In the early 1990s, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney saw the potential of Long Island City as a business district and began advocating for funding to bring parks, healthcare, affordable housing, infrastructure and transportation projects, and innovative economic development projects to the gritty neighborhood.
Maloney worked along with the LIC Business Development Corporation which changed its name to the Long Island City Partnership in 2010. Last week, Maloney returned to speak at the Partnership’s breakfast for business leaders and spoke of her support for the state and city’s deal to bring Amazon’s HQ2 waterfront campus around Anable Basin a promise of 25,000 good-paying jobs over 10 years, with a plan to grow to 40,000 over 15 years.
“I love jobs,” Maloney said. “While there are many benefits to being a place people want to come, there are also many challenges to fast growth and abrupt changes. We need to work with the city and the state to make sure that this community gets the type of investments that are needed in a fast-growing neighborhood.”
“I’m glad that the mayor announced $180 million in new investments, including the aging, overworked, overwhelmed sewer system — but that’s just the beginning,” the congresswoman added.
As Long Island City has recently added more residential units than any other ZIP code in the country, with another 6,500 new units coming on line in the next few years, Maloney knows there is much more to be done on the neighborhood’s infrastructure.
“We need to make sure we have an integrated transportation system that brings people where they need to go — not just between Manhattan and Queens but within Long Island City,” she said. “But we need to make sure that we get the promised Sunnyside stop to make it easier for people in this neighborhood to commute and to bring workers to jobs in this major business center. I am enthusiastic about the idea of a Grand Central East that will make use of the fact that the LIRR, NJ Transit and Amtrak already come into the Sunnyside Rail Yards — there should be a station here with stops for all three systems.”
Maloney added there was more on her wish list.
“We need upland parks — along with an extended park along the waterfront,” she said. “We need resiliency so that businesses along the waterfront and along Vernon Boulevard aren’t at risk of flooding in the next Sandy. We need new schools.”