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TF Cornerstone proposes factories and apartments on the same site in LIC

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Ground-breaking proposal reaches Queens

TF Cornerstone arrived in Queens with a major proposal. The developer proposed a huge $925 million mixed-used development in Long Island City. This is particularly important because in New York, factories and apartments do not mix. The building will be a waterfront with 1,000 rental apartments and 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Because of how unusual it is, the city took its time selecting a developer for the project. After more than one year of consideration, at the end of June, authorities chose a team led by TF Cornerstone to face the construction of the two-building giant. Once it is completed, the complex will span over four acres on land owned by the city. Currently, this space is taken up by parking spaces and a shuttered restaurant that was involved in a federal investigation.

Several ammenities

This complex will not stop at apartments and retail spaces. It will also include offices, a public school and a park. The park will lead to an East River area known as Anable Basin. Nevertheless, developers still need a zoning change for that area, and this process could take up to two years. Overall, once the project is finished, it will span 1.5 million square feet.

Jeremy Shell, a principal of TF Cornerstone, said it is important for the company to offer everyone something. The company and its partners expect to create a very dynamic community. Said partners are three: BJH Advisors, the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center and the Coalition for Queens.

TF Cornerstone owns five out of seven buildings in the area, and the two towers that will be a part of this complex will mimic the style of said cluster. One of these towers will be 650 feet (reaching about 65 stories) and the other will be 500 feet (reaching about 50 stories). The finished look with be very glassy and sleek. Nevertheless, the city hopes these towers will be much more graceful than similar buildings in the area.

History is changing

Historically, housing and factories were kept apart because factories were so hard on the environment. Nevertheless, industries have become greener and greener as the years go by, so this merger makes sense. Furthermore, if this project is a success, it will help disprove the theories that luxury housing hurts industrial neighborhoods because it takes up too much land. Authorities hope the project will be able to shift the conversation into a much positive perspective.

Back in May 2016, the city received nine different proposals for this project. The one filed by TF Cornerstone stood out because of how many nonresidential uses it contained. Even though the project will not open until 2022, developers confirmed the apartments will be studios to three-bedrooms. It is expected 25% of the units will be below the market rate. Meanwhile, the layouts of the amenities are still in the process of being decided.

Apart from the apartments, Anable Basin (the project’s name) will include 400,000 square feet of offices, 19,000 of stores and a 80,000 square feet elementary school. Furthermore, there will be a one-acre waterside park in the area that will connect to an existing public pie. The two story restaurant that is currently based there will be replaced with a similar store proposed by the developer. It is convenient the lease of this property expired in May.  Even though there are still details to decide, TF Cornerstone hopes to establish a waterfront restaurant in that location.

A promising future

One drawback from this operation can be the fact that recouping investments for projects with so much commercial space is often challenging. Nevertheless, the developers are leasing the land from the city, not buying, which will make this deal more favorable for all players involved. Furthermore, the project will be receiving abated property taxes among many tax exemptions. Ideally, once the project is complete, many craftsmen will be able to live where they work, a tradition that was lost to time. [The New York Times]