Last June, a developer operating under the name Jewel Liton LLC bought a piece of land at 28-27 Thomson Avenue, wedged right between Thomson – one of the few thoroughfares to travel over Sunnyside Yard, as a bridge – and Purves Street, on the edge of Long Island City.
Normally, any builder who has the option to erect a residential building would – the city is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crunch, and virtually everywhere, housing is the highest and best use for any parcel of land, whether it’s in Midtown or Maspeth.
But Jewel Liton is a hotel developer (astute YIMBY readers may remember them from a Ravenswood hotel filing late last month), and their architect has just filed for a new building permit at 28-27 Thomson Avenue, where they intend to erect a nine-story hotel. They paid more than $4.1 million for the land – which has a very liberal zoning designation, allowing for residential, commercial or industrial construction – and the fact that a hotel developer, rather than a residential builder, won the property points to the strength of the Long Island City hotel market.
The architect on the permit is Gerald Caliendo, Queens’s most prolific designer, and the hotel will hold 87 rooms, divided over 36,500 square feet of floorspace. The project takes advantage of Long Island City’s lack of minimum parking requirements – it’s the only place in the outer boroughs or Upper Manhattan where the city doesn’t require developers to build at least some parking for large new buildings – and will not include any space for car storage.
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