May 23, 2001
CONTACT: Public Affairs Officer -- (212) 720-3471
CITY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES THE LONG ISLAND
CITY REZONING APPLICATION THAT WILL CREATE NEW CENTRAL
Planning Commission today unanimously approved the Department's
proposal to create special zoning regulations for 37
centrally located blocks in Long Island City in Queens.
The proposed zoning changes address critical commercial
development needs of the City by allowing large mixed-use
buildings to be constructed on sites located one or
two subway stops east of Midtown Manhattan.
B. Rose, Chairman of the City Planning Commission, said,
"This is one the most important actions the Commission
can make to ensure the future growth of New York City.
This proposal allows Long Island City to realize its
potential to emerge as one of the City's major business
centers an important part of our continued effort
to embrace economic expansion. It does so in a way that
balances the infrastructure capacity of the area, as
well as the surrounding areas that have a significant
manufacturing and residential presence. This is a carefully
constructed and balanced plan that is a significant
first step to address the future growth and development
of Long Island City."
rezoning area lies at the eastern end of the Queensboro
Bridge and encompasses a roughly triangular set of blocks
generally bounded by the Sunnyside Yards on the east,
23rd Street on the west, and 41st Avenue on the north.
Included within this area are important transit stops
at Court Square and Queens Plaza. Sites at these locations
would be able to develop the largest buildings under
the proposed rezoning, fulfilling the promise heralded
by the Citibank Building built in 1989 at Court Square.
Investment spurred by the rezoning is expected to produce
approximately 5 million square feet of new office development
over the next ten years.
zoning changes would create a new Special Long Island
City Mixed Use District including the following general
commercial, residential and community facility uses
will be allowed as-of-right, in addition to light
manufacturing uses, to reflect the area's mixed use
character and to facilitate 24-hour activities.
density developments (floor area ratio [FAR] of 12)
would be allowed on blocks at Queens Plaza and Court
Square and moderate density developments (FARs of
5 and 8) would be allowed on surrounding blocks.
area bonuses (an additional 3 FAR) are specifically
targeted to the provision of publicly accessible open
space by new developments on two blocks adjacent to
the Dutch Kills and Hunters Point neighborhoods.
lively, pedestrian oriented environment would be fostered
by requiring sidewalk widenings along principal circulation
corridors at Queens Plaza and Northern Boulevard and
ground floor glazing treatments for most developments.
During the course of its hearings, the Commission heard
substantial testimony regarding potential effects of
the rezoning on manufacturing and industrial businesses
in the broader Long Island City area. The rezoning is
part of the Department's comprehensive planning approach
to enhance the Long Island City neighborhood's multi-purpose
character as outlined in the 1993 Plan
for Long Island City: A Framework for Development.
In 1995, the Commission implemented one of the framework's
key recommendations when it approved the Department's
application to rezone 90 blocks of Long Island City
surrounding the proposed central business district,
thereby, supporting light industrial and related uses.
The City remains committed, through programs managed
by the City's Economic Development Corporation, to support
industrial businesses in Long Island City.
with the rezoning, the City is encouraging redevelopment
in the area by proposing the sale of the municipal parking
garage located on a full block measuring approximately
126,000 square feet and located at the intersection
of Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue. The block
has several entrances to the Queens Plaza subway station,
and under the rezoning, the site could be redeveloped
with a structure containing 1.5 million square feet
of floor area. Any redevelopment of the four-story parking
garage would have to provide 1,150 public parking spaces.
The City's Economic Development Corporation issued a
Request for Proposals in October, 2000 for the site,
and responses are currently under review.
will be referred out to the City Council for 50 days
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