As the housing and rental market continues to explode in Long Island City, the transformation of this former industrial-focused community to a mixed-use residential area has been a major topic in recent years.
To maintain the community’s industrial roots — which still supply many jobs for the city’s manufacturing workforce — while preparing for possible changes in other sectors, the nonprofit Long Island City Partnership is hoping to conduct a comprehensive study of the neighborhood and create a plan for the future.
The LIC Partnership study is close to realization as the advocacy group announced Monday it was awarded a $100,000 grant from the New York City Regional Economic Development Council to create a comprehensive plan of the future of the neighborhood. The group hopes to use this plan to guide LIC and maximize the benefits of its growth from all aspects, which on top of industrial and residential also includes the expansion of the commercial and tech markets as well.
“Currently experiencing a period of explosive transformation, much of it 30 years in the making, Long Island City, Queens, is now ready for its own, comprehensive look,” LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said. “Funding for this study will allow us to work to set a vision and priorities consonant with the neighborhood’s goals. We hope to guide city, state and federal action based upon an in-depth studied assessment of the facts and current conditions.”
The LIC Partnership applied for the grant with support from local community leaders and politicians. The state had to review about 2,600 projects that requested funding.
The study was selected among 71 projects in New York City, where a total of $61.2 million was awarded.
The plan, which was discussed at the partnership’s 27th annual trade show and luncheon in November, would for example help the community navigate through the wave of major residential developments planned for the area while learning how to improve the quality of life for current and future residents.
A wave of national retail and commercial investments is also expected to hit LIC in the future as well as a tech boom fueled by the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, and the partnership’s study will be necessary to examine these changes as well.
“The $100,000 grant from the Regional Economic Development Council is not only a recognition of the stellar work of this organization,”Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said, “but begins the real work of completing a comprehensive study on how to get LIC to reach new and even greater heights.”