LIC Partnership awarded grant to pay for study on neighborhood’s future

By Bill Parry

The Long Island City Partnership, the non-profit local development corporation that has played a key role in the transformation of the neighborhood, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to create a plan for the future. The New York City Regional Economic Development Council is making the investment to fund a roadmap that would bolster economic productivity, help resident overcome barriers to economic opportunities, and strengthen social and physical infrastructure by working with local and regional stakeholders.

“Currently experiencing a period of explosive transformation, much of it 30 years in the making, Long Island City is now ready for its own comprehensive look as a matter of citywide urgency and as a regional priority,” 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.”

She pointed out that “prior sector-based or geographic-based efforts, such as the Western Queens Transportation, Tech Zone, and Civic Action studies, will be aggregated with new information to inform and drive demand for a roster of action-oriented solutions.”

Funds from the grant, which are being provided by Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, will leverage public and private support to create a pool of resources to produce the study.

“Our goal in supporting this study is to help Long Island City identify key areas that will spur economic growth and strengthen the local community,” NYCREDC Executive Director Joe Tazewell said. “The comprehensive plan resulting from the study will generate economic opportunities and engage in key local stakeholders to ensure that this booming New York City business district continues to thrive.”

In recent years LIC has seen office development, an influx of residential and hotel development, an increase in cultural activity and a resurgence in the industrial sector, all of which have changed the dynamic of the neighborhood. The Cornell Tech campus, which is coming to Roosevelt Island in the next couple of years, will look to LIC for services and space for its entrepreneurial spin-offs.

Several elected officials supported the grant on behalf of the LIC Partnership.

“Long Island City is one of New York’s most exciting neighborhoods,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said. “I look forward to working with everyone who loves Long Island City to ensure our community continues to grow in a responsible way.”

Borough President Melinda Katz said the plan would make the neighborhood “an even more attractive area for residents, visitors and business owners.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr‌y@cng‌local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.