The Manhattanization of Long Island City

I’ve previously covered some of the larger projects that are about to begin construction in Williamsburg. While these projects are impressive in their own right, the developments ongoing in Long Island City are equally if not more impressive, with the sheer scale of the Hunter’s Point plan dwarfing almost all other residential projects in New York City.

Hunter’s Point South on the right: Image from New York City Economic Development Corps

The first large project–now nearing completion–is being developed by TF Cornerstone and called “East Coast LIC,” consisting of seven new residential buildings. While the first three buildings are now finished, two more are nearing completion. The remaining two towers should be under construction shortly, and the completed complex will bring a great deal of life to a formerly derelict neighborhood.

Just to the south of TF Cornerstone’s complex will be the ‘Hunter’s Point South’ development. The on-site school is already under construction, but the school barely foreshadows what’s to come–approximately 5,000 new apartments in total. ‘Hunter’s Point South’ is intended to provide large amounts of affordable housing, and the first phase–being developed by Related and probably breaking ground very shortly–will have two towers, totaling 908 new apartments. 685 of those apartments will be ‘workforce’ housing.

Here’s the plan for the entire build-out of this mega-project. The sheer size is amazing, and the project entails the creation of an entire neighborhood out of nothing. The first two components to be built will be the blocks marked ‘A’ and ‘B’, although the entire build-out will take many more years.

Image from New York Economic Development Corporation via the New York Times

As you can see from the plan above, the buildings will be one of many components to the redevelopment of Hunter’s Point. The new landscaped waterfront will also be a very prominent feature, and will hopefully allow the neighborhood to become a destination as well as a new place for people to live. The development of the waterfront is a definite must, and integrating the new buildings and parks will help to mesh the new neighborhood into the fabric of the city.

The first phase of Hunter’s Point South includes the two rendered buildings in the middle: Image from nycmayorsoffice

Current plans for Hunter’s Point South call for nine towers of 300 feet and greater, although the eventual build-out of the site may differ dramatically. Still, the Manhattanization of Long Island City is certainly evident given the plan that is currently on the table.

Hunter’s Point South at full build-out under the current plan: Image from New York City Economic Development Corps

Just to the north, as mentioned, lies the site being developed by TF Cornerstone, aka ‘East Coast Long Island City.” The next East Coast tower is about to begin construction, and will be 40 stories tall, with 820 apartments. When built out, the entire complex will contain over 3,000 new apartments, a staggering figure. The picture of Long Island City’s future is becoming much more clear when one considers just how many apartments are about to be built in the neighborhood–its density will be much more typical of Manhattan than Queens.

East Coast LIC; the newest building will be the one on the far left. Image from East Coast LIC

Besides these gargantuan developments, several other highrises are also under construction in Long Island City. One of the most prominent will be Linc Long Island City, by Rockrose. The tower will be residential and have 42 stories, rising 429 feet. The building will contain 709 apartments, as well.

Linc Long Island City: Image via  Roldan TTLB on Skyscraperpage

The area around One Court Square–which currently sticks out like a sore thumb–should be developing quite rapidly within the next decade, and Linc is one of the projects that will transform the area from a backwater into a legitimate 24/7 urban neighborhood. 


The projects listed above scrape the surface of what’s going on in Long Island City, as many smaller developments are also moving forward. What is clear is that the neighborhood is finally expanding vertically. In doing so, Long Island City will continue establishing itself as one of New York’s central business districts. While the prominence of LIC is unlikely to ever surpass Midtown or Downtown Manhattan, it certainly has the potential to become equal to or greater than Jersey City and downtown Brooklyn in terms of overall development–whether LIC lives up to its potential remains to be seen, however the signs are promising. 
TFC Horizon
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