finnie
Zachary Alexander
Spoil My Bitch
Bills Balls
C Designs
Jam Jar
Rebecca Dolber Collections
Jessy’s Pasteries
Woody’s Cabin
Fav’s Treatery
Broadway Silk
Wonderful World of Hoz
Butcher Bar
Pita Pan
Back Thennish
Khao Man Gai
Ceil Witherspoon
Antique Antiques
Strung Out
Olive Brooklyn
Wolfy Knits
Kafe con arte
Cat Jones NY
Jessica LoBuo
2 Fab Chicks
Ice & Vice
Nomad Truck
Calmer Sutra Tea
Carmen Anderson NY
Glam Mom NY
Lynn Ellis Naretti
Filthy Farm Girl
Mushpa y Mensa
Robert Espirel
Counter Clockwise Antiques
New Amsterdam Baking
Carib Delights
Nuts & Bolts Brooklyn
JJ Fondrisi



Vendors wanted for LIC Flea’s Holiday Market

| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Calling all holiday shoppers and vendors – the LIC Flea & Food Market is here for another season.

The newly-launched Long Island City market is opening indoors this December.

Before opening day on December 7, the flea will be hosting a holiday party on December 5 to give everyone a sneak preview of the new, holiday site. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and was done in partnership with the LIC Partnership and sponsored by Modern Spaces.

“LIC Flea & Food became a major attraction here in Long Island City over the summer, and I look forward to the success of the LIC Holiday Market,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

Aside from the countless vendors, LIC Flea is catering to the holiday season and will host live holiday music including the Danny Wellington Band, free pictures with Santa and activities from ping-pong to soccer with the New York Cosmos soccer club, the new NASL Soccer Bowl Champions. Shoppers can also buy fresh Christmas trees and wreaths.

But of course, Flea favorites will be returning, as well as new vendors catering to the seasonal spirit. Food, jewelry, fashion, furniture, arts and crafts, antiques, collectibles and more will be available.

The Flea will run Saturdays and Sundays starting December 7 in the warehouse connected to the original outdoor lot at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue, near the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign.

The site is within walking distance of the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can additionally be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway along Anable Basin, and a parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea has partnered with the East River Ferry, Queens Economic Development Corporation, TF Cornerstone, the champion New York Cosmos and LIC Partnership.

“Beautiful apartments and local amenities make Long Island City a great neighborhood, but it’s the area’s organizations and activities – like LIC Flea & Food – that bring residents together and make Long Island City a great community,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president of TF Cornerstone.

Interested vendors can still apply to sell at the Flea by visiting www.licflea.com or calling 718-866-8089.




Free Wi-Fi in LIC expected to bring new business to neighborhood

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Long Island City is going wireless.

Late last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced new plans to continue expanding wireless and broadband connectivity in New York City. These initiatives include free public Wi-Fi access in the five boroughs and evaluating broadband connectivity in office buildings.

“If New York City is going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs,” said Bloomberg. “With these new initiatives, we are making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure and expand Internet access.”

The “Wireless Corridor Challenge,” which involved a competitive process beginning in the spring and was led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, awarded five organizations the opportunity to help increase wireless connectivity in commercial and residential districts throughout the city.

The five organizations are the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Alliance for Downtown New York/LaunchLM, Brooklyn Academy of Music, GOWEX and the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership.

All the corridors, which include Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Long Island City, are expected to launch in December. The city is providing $900,000 in funding and $3.4 million will come from private sector commitments.

GOWEX will help bring free Wi-Fi access to the Long Island City area with the network being installed along the Vernon Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza commercial and retail corridors.

“GOWEX is excited to partner with New York City to bring free Wi-Fi to all,” said Jenaro Garcia, CEO of GOWEX. “Wi-Fi is like water, it is essential to modern life and everybody should be able to benefit from it.”

Bringing free Wi-Fi access to different areas of the city is expected to attract new businesses to the neighborhoods, increase foot traffic and marketing within the various business districts, connect residents and visitors, and improve the quality of life.

In order to keep the Long Island City community informed, the Long Island City (LIC) Partnership will host an informational session with members of GOWEX on Wednesday, October 16 at Manducatis Rustica at 46-35 Vernon Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To RSVP, email dfrankel@licpartnership.

“We’re very excited to be working with GOWEX to bring free Wi-Fi to Long Island City,” said Dana Frankel, district services manager of the LIC Partnership. “This particular network provides unique opportunities for businesses to communicate with customers and to promote their products and services…”

The LIC Partnership will also host another event in November which will serve as a training session for businesses to learn how they can use the network for promotion and customer interaction.

“We are getting the word out about the network through our digital communications and direct contact with community members and business owners,” said Frankel. “We hope that others in the community will help spread the word.”



LIC Partnership appoints new president

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Long Island City Partnership

The Long Island City Partnership has welcomed a new, yet experienced, president who will help the organization continue to thrive and build the growing area.

Elizabeth Lusskin, currently chief of staff and vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, was appointed on September 25.

“This is a very special time for Long Island City, which has become a hub for new development while retaining its strong industrial base, helping to reinvigorate the borough,” said Lusskin. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to build on the Long Island City Partnership’s success in supporting this ‘city within the city.’”

In her new position, which she will assume on October 15, Lusskin will help strengthen connections between private and public divisions to promote Long Island City. She will help support the booming community and the accomplishments of local organizations and businesses.

“Liz is well positioned to lead the Partnership and drive its mission as new investment and existing uses combine to redefine the area as one of New York City’s hottest new neighborhoods and certainly one of its most diverse,” said Gary Kesner, chair of the board of LIC Partnership. “As Long Island City continues to evolve, Liz has the vision and on-point experience we need to help the Partnership to thrive.”

For more than two decades Lusskin worked as an attorney with an immense experience in economic development and government services. She also served as Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Development for the City of New York Department of Small Business Services, General Counsel of the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc., and Legislative Counsel in the New York State Office of Federal Affairs in D.C., under Governor Mario Cuomo.



LIC Partnership Executive Director to retire

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the Long Island City Partnership

After 14 years of dedicated service to the Long Island City community, Gayle Baron is celebrating her retirement.

Baron is the Executive Director of the Long Island City Business Improvement District (BID) and President of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation (LICBDC).

She helped lead the LICBDC in creating the BID in 2005, which is now known as the Long Island City Partnership.

“She really believes in community service,” said Gary Kesner, chair of the board of the LIC Partnership. “She has worked tirelessly with all the constituents to make sure that this community is one that is the center of the city.”

According to Kesner, Baron has brought together stakeholders involved from business to the arts to build what is now a strong and growing Long Island City.

Baron recently received the BID Leadership Award at the 12th Annual Neighborhood Achievement Awards presented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, and New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh.

“We will miss her, but her legacy has been established,” said Kesner. “She has been the glue that holds it all together. We wish her a wonderful retirement. We know that she has made the organization so strong that we are able to move on forward.”

On Wednesday, August 7 the LIC Partnership will be celebrating Baron’s retirement at SHI Restaurant at 47-20 Center Boulevard in Long Island City from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 



City to install pedestrian signs in LIC

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Department of Transportation

Finding your way around Long Island City is going to get easier.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the first phase of installations for the city’s new pedestrian sign system, WalkNYC. The program will install 100 free-standing signs by the end of the year in four initial areas including Chinatown, Herald Square and the Garment District in Manhattan, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and Long Island City in Queens.

“You don’t need to be a tourist to feel turned-around on New York’s streets and this first-ever unified pedestrian sign system is a step in the right direction,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

The signs, which already appear in more than 300 Citi Bike stations, will be installed in sidewalks and subway stations in the four areas. The maps will show streets, major points of interest and other info. The maps feature a “heads-up” design to show pedestrians the way the street appears in front of them.

Installation has already begun in Manhattan and will work its way around the four areas. The signs are scheduled to reach Long Island City in August.

“The launch of this new pedestrian navigation system will provide New Yorkers as well as millions of tourists who visit our city each year directly with the information they need to access some of the greatest attractions and essential venues we have to offer,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

The program was established mainly through federal grants. Working together with community partners, the DOT was able to research, identify and note popular locations, primary routes and distinct points in each neighborhood. In Long Island City, the DOT has worked alongside the Long Island City Partnership as the program developed. Once the signs are installed, the LIC Partnership will be responsible for sign maintenance and monitoring for needed updates or repairs.

The DOT is also working with other business improvement districts and community partners to expand the pedestrian sign system to more neighborhoods around the city.