Developer TF Cornerstone commits to not building luxury or market-rate housing on public land at Anable Basin

Courtesy of Governor’s office

The coalition of developers that control the 28 acres of land surrounding Anable Basin in Long Island City that was to be home to Amazon’s HQ2 campus continued its Your LIC public outreach effort Monday.

Given the state of emergency declared by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and calls from public health officials to avoid large gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, the public workshop was moved to an online webinar.

Ebony Young, TF Cornerstone’s vice president of corporate social responsibility, joined the webinar to set the record straight on the two waterfront sites the developer controls: the “Waterfront Site” at 44-99 44th Dr. and the “DOT Site” at 5-40 44th Dr.

She said the community had been heard “loud and clear” that they must be used for the public good.

“We are committing to not pursuing any market-rate or luxury residential uses for these sites. There will be no luxury housing on public sites,” Young said. “Instead, these sites are focusing on creating significant public open space.”

She said half of the DOT site would become a public commons that “can be used for public gatherings, markets and a variety of purposes like that. And the other half of the DOT site will include a new public school that faces the new open space.”

Young also cleared up another issue that has been raised by the community by declaring that TF Cornerstone does not control the huge Department of Education building saying it is owned and controlled by the city.

“We are also very focused on bringing good jobs to Long Island City through the creation of new commercial spaces that will feed into the existing business ecosystem in Queens,” Young said. This will be done in connection with workforce training programs that will be worked out with the community.”

Meanwhile, a Your LIC spokeswoman is dismissing a published report by Queens Patch that claimed the four developers TF Cornerstone, Plaxall, Simon Baron Development and L&L MAG are “privately hatching plans” to build a series of massive mega-towers along the LIC waterfront.

“To be clear: no plans have been completed or proposed,” she said in a statement. “During the planning process, we look at many different scenarios and options, including ranges of height and densities and the trade-offs between open space, low-rise buildings, heights and uses — that is a normal part of the process that will allow us to respond to what we have heard throughout the community visioning process with an eventual proposal. Our goal is to present a proposed plan following the completion of the public engagement process for the community to weigh in on, even before we enter the formal public review (ULURP) process.”

She added that Your LIC will have one more public workshops before proposing a plan that responds to what they have heard when the public engagement process is complete.

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