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Long Island City will get waterfront innovation center, resilient green space

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The mixed-use development will include affordable housing, a new school, and public space along the waterfront

TF Cornerstone

Long Island City is experiencing development changes at a pace that is far quicker than that of nearly any other neighborhood in the country. With so much happening, the neighborhood’s industrial days and waterfront as we know it are fading into history, however the city is hoping to preserve a portion of the waterfront’s natural habitat and is aiming to do that with the Long Island City Innovation Center.

The LIC Innovation Center is set to transform space near the Anable Basin along 44th Drive into more than an acre of open public space. Last year, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) issued a request for proposals (RFP) to create a mixed-use development at the site that will include affordable housing, affordable industrial space, a school, workforce training, and public open space along the waterfront. Developer TF Cornerstone, along with nonprofit Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, and the Coalition for Queens (C4Q) were selected to spearhead the project.

Architect Michael Arad, a partner at Handel Architects is slated to design the development while landscape architect Mathews Nielsen will “leverage the latest landscape and urban design practices, while accentuating the naturally occurring cove and wildlife habitat along the East River and incorporate ideas from the local community,” says a press release.

In addition to brining resilient open public space to Long Island City, the innovation center will also bring 100,000 square feet of light manufacturing and industrial space to the neighborhood, 400,000 square feet of commercial space, roughly 1,500 permanent jobs, and 250 units of affordable housing. There will be a 600-seat middle school, as well as new cultural and performance space.