Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Queens Tallest Skyscraper Planned for Long Island City

A developer has big plans for a Long Island City tower that would become Queens’ tallest building. The skyline-changing 772-foot structure will soar to 77-stories at 29-37 41st Avenue, just north of the elevated Queensboro Plaza and Queens Plaza subway stations.

Real estate firm Property Markets Group, which is constructing the 77-story tower, purchased the vacant land last year for $46.3 million. The firm also bought the iconic Long Island City clock tower building adjoining the site for $30 million.

There will be 830,000 square feet of space in the building, which will contain 930 apartments. The skyscraper will be a mixed-use structure and have nearly 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

Present zoning for the site allows for construction of about 200,000 square feet as of right, while PMG's project is proposed for 830,000 square feet - about four times larger than allowed.

Since the development plan greatly exceeds current zoning regulations, Property Markets Group acquired unused air rights from an adjacent site controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for its East Side Access project, this week for $56 million.

Developers buy unused rights from neighbors all over the city to increase the size of projects. For example, Extell Development spent years buying additional air rights to construct One57, which was much larger than what the property's original zoning would have allowed.

Amenities, including a pool and a health club, will be part of the building. The developers also plan to maintain Queens Plaza Park just north of the parcel, and will expand or create a new entrance to the E, M and R trains at the Queens Plaza station.

SLCE Architects, which is designing a 54-story skyscraper for Rockrose at nearby 43-22 Queens Street, is the architect on this project as well.

On the southern side of Queensboro Plaza, Tishman Speyer is planning to construct 1,600 residential units in three towers at Phase 2 of its Gotham Center project.

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