October 14, 2019

Developers Working on Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, A Series of Public Meetings to be Held

A number of developers that plan to build on the Long Island City waterfront–including parcels where the Amazon headquarters was slated to go–are working on a comprehensive waterfront plan.

TF Cornerstone, L&L MAG and Simon Baron Development are looking to guide the development of 28 acres of public and privately-owned land by Anable Basin and north of 44th Drive. They are reaching out to the public to help them shape the plan and have established “Your LIC” for local input.

The developers will be working with the community and the City Council to put together a series of public meetings in coming months with the goal of coming up with a comprehensive framework.

The City Council gathered stakeholders with developable property along the waterfront during the summer and called for them to formulate a unified plan. The city wants to make sure that the community’s needs are met through one comprehensive plan, as opposed to each developer acting separately.

The developers announced today that Dr. Gail Mellow, former president of LaGuardia Community College, has joined “Your LIC” to help produce the plan by soliciting input from the public and industry.

Plaxall, which plans to develop about 12 acres by Anable Basin and owns much of the land where Amazon was slated to go, is not part of the Your LIC coalition. However, the company has conducted extensive community outreach in recent times and has a decades-long history in the area.

The City Owned Parcels TF Cornerstone was looking to develop

The three developers that are part of the coalition all have interests in the 28 acres.

TF Cornerstone was in the process of developing two city-owned sites where 44th Drive meets the East River– before the Amazon deal led to those plans being shelved.

L&L owns a five-acre waterfront plot at 44-02 Vernon Blvd., known as Lake Vernon, which is north of 44th Drive.

Meanwhile, Simon Baron owns the Paragon Paint building at 45-40 Vernon Blvd., which backs onto Anable Basin.

The three developers, in a unified statement, said that they are working on a collaborative process to bring jobs, a resilient waterfront, open space, affordable housing, and arts and community space to the waterfront.

Matthew Baron, President of Simon Baron Development, said that the process will provide residents with a real say in terms of the outcome of the area.

“With three developers coming to the table to work with each other, the community, and the City Council, we believe so much can be achieved for the benefit of Long Island City,” Baron said.

Jeremy Shell, Principal of TF Cornerstone, said that the collaboration between developers and the community was a unique approach to development in New York City.

“This is a completely new approach for Long Island City and an unprecedented process in New York. We look forward to working closely with Dr. Mellow and all of the residents, businesses, and stakeholders in Long Island City for the months and years to come,” Shell said in a statement.

Mellow will lead community engagement and workforce development initiatives to ensure that the waterfront sites are developed with community input.

She will work with a number of local groups, including NYCHA Tenants Associations, to form recommendations.

“This is such an exciting and important project for our neighborhood and the city at large, and I am thrilled to be doing what I love most – working with the community – to help turn their vision into a reality,” Mellow said in a statement.

The workforce development initiatives and community benefits engagement will be supported in consultation with Bishop Mitchell Taylor, founder of Urban Upbound.

“The Long Island City waterfront provides so much hope and opportunity for Queens, and its future must be planned carefully by the people who live and work here,” said Bishop Taylor, Founder of Urban Upbound.

“I look forward to collaborating with Gail and the Your LIC team to create an inclusive process that prioritizes strong community benefits and good jobs for all.”

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October 4, 2019

Guests Partied in the Park at Last Night’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Gala

Last night a throng of Brooklynites and Manhattanites gathered along the East River in black-tie. The occasion? Twenty years of free public activities at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which not too long ago was a neglected plot of waterfront land. The refurbished and transformed green space is now one of the most beloved (and photographed) spots in the city, so there was much to celebrate last night at the Brooklyn Black Tie Ball.

The evening started with a boisterous cocktail party, complete with tasty canapés and beverages ranging from glasses of Gadais Muscadet to cans of (what else) Brooklyn Lager. Guests could hardly stop the chatter as hosts encouraged all to take their seats, which offered primo views of lower Manhattan. From start (a salad of chicories with brie fondue) to finish (sunflower-butter jelly doughnuts), the three-course meal satiated the crowd as the Conservancy reflected on two decades of progress.

Special honorees of the evening were two-megawatt women whose work throughout Brooklyn and the Greater New York City Area has transformed the city into a safer and more prosperous place for all. Mayor Bill de Blasio honored Alicia Glen, former deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development in New York, and MaryAnne Gilmartin, former CEO of Forest City Ratner and famed developer of the Barclays Center.

“It’s so New York to have a place that is open late at night; a place where you can go and play basketball, or do whatever activity you like, right along the Manhattan skyline,” shared Girls star and Red Hook resident Jemima Kirke. “It’s so beautiful. It’s a real part of the city; it’s that idea of having a place that’s our hub.”

Keri Russell shared a similar sentiment: “I have to say, this is the only gala I always come to because it’s the most true to my life. I use this park multiple times a day, my kids use it multiple times a day—it’s an amazing park, it’s an amazing use of space, and it’s a part of everyday life.”

Image may contain Keri Russell Sylvana Ward Durrett Human Person Clothing Apparel Fashion Evening Dress and Gown

Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Sylvana Durrett in a Caroline Constas dress and Stella McCartney blazer; Keri Russell in Saint Laurent

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Honoree Alicia Glen, Senator Chuck Schumer, and honoree MaryAnne Gilmartin

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Henry Hager and Jenna Bush Hager

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/The interior ambiance as guests took their seats

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Jemima Kirke

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Photo: Alexa Hoyer/Like any great gala, the evening ended with dancing.

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