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Old February 6th, 2006, 01:16 AM   #61
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Old February 9th, 2006, 10:03 PM   #62
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/re.../08queens.html
A Long Island City Awakening

By JOHN HOLUSHA
Published: February 8, 2006


Nicholas Hegel McClelland for The New York Times
The Eagle Electric factory, near the Citicorp high-rise in Long Island City, a subway stop from Manhattan, is being converted into residences.


Midtown Manhattan is closer to Long Island City than it is to downtown Manhattan, and the transportation links are excellent. All this has made the area particularly attractive to deep-pocketed developers of residential projects, like Rockrose and AvalonBay, and they and other builders have a number of projects under way to house people who cannot afford Manhattan prices or decline to pay them.

As a result, the prospective influx of people to what had been an industrial area seems likely to attract retailers and other service companies. But will office developers and business tenants be attracted to what has long been designated as New York City's fourth central business district, after Midtown, downtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn?

Opinions vary. Some office projects have been developed, and others are being planned. But despite high rents and a shortage of prime space in Midtown, office tenants are not clamoring for sites in Long Island City, real estate professionals say, and developers are reluctant to build without an anchor tenant.

"The East Side of Manhattan is one subway stop away from the Citicorp building" in Long Island City, said Christopher Jones of the Regional Plan Association, a nonpartisan research group. "That is closer than the West Side. But the East River remains a physical and psychological barrier."

The Citicorp tower, also known as Court Square One, is a 48-story, 1.4-million-square-foot office building that opened in 1989.

Mr. Jones said that government-aided efforts to revive downtown Manhattan in the wake of the attack of Sept. 11 may delay efforts to develop a commercial core in Long Island City, despite favorable zoning changes intended to encourage high-rise development.

"There is some potential tension between downtown and Long Island City," Mr. Jones said. "But over all, Long Island City caters to a different market than downtown, and it is on a different time scale" in that there is a sense of urgency to redevelop Lower Manhattan relatively quickly.

Residential development is starting to transform Long Island City, argued Sanford Zuckerbrot, chairman of Sholom & Zuckerbrot, a brokerage firm with headquarters in the area. "Until recently, we had only local developers in the area. Now, we have had an influx of big-time developers — Manhattan developers who were not associated with Queens."

He said Rockrose was planning to build seven residential buildings that would house 3,200 to 3,300 condominium units, along with other residential developments. "Now we are having long-term development, like Jersey City," where major projects have been built in several stages, Mr. Zuckerbrot said.

Some industrial buildings, like the Eagle Electric factory near the Citicorp high-rise, are being converted into residences. But Mr. Zuckerbrot said some operations, like printers, were still viable and were needed to service businesses in Manhattan.

He said the remaining industrial companies could co-exist with newer residential development in separate zones, as they do in Brooklyn in neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Some commercial projects have already happened. To house up to 2,000 MetLife workers transferred out of Manhattan, Brause Realty converted and added to an old factory facing the Queensboro Bridge. Construction is under way near the Citicorp tower for a 16-story, 270,000-square-foot building that will house the United Nations Federal Credit Union and other commercial tenants. It is called Court Square Two.

But other projects remain stalled. Tishman Speyer's plan for a major office tower in Queens Plaza has not attracted a major tenant so far. "The site is all zoned and ready to go for as much as 3.5 million square feet, but they will not build without a tenant," said John Reinertsen, a specialist in Queens properties for CB Richard Ellis, a Manhattan-based brokerage and services company.

Mr. Reinertsen said a growing residential population might help to spur the development of commercial properties, but he added that for now areas zoned as residential would be the first to be developed. "The value of land that is zoned for residential is three times more than for commercial," he said.

The residential and commercial markets are really not linked in Long Island City, unlike in some other areas where there are mixed-use projects with offices, stores and housing, said John Maltz, the president of Greiner-Maltz, a brokerage firm focusing on Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. The projects that have taken place, like the MetLife development or the United Nations Credit Union, have been driven by a single major tenant.

Most developers, he said, have no stomach to put up speculative office buildings in hopes of filling them with multiple tenants. "There is land available along Jackson Avenue" that is zoned for high-density commercial development, he said, "but nobody is going into the ground."

Nevertheless, when the Reckson Associates Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust, acquired the Citicorp building and recapitalized it last fall, the company noted the potential of the area.

Scott Rechler, the president of Reckson, said Long Island City was "one of the last remaining underdeveloped New York City submarkets."
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Old February 10th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #63
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^ excellent article!
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 05:02 PM   #64
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A rendering of a complex of soundstages, commercial space and housing being planned in Queens.




Originally Posted by STERNyc
NYTIMES:

February 22, 2006
Silvercup Studios Sets $1 Billion Complex
By CHARLES V. BAGLI

With New York City suddenly awash in film and television productions, Silvercup Studios has unveiled plans for a version of Hollywood on the East River, a $1 billion complex with soundstages, commercial space and housing on the Queens waterfront south of the Queensboro Bridge.

The six-acre project in Long Island City, which formally began wending its way through the city's land use review process yesterday, is called Silvercup West, an expansion of Silvercup's existing operation six blocks to the east, the home studio for television shows like "The Sopranos" and "Hope & Faith" and where many movies have been filmed.

If it is approved, the expansion would include eight soundstages, production and studio support space, offices for media and entertainment companies, stores, 1,000 apartments in high-rise towers, a catering hall and a yet-to-be-named cultural institution. Silvercup would easily be the largest production house on the East Coast, although Steiner Studios in Brooklyn has the largest single soundstage.

"With added studio space, more productions that may have been filmed elsewhere will now take advantage of all the benefits of filming in New York City," said Stuart Match Suna, who together with his brother Alan formed Silvercup in 1983. "In addition, we are creating a 24/7 live, work and leisure community."

The project was designed by an architect with his own marquee value: Lord Richard Rogers, best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London.

Lord Rogers is also designing the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan. His plans in Queens also call for a plaza and a public waterfront esplanade.

In the latest example of the boom in television and film production in New York, Mr. Suna said there are now five television pilots taping at Silvercup, including "Ugly Betty," "Six Degrees" and "Kidnapped," as well as two movies for Warner Brothers. There would have been a third, he said, but there was not enough space.

"Mostly Martha," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, and "Music and Lyrics By," with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant, will be filmed at Silvercup this year.

Gone are the days when shows about New York like "Seinfeld" and "NYPD Blue" were shot in California. Last year, there were more than 100 new and returning TV shows taped in New York, according to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting.

New York attracted more than 250 independent and studio films in 2005, up from 202 in 2004 and 180 in 2003. The total number of days film crews spent shooting on location soared by 35 percent last year from 2004, to 31,570. And that number does not include additional work done at studios and soundstages, said Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner at the mayor's film office.

The Suna brothers and Hal G. Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria Studios, the city's original film studio, also in Queens, attribute the jump in activity to a joint city and state program that went into effect at the end of 2004 that offers tax incentives for films that complete 75 percent of their studio work in New York City.

"This town is fairly busy, so I think there's still room for growth," Mr. Rosenbluth said. "Tax credits have really worked."

Kaufman Studios, which is in talks to merge with Culver Studios, a Los Angeles-based production house, hopes to begin construction next year on its own long-awaited expansion.

At Steiner Studios, the $118 million production house on 15 acres at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, "The Producers" started filming before the five giant soundstages officially opened at the complex in November 2004. Since then, Spike Lee has shot "Inside Man" with Denzel Washington and Julie Taymor recently finished "Across the Universe."

Still, film and TV production is a tough business. Unlike office buildings that rent to tenants for 10 and 15 years at a time, soundstages are booked for weeks, or even days, at a time, and require a steady stream of new business to remain economically viable. The question remains: Can New York sustain this level of activity against competition from Canada and 20 other states and cities that offer tax breaks and other incentives?

Alan Suna, the chief executive of Silvercup, acknowledged that his two-million-square-foot project was ambitious but added that "it's also a very sensible project." The Silvercup expansion, he said, will incorporate the restoration of the landmark New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company building.

Trained as architects, the Sunas also have experience in developing housing, including the Renaissance project on 116th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem.

Mr. Suna said that the project was designed to be built entirely within two years, or in phases as demand dictates. It faces its first public hearing on April 6 at Community Board 2 in Long Island City.



Two residential towers and an office building at Silvercup West will range from 49 to 57 stories.





kinda brings back some memories..back from the dead....



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Last edited by TowersNYC; February 22nd, 2006 at 05:11 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 04:25 AM   #65
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The sound stage is a great idea.
Those twin empty shells did not replace real office towers. They resemble erector sets.

I love that Queens view. Let's hope approval is quick so we can have a new skyline in Queens.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 09:43 PM   #66
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Thursday February 23, 2006

I took a stroll today thru Long Island City, Queens NYC today...construction is at a frenzy pace !!

There are multiple construction projects going on all over the neighborhood!!!


here are some samples!!!!






































2 Square Court

































I love all the development, but I am afraid this long neglected area of Queens will be "mahattanized" and we will lose all these beautiful houses and buildings....that give it so much character !!!!!






















no, this is NOT the west village in manhattan, but a little street in LIC !





















hope you enjoyed...THE END
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:10 PM   #67
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Let's hope that this development is restricted to the east river.

You're right, those beautiful houses do manage to exhibit character in a very traditional way.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:19 AM   #68
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Great pictorial essay Carlos.

Loving the designs for Silvercup. Also the aqua coloured apartment building with the brown trimmed podium.

Comparison renders from the hoarding and from the website for Avalon Riverview North - appears differing colours & and different angles however...

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Old March 11th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #69
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http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/...p-337298c.html
Queens West tower on tap

Ground broken for site's 5th building

BY DONALD BERTRAND
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

The towers keep rising in the West - Queens West, to be exact.

Ground was broken at the Queens West development site yesterday for a $175 million, 39-story residential tower that will feature 602 upscale rental apartments.

When completed late next year, it will become the fifth residential building at the site.

The groundbreaking comes 10 years and two days after ground was broken on the first building - Citilights - at the 74-acre site on the East River just across from the United Nations.

Called Avalon Riverview North, it joins Citilights and Avalon Riverview, a 32-story luxury apartment tower, which is fully occupied.

An 80-unit low-income senior housing building and a 32-story glass apartment building are nearing completion.

That glass-walled tower is part of the $1 billion project - including 3,200 apartments in seven towers - that will rise on the 21-acre former Pepsi-Cola plant site. Now owned by Rockrose Development Corp., it is part of the second phase of Queens West.

"By breaking ground today on Avalon Riverview North we will reach a critical milestone," said Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corp.

Avalon Riverview North is the last residential building being constructed in Phase One of Queens West, said Gargano, who added that Rockrose is expected to break ground on a second Phase Two building in a few weeks.

"By 2008, we will have achieved critical mass - constructing more than 2,400 apartments within the four blocks between 47th and 50th Aves.," Gargano said.

"With the success of our first community in Long Island City, the new property promises to offer more amenities and luxury living conditions, and we are confident that it will attract more residents to Long Island City," said Fred Harris, senior vice president of Avalon Bay.

Gargano said that Queens West, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corp., is now making plans to develop the southern portion of the site. However, he noted, Queens West no longer plans to develop any commercial space, but rather will be concentrating on residential and "some small commercial retail."

Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), who represents the area, issued a statement yesterday calling for more to be done at the Queens West site for the middle class.

"As this neighborhood grows, we need home ownership opportunities that people can afford, new schools, and amenities like libraries and parks," said Gioia, who did not attend the groundbreaking.

When Avalon Riverview opened, rents for studios ranged from $1,495 to $1,920 a month; one bedrooms, $1,845 to $3,475; two bedrooms, $2,750 to $3,880, and three bedrooms, $3,565 to $4,395.

Prices at the new building will be market rate, Harris said.

Originally published on March 9, 2006
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Old March 11th, 2006, 05:26 AM   #70
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Wow, LIC looks promising these days. Only a few years ago--who would've imagined?

The Silvercup complex looks awesome. I'm all for the film industry expanding in NY, and all for anything that brings some more prominence to Queens.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #71
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April 16, 2006

This tower was completed in 9 months or so...!!!!



September 11, 2005



April 16, 2006




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Old April 19th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #72
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Thanks for the updates again, Carlos.

How are the other buildings coming along in Queens west. The gantry ans others ??
You have any news on those.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:22 AM   #73
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progress under way...







steel beams now visible for new skyscraper next door to Citicorp !!


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Old June 16th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #74
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this is very pleasing. Neighboring areas of downtown NYC is changing as well.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #75
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Beautiful developments, LIC is one of the areas I may be moving to in a yr.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 11:08 PM   #76
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Ha...that citcorp building does look rather awkward with out anything around it.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 01:41 AM   #77
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As of today july 3, 2006



cranes everywhere !!!









incredible progress this tower is under the radar for most new yorkers!!




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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #78
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #79
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carlos is that u i that tiny pic?......
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Old July 25th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC-GDL
carlos is that u i that tiny pic?......
OF COURSE THATS ME !!!!!


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