The keynote panel at the Long Island City Partnership's summit held earlier this week. The keynote panel at the Long Island City Partnership’s summit, held earlier this week.
NEW YORK CITY—The tremendous growth taking place in Long Island City has New York City business and political leaders very bullish on its future. A host of private and public officials were part of the hundreds that gathered earlier this week to participate in the third annual Long Island City Summit: Ideas and Impacts. The daylong event, staged by the Long Island City Partnership, featured a series of panel discussion that addressed topics ranging from what will be the next wave of development to Long Island City evolving as a fashion district. “Long Island City is a booming hub for commercial, residential, industrial and technological industries, as well as culture, dining and entertainment,” says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “Long Island City has gone through a tremendous transformation. If you asked me five years ago, or even three years ago during the first summit, I would never have said the area would be as extraordinarily popular as it is now,” says Eric Benaim, founder & president of Modern Spaces. He adds that Long Island City has become a viable alternative for developers and stakeholders who can no longer afford Manhattan and Brooklyn. “As demand increases, developers will continue to bring new residential and commercial projects to the area, further expanding its micro neighborhoods like Court Square, Dutch Kills and Queens Plaza,” Benaim notes. The bullish views on this emerging market in Queens were backed up by a recent report issued by JLL on the burgeoning Long Island City and Brooklyn waterfront markets. The report not only noted the tremendous investment now taking place in Long Island city, but noted its impressive development pipeline as well. JLL reports that in the Long Island City area, Tishman Speyer reportedly is seeking EB-5 financing for 1 Gotham Center and 3 Gotham Center, which, when combined, would add 1.1 million square feet to the market. Also, 37-47 Austell Pl. is slated to be transformed from industrial uses into a loft office space. The 180,000-square-foot redevelopment project is expected to be delivered by late 2017. “Long Island City is one of our most important, dynamic districts. It is unique because it contains three strong markets: residential, industrial, and commercial,” says Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the New York City Planning Commission.  “It is central to the city’s goals of providing more affordable housing, diversifying our economy and expanding job opportunities.” Weisbrod delivered the keynote address that closed the Summit. The LIC Summit’s keynote panel, moderated by Lusskin, tackled the topic of growth and also addressed job creation in Long Island City. Panelists included: Maria Torres-Springer, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of Partnership for New York City; and Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development.

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