Condos are rising in the redeveloping Queens Plaza area, where the din of Queensboro Bridge traffic competes with the rumble of the elevated N and 7 train lines. To the north, in an area known as Dutch Kills, nearly a dozen hotels are rising - and condos are expected to follow if proposed rezoning is implemented. And to the south, in Court Square, with the 50-story Citicorp building as its landmark, construction dots the industrial landscape.
Apart from the sprouting condos, there's not much these areas have to offer. But this summer, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will begin two major projects: a $40 million makeover of the Queens Plaza area - which will make the traffic-choked streets more pedestrian- and biker-friendly, along with the creation of a 1½-acre park - and a $15 million facelift (think landscaped medians) on Jackson Avenue, LIC's main artery.
Construction is expected to last up to two years, according to the NYCEDC's Yonit Golub. If all goes according to plan, the area could become a viable neighborhood, with residences, offices, cultural institutions and industrial buildings that are home to lumber companies and rubber factories coexisting side by side. But for now, buying into inland LIC takes some nerve and foresight.
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"I wanted to be a pioneer and get there early," says Anubhav Richards, a resident in the Queens Plaza condo building, the area's first residential development, which opened in 2006.
His building is located directly north of the elevated Queensboro Plaza subway station. There's no grocery store in sight; a strip club is just down the block.
Makes you want to move there right away, doesn't it? Reconstruction of Queens Plaza? Fun, fun, fun.