Wednesday, January 8, 2014

$850M Flushing Commons to Begin Construction

Eight years after submitting plans for a behemoth mixed-use and residential project, the developers of the $850 million Flushing Commons and Macedonia Plaza projects in Queens are finally ready to break ground. The partnership between TDC Development, the Rockefeller Group and AECOM has announced that construction at Municipal Lot # 1 in Downtown Flushing will begin later this month.

The $850 million project will help to revitalize the Borough of Queens, creating about 2,600 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.

The mixed-use development will include condominiums, a town square with a fountain, a YMCA, community center, as well as retail and office space with parking.

The developers have incorporated energy efficiency options into the building’s design and will seek to achieve LEED certification under the U.S. Green Building Council.

The projects will transform what is now the 5.5-acre, city-owned Municipal Parking Lot #1, into a mixed-use development including:
  • 620 new residential condominiums
  • 1.5-acre town square of open space 
  • a fountain plaza
  • 1,600 parking spaces
  • 62,000 square foot, state-of-the-art YMCA
  • 25,000 square feet of community space
  • 175,000 square feet of retail space 
  • 300,000 square feet of office and hotel space.
The initial job will begin to lay the groundwork for the project's first phase, Macedonia Plaza, a 163-unit affordable housing project being developed on a 35,000-sq-ft portion of the municipal parking lot site by Macedonian Community Development Corporation, an extension of the adjacent Macedonia AME Church.

Phase one will now include 163 units of housing; a 1,000-space parking lot; and 200,000 square feet of commercial space, which will be used predominantly for offices.

A 62,000-square-foot YMCA, a 1.5-acre public open space, and an additional100,000 square feet of commercial space have been shifted to the second phase, which the partnership is now required to begin by 2018 or face millions in penalties. Previously, the developers had until 2027 to begin.

[see ElectricWeb | Blogger, Oct 19, 2012]

In addition to the shifted components of the project, the second phase will also include 457 residential units; 175,000 square feet of retail space; underground parking and 25,000 square feet of community space.

In 2005, the partnership formed by TDC Development, the Rockefeller Group and AECOM, won a city Economic Development Corporation request for proposal to redevelop the 5.5-acre municipal parking lot.

The Flushing Commons project then took five years to navigate the city's labyrinthine land use review process.

That came to a conclusion in 2010, when the City Council voted its approval. But then all went quiet.

Under the contract signed between the developers and Economic Development Corp., which shepherded the project through the approval process, TDC and Rockefeller were required to break ground by Oct. 31.

The Bloomberg adminstration granted an extension when financing concerns prompted several alterations to the construction timeline. On December 30, the partnership closed a deal to purchase the 5.5-acre municipal parking lot where the complex will be built. 

The city will be chipping in cash and in-kind services, bringing the total value of incentives to $6 million. 

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