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real estate in long island city lic

Business & Real Estate In
Long Island City LIC


lic long island city neighborhoodLong Island City LIC NY runs along the western edge of Queens along the East River. LIC is commutable via the #7, N, E, F and W subway lines. It has a population of about 26,000. The ethnic mix is largely of European and Asian descent with a significant mix of people from other continents making up the balance.

LIC [as it is frequently called] is home to a number of cultural institutions, including the PS1 Art Museum, the Noguchi Museum and LaGuardia College to name a few. There are a number of fine restaurants and good shopping along Vernon Blvd, Jackson Avenue and 21st Street.


Sunnyside Yard:  Special Section About Sunnyside Yards LIC Astoria Queens | sunnyside yards real estate development sunnyside yards lic astoria sunnyside yards queens
Sunnyside Yard: Special Section About Sunnyside Yards LIC Astoria Queens

Sunnyside Yards - Special Report Series

The following is a series of reports we have run and continue to evolve to provide background and context for the residents and voters of Sunnyside, Long Island City, Astoria, Queens, and perhaps NYC, to use to evaluate the respective pros and cons of public policy with regard to the future development of Sunnyside Yards.

The first report provides a summary overview of the development of Queens in the 19th and 20th centuries. Showing how the development of transportation affected real estate development in Queens.

The second report takes a deeper dive into the 20th century development, exploring the same line of thought with regard to the interwoven importance of transportation and real estate development.

The third report is expected in late April, which will show the 20th century history of development - the specifics of which will be arriving shortly.



NYC Small Business Financial Aid Small Business Financial Programs NYS | lic partnership finance workshop nyc business incentives nye financial aid to businesses queens ny licl
NYC Small Business Financial Aid Small Business Financial Programs NYS

LICP Seeks To Balance Community Growth

Effort Underway To Guide Neighborhood Evolution

February 2, 2015 / Long Island City LIC / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. The LIC Partnership applied and received a grant to explore approaches through which government and business can work together to develop the LIC neighborhood in a communal way. This means somehow enabling the measured growth of multiple categories of human endeavor including residential growth, office growth, commercial growth, industrial growth and cultural growth. Based on some of the comments I heard at the workshop, I believe it may also include trying to maintain some measure of ethnic and income diversity within the community.

One of the panelists noted that generally what happens in real estate development is that everyone seeks to convert their real estate holdings to the highest price per square foot use. In NYC this is frequently the conversion of the current zoning to residential housing.

One of the problems that evolves over time is that the neighborhood loses some of its desirability as residents must start traveling longer and longer distances for basic amenities such as dry cleaning, groceries, recreational shopping and dining. Hence, to that end the LIC Partnership offered this workshop to help those working in the industrial and commercial real estate development categories to find government sponsored programs and financing designed to incent them to maintain, evolve or create space designed to maintain a diversified mix of real estate capacity within the Long Island City neighborhood.

Click here to read our report on the LIC Partnership Business Breakfast On Industrial & Commercial Incentives and Financing.

NYC Small Business Financial Aid Financial Programs NYS



Long Island City Retail Space To Rent Or Buy - LIC | long island city retail space buy rent lic retail space commercial space rent buy lic
Long Island City Retail Space To Rent Or Buy - LIC

The Changing Face Of LIC Retail

LIC Partnership Conferences Retailers & Realtors

October 29, 2014 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Shopping / LIC Real Estate / Queens Buzz. I attended a conference entitled Queens: The New Retail Frontier. The event was co-hosted by the LIC Partnership hosted in tandem with the International Council of Shopping Centers. The International Council of Shopping Centers [ICSC] mission is to advance the shopping center industry and to promote its role in the commercial distribution of consumer goods and services. The LIC Partnership’s mission is to promote neighborhood economic development and a vibrant and authentic mixed-use community.

The meeting was preceded with a bit of networking in conjunction with coffee and bagels. I spoke to an NYC mortgage professional who, in the course of our conversation, provided me with the following informational tidbits.

Construction spending is at an all-time high. The New York Building Congress confirmed this statement and estimated that NYC construction spending will be in excess of $37 billion dollars in 2014 and accounting for more than 130,000 [likely well paid] jobs. This is up from about $32 billion in 2013. This spending has been fueled in part by government spending since hurricane Sandy hit on October 22nd, 2012. According to the New York Building Congress, government spending accounted for half of construction spending in 2012 and is estimated to be somewhere in the 30% - 40% of construction spending in 2013 and 2014.

He went on to say that this construction in NYC was necessary as over 70% of New York City housing is more than 50 years old. I checked and according to Fannie Mae this compares with a national average of 56% of U.S. housing being more than 50 years old. Boston, by comparison, has only 38% of its housing stock built prior to 1960. A non-profit, Eye On Housing, notes that New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are states with the oldest median aged housing in the nation. The median age of the housing stock in these states is estimated to be 57 years old.

And he noted that the cost of land was one of the major issues facing developers / builders. He noted that the cost per square foot in Manhattan was about $500 south of 96th Street and that he had recently heard that the cost per square foot in LIC was $300. He opined that at these prices one could only develop to sell residential space – not rent.

Based on what I learned from this one attendee, I expected this conference to be chock full of usable information. Click here to read the rest of our report on the LIC Partnership & International Council of Shopping Centers conference about retail real estate in LIC.



Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South | affordable housing queens hunters point south affordable housing lic sunnyside queens
Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South

Hunters Point South Opens Spring 2015

'Affordable' Housing Applications Begin Mid October

September 29, 2014 / Sunnyside NY / Sunnyside Real Estate / News & Analysis / Queens Buzz. On Monday evening I headed over to Sunnyside Community Services Center to attend the Hunters Point South Affordable Housing meeting. Several years ago the Hunters Point South development was approved by Community Board 2 and subsequently approved by the New York City Council and Mayor. Click the link above to read the earlier report.

The site has been under construction for years, and according to a Related Companies spokesperson at the meeting, the two towers containing affordable housing are to open to residents in the Spring of 2015. Naturally this assumes that all goes according to plan.

Hence on Monday evening, Related Companies representatives in tandem with Community Board Chairman Joe Conley, NY CCM Jimmy Van Bramer, NYS Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan [and NYS Senator Michael Gianaris was scheduled to appear but did not make it] - began the outreach to the community regarding the application process for the low income and affordable housing units in the two buildings.

hunters point south affordable housing aptsAttendance and interest by the community was very high and folks who arrived late were turned away as the Sunnyside Community Service Center was filled to capacity. That said there are two more of these outreach programs scheduled, the details of which you can find in our Things To Do calendar in the Business section. Click these links to gain a broader perspective of the Long Island City Neighborhood in which these units reside, as well as of the LIC real estate market for apts and condos or the Long Island City real estate market in general.

Full Report Contains Slides & Info On Qualification & Application Process For Hunters Point South Affordable Housing Units In LIC & Evaluation Of Affordability Versus Income & Apt Rents In LIC

Click here to read the rest of our report, including a photo slide show of the presentation of Affordable Housing in Hunters Point South in LIC Queens. I left out most of the presentation that dealt with how to set up a Housing Connect Profile and how to fill out the online application as it seemed pretty straightforward and you can also call the NYC Housing Authority [aka NYCHA] if you need help.



LIC Summit:  Business in LIC | lic summit lic photos lic real estate lic business
LIC Summit: Business in LIC

Guiding LIC Neighborhood Evolution?

LIC Summit Conference Takes A Holistic View Of Community

June 17, 2014 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the first annual LIC Summit which was held at the Museum of the Moving Image and organized by the LIC Partnership. The conference ran all day, with lectures and panel discussions about all things Long Island City.

The first half of the day included discussions about the film industry and the LIC commercial and industrial real estate market. And the second half of the day included panels on residential real estate, but also on the possibilities of evolving a technology sector in LIC and an end-of-day session dedicated to the ongoing evolution of arts and culture in the neighborhood.

I attended the afternoon sessions to listen to the panel discussions about developing a technology sector in Long Island City, and a panel discussion on how to continue nurturing arts & culture in the LIC neighborhood, as many rents and real estate prices have risen to Manhattan-comparable levels.

Click here to read our report on the LIC Summit & photos.



LIC Real Estate - Long Island City Partnership Real Estate Breakfast | long island city real estate lic real estate queens nyc
LIC Real Estate - Long Island City Partnership Real Estate Breakfast

LIC Real Estate Breakfast

LIC Partnership Breakfast Projects Confident & Competitive Tone

April 23, 2014 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Real Estate / Queens Buzz. I attended the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Con Edison Learning Center in LIC. The past couple of years the event had been held at Court Square Place on 44th Road in LIC, to a standing-room-only crowd. The event attendance continues to grow, and the move to the Con Ed Learning Center made seating possible for everyone in attendance.

The 8 am breakfast is followed by a moderated discussion panel of speakers representing a cross section of LIC real estate investors, real estate managers, retail or restaurant operators and a reporter who covers and is familiar with the LIC real estate market. The discussion provides a mix of perspectives and opinions about what’s happening in LIC.

A conglomeration of LIC real estate commercial, industrial and housing stock is shown in the photo to your right. Quite a number of aspects about it were discussed at the breakfast as recorded in this report.

This year the panel included … click here to read the rest of our report about LIC real estate, including photos of the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast.



New Bridge Over Troubled Water

Kociuszko Bridge Begins Transformation

new kosciuszko bridge queensAugust 11, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended a town hall meeting at the Sunnyside Community Services Center in July where the Department of Transportation presented its plans for the erection of a new bridge over Newtown Creek, replacing the current Kosciuszko Bridge. The Kosciuszko Bridge is the main thoroughfare connecting Queens and Brooklyn.

We were told that this bridge represents the largest infrastructure investment by New York State ever. It's important to note that this statement was made based on total dollars, not the value of the dollars as measured in real terms [meaning a million dollars a century ago was worth far more than $1 million today].

The effort has already begun as the project has been awarded and the companies working on the effort have begun their preparatory work. Actual physical construction of the bridge will likely begin in Spring of 2015. The project will be done in phases. The first phase will be the erection of half of the new bridge alongside the current bridge. Once that is completed, they will tear down the Kociuszko Bridge and move traffic onto the new half bridge. Finally they will erect the second half of the bridge. The new bridge will include bike lanes and will have a far less steep rise than the old Kosciuszko Bridge. A rendering of the new bridge is shown above.

We'll post more, including a photo slide show later this week.


How The Other Half Lives

lic real estate long island city real estateSeptember 23, 2013 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate / Queens Buzz. I attended a reception hosted by TF Cornerstone in late September to celebrate the official opening of their fifth property. The building had been completed earlier this year and the first tenants had moved in sometime in May. I understand they've rented about 70% of the units, so they've been moving briskly.

I visited a couple of the units for rent, including a studio that started at about $2,300 per month and a two bedroom corner that likely rented for something like $5,000 per month [give or take several hundred]. To those of us who live in Queens, these are expensive units, but to those who live in Manhattan - given the views and amenities - these are good value. Like the headline says : )

We'll have more later today, including a photo slide show, of some of the new properties currently lining the LIC waterfront.


Click to view the Long Island City LIC neighborhood


LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast | lic partnership breakfast queens nyc LIC Partnership real estate breakfast lic queens astoria sunnyside nyc real estate
LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast

LIC Partnership Breakfast

Prices Rising, Inventory Tight & Bullish About The Future

April 27, 2015 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Real Estate / Queens Buzz. It was a beautiful Spring day as I headed down to the Con Ed Learning Center along the East River. The sun was shining, the air was cool and breezy and blossoms were making their way back out, after a long winter.

I arrived shortly after the opening remarks had been made, where a summary had been given about where things are at in the LIC real estate market. The snapshot included a count of what development has already come to market and what will come to market with respect to office space, and commercial and residential real estate units in Long Island City. Click here to view a report published earlier this year which provides a summary of the LIC real estate market development.

The opening remarks were followed by a panel of professionals to talk about the Long Island City real estate market. The panel consisted of [seated from left to right in the photo above right] 1) Matthew Baron, President of Simon Baron Development; 2) Jon Caplan, Vice Chairman of New York Capital Markets Group of Jones Lang LaSalle; 3) David Dishy, President of Development and Acquisitions for L + M Development; and 4) Seble Tareke Wiliiams, Managing Director of NYC Interboro Fund, Emmes Asset Management Company.

The panelists represent well funded corporate groups, all of whom have made multi-million dollar investments in the Long Island City real estate market. And based on what I had heard today - and in prior real estate / financial coverage in LIC, Queens and Manhattan - this looks like it is just the beginning of a growing interest in the neighborhood.

Click here for the rest of our report about the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast.



 
NYC Small Business Financial Aid Small Business Financial Programs NYS | lic partnership finance workshop nyc business incentives nye financial aid to businesses queens ny licl
NYC Small Business Financial Aid Small Business Financial Programs NYS

LICP Seeks To Balance Community Growth

Effort Underway To Guide Neighborhood Evolution

February 2, 2015 / Long Island City LIC / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. The LIC Partnership applied and received a grant to explore approaches through which government and business can work together to develop the LIC neighborhood in a communal way. This means somehow enabling the measured growth of multiple categories of human endeavor including residential growth, office growth, commercial growth, industrial growth and cultural growth. Based on some of the comments I heard at the workshop, I believe it may also include trying to maintain some measure of ethnic and income diversity within the community.

One of the panelists noted that generally what happens in real estate development is that everyone seeks to convert their real estate holdings to the highest price per square foot use. In NYC this is frequently the conversion of the current zoning to residential housing.

One of the problems that evolves over time is that the neighborhood loses some of its desirability as residents must start traveling longer and longer distances for basic amenities such as dry cleaning, groceries, recreational shopping and dining. Hence, to that end the LIC Partnership offered this workshop to help those working in the industrial and commercial real estate development categories to find government sponsored programs and financing designed to incent them to maintain, evolve or create space designed to maintain a diversified mix of real estate capacity within the Long Island City neighborhood.

Click here to read our report on the LIC Partnership Business Breakfast On Industrial & Commercial Incentives and Financing.

NYC Small Business Financial Aid Financial Programs NYS



 
Long Island City Retail Space To Rent Or Buy - LIC | long island city retail space buy rent lic retail space commercial space rent buy lic
Long Island City Retail Space To Rent Or Buy - LIC

The Changing Face Of LIC Retail

LIC Partnership Conferences Retailers & Realtors

October 29, 2014 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Shopping / LIC Real Estate / Queens Buzz. I attended a conference entitled Queens: The New Retail Frontier. The event was co-hosted by the LIC Partnership hosted in tandem with the International Council of Shopping Centers. The International Council of Shopping Centers [ICSC] mission is to advance the shopping center industry and to promote its role in the commercial distribution of consumer goods and services. The LIC Partnership’s mission is to promote neighborhood economic development and a vibrant and authentic mixed-use community.

The meeting was preceded with a bit of networking in conjunction with coffee and bagels. I spoke to an NYC mortgage professional who, in the course of our conversation, provided me with the following informational tidbits.

Construction spending is at an all-time high. The New York Building Congress confirmed this statement and estimated that NYC construction spending will be in excess of $37 billion dollars in 2014 and accounting for more than 130,000 [likely well paid] jobs. This is up from about $32 billion in 2013. This spending has been fueled in part by government spending since hurricane Sandy hit on October 22nd, 2012. According to the New York Building Congress, government spending accounted for half of construction spending in 2012 and is estimated to be somewhere in the 30% - 40% of construction spending in 2013 and 2014.

He went on to say that this construction in NYC was necessary as over 70% of New York City housing is more than 50 years old. I checked and according to Fannie Mae this compares with a national average of 56% of U.S. housing being more than 50 years old. Boston, by comparison, has only 38% of its housing stock built prior to 1960. A non-profit, Eye On Housing, notes that New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are states with the oldest median aged housing in the nation. The median age of the housing stock in these states is estimated to be 57 years old.

And he noted that the cost of land was one of the major issues facing developers / builders. He noted that the cost per square foot in Manhattan was about $500 south of 96th Street and that he had recently heard that the cost per square foot in LIC was $300. He opined that at these prices one could only develop to sell residential space – not rent.

Based on what I learned from this one attendee, I expected this conference to be chock full of usable information. Click here to read the rest of our report on the LIC Partnership & International Council of Shopping Centers conference about retail real estate in LIC.



 
LIC Summit:  Business in LIC | lic summit lic photos lic real estate lic business
LIC Summit: Business in LIC

Guiding LIC Neighborhood Evolution?

LIC Summit Conference Takes A Holistic View Of Community

June 17, 2014 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the first annual LIC Summit which was held at the Museum of the Moving Image and organized by the LIC Partnership. The conference ran all day, with lectures and panel discussions about all things Long Island City.

The first half of the day included discussions about the film industry and the LIC commercial and industrial real estate market. And the second half of the day included panels on residential real estate, but also on the possibilities of evolving a technology sector in LIC and an end-of-day session dedicated to the ongoing evolution of arts and culture in the neighborhood.

I attended the afternoon sessions to listen to the panel discussions about developing a technology sector in Long Island City, and a panel discussion on how to continue nurturing arts & culture in the LIC neighborhood, as many rents and real estate prices have risen to Manhattan-comparable levels.

Click here to read our report on the LIC Summit & photos.



 


East Side Access Project - Queens | real estate queens ny real estate astoria lic long island city real estate sunnyside woodside real estate jackson heights corona real estate elmhurst flushing jamaica real estate
East Side Access Project - Queens

East Side Access Project Moving Along

How Will This Project Affect Queens Real Estate?

Queens Real Estate / October 4, 2010 / Queens Buzz. Progress on the East Side Access Tunnel project has been visible in Queens since early Spring 2010. The MTA has been busy drilling a new tunnel under the East River from LIC / Astoria, using the Sunnyside Railway Yard as its staging grounds. The photo to your left shows the view of the new tunnel being built underneath the East River from an Astoria / LIC perspective. The tunnel connects into Manhattan around 63rd Street.

Meanwhile in the Sunnyside railway yards, many of the buildings that once dotted the landscape have been demolished. Thankfully this doesn't include an old train station which has been around for many years [see photos in rest of story / slide show]. They’ve also cleared away a number of old warehouse and garage like structures along 43rd Street between Northern Blvd and 39th Avenue.

Click here to get an update on the East Side Access Project impact on Queens real estate.



Queens Real Estate | Queens real estate queens real estate queens ny astoria lic long island city sunnyside real estate woodside jackson heights queens ny real estate apartments for sale for rent condos co-ops coops houses realtors real estate queens ny
Queens Real Estate

Queens Real Estate

Market Analysis Of Real Estate In Queens

Queens NY / December 7, 2009. This is a report on the Queens real estate market.  The report covers the latter half of 2009. This analysis includes looking at apartment rental prices, as well as condo, co-op and home prices and availability.  This Queens real estate market analysis focuses on the Astoria, LIC / Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Woodside neighborhoods. While we found these neighborhoods mirrored or trailed many of the national trends, we found some interesting differences, including differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. Click here for our second half 2009 market analysis of Queens Real Estate.



Home Improvement & Construction In Queensoutdoor activities jackson heights elmhurst parks


Banks & Loans In Long Island City LIC & Queensflushing corona parks & outdoor activities


New York City Economic Outlook 2016 - NYC Economy | federal reserve economists in queens lic long island city economic forecast for queens 2012
New York City Economic Outlook 2016 - NYC Economy

Queens Economy - 2016 Outlook NYC

Currently Full Employment, Low Interest Rates, Low Inflation But Possible International Shocks

January 4, 2016 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Business / Queens Buzz.

We took a look into the crystal ball over the holiday break to see what may lie ahead for the NYC economy in the coming year. We studied the stats and facts put out by many of the national data producers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the AIE. What follows is a brief summary of some of the statistics we gathered on the global, national and New York City economy including unemployment statistics by borough for 2015.

U.S. & NYC Economy Near / At Full Employment

Currently Queens and Manhattan are doing the best with respect to employment, with unemployment rates below 5%, which economists consider to be full employment as the 5% unemployed are viewed as normal ‘friction’ in the economy, accounting for people coming into, leaving and changing jobs within the labor force.

In 2009 - 2010, during the first two years of the Great Recession, the nation’s unemployment rate hit 9.4%, while the unemployment rate for New York City hit 10.4%. The employment picture for the nation and the five boroughs of New York City has slowly but steadily improved since then, with unemployment trending lower, reaching full employment this year at 5% for the nation and 4.8% for New York City this fall.

Employment Impact / Relationship to Inflation

nyc economy outlook 2016 queens manhattan bronxEmployment affects inflation, as when everyone is fully employed, recruiting firms bid up the price of labor and workers feel secure enough to spend aggressively, bidding up the price of goods. The Federal Reserve attempts to reign in inflation - because it creates economic instability - by raising interest rates which increases the cost of capital needed to expand operations or make large purchases more expensive. On December 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate by 25 basis points (0.25%) to begin to get ahead of potentially inflationary issues that may lie ahead. We'll look into a few of these later in this report.

Economists in one of the banking reports I received believe that there is still slack in the labor market that is not reflected in the numbers as many people have part-time jobs, while they would like full time jobs. Also the labor force participation rate fell during the Great Recession and it became more difficult to find work. Now with a full employment economy it is believed that some of those folks who gave up looking will try to re-enter the workforce. An example of the decline in participation rate might be a spouse who helped supplement household income but couldn't find the right work, and now starts looking again.

Click here to continue reading our report about the New York City NYC Economy Outlook 2016 which delves into full employment impact on inflation, interest rates, consumer debt levels, oil & commodity prices, domestic and international currencies & economic growth, the financial markets and how all of this may impact the different sectors of the Queens & New York City economy.



 

Retail & Shopping In Long Island City LICoutdoor activities jamaica parks


Wholesale & Manufacturing In Queensoutdoor activities & parks in lic long island city


Restaurants In Long Island City LICqueens parks & outdoor activities


Dutch Kill Gentrification:  Restaurants & Real Estate in LIC | restaurants in long island city lic restaurants dutch kills restaurants th4e crescent grill gentrification of dutch kills
Dutch Kill Gentrification: Restaurants & Real Estate in LIC

Dutch Kills Gentrification: Restaurants & Real Estate

The Making Of The Crescent Grill Restaurant in LIC

July 13, 2013 / Dutch Kills LIC / Restaurants in Queens / Real Estate in Queens / Queens Buzz.  Last fall I embarked on a bit of an adventure when Michele Beaudoin of Beaudoin Realty Group [a QB client] introduced me to Daniel and Shaun Dougherty.  She had just sold the brothers a two-story, corner building that had been a Beauty Supplies store along Crescent Street in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City.  The Doughertys had plans to convert the building into a restaurant.  Likely the first restaurant of its kind in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City.

I went to meet the brothers at the site of what would eventually be their new restaurant.  I was given a tour of the facility while it was still, in essence, a recently vacated Beauty Supplies store.  But not for long ...

Click here to read the rest of the story about the gentrification of the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City and the making of the Crescent Grill restaurant in LIC.  The story includes information and photos about the design and construction of the renovated building, as well as a review of some of the culinary delights that await those who patronize the restaurant. 



 


Government & Employment In Queensoutdoor activities sports forest hills


Queens Unemployment - Employment in Queens NYC & NYS | queens employment unemployment queens county nyc nys employment unemployment rates 2015
Queens Unemployment - Employment in Queens NYC & NYS

Queens Employment Rate Continues To Best NYC Metro

September 23, 2015 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Business / Queens Buzz.

Queens County continued its streak of besting three of the other four boroughs in New York City with respect to low unemployment. In the July period unemployment fell to 4.9%, which is slightly below what is generally considered a full employment unemployment rate of 5%.

Queens Employment Fueled By Building Boom

Queens is currently experiencing a building boom, with the epicenters in the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing and to a lesser extent Jamaica. In addition to the creation of temporary construction jobs which end when the building has been completed, some of the new commercial developments have targeted white collar office space, which has then been used to lure large commercial tenants from other boroughs, into Queens. Bloomingdales was one such recent company to announce a large move [a return] into Queens.

Click here to read the rest of our report on employment and unemployment in Queens, NYC and NYS.



 
Queens Library Lawsuit Controversy Reform Bill | queens library trustees fired queens library trustees sue borough president melinda katz nye senators pass queens library reform bill
Queens Library Lawsuit Controversy Reform Bill

Queens Library - Report Series

CEO Galante & Trustees Controversy

September 12, 2014 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Issues / Queens Buzz.  Given the ongoing importance and drama associated with the Queens Library lawsuit, controversy and Reform Bill, we decided to create a section dedicated to it so that readers interested in learning more about it, may find a public record of what is happening to the Queens Public Library system.

Click here to read our reports about the Queens Library lawsuit, controversy & Reform Bill.



 

Transportation In Long Island City LIC & Queensqueens parks & outdoor activities


Van Bramer & Peralta Support $8 Tolls on Queensboro Bridge | congestion traffic pricing plan move ny plan erect tolls on east river bridges tolls queensboro bridge brooklyn bridge tolls manhattan bridge tolls williamsburg bridge tolls
Van Bramer & Peralta Support $8 Tolls on Queensboro Bridge

Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan

Proposal To Toll Tax Away NYC Traffic Congestion Caused By A Century Of NYC Infrastructure Designed With Manhattan As The Hub

Van Bramer & Peralta Support 'Move NY' Plan Which Calls For The Installation Of $8 Tolls On Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan & Williamsburg Bridges

November 9, 2015 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Government & Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz.

NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and 14 Democratic Progressives recently embraced the Move NY Congestion Traffic Price Plan, which among other things, calls for $8 tolls [or $5.54 with the use of an EZ Pass] on all East River Bridges, including Queensboro, Brooklyn, Manhattan & Williamsburg Bridges.

NYS Senator Jose Peralta of Jackson Heights / Corona has been an early advocate of the Move NY Congestion Traffic Price Plan.

Most of the rest of the Queens government officials do not support the plan. And hence we decided to take a closer look into the plan, to better understand what the issues are.

And we were more than a little bit surprised at what we found.

How Do The Plan Assumptions Stack With Known Realities?

In this report we’re going to describe the Move NY repackaged Congestion Traffic Price Plan. Specifically we will explore the assumptions upon which the plan is based, and then go behind the curtain to explore some of the relationships between the different groups pushing the plan, in order to better understand the economics of the politics.

Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan Organizers & Shadow Lobbyists

move ny congestion pricing traffic plan jose peralta photoAfter the meeting I started investigating the Move NY Fair Plan and stumbled across a website name that feeds into the Move NY organization's website. The current Move NY official website name is www.iheartmoveny.org - but you can also get there using www.move-ny.org - which will forward you to the same site.

The owners of the www.move-ny.org site are listed as Blue State Digital, which is a public relations firm. Their website says that they,

"... build and galvanize communities on behalf of some of the world’s leading nonprofits, advocacy groups, and brands."

They were written up in a New York Times OpEd piece by Thomas Edsell entitled Shadow Lobbyists, as a new class of public relations firms that galvanize public opinion in the same way that one galvanizes support for political candidates. It's still public relations, but the techniques are different. We'll probe the vested interested parties in more detail a bit further into the story.

In Move NY 'Fair' Plan There's More Than A Dozen(s) Of "Komanoff Assumptions or Estimates"

charles komanoff balanced traffic analyzer BATCharles Komanoff is a consultant for the Sam Schwartz Move NY 'Fair' Plan. The Move NY Plan appears to have relied very heavily [or entirely?] on Komanoff's BTA or Balance Transportation Analyzer. In a quick perusal at some of the underlying math, I found easily more than a dozen estimates and assumptions which were entitled 'Komanoff Estimate' or 'Komanoff Assumption'.

It's worth noting that in general, economic models such as the Balanced Transportation Analyzer or BTA, can be made to produce any conclusion one wants, if one is in control of the underlying assumptions.

Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan Assumptions & Pricing Elasticity

There are many underlying assumptions baked into the Move NY Plan that are worth questioning in far greater detail. But the biggest key assumption to congestion traffic pricinginvestigate is the pricing elasticities baked into the plan. Pricing elasticity predicts whether or not people will drive over a bridge or a road, if the price of the toll on the bridge / road increases or decreases.

Based on a number of studies done over the past decade, including two in the New York City area, some drivers will adjust the time of day they travel over a toll bridge or road slightly, in order to obtain a discounted rate, but few appear to decide whether or not to use a bridge or toll road because of a toll price increase.

Part of the implicit positioning of the plan is that it will reduce carbon emissions. Implicit because both Komanoff who provided the BTA [Balanced Transportation Analyzer] econometric model for the Move NY Plan, and Matthiessen who runs the public relations firm lobbying for the Move NY organization, are on the board of the Carbon Tax Center. More on this later.

Independent Studies Have Shown That Toll Price Increases Negligibly Impact WHETHER Or Not Drivers Will Use Bridges Or Roads Vs Public Transit, But Can Impact WHEN

congestion traffic pricingThe studies of the impact of toll price changes on roads and bridges, were done by independent institutions like established universities and governments. The goal was to determine if pricing can be used to alter traffic patterns. We will provide you with the results of some of these studies further into this report, so you can judge for yourself whether or not to rely on the assumptions embedded in the Make NY Plan by consultant Charles Komanoff.

For those of you who didn't get a chance (or weren't interested) in studying economics, price elasticity is:

"… is a measure of the responsiveness of demand or supply of a good or service to changes in price. The price elasticity of demand measures the ratio of the proportionate change in quantity demanded to the proportionate change of the price."

An elastic price means if the price goes up, the quantity goes down and vice versa. An inelastic price means that people won't change their behaviors much in response to price increases move ny congestion traffic pricing- oftentimes because they don't have what they consider to be reasonable alternatives.

Take electricity into your household prior to deregulation as an example. If the monopoly power company took a price increase, you didn't quit using the lights, stove, TV, furnace or washer / dryer because the options weren't that reasonable. Apparently the folks who use the toll bridges and toll roads don't feel they have good options either. So if the price of a toll bridge or toll road goes up, there's a negligible change in usage behavior - except with respect to shifting the time of use.

Of course in this case, the Move NY Plan is really advocating more than a toll price increase, as they are advocating the introduction of tolls where they had not been.

Toll prices appear to influence bridge / road usage times [eg. motorists plan their trips either immediately before or after peak periods] but do not appear to alter the means of transportation chosen [eg. take the car vs take the train]. The implication is that there may not be an ecological benefit to this plan.

Congestion Pricing Experience In London

London, Stockholm and Milan have implemented Congestion Traffic Pricing Plans in parts of their cities. One cannot underestimate the differences between New York City and its European counterparts including road widths [the plans targeted European Medieval town centers], the population density [Manhattan is many times more dense than of any of them], the geography [Manhattan is an island connected by 18 bridges and tunnels, while London, Milan & Stockholm are not] and so forth.

That said, London was the first city to implement congestion traffic pricing in 2003. We will take a brief look into some of the outcomes of that implementation later in this report, but the two key findings that stick with me are: 1) London never went forward with extending the Congestion Traffic Pricing zone and 2) it's been reported that the implementation infrastructure costs were very sizeable, and that less than half of the new revenue ended up in proposed infrastructure development.

New York City Transit System Designed in 1900 & Built by 1961 When NYC Was A Different Place

gridlock sam schwartz llc consultingIn 1900 Manhattan represented 52% of the population of New York City and Brooklyn represented 33% - the remaining 15% was spread in the other three boroughs which were somewhat rural and low density population areas.

Around the turn into the 20th century city planning, by necessity, came into vogue. And it was also the time during which New York City mass transit began being built. By 1940 most of the build out was completed save the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (1950), the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (1961) and the Throgs Neck Bridge (1961).

Today Manhattan represents about 20% of the population, while Brooklyn is about 30%, Queens 27%, Bronx 17% and Staten Island 6%. If you look at the map below, you'll see how the bridges and tunnel transportation infrastructure converges on Manhattan because that's historically and still the New York City hub.

Can The City Toll Price Its Way Out Of A Century Of Infrastructure Design & Build?

gridlock sam schwartz llc consultingThe total bridge / tunnel crossings of the outer four boroughs is 28 and 15 of them are with Manhattan. Manhattan by itself has a total of 18 crossings, including the 15 just mentioned and another 3 major crossings coming in from New Jersey.

Decades of prior New York City Mayors and New York State Governors & the respective legislative bodies have failed to recognize and address perhaps the most basic reality and issue facing the New York City transportation system today - that the overall transportation infrastructure was designed and built 70 to 100 years ago to serving Manhattan as the hub.

While the population densities of the boroughs has changed significantly, Manhattan still remains the center of the city in terms of commercial and cultural activity and this is due in part to its accessibility.

How Fair Is The Move NY 'Fair' Plan?

Sam Schwartz's Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan appears to be a socially and economically regressive tax increase because if it succeeds, the brunt of the pain will be borne by the lower and middle income wage earners who will bear the costs if they can't leave their car - and if they do, who will put an even greater strain on the subway system which already appears to be running near full capacity. The subway system is a transit category upon which the Move NY Plan only marginally touched upon.

Geographically the burden targets the Bronx, Manhattan and other motorists who cross Manhattan at 60th Street and the motorists including from Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan who cross the East River. They are not, as the Move NY Plan states, crossing for free because they contribute plenty to the public coffers in high rents, property taxes and municipal taxes that support both New York City and New York State infrastructure. And many of whom likely need to use their cars to enter Manhattan because they probably don't have good choices, contrary to what Move NY Plan hypothecates.

The Move NY Plan will certainly raise needed funds for public transit, and might possibly reduce carbon emissions IF the motorists re-schedule their trips AND the new tolls REDUCE bottlenecks at the East River Bridges and along 60th Avenue in Manhattan - not make them worse. Currently neither the bridges nor the 60th Street cross line have tolls.

The research indicates that the plan will not likely reduce the number of motorist trips as toll pricing appears to be inelastic and thus not a deciding variable as to whether or not people use their cars. And if the London experience is any guide, expect a sizable chunk of new revenue to go toward creating and managing the implementation of the Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan in lieu of investments in other public transit.

Click here for the rest of our story about the Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan as we explore in greater detail a connected web of people, lobbyists and organizations behind Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan and their possible motivations. We critique the plan including a review of the assumptions, and a closer look at independent studies done with regard to motorists response to toll prices and changes.



 
MTA - Service Disruption #7 Subway Line in Queens | mta service disruptions in queens #7 subway line service disruption in queens
MTA - Service Disruption #7 Subway Line in Queens

MTA - #7 Subway Line in Queens

Service Disruptions On #7 Subway Line - October / November 2013

October 11, 2013 / Long Island City / Queens Business / Queens Buzz.  There will be service disruptions on the #7 subway line in Queens during October & November of 2013.

Click here to read our report about the #7 Subway line service disruptions in Queens October / November 2013.



 


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