Exterior work is in progress on a five-story building at 47-09 5th Street in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, a block and a half away from the East River waterfront. In a typical development for Long Island City, an aging commercial property is being replaced with residences anchored by retail. In an unusual move, the developer, Studio Square per the DOB, opted to add three floors on top of the existing building rather than demolishing and starting anew. The eight residences would occupy 11,075 square feet, giving an average of 1,384 square feet per unit.
The ongoing transformation of Long Island City is astounding. In the decade between 2006 and 2015, more than 8,600 housing units have been completed in the area, with well over 22,000 more on the way. Between 2012 and 2015, prices for prime development sites have jumped by 269 percent. As the neighborhood rapidly transitions from commercial/industrial to high-density residential, the local street grid, characterized by odd angles, must undergo a significant transformation. The city government began to address this need in 2010, when Jackson Avenue, the area’s principal thoroughfare, was upgraded with a green median, while a small triangular park was created at the intersection of 27th Street, Hunter Street, and 43rd Avenue.
Literacy is the cornerstone of modern society, and libraries stand as the foundations of thriving communities. While Long Island City’s rebirth manifests itself through its skyrocketing skyline, its most significant public building steadily rises at the waterfront. The Steven Holl-designed Hunters Point Library will join the iconic gantries and the Pepsi-Cola Sign to form the borough’s new public face, while becoming a new focal point for the rapidly growing community.
While most ongoing projects in booming Long Island City involve ground-up construction, 5-33 48th Avenue, two blocks east of the East River, is a conversion of the type more commonly seen in the borough across that river. The renovation and expansion of a four-story manufacturing building into a seven-story residential property is well underway. The project will feature 36 units, as well as retail at the ground floor. Joseph A Sultana of JLS Designs Architecture is indicated as the general contractor on the project’s work permit.
Back in June, YIMBY brought you news of a 28-story mixed-use tower planned for the site of the former Paragon Paint Factory at 45-40 Vernon Boulevard in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City. We know its 295 feet will shine and thanks to an interview with SHoP principal architect Gregg Pasquarelli, we know more about what will become of the factory building itself, which will connect to the new tower.