While it has been hailed as the next hot spot, when it comes to hotels, Long Island City appears to be struggling to live up to the hype, as new zoning restrictions and the credit crunch appear to be stymieing some projects.
Thirteen hotels are in the pipeline for the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City, which stretches from the Queensboro Bridge to 35th Avenue and from the East River to 37th Street. The list of projects includes buildings from established chains like Holiday Inn and Clarion Inn. But so far, only three hotels have started construction.
At least three proposed hotels have been rejected by the Department of Buildings.
During a recent meeting at The Real Deal, budget hotel czar Sam Chang, who already has a hotel there, called the area the "worst" for new hotel development in the city (along with Williamsburg), saying "you are dependent on overflow business from Manhattan."
Hoteliers struggle in LIC
Adding to the pressure: New zoning restrictions approved by the local Community Board could be put into place, barring hotels from most of the Dutch Kills area and restricting hotel development to an area along Northern Boulevard.
The rezoning, which is up for review by the City Planning Commission, could move forward by September 23. The City Council would then have 50 days to consider the proposal.
However, developers with a completed foundation would be exempt from any changes; as a result, many hoteliers are racing the clock to finish their foundations.