LIC Partnership’s annual report shows “tremendous growth across all real estate sectors” in booming neighborhood

Even the flurry of real estate activity in Long Island City over the past year couldn't make up for the falling rate of apartment sales in Queens.
Bill Parry/QNS
By Bill Parry

More than 6,200 new residential units are slated to come online in Long Island City within the next year, which will bring the total number of new apartments to nearly 22,000, according to the “LIC Neighborhood Snapshot,” an annual report presented by the Long Island City Partnership at its 13th-annual real estate breakfast last week.

The report found that in the past year, the fastest growing neighborhood in the country has seen 1.2 million square feet of industrial and commercial space open to the market and an additional 5.2 million square feet in the pipeline.

Long Island City has gained 160,000 square feet of new retail space over the past year, with another 536,000 square feet to be built by 2021. The report includes more than 10,200 residential units currently in construction or proposed beyond 2020, while a number of large employers are expanding or relocating to LIC including Altice USA, Boyce Technologies, Fidelis Care, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren and Kaufman Astoria Studios.

“This year’s Neighborhood Snapshot perfectly captures our dynamic, mixed-use, live/work community that’s coming into focus,” LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said. “While previous Snapshots showed rises in individual sectors, this report revealed tremendous growth across all sectors in Long Island City. We anticipate even greater demand for space in LIC now that Cornell Tech is open and as the life sciences initiatives of the city and state take shape.”

Last month, the partnership announced it retained the services of East Egg Project Management to help develop a plan that will create a life sciences cluster in LIC as the group seeks to attract emerging and established businesses across the life sciences sector, which encompasses biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, digital health, medical devices and others to complement and build on the array of companies in the area. Both the city and state have expressed the desire to create a life sciences campus in New York City and LIC is increasingly recognized as one of the most promising areas of the city for such a cluster to develop.

“Over the past several years, we have seen a significant increase of inquiries from companies related to life sciences and we want to catalyze growth in this sector here,” Lusskin said. “We are excited to have East Egg’s expertise guiding us through this initiative and the support of the regional Economic Development Council to make this study possible.”

The partnership was awarded a grant in December by the state Regional Economic Development Council to fund a portion of this effort, while the city Economic Development Corporation’s current request for expressions of interests for an Applied Life Sciences Hub specifically refers to LIC as a potential location.

The partnership’s plan will be completed by June.

“We’re very excited to be working with the partnership to develop a plan to catalyze life sciences activity in Long Island City,” East Egg Project Management Principal Yasmeen Ahmed Pattie said. “New York has been talking about the sector in this part of the city for years. It finally seems that all the right factors — city and state initiatives, transit improvements and real estate market conditions — are coming together, The findings of this study will help LIC take a major step forward.”

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

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