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Front row seat to the evolution of Long Island City

By David Brause, President, Brause Realty Inc. & Chair REBNY Commercial Brokerage Queens Committee

Long Island City has established itself as one of the most vibrant places to live, work and play in New York City.

As the Chairman of the new REBNY Queens Commercial Committee, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch from a front row seat the incredible growth and evolution of this truly unique “city within a City.” The exceptional blend of industrial, commercial, residential and cultural sectors are all building a more dynamic LIC.

Launched in 2015, the REBNY Queens Commercial Committee has been off to a great start this year.

We’ve already held three well-attended luncheons in the most active real estate market in Queens – Long Island City.

Jamestown hosted the first luncheon at The Falchi building, a five-story, mixed-use office building, followed by a second luncheon at the Standard Motors Building, a property that has maintained its industrial roots and character while being modernized to excel in the 21st Century marketplace.

Our most recent event was at the Factory Building, one of Long Island City’s newest and most desirable workspaces, known as the former Macy’s furniture warehouse.

Headed by a group of commercial brokers and owners, there is always plenty to discuss and attendees shared their insight on market data and recent deal information.

As the Chair of the Long Island City Business Improvement District (LIC BID), I was able to share the latest data, as reported by our parent organization and LIC business ombudsmen, the Long Island City Partnership.

According to the Partnership’s market snapshot, the residential market in LIC continued to boom in 2015, with more than 10,300 total units completed since 2006, and more than 24,500 in the planning or construction phase. A

n incredible amount of new construction is rising from the ground, including Rockrose’s 974-unit building at 43-25 Hunter Street, which will have nearly 20,000 s/f of retail at the base.

Tishman Speyer broke ground on a 1,800-unit development on the north end of Jackson Avenue, and Simon Baron Development began a 43-story mixed-use building at 29-26 Northern Boulevard last spring. PMG, Lions Group, and Heatherwood are all deep into construction of significant buildings along Queens Plaza as well.

Our company, Brause Realty, is actively building a 38-story, 272-unit rental building at 44-28 Purves Street, directly adjacent to the Suna family’s new condominium building under construction now.  Full information can be found at licpartnership.org/development map.

Many new residential buildings opened their doors this yea. Ekstein Development, MNS and L+M Development’s new building at 26-14 Jackson Avenue quickly leased 98 units and a new retail tenant is expected soon. World Wide Group opened QLIC, a 421 unit building at 41-42 24th Street.

LIC touts over 30 arts and cultural institutions and venues, more than 150 restaurants, as well as over 150 bars and cafes. Attractions include the Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA PS1. Michelin Star restaurants like M. Wells Steakhouse and Casa Enrique abound.

A short ride from Manhattan via bus, bike or train, tourists have a plethora of hotel options, including the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn at 29-41 41st Avenue. More than 31 hotels are in the planning and construction phases, including the Marriott Hotel and Residences at 29-07 Queens Plaza North and Aloft Hotel at 27-45 Jackson Avenue. Meanwhile, 27 hotelsare now operating more than 2500 rooms in the area.

More than 90,000 employees are working from the area daily at companies such as CitiBank, MetLife, JetBlue and Silvercup Studios. In 2015, we welcomed UOVO art storage, which brought 40 new employees to Queens Plaza North. There were significant leases at RXR’s Standard Motors Building at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, Jamestown’s Falchi Building, and Atlas Capital’s Factory LIC.  On the development front, close to half a million square feet of commercial, retail and manufacturing space is in planning or construction.

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