Tag Archives: Modern Spaces

More condos coming to feed Long Island City’s needs


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces

Not long after starting marketing for the newest condo building in Long Island City, real estate brokerage firm Modern Spaces announced Thursday that it will soon begin marketing yet another condo in the hot neighborhood.

Liv @ Murray Park North, which is located at 11-35 45th Ave., will begin sales in June, feeding the growing demand for condos in LIC.

The project by George Xu, owner of Century Development, offers a mix of 39 luxury studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments in six floors. Prices will start around $400,000 in the Raymond Chan Architects-designed building, and residents can expect to start moving in by the end of the year.

“This new condo project further indicates that demand for permanent homes here continues to be high,” said Eric Benaim, Modern Spaces founder and CEO. “People not only want to be in Long Island City, but they want to put down roots here.”

The units at Liv @ Murray Park North will have luxury finishes such as hardwood flooring and electric radiant heated floors. Bathrooms will have porcelain tiles and kitchens will feature top brand-name appliances.

The building will have a range of amenities, including bike storage, free Wi-Fi in common areas, a fitness center, a social lounge in the lobby and a common rooftop. Also, parking will be available for residents.

Liv @ Murray Park North will be the first in a series of buildings by Century Development, which will include Liv @ Hart Street and Liv @ Murray Park South.

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New LIC condo building to begin sales in May


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces 

Although the Long Island City real estate market is scorching hot with thousands of apartments planned, last year there were no new condo units available, said Eric Benaim, CEO of brokerage Modern Spaces.

Meanwhile, the demand for condos in the burgeoning area is climbing as more people desire to settle down in LIC after renting there for a while.

To meet demand, some planned LIC condos will come to the market this year, including a building called The Corner at 47-28 11th St., which Modern Spaces recently announced will begin selling next month.

“We are excited because we know there is a lot of demand for condos,” Benaim said. “What tends to happen is people get introduced to the area through the rentals then they live here for a while, and then they are ready to buy.”

The Corner has 23 units, which are a mix of one- and two-bedrooms. The homes feature chef kitchens and oak flooring, and some units have private outdoor space. The building also offers designer-style bathrooms with Kohler tubs, Grohe fixtures and ceramic titles.

Additionally, there are numerous amenities through The Corner, such as a fitness center, sundeck and residents’ lounge.

The condominium is being built through a joint venture partnership between Kora Developers LLC and BK Developers.

Prices for the condos have yet to be announced, and the building isn’t planned to be completed until later this year, so new homebuyers won’t be able to move in until at least the end of the year.

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Former LIC cigar factory could be converted for residential use


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

Another old factory building in Long Island City is up for grabs and could see a residential conversion.

Real estate firm Modern Spaces announced on Thursday that its commercial properties division is marketing the former DeNobili Cigar Factory at 35-11 9th St. The four-story building was recently renovated and is “ideally positioned for residential conversion” being that the site is zoned for residential use, according to the real estate firm.

“The pace of development in Long Island City is showing no signs of slowing,” said Evan Daniel, executive vice president of Modern Spaces’ commercial division. “Not only does this property enjoy a current high occupancy, but with the R5 zoning and accessory lot, it holds a great deal of promise for a residential conversion.”

Daniel is marketing the property with Edward DiTomasso.

The building has a total of 102,670 square feet and was constructed in 1896. It has potentially attractive features if it were to be converted for residential use, including 20-foot ceilings, exposed beams, hardwood floors and arched windows.

The former cigar factory currently has 57 commercial units and two cell towers.

There is also an adjacent vacant lot connected to the site at 35-31 9th St., which has more than 6,000 buildable square feet.

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Astoria Boulevard development site sold, will become new residential building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

An Astoria development site was sold for $4.8 million and will be transformed into a residential building, according to real estate firm Modern Spaces.

The lot at 8-25 Astoria Blvd. offers up to 33,751 buildable square feet, the real estate firm said.

A Modern Spaces team of Evan Daniel, Edward DiTomasso and Alice Chan represented the buyer and seller. Daniel said the new owner has the intent to use the site for residential development.

The sale equates to about $142 per buildable square feet, which is much less than land values in nearby Long Island City.

Partly because of the lower land prices, Astoria has become a hot neighborhood for development. Not far from the site, the Hallets Point and Astoria Cove mega projects will bring about 4,000 units, and hundreds of other apartments are planned around the area.

“Northwest Astoria remains relatively undeveloped but with several major projects in the pipeline, this area contains some hidden jewels for developers both local and abroad,” said Daniel, executive vice president of the real estate firm’s commercial division. “With land values in neighboring Long Island City hovering around $250 per buildable square foot, some may actually view the price point of this property, and several around it, as a ‘bargain.’”

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Multi-lot Court Square development site hits the market for $41.5M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Modern Spaces

A seven-lot portfolio near the heart of the hot Court Square area in Long Island City is asking for $41.5 million, and will probably get that much or more soon.

A collection of six landlords are selling the two- and three-story townhouse buildings on the parcels, which are being marketing by Modern Spaces and The Corcoran Group.

The landlords combined the properties to maximize buildable rights. Together the site has about 11,145 square feet, and offers 167,000 buildable square feet, The Real Deal reported.

The portfolio of properties has only been on the market for three days and there have been offers around the asking price, said Evan Daniel, vice president at Modern Spaces. Three of the buildings are located on 45th Avenue at 23-10, 23-14, and 23-16. The remaining properties are at 45-03, 45-05, 45-07 and 45-09 23rd St.

The size and zoning of the site allows for many possible uses, and Daniel believes it could be great for a mixed-use structure.

“I think retail hasn’t really come yet to this area, but we all know it will come here. I think it would be good for this project,” Daniel said. “You can have a tremendous mixed-use project here with residential, office and retail.”

Because it is located across from One Court Square, also known as the Citibank Building, and near the mix of Court Square subway transit options, the location will be attractive to developers.

“One thing we know about this project is that location is second to none,” Daniel said.

23rd Street Properties

23rd Street properties

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Large day care center coming to Arris Lofts in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

In the latest sign that Long Island City is becoming more and more family friendly, a new day care center will be moving into luxury condo building Arris Lofts, according to multiple sources.

The new day care center will fill 17,000 square feet of vacant space in the ground floor of the building at 27-28 Thomson Ave., which has about 237 residential units throughout eight floors. Sources confirmed the day care center signing, but couldn’t provide further details at this time about the lease or when the business plans to open.

The Long Island City area has seen an influx of residential development over the past few years, which has brought many families into the area, causing a need for facilities, such as day care centers, according to real estate experts in the neighborhood.

Within the past five years, there have been more than 4,000 residential units added to the area, said real estate firm Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim, and there are plans for about 10,000 more in the next five years.

“I think a day care center is much needed in that part of town,” Benaim said. “There are day care centers on the waterfront, but having one to serve the Court Square area is really good.”

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See it: Luxury LIC condos with near $3M price tags


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos and renderings courtesy of Modern Spaces

Modern Spaces is marketing multiple condos in Long Island City near the $3 million mark. The high luxury listings reflect surging prices in the neighborhood, according to Eric Benaim, CEO and founder of the real estate firm.


“The luxury market is really starting to pick up as the prices in Manhattan are just skyrocketing,” Benaim said.

Modern Spaces is marketing a condo at Arris Loft on Thomson Avenue for $2.99 million. The unit boasts three bedrooms and three bathrooms throughout 2,339 square feet. It also features 16-foot ceilings and about 3,000-square-feet in private terraces.

The real estate firm is also handling the sale of a condo at The View on the Long Island City waterfront, which will go on the market soon for $2.89 million. The unit has three bedrooms and three bathrooms throughout 1,653 square feet.

Another one of its units is a duplex condominium at 5-41 47th Rd., which is asking $2.5 million.

The unit will have three bedrooms, a den that can be converted to a fourth bedroom, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a 1,100-square-foot yard.

The 2,040-square-foot space is currently under construction and will be completed in about two weeks, according to Modern Spaces.


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Glassy 77-unit Astoria condominium revealed, construction to begin next year


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of New York Lions Group

Plans for construction on a luxury Astoria condo building blocks away from the waterfront will begin shortly as demolition of the old properties on the site is nearing completion.

Developer New York Lions Group hopes to begin working on the eight-story, 77-unit condominium called The Baron, at 14-07 Broadway in January, following approvals from the Department of Buildings. The building is expected to be completed by September 2016, according to Ramin Shirian, vice president of Lions Group.

The 73,500-square-foot building will stretch 182 feet wide from the corner of 14th Street and replace two auto mechanical shops. One was already leveled and demolition will commence shortly on the other.

The Raymond Chan Architect-designed building will feature a modern glass façade with terraces attached on each residence, offering unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline.

The building, which will be marketed by Modern Spaces, will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, measuring approximately 600, 1,000 and 1,550 square feet respectively.

The ground floor will have duplex apartments that mostly measure 1,000 square feet each, but there will be two duplex units with about 1,500 square feet.

The Baron will be loaded with amenities, including a garden on the second floor terrace, community common space on the roof, a children’s room and play area, a gym and bicycle racks.

There will be a doorman for the building and pets are allowed. There are also 41 parking spaces underground.

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Report: LIC land prices nearly hit $300 per buildable square foot


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Chart courtesy of Modern Spaces

Soaring land prices in Long Island City are hitting record highs for the neighborhood, according to the Moderns Spaces 3Q report released Thursday.

The price per buildable square in LIC jumped to an unheard of $250-$300 in this past quarter for some properties, the report said. The average land prices are above $200 in prime areas.

The price surge is mainly due to the demand for bigger projects aimed at larger family-size apartments, according to the report.

“The properties that are being acquired at those price points will most likely all be condos as they don’t make financial sense as a rental product with that high of a land base,” the report said. “But as condo prices rise in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, it’s naturally going to drive the buyer who is getting priced out of the areas to Long Island City or Queens as a whole.”

Meanwhile, for commercial and investment properties, the report found that in south Long Island City — areas near the waterfront, Hunter’s Point, Court Square, and Queens Plaza — land values eclipsed an average of more than $200 per buildable square foot and some properties have hit prices almost as high as $300.

But Modern Spaces predicts this trend will not continue.

“Despite demand being as strong as it has ever been, we predict the market will level in the $225 – $250 per buildable square foot range depending on exact location,” the report said.

Although land prices in Astoria have not hit an average of $200 per buildable square foot yet, not to be left too far behind, land prices in the neighborhood doubled in the past year with some properties eclipsing $200 per buildable square foot, according to the report.

 

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Q&A: Modern Spaces VP explains Long Island City commercial market


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Evan Daniel

Evan Daniel joined Modern Spaces in August as the executive vice president of the firm’s new commercial property division. Before landing at the Long Island City-based real estate company, Daniel worked with Massey Knakal since 2006, covering Long Island City and Astoria. Daniel, who has been married for almost a decade and has two children, also enjoys coaching basketball to seventh- and eighth-grade children at Yeshiva of Central Queens.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Daniel explained the current status of the commercial market in Long Island City and the problems it faces. 

Courier: What is the status of the commercial market in Long Island City?

Daniel: “White-hot and crazy. It doesn’t make sense. We are seeing land values that have literally tripled in a year. We shot passed $200 [per buildable square foot] earlier this year and in the best parts of Long Island City you’re seeing $225, $230, $250, and quite frankly people look at it as a bargain. Some people just look at Long Island City as a comparison to Williamsburg and they say ‘Well, in Williamsburg we’re paying $300 or $400 a buildable square foot.’ In Manhattan it’s over a $1,000. So in Long Island City, it looks cheap.”

Courier: Who is investing into the market?

Daniel: “The money coming into Long Island City is mostly foreign capital right now. I’m on the phone almost every night with investors from Shanghai, and they’re 12 hours ahead so you know what, they start their day 8:30 a.m. in the morning, that’s when I’m finishing my day, 8:30 p.m.”

Courier: How are these foreign investments affecting the market?

Daniel: “It keeps prices arbitrarily high. I can tell you the numbers today are much higher than what they should be and there is a lot of product coming on the market and I think right now a lot of speculation. I think there is going to be some sort of correction in the market where these numbers will come back to Earth a little. They probably already would have, if not for the influx of foreign capital.”

Courier: What would you tell someone that owns property in Long Island City now?

Daniel: “I don’t think we are going to $300 a buildable foot. My advice to sellers or owners if you have a development site is to build up when you have financing available, find a partner to build with you or sell it to somebody who is going to build.”

Courier: Now that more people are living in Long Island City, do you see more office and retail developments coming?

Daniel: “If you moved into this market with the first wave of developments six or seven years ago, it was dead at night and weekends. You’re starting to see more influx of retail. We need to see more big-box retail. Retail definitely will come and it should be able to come, because now you have so many people here and you have tremendous amount of jobs, and employees are here during the day, so now you can sustain retail.

“Office is difficult to say. Because it’s needed and it should happen and we are going to get a tremendous amount of demand we hope in the next couple of years as Roosevelt Island continues to build the Cornell Tech campus and that is going to create a lot of tech jobs and more creative jobs instead of more intensive labor jobs. The question is where are they going to go? Because there is no new construction of new office space and there is no incentive for developers to build new office space, because new office space is not as valuable as residential. So if I have a residential zoned area and I am a developer and I now have to pay $200 a buildable square foot, I can’t justify doing an office building. I will make less money on my office building than I would on my rental building.”

Courier: What must happen to get developers building more office space?

Daniel: “The city needs to figure out some sort of incentive to developers, whatever it may be, for somebody to build new offices. If [Long Island City] had these offices it will keep people here and it’ll give people incentive to stay here or come here, which will help the overall market. You will have your office market, you will have your retail market, and you will have your residential market, and they’ll all be in one mini-city in LIC.”

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Downtown Jamaica commercial portfolio near trains selling for $6.2M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

A mostly vacant row of buildings in the heart of downtown Jamaica with lots of room to build up has been listed for $6.2 million, according to Modern Spaces, which is marketing the properties.

The listing includes four lots with two-story attached buildings beginning at 97-01 to 97-09 Sutphin Blvd., and is the first listing in Jamaica for the new commercial division of Modern Spaces, which is based in Long Island City. Currently, a church occasionally uses part of the building for service and a deli is another tenant.

The properties have about 10,000 square feet combined, but nearly 50,000 square feet of buildable space, according to Evan Daniel, executive vice president of Modern Spaces’ commercial division.

The building has a C4-5X zoning, and could be demolished, Daniel said.

He added that it is a likely possibility that developers could buy with the intention to build up since the buildings are placed in an attractive location.

The E and J subway lines and the Jamaica LIRR station are just three blocks away, meaning it’s just a short train ride to Manhattan. The AirTrain to John F. Kennedy Airport is also just a few blocks away as well, and downtown Jamaica has lots of foot traffic because of the huge amount of retail in the area.

The property is owned by 901 Honeywell LLC, which could make a substantial profit after purchasing the buildings back in 2007 for $3.4 million, city records show.

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Modern Spaces set to open new Astoria office in October


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Logo courtesy of Modern Spaces  

Modern Spaces is now batting six for six in the retail estate office game.

The firm, which Eric Benaim launched in Long Island City in 2008, announced Monday that it is opening its sixth location in six years and its second in Astoria in October, hoping to hit a home run with the area as it did with its original neighborhood.

In a recent interview with The Courier, Benaim said he sees tons of potential in Astoria, which has already begun to see an influx of new development, and is why the neighborhood was chosen for the new office at 34-16 30th Ave.

“We are very happy to expand our Astoria reach with this new office, and are proud to be part of this community,” Benaim said. “The timing is opportune for us, as we have three new projects in Astoria that will be hitting the market early next year.”

The new office will be about 2,000 square feet and will house 25 agents. It will also have an outdoor garden space for events.

Lifelong Astoria resident Greg Kyroglou, who is the current managing director of the first Astoria location at 29-20 23rd Ave., has been promoted to managing director of the new office. He will also run the original Astoria location as well.

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Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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Report shows size of LIC homes shrinking, prices rising


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Chart courtesy Modern Spaces

Long Island City home sizes are shrinking, but the prices are not.

A report by residential brokerage firm Modern Spaces shows that while the average square footage of apartments of new developments are decreasing in the burgeoning neighborhood, the average price per square foot is rising.

In LIC, the average apartment size in new developments has decreased 41 percent from Q1 2013 to just 828 square feet by the first half of 2014. But during that same period, the average price per square foot of homes in the neighborhood has risen 23 percent from $768 to $944.

Despite the rising prices, Eric Benaim, founder and CEO of Modern Spaces, said the decreasing sizes are actually helping to keep prices from skyrocketing in the community.

“Demand for new homes is very high in Long Island City and Astoria and we are seeing an increased number of developments in both areas,” Benaim said. “In Long Island City, developers are building more efficiently-sized residences, helping to keep overall home prices down. This trend is helping to differentiate Long Island City from the rest of the New York market. People can buy beautiful new homes in a prime location with incredible amenities without over-the-top home prices.”

The report also found the trend of rising prices in Astoria. Average price per square foot for new homes jumped to $820 per square feet by the first half of 2014, up 32 percent from Q1 2013, when it was $619.

 

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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.

 

 

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