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Long Island City’s Latest Residential-Manufacturing Complex Proposed At 37-27 31st Street, Dutch Kills

Long Island City’s Latest Residential-Manufacturing Complex Proposed at 37-27 31st Street, Dutch Kills

37-29 31st Street

A recently cleared lot at 37-27 31st Street in northeast Long Island City awaits construction of a 61,510-square-foot structure containing a ground-level manufacturing facility, topped by 76 residences stacked in a pair of six- and seven-story towers.

The arrangement is similar to several adjacent properties spanning through-block sites, which share a common zoning-driven formula. These new projects, combining a ground-level podium containing manufacturing uses with upper-level residential towers that open upon raised rear yards, form a unique district within Long Island City.

The first project of this kind was the Alma at 37-21 31st Street, which replaced a warehouse in 2012. The Alma’s red, graffiti-covered lot wall runs along the northern edge of the cleared site at 37-29 31st Street, adjacent to the elevated Astoria Line train.

The 16,832-square-foot lot, which has slightly-notched trapezoidal shape, stretches 180 feet across the block to 32nd Street to the east. A single-story podium with a cellar would span the entire property, with the towers massed along either street.

Both sections rise 70 feet from the sidewalk to the roof, yet the west tower on 31st Street contains six stories, while its eastern counterpart on 32nd Street holds seven. This unusual discrepancy stems from varying floor heights, different floor assemblies (the 19-inch floor plates in the west tower are almost twice as thick as those in the east), and extra-tall, fifteen-foot-high ceilings in the western portion of the ground level.

The cellar contains a laundry room and a 37-car, 25-bicycle garage, accessible from 31st Street.

The 76 residential units would cover 50,150 square feet and average 660 square feet apiece, ranging from 425-square-foot studios to a two-bedroom, 1,070-square-foot penthouse.

37-29 31st Street. Building section. Looking north. Drawing by Gilman Architects, publicly available via the Remedial Investigation Report.

According to the Commercial Observer, Abbeys Automate Inc. and The Cosma Family, the owners of two adjacent auto body shops at 37-27 and 37-29 31st Street and 37-26 32nd Street, initially pursued independent sales. Eastern Consolidated convinced the two parties that a consolidated lot would be more lucrative to developers. In 2014, it placed both on the market for a combined $10.35 million. The 31st Street facility was fenced off in the summer of 2016, and torn down by the start of 2017. The building on 32nd Street bit the dust slightly earlier.

Manhattan-based architecture firm Stephen B. Jacobs Group PC filed the first comprehensive permit in December 2015. Gilman Architects New York PLLC is listed as the previous applicant of record. The document notes William Achenbaum as the owner, operating under the project-specific 31/32 LIC LLC. A January 2017 permit upgrades the unit count from 74 to 76.