Six months after Amazon abandoned its plan to build its HQ2 campus along the Anable Basin in Long Island City and bring more than 25,000 jobs to western Queens, conversations have begun concerning the waterfront space of publicly and privately owned parcels of land at the end of 44th Drive.
The Hunters Point Civic Association and a coalition of concerned neighborhood organizations, local residents and business owners held a series of meetings and developed a report on what the community would like to see in the future at the 22-acre site.
“There was a clear consensus that development of the four properties must be planned as a whole and that segmented planning works against responsible development,” the report says. “Planning must take into account LIC’s greater challenges — namely, its location in a flood plain, its lack of infrastructure, its deficit of services and school seats, the displacement of artists and small businesses, and the area’s lack of affordable housing.”
The report, released on Sept. 16 and titled “Community-Centered Development for Anable Basin Sites,” calls for at least two public schools in the neighborhood, a community center, truly affordable housing, medical facilities, retail space, a continuous along the waterfront and a flood mitigation system.
Hunters Point Civic Association president Brent O’Leary then sent the 10-page report to developers TF Cornerstone, Paxall and L&L Mag as well as the city’s Economic Development Corporation. All three developers sent O’Leary formal written replies and agreed to meet with the community groups.
“We are happy the developers read our report which sets forth many of the critical needs of the area and agreed to come and listen to the community,” O’Leary said. “It is this type of dialogue which can help a neighborhood develop properly, meet the needs of a community and work best for all parties. If done correctly this way of engaging the community can be a model for others going forward.”
Plaxall agreed to take part in the first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the New York Irish Center, located at 10-40 Jackson Ave. The meeting will be open to the public beginning at 7 p.m.
“We’ve spent a lot of time over the years talking with the community about our property’s potential for jobs and workforce development, affordable housing and resilient waterfront open space unlike anywhere else in the city,” Plaxall Managing Director Paula Kirby said. “Brent invited us to hear his coalition’s ideas for Anable Basin and we said we’d welcome the opportunity. We’ll be there to listen and we’re looking forward to it.”
Organizations included in the coalition include the Queensbridge Tenant Association, the Hunters Point Park Conservancy, the Blissville Civic Association, the LIC Arts Open, the Queens Action Council and the Justice for All Coalition.