Tishman Speyer's years-in-the-making megadevelopment near Queens Plaza in Long Island City, called Gotham Center, appears to be moving forward. Well, at least the first phase?a 21-story office building where a six-story municipal garage currently stands?is in motion, while the rest (housing, retail) is still up in the air performing some sort of circling pattern. The Times reports that the city has signed a lease to move the Department of Health to the office building at 28th Street and Thomson Avenue, a total of 2,700 employees.
Tishman Speyer had been looking for an anchor tenant (the above is an ad that ran on the back cover of Crain's) before it broke ground, but with tons of office space at the WTC and Hudson Yards and elsewhere around the corner, it was unclear if Gotham Center would ever happen. But the rent is cheaper in LIC, and the city bit. The DOH rumor was first floated by The Real Deal in May. Charles Bagli writes, "The city has wanted to create an office district in Long Island City for companies unwilling to pay higher Midtown Manhattan rents. It is using government offices to anchor the project with the hope that private companies will follow." A dangerous bet in these harsh economic times, no?
· New Building to Be Home for the Health Department [NYT]