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Spotlight: Long Island City Attractions

Queens, NY – Once a manufacturing hub known for its iconic Pepsi Cola sign, Long Island City has transformed into one of the city’s hottest residential neighborhoods, with some noteworthy sights to match. Following is a list of Long Island City’s top attractions:

Gantry Plaza State Park

Located on a former dockyard and manufacturing district in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park boasts 12-acres of beautiful park grounds, including well-preserved remnants of the area’s past. The most notable of these are the huge iconic Pepsi Cola sign and the gantry cranes for which the park was named. The park sits adjacent to Hunters Point South Park, which adds another 5.5 acres of park grounds with pedestrian and bike paths, a playground, picnic terraces, wooden seating areas, and a 30-foot-high cantilevered platform to this must-see destination.

Gantry State Park is a popular meeting place for people all ages and offers breathtaking views of Manhattan across the East River, as well as the United Nations HQ and Roosevelt island. 

Noguchi Museum

This inspired museum houses thirteen galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden featuring a wide collection of artwork by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). The museum itself is Noguchi’s actual workspace in then-industrial Long Island City, a wonderful treat that allows you to feel how he integrated his work with his natural surroundings. Special exhibits explain aspects of his life, work against the World War II detention of Japanese-Americans, and his development of specific artistic projects, such as paper lamps.

MoMa PS 1

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. Located in Long Island City, New York, MoMA PS1 is dedicated to exhibiting the most provocative and challenging art from around the world. MoMA PS1 is an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This museum is literally housed in an old school, and when you walk the halls you cannot help but be brought back to your own grade school memories of buildings just like this one. The art here is very modern/contemporary and often quite provocative.

Elevator Historical Society

A celebration of the history of elevators, this museum is a wonderful collection of elevator parts and memorabilia. Most of the items on display are still functional and, unlike most museums, can actually be touched to experience the feel of these classic pieces.

Sculpture Center

SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. Sculpture Center commissions new work and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists.

Hunters Point State Park

Once an abandoned industrial area, the space has transformed into a bonafide waterfront park, including a central green, playgrounds, fitness equipment a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces a basketball court, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront, and a 13,000 sf pavilion that contains comfort stations, concessions, and an elevated cafe plaza.

The Cliffs

The Cliffs, opened in 2014, offers both high and short walls, a slack line area, classes in many phases of climbing, as well as stretch and yoga classes, and climbing parties. Almost all of the climbs are leadable and the lead only overhung cave will challenge even the more advanced climbers. You will also find a full locker room with lockers, showers, and sinks and a small retail shop with enough climbing equipment to outfit the beginner.

Queensboro Bridge

There are 16 bridges that connect the island of Manhattan to the outer boroughs, and at least a dozen of them offer pedestrian lanes. Among them is the world famous Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge and now officially The Ed Koch Bridge). A walk across this iconic, century old structure will give you a great view of Long Island City, the East River, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Hunters Point Historic District

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) 1968 designation report describes the Hunters Point Historic District as “a notable residential area…which retains, on both sides of the street, a feeling of unity and repose, little changed since it was first built” that “serves as a microcosm of the domestic architecture of the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.”

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Batra Commercial Division Enjoys Steady Growth

New York, NY – Following its successful launch earlier this year, Batra Commercial is adding more commercial agents to the team to meet increasing client demand and expanding its service area throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. We have several projects in development, including retail and office spaces in Midtown East, Upper East Side, Long Island City and Williamsburg. 

Batra can help you find the perfect space for your next office, retail shop, or new development. Contact us for a free consultation!

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Amazon Selects Long Island City for New H2

Long Island City, NY – Talk about a winning streak. Long Island City was already the fastest growing neighborhood in NYC this year, with a projected 6,400 new residences to open by 2020. Now they will also be home to Amazon’s HQ2.

Amazon announced on Thursday that they selected a pair of cities for their second headquarters: Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, VA. The exact LIC location has not yet been unveiled, but Politico reports that it will likely be part of the 15-acre Anabal Basin waterfront mega project.

The reaction in Long Island City has been mixed at best. While the economic incentives are certainly attractive, many locals fear that the new offices will put a strain on the neighborhood’s infrastructure, particularly the area’s schools, transit and sewer systems which are in dire need of upgrading. Community leaders were already sounding the alarm on the pace of development as too much too soon. Adding 25,000 Amazon commuters is an overwhelming prospect, to say the least.

Luckily, however, many of the area’s infrastructure upgrades will be complete by the time Amazon opens shop in 2020. Pundits also point out that Amazon will likely play a major in the area’s continued transformation.

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Market Trends: New Construction Boom in Queens & Brooklyn

New York, NY – New construction is ramping up in Queens and Brooklyn. According to Localize.City, there are 31,000 new units slated to hit the NYC residential market by 2020 – with the vast majority in Long Island City. In fact, the nearly 6,400 new apartments being developed for the Queens hotspot is almost double its nearest rival, Williamsburg. 

The current construction boom is largely the result of a rush of permits filed by developers in 2014 and 2015 hoping to cash in before the 421-a tax abatement program expired. Interestingly enough, a 421-a tax abatement replacement program has since been approved and new permit filings are again on the upswing, with Brooklyn and Queens still leading the way:

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Long Island City’s Race to the Top

Queens, NY – Things continue to look up for Long Island City. In fact, the newest towers under construction in the perennial hotspot will rival midtown Manhattan at 60 and 70 stories high. 

In a virtual race to the top, the neighborhood has seen a handful of noteworthy buildings vying for the title of “tallest building in Queens.” That distinction currently belongs to the Citigroup building at 49 stories, but will soon be eclipsed next year by City View Tower at 66 stories and Queens Plaza Park at 70 stories.

The glass tower procession is part of an concerted effort by developers to appeal to young professionals seeking amenity rich living at somewhat discounted prices from midtown.  

Following are the area’s most exciting new residential and mixed-use skyscrapers coming to the market:

5Pointz Towers, 22-44 Jackson Avenue
Set for 2019, 5Pointz Towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue will be comprised of 2 residential towers rising 48 and 41 stories with 1,115 units overlooking a common 5-story podium with an extensive array of amenities. The building’s interior design features graffiti style artwork throughout as homage to the iconic former street graffiti mecca it replaced. The mixed-use property will also include 50,000 square feet of retail space and parking for 250 cars. Amenities include a courtyard, event room, climbing wall, fitness center, game room with shuffleboard and pool tables, laundry room, lounge, on-site parking, pet grooming services, basement storage, bike room, children’s playroom, and 10,000+ square foot gymnasium with pool.

Queens Plaza Park, 29-55 Northern Boulevard
To be completed in 2020, Queens Plaza Park will be LEED-certified with 63 floors containing 954 apartments. The new development will incorporate the existing landmarked Queens Clock Tower Building, a half-acre public park and renovated Queens Plaza subway entrance acquired in the property purchase. Amenities will include a pool, children’s playroom, fitness center, storage, laundry room, bike room and library, and a large backyard with kids play sets and plenty of grass.

Court Square City View Tower, 23-15 44th Drive
Set for 2020, City View Tower will rise 66 stories and contains 800 units. The sleek monolithic structure will feature an all glass facade with 360 degrees views and a skylit amenity space on the fourth and fifth floors, including a fitness center, full service garage, lounge, on-site parking, pool, spa/therapy room and terraces/balconies.

Jackson East, 26-32 Jackson Ave
Jackson East, soon to be followed by Jackson West down the block, is a 37-floor tower featuring an eclectic mix of glass and brick, with building corners glazed with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies siding many mid- and upper-floor units. The complex will also include storefronts along Jackson and 43rd Avenue.

The Forge, 44-28 Purves Street
Completed in 2017, The 38-story Forge is a stylistic descendant of 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, and includes long continuous bands of multi-pane windows. The building hopes to achieve LEED Silver status and has wind and solar panels. The interior will feature art installations by local artists. The 272 apartments are decidedly modern, with KitchenAid and Bosch stainless-steel Energy Star appliances, Bosch washers and dryers, European white oak floors, quartz kitchen countertops. Amenities abound, including a double-height lobby, a coffee shop, a 75-car garage, bicycle storage, laundry room, children’s playroom, fitness center, a private conference area with kitchen and fireplace, a second-floor courtyard with a pool, a grill, a bar area and a movie screen, billiards room, wet bar, terrace, concierge and tenant storage. The ground floor also features 2,000-square feet of retail space.

42-50 24th Street
This 70-story tower by Dynamic Worldwide Group will be composed of a square masonry base and a sweeping glass tower with front-and-center views of Midtown Manhattan. It will rival the city’s largest buildings at one million square feet.

43-30 24th Street
Currently in pre-construction, this Stawksi Partners project will rise 66-stories and include 921 rental apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail space, a library and an indoor swimming pool.

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Return of the Buyer’s Market

New York, NY – By all measures, the market is cooling faster than the season’s temperatures. In fact, New York City is in the midst of a major real estate shift not seen since 2009, with an increasing number of properties staying on the market longer and sellers scrambling to remain competitive. At long last, it’s a buyer’s market.

According to StreetEasy’s Q3 Market Report, the shift is largely due to increased inventory. There are now over 1,000 more homes on the market than there were at this time last year. In fact, the week after Labor Day made history with more sellers cutting asking prices than any other week in StreetEasy history.

This month we’re seeing more seller concessions, price cuts and perks. Offers are coming in at 20 to 25 percent below asking price. Homes listed at $1 million+ are spending over 100 days on the market. Those listed between $8 million and $12 million are spending an average of 175 days on the market.

Lengthier negotiations have been a major driver in these numbers, as buyers can now afford to be picky and wait for the perfect deal.

If you’ve been waiting for peak prices to come down, holding out to see the impact of last year’s new tax legislation, or simply waiting for the right time to buy … now is the time.