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NEW YORK CITY-A developer has been chosen to redevelop the city-owned Queens Plaza Municipal Garage in Long Island City. QPMG Associates LLC won the bid to construct 1.5 million sf of mixed-use space on the site.

The $700-million project will begin with demolition of the existing five-story parking garage located on a site bounded by Queens Plaza South, Jackson Avenue, 42nd Road and 28th Street. QPMG, a joint venture between an the Louis Dreyfus Property Group Queens Corp. and Arete LIC LLC, proposes to build either a single tower or two smaller towers on the property. The complex will include ground-floor retail, office space and replacement of the 1,100-car parking facility. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2002.

City officials are calling the project part of an ongoing trend toward the development of Queens as an option for expanding or relocating businesses. “Following MetLife’s recent decision to move 1,000 employees to its new Long Island City location and the continuing progress at Queens West, this project will ensure Long Island City’s future as a major business district.”

Borough president Claire Shulman says the development is “a milestone in the development of Long Island City. Many businesses are realizing that Queens, and Long Island City in particular, is within minutes of midtown Manhattan.”

According to deputy mayor for economic development and finance Robert M. Harding, the project “will bring approximately 3,300 construction and 7,000 permanent jobs to Long Island City.”

The Economic Development Corporation, which is department responsible for the disposition of city-owned real estate, selected QPMG from a list of candidates that responded to a request for proposals to develop the site.

QPMG’s has also secured a three-acre, privately owned parcel located directly across Jackson Avenue from the Municipal Garage site. The venture’s partners have developed and acquired more than seven million sf of real estate in the Northeast.

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