Tag Archives: Long Island City Partnership

LIC Partnership annual luncheon focuses on the future


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre 

The Long Island City Partnership’s 27th annual trade show and luncheon on Thursday highlighted the answer to the question on everyone’s mind — what now?

While the event celebrated the growth of the burgeoning neighborhood, keynote speaker Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development (ESD), emphasized state initiatives to help advance the area further, including a possible $100,000 state grant for a planning study of LIC.

The LIC Partnership has applied for the grant, and the state is currently reviewing about 2,600 projects for funds. The applications that win state funding will be announced in December, but the LIC planning study has been upgraded to a priority plan, Adams said, because members of the Regional Economic Development Council from the five boroughs support it.

“The study is necessary, because we have to make sure that there is the opportunity for small businesses to survive in this market because the cost of property has dramatically escalated and the cost of rents are following,” said Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley, who received the William D. Modell Community Service Award at the event. “There needs to be this study to say what is the unintended consequences so far of development and zoning and how do we look forward to maintain that good balance of live, work and play.”

Adams said Long Island City and Astoria will also be affected by the incoming students, faculty, and researchers coming to the future Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, and that the ESD has provided funding to work on a tech incubator for the area with the advocacy group Coalition for Queens.

The Room 2

Turning to past achievements, the LIC Partnership honored TF Cornerstone founders K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan for their investments in the neighborhood.

Recently, the firm completed its 10-year, $1.4 billion Center Boulevard project, which includes six residential towers on the Long Island City waterfront 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 mega affordable housing project.

The buildings will have 1,193 new apartments, 796 of which will be affordable, and the towers will also feature a gym, rooftop gardens and decks, and an on-site senior recreational center.

“It gives me great pleasure to come out to our Long Island City site and to see people pushing carriages around and riding bicycles. It’s like a small city,” Frederick said. “I think other [investors] are going to continue to come in, because it’s established now.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

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.

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

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.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

7 train suspension lifted for LIC weekend of events


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

There is a little light at the end of the tunnel for No. 7 train users.

Three weeks after coming face to face with the Long Island City community and listening to their concerns about the No. 7 train weekend suspensions, the MTA will keep the line running on May 17 and 18.

During the March 27 town hall meeting, community members and business owners asked the transit agency to alter its initial plan because of events such as the LIC Arts Open, LIC Flea & Food and LIC Springs!, a block party along Vernon Boulevard.

“Finally the MTA has not only listened to our community on this issue, but taken action,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “LIC Springs! and other events like the LIC Flea and the LIC Arts Open are wonderful displays of how much our neighborhood has to offer, so I appreciate the MTA making it easier to get people here for this one weekend.”

The MTA said that the work previously scheduled for the weekend of May 17 and 18 will have to be rescheduled, however won’t increase the number of closures for 2014. Some of the closures will be rescheduled for 2015.

“The community spoke and the [MTA New York City Transit] listened. The No. 7 Line shutdown for needed repairs has caused ongoing hardship for the businesses, residents, cultural organizations and institutions in Long Island City,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership. “That weekend is expected to draw significant numbers of visitors from across Queens – and New York City – to our neighborhood for arts, culture, food and fun.”

Although the MTA has agreed to keep the No. 7 line working for the one May weekend, Gianaris wants to continue working with the agency to put an end to all weekend disruptions.

“Of course, when everyone wants to come back and enjoy the weekend in Long Island City for the rest of the summer, we’ll run into the same old problem, so I will keep fighting until the 7 train actually running on weekends is no longer news,” Gianaris said.

The suspensions are expected to be in effect from 2 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza. On some weekends, there will also be reduced or express-only service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza.

The MTA has also released the following additional changes for the No. 7 train suspensions:

  • May 3-4 will now be a shutdown between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42 Street.
  • May 31-June 1 will now be shut down between 74 Street-Broadway to Times Square-42 Street.
  • Sept. 20-21 will now be shut down between 74 Street -Broadway to Times Square-42 Street.
  • Nov 15-16 will now be a limited service to Queensboro Plaza with no service between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42 Street weekend.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

BP Katz talks branding Queens at LIC Partnership breakfast


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Long Island City welcomed Borough President Melinda Katz with open arms—and coffee.

The Long Island City Partnership held a breakfast at the CUNY School of Law for Katz on Feb.27 to welcome her to the thriving western Queens community.

“She is no stranger to any of us in this room, nor to this community. She has been and really is Queens,” Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said as he introduced Katz. “For the next eight years, Borough President Katz is going to make sure there is a vision and the know-how to get that vision accomplished.”

During the breakfast, the borough president spoke about future plans for Long Island City and the overall borough — highlighting the importance of branding the area, cultural institutions, marketing and tourism.

“We’re nothing like the other boroughs, we are our own borough,” Katz said. “We may want to make the rest of the borough like Long Island City, maybe, but we’re not going to make it the new Brooklyn, we stand on our own.”

Katz said she is working with Van Bramer to come up with an overall plan for Long Island City, including bringing small start-up tech industries and improving the transportation system.

“Cultural institutions will brand this borough, not only the restaurants and the shopping,” she said. “Folks need to know that if they come to the City of New York and they have not visited the borough of Queens, they have not seen New York City.”

In her plan she also hopes to work with hotels in Manhattan in order for visitors to be given a script of different events happening in Queens. The borough president also plans on creating a cultural guide to give out during the 1964 World’s Fair 50-year commemoration.

“I am excited about the future here,” she said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens helps with de Blasio transition


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the Long Island City Partnership

Queens is taking part in Transition NYC.

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of 60 leaders and experts to his transition committee on Wednesday, November 20.

“My charge to the transition team is to identify women and men from every part of our city and walk of life that share a commitment to progressive and competent city government,” said de Blasio. “They will be advising me based on their wealth of experience and knowledge of specific issue areas and government agencies.”

The Transition NYC team members, who will be volunteering their time during the transition, include several leaders from Queens organizations and institutions.

They are Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director, Queens Council on the Arts; Udai Tambar, executive director, South Asian Youth Action; Elsie Saint Louis, executive director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress, Inc.; Dr. Marcia Keizs, president, York College, The City University of New York; and Jukay Hsu, founder, Coalition for Queens.

“I am honored to be contributing to the creation of a new administration, a team New Yorkers can be proud of,” said Krakauer in a post on the Queens Council on the Arts website. “And to do that I will look to you, the creative citizens of this amazing borough, for your ideas and thoughts to bring back to the big table.”

Queens also took part in the new administration’s transition through two panel discussions that were held at the de Blasio Talking Transition Tent in downtown Manhattan on Friday, November 22.

“Thrive in Queens,” hosted by The Noguchi Museum, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Long Island City Partnership, focused on the creative sector of the borough.

According to The Noguchi Museum Director Jenny Dixon, who moderated the first panel, they also spoke about “the need for greater marketing dollars and better public transportation,” and requested that the de Blasio administration “affirm the borough of Queens through an inclusive agenda weighted equally for all of the five boroughs.”

“A great gathering of Queens folks were in the audience and similarly a great group of Queens’ economic drivers were represented on the panel,” said Dixon.

“We hope what we have to say will be heard.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Maria Odysseos, Greek American Housing Association, Greek Childrens’ Fund, Ronald McDonald House


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

InvstrsBnkMariaOdysseosBrdwyAstoriaBrnch-1

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Maria Odysseos lends her efforts and enthusiasm to a number of organizations and causes in the community. She is a dedicated member of the PTA at her son’s school as well as the Pancyprian Youth Soccer League. Whether bank sponsored or by her own individual effort, she allocates time and resources to the Greek American Housing Association, the Greek Childrens’ Fund and the Ronald McDonald House. On November 13 she will be participating in the Long Island City Partnership tradeshow.

“I love to be involved in the community in any way I can. I’m especially drawn to organizations that benefit children.” said Odysseos.

Odysseos is praised by her co-workers and members of the community for her professional excellence and dedication to the community.

BACKGROUND: Odysseos, an AVP/Branch manager at Investors Bank and organizer of the inaugural Investors Bank Queens County Conference for Nonprofits, has been involved in banking for the past 25 years. She previously held posts as VP/Branch Manager at Community National and Sovereign Banks. She has been involved in the Astoria market and a community volunteer for the last decade and is an active member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

INSPIRATION: Odysseos indicates her strong love of helping people as her prime inspiration.

“If I can do something to help someone else better his or her career, to help him or her in any way, I’m happy,” she said. “I enjoy encouraging and mentoring; watching people grow.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: Despite not having a particular memory in mind, Odysseos cites a particularly fulfilling consequence of community service as her “favorite memory.”

“If I see beneficial results come out of an event or organization I committed my time to or help spur, I feel so good,” she said. “It’s deeply satisfying.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Balancing a career and family life,” she said. “You have to work at it. You want to be there for everything.”

RACHEL LANDAU

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Awards, networking at LIC Partnership breakfast


| sLieberman@queenscourier.com

lic bid meetingw

The Long Island City Partnership hosted its annual Business Improvement District (BID) meeting last week, and over breakfast, attendees networked and discussed the betterment of the flourishing neighborhood.

Keynote speaker George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company Inc., stated the importance of New York’s hospitality industry, calling New York the nation’s premier port of entry. The economic impact of the city’s tourism industry amounts to $70 billion a year, he said.

“There is no borough more important than any other,” said Fertitta. “And there is no borough with more diversity and more to offer than Queens.”

Fertitta also stressed the need for New York residents to exploit the resources of the city.

“We need to make those insular Manhattanites realize what Queens has to offer,” he said.

The rest of the meeting focused on LIC’s vision for the future. The neighborhood is poised to become a leading center of tourism and revenue for the city. Upcoming area building projects include 19 hotels, totaling 2,000 rooms.

Awards were presented to local business leaders and involved residents. The Leadership Award was presented to Patrick O’Brien and Community Board 2; the Community Partner Award to Gianna Cerbone-Teoli of Manducatis Rustica restaurant; and the Queens Plaza Business Award was given to Takashi Ikezawa and Fumio Tashiro of Resobox.

The real strength of the BID meeting was the ability of businesses and residents to meet and mingle.

“Any time you have an opportunity to learn about what’s happening in the community, it is exciting,” said Ian Hardouin, a resident of LIC for the past five years.

Delivered: FedEx to move to L.I.C.


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy FedEx

FedEx has found new “ground” in Long Island City.

The shipping giant is planning to close its current Maspeth facility and open a new, 14,000-square-foot FedEx Ground distribution center on Borden Avenue in L.I.C. The center, expected to be completed in the spring of 2013, will cost roughly $56 million — including land, construction and material-handling equipment.

FedEx’s investment is being planned at the same time the reportedly cash-strapped United States Postal Service announced the closure of its College Point mail sorting facility. The station will also move on to the same block FreshDirect currently inhabits — until the online grocer bolts to the Bronx in 2015.

According to FedEx Ground spokesperson David Westrick, the facility will be larger and contain more automated package sorting systems than the existing station, allowing the company to better serve the area. Westrick also said all positions will transfer over to the modernized center, which is part of the company’s plan to expand its business-to-business shipping sector.

FedEx has opened 11 new distribution centers since 2005 and has accelerated ground service by one or more days to over half the country, according to Westrick.

“The new facility is part of a nationwide network expansion to boost daily package volume capacity and further enhance the speed and service capabilities of the FedEx Ground network,” Westrick said.

The project will be developed by the North Carolina-based SunCap Property Group LLC, which will own the facility through a joint venture with Lexington Realty Trust, and lease it to FedEx. The construction of the building will be left to Aurora Contractors Inc., located in Ronkonkoma, New York.

Westrick says L.I.C. attracted FedEx as a premier location for the facility due to a wide spectrum of reasons.

“The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, its proximity to customers’ distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees,” he said.

Dan Miner, the senior vice president of business services of the Long Island City Partnership, is happy to “welcome” FedEx to the neighborhood.
“We think L.I.C. is a large and diverse enough community to welcome residential, commercial, artistic and industrial uses,” Miner said. “So the FedEx facility fits in well with L.I.C.’s historical role as a center for industrial employment in New York City. I understand they are bringing a certain number of jobs and will be investing in the facility as well, which are good things.”

While Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is in favor of FedEx’s move, he says he will work with the company to ensure the standard of living for residents is not jeopardized by truck traffic or other changes.

“Keeping jobs in the city is an important piece of this,” said Van Bramer. “I also think there could be some overflow and an increase in customers for some local cafes, restaurants and businesses. We want to work with FedEx to mitigate any concerns on truck traffic, but we are pleased that more and more major companies, like Jet Blue and FedEx, have chosen to make L.I.C. their homes, further underscoring this incredible renaissance that L.I.C. is having.”