Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clearing out the "riff-raff" in LIC

From the Newtown Pentacle:

Once again, the recurring theme of “spurring development and growth in Long Island City” emerges. Look at the photos here at the Newtown Pentacle, go to our flickr group and see what other people are compelled to record and share. Does this place look undeveloped or undergrown? These are real estate interests talking, trying to grab away what remains of New York’s industrial infrastructure. These buildings are full of companies that employ people in low paying jobs that you don’t need a diploma or even ID to get. Greasy, necessary jobs handling garbage and other things you wouldn’t like to think about. Abattoirs and crematories are part of the story, like sewers and trains, of the greatest metropolis in the history of mankind.


Anonymous said...

In Bloomberg's bizarre Disney-esque vision for NYC 2030, there's no need for those "sordid realities of life" i.e. adequate sewage systems, service corridors for garbage transfer, industrial zones, etc.

Just Dial up "311 Mickey (or is it Mikey?)
Mouse" to solve your problems.

The man is daft!

He's creating a "Developers' Disneyland" where there once existed a viable city!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Giuliani wasn't pro-development???

Anonymous said...

In Bloomberg's bizarre Disney-esque vision for NYC 2030, there's no need for those "sordid realities of life" i.e. adequate sewage systems, service corridors for garbage transfer, industrial zones, etc.
Not defending Bloomberg but I think the whole disney-fication of NYC, times square for example, happened under Rudy

Queens Crapper said...

Cleaning out the trash in Times Square was good. Decorating it with lawn chairs was bad.

Anonymous said...

Ghouliani sucked as a mayor. He is capitalizing on a major American tragedy to change people's perception of his corrupted administration. It started with him but continued with Bloomturd!

Lino said...

"These are real estate interests talking, trying to grab away what remains of New York’s industrial infrastructure...."

And how is this happening? The LANDLORDS of these business who are generally -not- the business owners themselves are taking advantage of the same market pressures that gutted Manhattan's manufacturing base 40+ years ago.

When I worked in theater, alot of our props were bought/rented from businesses in what was then the "flower district" that area in the mid twenties on 6th ave.

I have been going to the flea markets over there for the last 17 years and gradually most of those stores I dealt with 20+ years ago have gone.

Some because their landlord sold the building out from under them, but many who owned their place sold because they could make more money quickly and figured that they would only face complaints from the yuppies due to their industry's odd load-in hours and trucks. Its not only direct pressure to sell but the societal changes to an area that force out these companies.

LIC's waterfront area and, in fact every area anywhere near Manhattan will eventually become residential..mostly high density.

There is little that can, or will be done about this situation.

Queens Crapper said...

Sure there can. The mayor created industrial business zones all over the City. He could have done the same in LIC, but instead he rezoned it for condos.

The type of zoning is what leads landlords to sell real estate.

Anonymous said...

You are totally out of touch Crapper. An industrial business zone in LIC would have done nothing. Those businesses are gone because of international free trade policies. The LIC waterfront's best use is residential - you don't waste a prime location on warehouses.

And this article is about Sunnyside, not the LIC waterfront.

Queens Crapper said...

No, the IBZ would have concentrated businesses in LIC. Tax incentives are given to move to an IBZ, like was done in Willets Point decades ago.

Lower Sunnyside actually is on the waterfront and has an IBZ. And Sunnyside is part of LIC. The Hunters Point area, which you are referring to, could have easily been made an IBZ. Factories line much of the waterfront in Queens - College Point, Maspeth, etc., and these were also made IBZs.

Anonymous said...

Most of this article is actually about development in LIC.

Anonymous said...

I think Crapper needs to look up the definition of waterfront. Maspeth? Sunnyside? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rudy was pro development too but it's Bloomberg who's now at the helm and finishing the job by steering NYC onto the rocks!

Anonymous said...

We're not just talking about Times Square which was always a tourist attraction.

We're much more interested in the "Disney-fication" of nabes like the lower east side, etc.

That Times Square redux was already being discussed under Koch's administration.

Disney did refurbish the unique historic New Amsterdam Theater and opened up their store.

That's it for their involvement.

The terms..."Disney-esque" and "Disney-fication", etc. refer to the creation of an ARTIFICIAL AMBIANCE where the REAL FORMERLY EXISTED!

Understand it all a little better now?

Queens Crapper said...

"I think Crapper needs to look up the definition of waterfront. Maspeth? Sunnyside? I don't think so."

And I think you need to look at a map of Queens. It's called Newtown Creek. (That's water.) And at one time it was as busy with ship traffic as the Mississippi River.

Anonymous said...

Sure Crapper, compare the little strip of water that comes through the creek to the East River. I guess if you have a puddle in front of your house you would consider it "waterfront." Thanks for a good laugh.

Queens Crapper said...

Not sure why you find this so funny. How about the Gowanus Canal? There's a residential megadevelopment scheduled to be built there because it's on the water. And how about this?

“The Brooklyn-Queens waterfront has the potential to be New York’s Gold Coast, with sparkling towers, schools, parks and libraries,” said Eric Gioia, a City Council member whose Queens district abuts the creek. “Cleaning Newtown Creek is critical to that vision.”

Anonymous said...

How about College Point? That's an industrial area. Can't say that's not on the waterfront.

Anonymous said...

He was talking about the waterfront off the river. Are you that dense? No one is buying property in Maspeth thinking it is a "waterfront" area! Ha!

Queens Crapper said...

"No one is buying property in Maspeth thinking it is a "waterfront" area!"

No, businesses are buying property on the Maspeth waterfront because it is in an IBZ, which was what we were discussing with regards to LIC before you started to hurl around insults.

John Q. said...

"He was talking about the waterfront off the river."

I call bullshit on that. Once the creek is cleaned up, there will be towers built there. Mark my words. It's waterfront property and developers will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on that land. The City will surely oblige with rezoning.

Anonymous said...

True. They are already building parks along Newtown Creek in anticipation of future development. The tower people along the East River waterfront sure aren't going to lounge around between factories!

Anonymous said...

The Maspeth "waterfront" (giggle) does not have the potential residential desirability of the East River waterfront. You tried to compare the two as prime waterfront locations, which is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Newtown Creek is a body of water. Therefore, the towns along it - Greenpoint, Maspeth, Sunnyside, are waterfront areas. Not hard to understand this concept. If you were to say "riverfront" then your narrow view would apply. The point is that access to the water is desirable for residential uses. When they build the project along the Gowanus you can bet your ass they will advertise it as "waterfront".

Queens Crapper said...

"The Maspeth "waterfront" (giggle) does not have the potential residential desirability of the East River waterfront."

Of course it doesn't. It's highly polluted. Once that is cleaned up, it will also become residential. The land in LIC was once polluted, too. When developers run out of residential land, the city makes more for them.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what happened in LIC...

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming that Maspeth or Sunnyside are waterfront areas! You all are hilarious! A narrow stream cutting through some streets does not make a waterfront neighborhood.

Queens Crapper said...

More proof that you have no idea what you are talking about. It's not a narrow stream. It's hundreds of feet wide. There used to be shipyards there. Warships were built there.

Anonymous said...

Not only were ships like the Monitor built there, but oil tankers traveled in and out. (Hello? Exxon-Mobil spill....)

A "stream through a few streets"? You have to be kidding me.

Anonymous said...

It's about 250 to 350 feet wide in most places. That does not make a waterfront neighborhood! You all are delusional! Totally hilarious.

Also, people who live in the area do not call Sunnyside "Long Island City".

Anonymous said...

Long Island City was the incorporation of Astoria, Hunters Point, Sunnyside and a few other towns. What the yupsters refer to as LIC is actually Hunters Point.

As for Newtown Creek: 350 feet wide is pretty wide. And since it's water, the surrounding towns are on the waterfront. I really don't know why you are harping on this.

Anonymous said...

1. land on the edge of a body of water.
2. a part of a city or town on such land; wharf or dock section.

Sounds like all the towns mention qualify.

Anonymous said...

People who live in Astoria and Sunnyside do not call it Long Island City.

It is ridiculous to compare the East River waterfront of LIC to the "waterfront" of Maspeth and Sunnyside next to the sliver of Newtown Creek. To say that we should have an industrial zone in one of the most prime locations in the whole city - the LIC waterfront at the East River - because we have them off Newtown Creek in Maspeth is just laughable.

Anonymous said...

Long Island City

Anonymous said...

Access to freight rails, waterways and highways is the reason LIC should have remained a mixed use community, not "just because Maspeth and Sunnyside have them."

What was built in LIC is utter crap anyway.

Lino said...

Newtown Creek? At it's widest it is barely a city block. It is a dreary little pit and developers will have to get -really- desperate before it is considered anything more than an illegal sewer.

Comparing that to the east river is just nuts.

As for those old factories in LIC, look at the Eagle plants I was by there this morning, most of that space is vacant.

Those old buildings down at/near the water are also mostly empty or used for -very- small scale employment.

Fifteen years ago my group had invested in a restaurant along Vernon Blvd. The area was a ghost town mostly boarded up...the business failed just as we knew it would (not my decision)Then came the dreaded "tower people" and the area is now showing real signs of life.

Fact is that high density residences offer much more opportunity for area employment then defunct relics of an era that won't be coming back.

Note: i am NOT saying that -residential- areas should not be protected against out of scale development and am NO fan of developers or landlords but, there are huge areas of LIC that have been all but discarded. I have been going out to LIC since late 1990 (almost 19 years) I have seen these buildings slowly empty out, this is becoming a moot point.

Queens Crapper said...

"or used for -very- small scale employment."

And? Are you against small businesses? Especially having been a small business owner yourself? Why do you have to be a developer or super rich to be considered "entitled" to own on the East River waterfront?

How do you explain the popularity of living near the Gowanus Canal, which is much narrower than Newtown Creek? Where Toll Brothers will build a humongous development right next to the Creek?

John Melino said...

10 years ago this was a safe affordable beautiful area. We had plenty of restaurants and a sense of community that is now long gone. It was like raising our children in a small town next to the biggest city in the world. Then the zoning was changed and now we have monster structures replacing century old historic buildings. Pathetic.

Lino said...

"Are you against small businesses? Especially having been a small business owner yourself?"

Fifteen years ago when I and my group were putting money into the Hunters point area, it was before any of the towers were built. The area had changed little in decades..except for the startling emptiness of Vernon blvd the main drag. The period of my involvement is August 1994-late '97 during that time I saw several attempts including our own, to try and have some success in that area (two locations one on Vernon the other 49th ave).

No one was having any luck because the small factories and businesses that had sustained the area had left and there were not enough residents to make up the difference.

Some buildings such as the former Bloomingdale's warehouse on 49th ave have become small bus. incubators with moderate success but most of the buildings out there are one-two story and not convertible.

"Why do you have to be a developer or super rich to be considered "entitled" to own on the East River waterfront?"

Look, I appreciate your site and find it interesting as I am in Queens often and enjoy it, part of my visit today was pleasure. However, you need a wider perspective. All over the Country young people are returning to urban areas and this is often pushing out the last remnants of industry.

In LIC many of those vanished firms -owned- their buildings...ask THEM why they are leaving....And then ask WHY they remain vacant for years afterward.

If you want to hold-on to the idea of a re-industrialized LIC, what you will get is what you see along the Northeast Corridor of NJ Transit: several miles of empty, gutted factories. Or travel to Newark... very convenient for manufacturing but -tons- of long term empties.

No one is suggest towers for Maspeth but in these discarded industrial areas the small businesses are not coming back.

Regards, Lino

Queens Crapper said...

No one suggested the businesses that were here and left will be "coming back", but would it be too much to ask that we try to hold on to those that want to stay and expand? The Brooklyn Brewery comes to mind. So much M-zoned land has been converted into residential that they had a very hard time finding a place and it almost drove them out of the City all together. Ditto for the manufacturers of Willets Point. Where are they to go? They need M-3 land and that's practically impossible to come by these days.

Read these: Manufacturing still important

The Decline of Manufacturing in NYC

The Big Squeeze

Center for an Urban Future

Anonymous said...

Sorry to shock you, but I am third-generation Astorian, my grandparents bought in in 1922. Here is how our mail was traditionally addressed and can still be delivered this way:

Astoria Address
Long Island City, NY 111xx

Long Island City was a 19th Century metropolis. The mayor was famously one of the prime movers in the unification of the 5 boroughs under New York City--he mistakenly thought it would help LIC.

The communities of Long Island City include: Astoria, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Hunter's Point, Sunnyside, Steinway, Blissville, and Rawson.

Depending on the time period, some of these have disappeared into larger geographical units still as part of Long Island City.

History didn't start with Real Estate brokers and ignorant Johnny Come Latelys.