Study reveals Long Island City poised for life sciences hub

A state-funded study finds that Long Island City would make a great home for a life sciences industry hub.
Photo by Bill Parry
By Bill Parry

Empire State Development announced the release of the Long Island City Life Sciences Feasibility Study, which was conducted by the Long Island City Partnership.

The study, released Tuesday, found that Long Island City is a critical part of the industry’s potential future in New York City, providing a combination of affordable space, access to transit and a lively community in the fastest-growing neighborhood in the nation.

“Long Island City has a critical role to play in fostering the establishment of a life sciences hub in New York City,” ESD President and CEO Howard Zemsky said. “We are proud to see the results of this state investment and look forward to building on the report’s conclusion that the neighborhood has much of what is needed for a successful hub, including affordable space, access to transit and an excellent workforce.”

The report highlights the neighborhood’s ample development sites, appropriate building stock, favorable zoning for life science uses, relative real estate costs, proximity to both Manhattan’s East Side medical research corridor and the Cornell Tech innovation campus on Roosevelt Island, convenient access to two major airports and high quality live-work character.

Long Island City has 8 million square feet of office and industrial space, more than 400,000 square feet of retail, 11,800 residential units projected to open by 2020, and 5,200 hotel rooms, making it one of New York City’s largest central business districts.

“This study, funded in part by Empire State Development through the NYC Regional Economic Development Council, uncovered a specific and essential role for LIC in the development of a self-sustaining Life Sciences Cluster in the New York Region,” LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said. “Simply put — LIC’s strengths as a community and opportunities for space align with life sciences company needs and the NYC markets specific demands.”

The life sciences and biotechnology industry includes a wide array of disciplines focused on developing cures, treatment and technologies. Its companies work to develop new vaccines and pharmaceuticals, build advanced prosthetic devices, and design software that make diagnostics more accurate. With a 16 percent growth in jobs since 2009, the life sciences sector is among the fastest growing in the city.

“New York City is home to some of the finest life sciences research institutions in the world,” city Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett said. “ESD and the Long Island City Partnership’s work affirms that the commercial life sciences sector is poised for growth, and that Long Island City is a great home for it. Through our LifeSciNYC initiative, NYCEDC looks forward to supporting growth and further solidifying New York City as a global leader in life sciences.

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

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