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LIC's The Yard is Fit for Kings, Queens, Knights and Pawns

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The living room in a 1BR model unit.
The living room in a 1BR model unit.

[Photos by Will Femia.]

We were expecting The Yard to be the latest Long Island City condo building to focus as much on over-the-top frills as being a nice and welcoming place to start a home. Could you blame us? The 12-story, 83-unit building burst onto the scene promising moss-covered lobby walls and a gigantic rooftop chessboard. But after visiting The Yard last week while construction was finishing up, we quickly learned the building is more Mundane than Murano, and in the new LIC, that might make it even more unique.
The Yard is located behind the Powerhouse condo building near the Hunters Point waterfront, with East River views that will eventually be blocked by the Hunters Point South project. A third sibling building is planned for the parking lot next to the Powerhouse (which is now over 70% sold), but first thing's first. The Yard is for a younger crowd: There are just 16 two-bedrooms, and the rest are studios and one-bedroom units, with 1BRs making up the bulk. But according to Modern Spaces's Eric Benaim, some units have been highlighted for potential combining, so don't count The Yard out, breeders.

Check out the website and you'll notice the "live. play." motto. That comes from the building's two communal terraces. The third-floor deck, called "Play," will have hammocks, hopscotch and a fire pit off of a residents' lounge. The roof deck, "Live," will have chaise lounges for sun bathing and that chessboard, an idea that came when Benaim, looking to do something different up on the roof, looked at the tiles and realized the colors could just be alternated to create the board. See, Bobby Fischer? This stuff ain't so hard.

But even after all that, the amenities don't dominate the building in, say, a Powerhouse way, where the massive gym and "aqua grotto" give the place a resort vibe. We saw three apartments on our tour: a studio, a one-bedroom and an unfinished two-bedroom. The model units are decked out in conversation-starting art pieces and furniture made mostly from reclaimed wood, the latter by Brooklyn-based Nightwood. Prices are in the $730/sqft range, and 19 units are in contract. The building, designed by Karl Fischer, has only been under construction for a year, and the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is due in the next few weeks. The building has only been in a soft-open mode, but now The Yard is ready to come out and play. Anyone been by this LIC newcomer?
· Listings: The Yard at 2-26 50th Avenue [StreetEasy]
· The Yard []
· LIC project "The Yard" ready to launch, with life-size chessboard and wall of moss [Real Deal]