So why did Amazon choose LIC for half of its HQ2? Why not Manhattan or Brooklyn, rather than an area than only recently has risen up from being a storage facility for NYC and manufacturing center? It is precisely because of that recent rise, with its massive wave of new apartments that made it an attractive choice.
If you have seen LIC in the last few years, you really haven’t seen it. More apartments have been built in the last 10 years than any other community in the entire US, more than 22,000 with 8,000 under construction now. And the focus has not been on affordable apartments, it has been on the high-end of the market. Developers like Rockrose and its sister organization TF Cornerstone or other groups including Silvercup Properties, Brause Realty, World Wide Group, Lightstone and the Stahl Organization. Many billions have been spent in LIC recently, creating new, modern and some architecturally very interesting buildings. Perhaps now where in NYC can you find so many modern buildings, packed with amenities, within walking distance of each other. Manhattan, Brooklyn and other parts of Queens have been building up for decades while LIC was almost a blank slate of under-developed property. Say good bye to the piano factories, printers , iron works, etc etc, but they do live on the names of the new buildings and businesses.
A view of high rise residential buildings near Court Square.
Perhaps in order to attract residents from Manhattan and maximize returns, the buildings have amenities built in that older buildings would have a very hard time retrofitting into. Some now standards amenities aren’t just a gym, common room or a laundry room, a doorman; now it is more about gym with a yoga studio, a media room, a game room, a rooftop deck, a kids room, some landscaped outdoor space, in-unit washer and dryers, modern kitchen and bathrooms, perhaps a pool and a basketball court, an on-site concierge/valet, a garage, pets are welcome and spacious lobbies. For sure they may not be as spacious as some pre-war buildings but they feel much fresher, current, energetic and upbeat.
Condos such as The Powerhouse, 5 sl, Arris Lofts, The Factory House, One Hunters Point, One Murray Park and many others have great amenities. Condos such as the Murano, Corte (under construction) or the Galerie (also under construction with some units to see) are architectural masterpieces.
There is also many high-end rentals to choose from including 22 22 Jackson Ave, Jackson Park, The Forge, QLIC, the ARC, The Maximillian, The Harrison, The Hayden, Linc LIC, The View, Alta LIC and the numbered buildings on Center Boulevard and others offer an attractive living choice; some right on the waterfront, others closer to Court Square or Queens Boulevard with great access to subways, shopping and food.