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Long Island City


Watermark Court Square at 27-19 44th Drive. Left: looking southeast from Jackson Avenue. Right: the façade at 44th Drive, with The Edison to the right. Photos by the author.

A Closer Look at the Recently Topped-Out Watermark Court Square, 27-19 44th Drive, Long Island City

At the start of the month YIMBY announced the topping out of Watermark Court Square, at 27-19 44th Drive. The 168-unit rental building had added around 17 floors since the end of May. Building permits place the height at 282 feet, although it is not certain whether the figure includes its mechanical bulkhead. In either case, the 27-story tower now stands among the dozen-tallest buildings in the Court Square district, eight of which topped out less than a year ago.

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Aloft Long Island City at 27-45 jackson Avenue. Photos by the author.

Completion Near for Aloft Long Island City at 27-45 Jackson Avenue, Future Tallest Hotel in Queens

Construction is wrapping up on the Aloft Hotel at 27-45 Jackson Avenue, in Long Island City’s Court Square district. According to Starwood Hotels, the 176-room property, officially called the “Aloft Long Island City – Manhattan View,” is set to open on October 27. At that point, the 18-story, 186-foot-tall high-rise should become the tallest all-hotel building in Queens. Though the 31-story slab of the nearby 29-11 Queens Plaza North, which opened its doors just recently, stands a good deal taller, the Marriott Courtyard within occupies only the tower’s lower half, with the residences at Aurora LIC sitting above. By YIMBY’s count, Aloft Hotel’s lofty pinnacle rises higher than that of any other hotel in the borough.

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27-42 42nd Road. Looking north. Photos by the author.

25-Story Residential Building Climbs to Fourth Floor at 27-17 42nd Road in Long Island City

When YIMBY last checked in five months ago, foundation work for the apartment building at 27-17 42nd Road in Long Island City was only starting. Now, concrete is being poured for the tower’s fourth level as it climbs on the way to its eventual 258-foot height. Though it would have dominated the surroundings when it was first proposed in late 2000s, today the building would barely make a dent on the local skyline. However, its vertical, slightly curved bulk, squeezed tightly between its high-rise neighbors, is a positive example of proper density creation within the transit-rich neighborhood. Sitting just one block south of the Queensboro Plaza station, serviced by the N, Q, and 7 trains, the future tenants living within its 184 apartments would be situated just one stop away from Midtown Manhattan.

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29-11 Queens Plaza North. Photos by the author.

Long Island City’s Mixed-Use 29-11 Queens Plaza North, with Courtyard Marriott Hotel and Aurora LIC Residences, Opens Its Doors

The cores of dense cities work best when they mix a variety of functions, such as residential, commercial, or office. This mixing allows for a round-the-clock pedestrian presence, ensuring that the streets do not empty out at any point of the day. The concept is taken literally to the next level when two independent functions are stacked one on top of another within the same building, like roommates sharing a bunk bed. This effectively puts two buildings on the same plot without resorting to narrow towers with small floorplates. Although generally rare, mixed-use skyscrapers have made their mark upon Manhattan, starting with the famed Waldorf-Astoria, which combined hotel rooms at the bottom with apartments on top in 1931. Now, the city’s first major mixed-use tower has risen outside of Manhattan. The 31-story, glass-and-concrete slab at 29-11 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, has seen construction virtually wrapped up at the time of this writing. Its lower 15 floors house the Marriott Courtyard Long Island City hotel, with the 135-unit residential complex called the Aurora sitting on the floors above.

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