Long Island City Partnership Awarded $100K Grant for Comprehensive Study

LIC Waterfront (H/T/ Mike Lui)

LIC Waterfront (H/T/ Mike Lui)

The Long Island City Partnership has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC), contributing to efforts that will create a first-ever comprehensive plan for the area to bolster economic productivity, help residents overcome barriers to economic opportunities, and strengthen social and physical infrastructure by working with local and regional stakeholders. The award was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on December 11 at the 2014 REDC Awards, where $61.2 million was awarded to 71 projects in the New York City region, as part of $709.2 million in economic development resources awarded throughout New York State.

The Long Island City Partnership will facilitate a Comprehensive Plan that will ensure the area and the region continue to benefit from LIC’s unique assets both in the near and long term future. An authentic, mixed-use “city within the City,” LIC includes industrial, commercial, tech, residential, and cultural uses, all located on the essential transportation systems that connect the region. For generations, LIC has been a thriving industrial hub of production, a key distribution point, and an increasingly important business district critical to New York’s economy. LIC is driving unprecedented growth in Queens, and the Comprehensive Plan will help guide such growth in a manner aimed to benefit all community stakeholders.

In recent years LIC has seen important office development, an influx of residential and hotel development, an increase in cultural activity and resurgence in the industrial sector, all of which has changed the dynamics of the neighborhood. A major development coming to Roosevelt Island, the Cornell Tech campus will look to neighboring LIC for services and space for its entrepreneurial spin-offs. Space in LIC is increasingly tight, so the Comprehensive Plan will include an inventory of space and physical assets.

“Currently experiencing a period of explosive transformation, much of it thirty years in the making, Long Island City, Queens is now ready for its own, comprehensive look, as a matter of citywide urgency and as a regional priority,” said LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin. “Funding for this study will allow us to work to set a vision and priorities consonant with the neighborhood’s goals. We hope to guide city, state, and federal action based upon an in-depth studied assessment of the facts and current conditions. Prior sector-based or geographic-based efforts, such as the Western Queens Transportation, Tech Zone, and Civic Action studies, will be aggregated with new information to inform and drive demand for a roster of action-oriented solutions.”

Funds from the NYCREDC grant, which are being provided by Empire State Development, the State’s chief economic development agency, will leverage public and private support to create a robust pool of resources to produce the study. LIC Partnership has received an initial grant for the study provided by TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation.

“Our goal in supporting this study is to help Long Island City identify key areas that will spur economic growth and strengthen the local community,” said Joe Tazewell, NYCREDC Executive Director. “The comprehensive plan resulting from the study will generate economic opportunities and engage key local stakeholders to ensure that this booming New York City business district continues to thrive.”

Long Island City’s elected officials including New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer supported the grant on behalf of the LIC Partnership.

“I am pleased our advocacy led to a State grant which recognizes the great work the LIC Partnership is doing, and the amazing growth taking place in our community,” said Senator Gianaris, “Long Island City is one of New York’s most exciting neighborhoods, and I am proud to have played a role in obtaining New York State funding for the Partnership’s Comprehensive Plan for LIC. I look forward to working with everyone who loves Long Island City to ensure our community continues to grow in a responsible way.”

“Congratulations to the Long Island City Partnership and Elizabeth Lusskin on their recent successful grant application that was awarded through Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s Regional Economic Development Councils program,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “I know this much needed funding will allow the LIC Partnership to make the necessary investments to benefit our community. Thanks again to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ken Adams for recognizing the importance of investing in our local businesses.”

“This $100,000 grant will help the Long Island City Partnership develop a comprehensive plan to make the vibrant neighborhood of Long Island City an even more attractive area for residents, visitors and business owners,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “I extend my thanks to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Adams for their support of our efforts to help Long Island City reach its full potential as an economic engine.”

“The LIC Partnership is a premier business service organization in New York City,‎” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “The $100,000 grant from the Regional Economic Development Council is not only a recognition of the stellar work of this organization, but begins the real work of completing a comprehensive study on how to get LIC to reach new and even greater heights.”

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