Long Island City Innovation Center (LICIC) – 18DME003Q

Update: The Proposed LICIC has been Withdrawn. The New York City Economic Development Corporation, on behalf of the City of New York, and in coordination with Anable Ventures, LLC, is proposing a series of discretionary actions to facilitate the redevelopment of two sites located along 44th Drive in Long Island City, Queens Community District 2. The “Proposed Project” consists of the “Waterfront Site” includes Tax Block 489/Lot 23 and Tax Block 488/part of Lot 15, and the “Inland Site” includes Tax Block 24/Lot 7. The applicant proposes to redevelop the sites with approximately 1.75 million gross square feet (GSF) of mixed use development, including approximately 1,146 dwelling units (1,035,000 gsf) with at least 25 percent affordable, approximately 513,000 gsf of office, retail, artist workspace, and incubator space, approximately 105,000 gsf of light manufacturing, and approximately 26,000 gsf of community facility space. The proposal includes approximately one-acre (43,560 gsf) publicly accessible open space along the East River waterfront. The proposed project also includes a new 536 seat school which would be constructed by the School Construction Authority. Existing parking on the development site used by the New York City Department of Education (DOE) will be relocated to two interim sites elsewhere in Long Island City.

Currently, the Waterfront Site includes a parking area for DOE, which occupies the building immediately to the east of the Waterfront site. The area along the East River includes dilapidated platform structures as well as a pile-supported building formerly used as a restaurant at the foot of 44th Drive. A mapped but unbuilt portion of 44th Road runs through the northern part of the Waterfront Site. The Inland Site currently houses a set of single-story buildings used by New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). The NYCDOT facility houses two operations units responsible for mending potholes and road obstructions throughout all five boroughs and sidewalk repair and emergency snow removal in Manhattan and Queens.

As part of the Proposed Project the NYCDOT operations will be relocated to a new facility to be constructed, the “DOT Relocation Site” at 38-21 12th Street (Tax Block 472/Lot 646). The site is located about three quarters of a mile to the north of the existing facility is bounded by 38th Avenue, 12th Street and 13th Street. Currently, this site includes shed-like industrial structures and vehicle storage areas.

The two interim parking areas proposed for DOE use are existing parking facilities located to the south and east of the Waterfront and Inland Sites. No new construction is proposed for these sites, and the proposed uses are consistent with allowable zoning and land use requirements. The garage at 45-45 Center Boulevard at the northern end of the Queens West development will accommodate smaller vehicles, while the surface lot at 5-02 54th Avenue along Newtown Creek, will accommodate larger vehicles.

The proposed project would require multiple City approvals. Some of these approvals are discretionary actions requiring review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). It is currently anticipated that the Long Island City Innovation Center would require the following discretionary approvals:

  • Zoning Map Amendments: to create a new MX-18 (M1-5/R9) mixed use district in Long Island City Waterfront, on Zoning Map 9b;
  • Zoning Text Amendments:
    • To create a new MX-18 special district with certain bulk and use provisions,
    • To provide floor area exemptions and zoning waivers, and
    • To identify the project area as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area;
  • Zoning Special Permits, including a Large Scale General Development (LSGD) Special Permit (ZR§ 74-74);
    • Additional waivers may be sought for bulk, use, distribution of floor area, loading and lot coverage.
  • City Map Change:
    • To demap portions of the street along the north and south sides of 44th Drive, from Vernon Blvd toward the waterfront, and
    • To demap all of 44th Road from Vernon Boulevard to the waterfront;
  • Authorization to modify design and certain waterfront public access requirements (ZR § 62-822);
  • Disposition of City-owned property:
    • City- Owned; Block 488, part of Lot 15; Block 489, Lot 23; and Block 24, Lot 7; and
  • Acquisition/Site Selection:
    • The City to acquire Block 472, Lot 646.

In addition, a Chair Certification for Waterfront Public Access Areas (ZR Section 62-811) would be required.

Pursuant to ULURP the new NYCDOT facility (Block 472, Lot 646) will require a site selection and a Fair Share analysis.

In the future the developer may seek funding by the New York City Housing Preservation and Development or the New York City Housing Development Corporation to facilitate the development of permanently affordable housing and/or public financing by the New York City Industrial Development Agency for economic development purposes.

On August 14th the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development (ODMHED), as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued for public comment. A public scoping meeting was held on September 17, 2018, (including two sessions) 3pm and 6pm at CUNY School of Law, 2nd Floor Auditorium, 2 Court Square West, Long Island City, NY 11101. The comment period for the Draft Scope of Work has been extended from the required 10 days and will remain open until 5:00 P.M. Friday October 19, 2018.

Update: The Proposed LICIC project has been Withdrawn. The environmental review of the above project is no longer proceeding under the City Environmental Review Process. The proposed development site is  being subsumed into another project that will include: additional properties, some of the same project components, significant changes of proposed residential program to proposed commercial uses. The lead agency for the review of that project will be Empire State Development under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Environmental Review Materials

The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.