By Holly Dutton
The crowds came out last week to celebrate the opening of a 50,000 s/f amenity deck at TF Cornerstone’s 4545 Center Boulevard, the 41-story rental tower on the Long Island City waterfront.
Arquitectonica, the award-winning architectural firm, designed the deck and landscaped terrace that sits off the seventh floor of the gleaming new tower.
There’s a real sand beach volleyball court, two tennis courts, a reflecting pool, lawn, and sun deck with BBQ grills, lounge chairs and benches.
The building’s other amenities include club rooms with a catering kitchen, bicycle storage, indoor parking, a concierge and valet.
There is a children’s playroom that was designed in collaboration with apple seeds, an award-winning children’s play center.
An outdoor playground has an infant crawling area, Lego tables and interactive exhibits and more. A 5,000 s/f NY Kids Club will open on the ground level of the building in fall of 2014 with three classrooms, a gym, and an outdoor play space.
While it was designed to showcase all of those amenities, last week’s part also marked the culmination of TF Cornerstone’s ten-year LIC affair, during which the company has built six waterfront towers as part of a development dubbed The East Coast Project.
The company bought a 21-acre strip of land stretching along the LIC waterfront from the PepsiCo company in 2003 for $85 million.
It has since helped transform what was an industrial scab into a blooming new neighborhood.
After years in the shadows of its celebrated neighbor, Long Island City has been on a journey to create a gold coast on the right side of Manhattan.
Streetscape improvements in Queens Plaza, Jackson Avenue and Court Square and the opening of several major corporations — including Jet Blue and Publicis — have brought new jobs, while the arrival of the CUNY Law School this fall and the creation of a massive science campus being built on Roosevelt Island have also been credited with building demand for new homes.
Some 5,000 apartments will go up in Hunters Point over the next several years and thousands more around Court Square. But it is the expanding waterfront community that has so far shone brightest.
TF Cornerstone’s contribution has been 2,615 rental units and 184 condos that will be home to more than 6,000 people.
“When TF Cornerstone broke ground in Long Island City over ten years ago, we envisioned the creation of a family-friendly community with convenient access to Manhattan, spacious luxury apartments and a sprawling amount of outdoor open space,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president of TF Cornerstone.
“When creating a neighborhood, like we have done here … it is important that the amenities in TF Cornerstone residential buildings provide tenants with luxury that matches the caliber of the apartments they’re living in as well as their lifestyles.
“4545 Center Boulevard’s host of amenities do just this. Our residents can indulge in a country-club-like atmosphere without leaving their own street.” And while they could very well do just that, a walk along the waterfront today would be quite different from a decade ago.
As well as eight waterfront parks, there is a public elementary school, a library, shops like Sweetleaf Coffee and Tea and Blue Streak Wines, a Food Cellar Market, Duane Reade, and Shi Asian restaurant. You can walk to the MoMA PS1 gallery or hop a subway for a four-minute ride to Manhattan.
4545 Center Boulevard began leasing in May and is now 65% full. Prices for the studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments start $2,200 a month.