How Long Island City Could Become A Cleaner, Greener Williamsburg

LIC is fast on the way to becoming a fancy place to live.

By Jeff Vasishta August 24, 2016

With an increasingly crowded cluster of glassy skyscrapers reaching towards the heavens like a canopy of trees in the Amazon, is it any wonder that Long Island City has become the crown jewel of Queens’ reinvention? A few years ago it was a nondescript industrial wasteland of grey warehouses and desolate streets. Perhaps the occasional paint spattered artist wandering to the corner bodega. That was before the same pixie dust that transformed Williamsburg found its way across the East River and created a shiny, towering city of lights.

Related: As Jackson Heights Takes The Baton From Brooklyn, Gentrification Is Off At A Winning Pace

With thirty new developments coming to the city along with hotel rooms and office space, it’s no wonder that one new apartment tower—not yet opened to the public, and without a single tenant—is now on the market. Yes, in LIC, brand new apartment buildings get flipped too.

The developer, Property Markets Group, has put the 45 story tower on the market to take advantage of investor demand. A lot of people want to own apartments in the hot neighborhood just a single subway stop from Manhattan.

“The business plan always, from day one, was to build a rental and sell it,” Kevin Maloney, Property Markets Group principle and founder told Bloomberg News. “We have a price point we want to achieve and if we don’t, we’ll finance the building and just enjoy the cash flow,” he says.

New construction condos are a lucrative proposition for investors. The upkeep is minimal and often amenities like a gym, pool—and in this case a rock wall and yoga room—come with the building. Maloney’s 391 unit building tower at Queens Plaza South was initially planned as a rental but can be used as condos as well, attracting buyers who prefer flexible options.

Photo courtesy of Real Estate Weekly

With such demand, prices are inching skywards along with the new buildings. Luxury condos in the six-story building in the Hunters Point historic district, known as The Monarch, are starting at $700,000. A three bed, two bath with over 1000 square feet, goes for $1.1 million. On the super high end, a 2 family townhouse, completed in 2011 with two 3 bedroom duplexes is on the market for $3.2 million.

Agent, Mary Beth McGill with Modern Spaces, feels that the area can now command prices that a few years ago may have seemed outlandish. “The townhouse is unique. The owner is an architect who designed it and one of the units could easily be rented for $6000 a month”, she says. “It has twelve outdoor spaces which is rare.”

“I think a lot of people are surprised to find out how close Long Island City is from Manhattan,” McGill adds.  “You can be at Grand Central in three minutes. The next stop is Bryant Park and then you’re in Times Square. But then there’s also the quiet neighborhood feel of it. There’s diversity here in every way and every type of food. I live here myself and that was one of the attractions when I moved back here from San Francisco six years ago. The mellow kind of vibe reminded me of that. When I walk buyers down to the park on the waterfront I love looking at their expressions.”

Residents may also have the option of forsaking the three-minute commute into the city. Developer/Management company Tishman Speyer is bringing two 27-story towers to the neighborhood, along with partner, Qatari Diar. A 1.1 million square foot office project will be located next to the 22-story office tower, Gotham Two, that it developed in 2011.

With new schools, libraries and a massive retail influx, New Yorkers are bound to discover this next up and coming neighborhood. So, keep your eyes peeled for any other waterfront districts, close the city, that happen to have a few paint spattered artists wandering around.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury
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