Developer TF Cornerstone is planning to build a massive office tower along the Anable Basin in Long Island City where Amazon planned to build its HQ2 campus before bolting the borough on St. Valentine’s Day just over a year ago.
In an interview with The Real Deal at the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala, TF Cornerstone’s chairman and co-founder Tom Elghanayan discussed the e-commerce giant scuttling the project over a lack of collaborative relationships with state and local officials.
“We never expected Amazon and as abruptly as they came, they left abruptly, too,” Elghanayan said. “It was sort of surgical. It wasn’t a long, drawn-out thing. It was like the patient was sick, and then he was dead.”
Elghanayan was also able to find a silver lining after his company’s partnership with Amazon collapsed.
“In a funny way, it improved Long Island City because no one was thinking about Long Island City as an office headquarters distinction before and now people are going, ‘Well, Amazon could go there,’” Elghanayan said. “In fact, we plan to build a building a million square feet. It’s quite a large building.”
Asked for further clarification, a spokesperson for TF Cornerstone said that there are no final plans for the sites, but they are exploring job-generating uses after hearing from the community and the city that economic empowerment, the creation of good jobs, and workforce training opportunities are some of the top priorities.
“We are also exploring other community-serving uses, public open space, education, and more based on residents feedback,” the spokesperson said. “The public engagement process for the full 28 acres of waterfront will continue in the coming months and we look forward to presenting plans to the community after the completion of the community visioning process.”
TF Cornerstone, Plaxall, Simon Baron Development and L&L MAG launched the YourLIC public engagement process for the future of the waterfront in November. There are two more public workshops coming up next month.
The Comprehensive Neighborhood Planning Mobility and Infrastructure workshop will take place Monday, March 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Info Tech High School, located at 21-16 44th Rd. That will be followed by a Density and Uses workshop on March 23 at a time and location to be determined.
For more information, visit YourLIC’s website here.