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Queens Chronicle

LIC to undergo rapid change in new year

JetBlue, CUNY Law to relocate, building projects move forward

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:55 pm, Thu Dec 29, 2011.

As Long Island City rapidly develops, a dizzying array of city, residential and commercial projects are underway. While many of them won’t be completed for at least two years or more, 2012 will still bring visible changes to the neighborhood.

Glittering developments along the neighborhood’s waterfront are plentiful, but residents of LIC’s less glamorous Queens Plaza and Court Square areas should see significant changes in the new year as well.

That’s because this coming March, Jet- Blue will be moving its headquarters from Forest Hills to the Brewster Building, at 27-01 Queens Plaza North, according to Allison Steinberg, a JetBlue representative. The move will bring close to 1,000 JetBlue employees into the area every day, Steinberg said.

The company is also in the process of gaining approval to put its name on the building, with a sign similar in size and style to Silvercup’s, as revealed at a recent Community Board 2 meeting.

Nearby Court Square, often deserted at night, is set to get less lonely as well. Come fall 2012, the City University of New York School of Law, now located in Flushing, will move into the first six floors of 2 Court Square, located in the shadow of the 50-story Citigroup building.

That will bring some 450 students to the area, according to Vivian Todini, a CUNY representative. Todini said that students would conduct legal clinics for residents there, and that one of the reasons the School of Law chose the location is that it will provide “much greater access for students to pursue legal internships across the five boroughs.”

North of Court Square, construction will continue on the 42-story, 709-unit Rockrose tower, set for completion in spring 2013. Last summer, Rockrose allowed Third Ward, a Brooklyn art center, to throw pool parties in empty dumpsters located in Rockrose lots. Richard Edmonds, a spokesperson for Rockrose, said that similar programming might take place again this coming summer.

“I think they’ve got a lot of good stuff planned,” Edmonds said. As for the Rockrose parking lot at 43-29 Crescent St., where food trucks have been operating since the summer, Edmonds said “there’s some discussion about even more trucks and even more space being given to them” in 2012.

Few waterfront projects will be completed next year: the four remaining residential buildings that are part of TF Cornerstone’s $1.1 billion, 3,500-unit “East Coast” development — three buildings have already been completed— won’t be finished until the end of 2013, according to Jon McMillan, a spokesman for the company. The development is located just north of Gantry Plaza State Park.

To the south, the Hunters Point South Project, a 5,000-unit project, is a long ways from completion. Its first phase, which includes two residential towers, is slated to be done in 2014.

And two new schools being built by the city — IS/HS 404, part of the Hunters Point South Project, and PS/IS 312, at 46-08 5 St. — will be completed by fall 2013, according to Monica Gutierrez, a project support manager for the School Construction Authority.

But in 2012, residents can look forward to the completion of the East Coast’s eight- acre public park, just north of Gantry Plaza State Park, which McMillan said will be done by spring. Only half of the park has been completed to date.

Welcome to the discussion.