HISTORY AND CURRENT CONTEXT
LIC IS A STORY ABOUT
INDUSTRY, CREATIVITY & GROWTH
LIC has always been known for inventing and reinventing itself –
from rail yards and factories to global corporate headquarters, a
dvanced manufacturing facilities, the arts, and beyond.
Today LIC is diverse, creative, and inventive - and these assets have
attracted rapid residential development. As more people call LIC home,
there is increasing pressure on neighborhood resources.
How can LIC's evolution model sustainable, inclusive growth for all?
How can LIC build from its past as it continues to grow?
How can we address the critical infrastructure needs of today, while also looking to the future?
This Strategy outlines specific ways to support LIC's continued growth.
WORKING WATERFRONT TRANSFORMED INTO
MIXED USE NEIGHBORHOOD
LIC’s vibrant character reflects its history, diverse population and growing economy. Until the mid-20th century, Long Island City was working waterfront and critically connected Manhattan and Long Island. Despite declines in manufacturing, LIC’s industrious legacy carries on.
With its one-subway-stop proximity to Manhattan, LIC has drawn interest for commercial office space since the 1980’s. The City rezoned the neighborhood in 2001, aiming to jumpstart a central business district by increasing the potential for mixed-use development.
Heyday of LIC’s working waterfront, goods production and movement
New commercial interest as One Court Square, home of Citigroup, is developed
LIC rezoned for mixed-use development
Decline in manufacturing in NYC
City considers LIC for commercial growth
JetBlue headquarters moves into the Brewster Building in Queens Plaza
GROUNDED IN HISTORY, GROWING INTO THE FUTURE
Long Island City today is one of the most interesting mixed-use neighborhoods in the world. New and long-time residents share sidewalk space with machinists and office workers. The neighborhood is home to Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in North America, as well as Ravenswood Houses. Traditional manufacturers, light industry, and other longstanding businesses coexist with new companies in the creative economy and advanced manufacturing. The neighborhood is a destination for cultural and
art institutions and a home to many working artists.
With all of this activity concentrated in just over 2,000 acres, LIC is truly a place where New Yorkers live and work, and where proximity creates an environment ripe for collaboration and innovation.
Rapid housing growth without the investments to support it have strained infrastructure. Growth has impacted LIC’s streets and transit, led to crowding in parks and open spaces, and tested the capacity of its sewer infrastructure. As a result, many residents and business owners have voiced their concerns about how development impacts quality of life.
WORKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE TOGETHER
Together with the community, the City is planning LIC’s next chapter.
The City, across administrations, has been working with the community since the 2001 rezoning on a variety of initiatives to respond to LIC’s changes. From 2015 to 2017, in response to the dramatic changes taking place in the neighborhood and community feedback, the City engaged stakeholders under the auspices of DCP’s LIC Core Neighborhood Study. This year, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, working closely with Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, hosted listening sessions with civic leaders in LIC. The goal was to hear directly about concerns and hopes for the future. These concerns have also been expressed in the Long Island City Partnership’s Comprehensive Plan, the Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan, and in presentations from civic groups.
The LIC Investment Strategy is informed by these conversations and community feedback.
Residential development outpaces commercial
growth in LIC
Ongoing engagement with LIC stakeholders
LIC rezoned for mixed-use development
City engages stakeholders for LIC Core Neighborhood Study
OPPORTUNITY FOR BALANCED COMMUNITY GROWTH
Positioned at the geographic center of New York City, Long Island City is a critical hub for the region and well-positioned to provide employment opportunities for neighborhood residents. LIC has already attracted a growing number of companies in the creative and tech sectors and is home to the only Fortune 500 company headquarters in NYC outside of Manhattan. It is a place where a growing City can accommodate the jobs of the future, while leveraging world-class educational institutions to connect local residents to jobs.
8 subway lines, including connections to Grand Central Station, Hudson Yards, and Cornell Tech
2 LIRR stops
3 NYC Ferry routes
45 CitiBike stations
15 bus lines
the Midtown tunnel
Close proximity to both JFK and LaGuardia airports.
LIC is a neighborhood of people, businesses, institutions, and community groups who have been engaged in past planning efforts and need to be a part of planning for its future. To maintain quality of life and advance economic opportunity for existing businesses and residents requires real attention to
the infrastructure of the neighborhood.
The City has made significant progress – building mixed-income housing and a signature waterfront park at Hunter’s Point South, launching two ferry landings in the neighborhood, and advancing new office and community development space in projects like The Jacx, and creating hubs for art galleries. This progress has generated new retail and restaurants that have also helped to enliven the area and deliver needed services. Now is a pivotal moment for Long Island City, and there is a unique opportunity to strategically invest to meet the needs of the neighborhood today while guiding its future growth.
Images Courtesy Greater Astoria Historical Society