Our vision for a new Anable Basin

The Plaxall family has invested in this neighborhood in its institutions since our company was founded more than 70 years ago, always with an eye toward retaining the character of the community as it evolved. We’ve done this for the same reason our grandfather, Louis Pfohl, first opened our doors along Anable Basin: we believed in the future of Long Island City as a center of productivity.

Now, we are proud to present a vision for our waterfront properties, one that revolves around its namesake: Anable Basin. From this long-overlooked inlet will flow a vibrant, mixed-use community – a home for longtime LIC residents as well as newcomers hoping for their own opportunity to call the neighborhood home. A workspace for light industrial tenants whom we envision will carry on this legacy of innovation. And a place that celebrates the public, street-level experience through access: to the waterfront through new pedestrian lanes lined with spaces for arts, culture and retail; and along the basin itself, via a public esplanade inspired by some of the great urban waterfronts.

Informed by our decades of experience working with local residents, businesses and institutions, we’ve long thought about how we could best contribute to the neighborhood’s growth. The result, which we’ve carefully considered, is the framework we’re presenting here. We look forward to hearing from our longtime neighbors as we work to refine and improve it. Thanks for visiting.

Building on a legacy of innovation to create jobs in LIC

We’ve built our own business in LIC, fostered the growth of other businesses, and now we want to continue that legacy. We’ve leased much of our space at Anable Basin to a dynamic group of creative commercial and light manufacturing tenants – many of whom have benefitted from working in a collaborative environment.

At full build-out, the rezoning will introduce approximately 335,000 square feet of space designed for creative production and light industrial uses, a precedent-setting commitment that will continue and enhance the legacy of creative production at the LIC waterfront. That requirement was informed by our experience leasing and managing properties that house a community of light industrial tenants near the Anable Basin. Maintaining and fostering the growth of that innovative environment is a top priority of the rezoning proposal.

At full build-out, the Anable Basin proposal would support at least 2,200 to 2,600 permanent jobs – more than five times the number of existing onsite jobs at Anable Basin – and generate $450 million in annual economic output. The build-out of the district would also support more than 10,000 construction-related jobs.

A mixed-income community

NYC and Queens continue to grow and there is an urgent need for more housing to accommodate families, young professionals, immigrants and others who want the same opportunity to call LIC home that many have had for decades. At full build-out, the Anable Basin proposal will permit approximately 4,995 housing units, up to 25 percent of which would be affordable housing through the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. This commitment to affordable housing – approximately 1,250 affordable units – will help meet a critical need for the neighborhood, the borough and the city.

An Anable Basin reborn for the public

At the heart of our vision is the Basin itself: a 149-year-old manmade inlet that has been largely inaccessible to the public since its creation. If our proposal is approved, we will transform the land around the Basin into a distinctive new publicly accessible esplanade. But the plan wouldn’t just open our shoreline to the public – it would create pedestrian-friendly ways to get there. That would be accomplished through a series of pedestrian lanes that would support production uses, community facilities, cultural spaces and neighborhood-focused retail – another key need for LIC.

The 3.1 acres of new public open space will also have an impact beyond simply the rezoning area. It would knit together the Western Queens waterfront, linking the parks along the Queens West waterfront to the south and Queensbridge Park to the north and provide access directly from Vernon Blvd. And by raising a new esplanade around the Basin, we’ll provide important flood resiliency infrastructure for the new district and the neighborhood beyond.

700+ school seats for LIC families

Responsible development means balancing growth with the addition of critical neighborhood infrastructure. There’s a current need for more school seats in LIC, and we recognize that our project will bring more families into the community over its 15-year buildout. If approved, our project will alleviate that need by gifting the City a site for a new 700+ seat public elementary school on 11th Street that’s located three blocks from the new Anable Basin district.

FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Anable Basin project. Feel free to reach out with additional questions in the contact form provided below.

What is the area that will be subject to the rezoning?

The Anable Basin rezoning would cover approximately 14.7 acres – 12.6 of which are owned by Plaxall, the applicant. The rezoning will establish a new mixed-use district bordered by 45th Avenue and 44th Drive to the north, Vernon Boulevard to the east, 46th Road to the south, and 5th Street and the East River to the west, which would be adjacent to the existing Special Long Island City Mixed-Use District.

What zoning actions are anticipated?

  • Creation of the Special Anable Basin Mixed-Use District, which:
  • Permits development with density ranging from 5.75 to 7.72 FAR
  • Requires up to 7 percent of floor area to be reserved for production/light industrial uses in larger buildings
  • Alteration of underlying zoning designations to M1-5/R7-2, M1-5/R8, and M1-5/R9
  • Amendment of the provisions of the existing Waterfront Access Plan
  • Mapping of the District as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing area

 

Is there a specific development program or design that will be approved if the rezoning is approved? What is Plaxall’s role now?

The rezoning will allow for a flexible framework that permits a combination of large-scale residential and commercial development, as well as community facilities, and production/light industrial space. While the developer of each parcel will be determined at a later date, the rezoning would ensure that the framework established by Plaxall and approved by the City’s Land Use Review Process – its compliance with the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy, light industrial commitment, waterfront esplanade, space for retail stores and cultural venues and its pedestrian lanes – will be locked in no matter what projects are developed, or who their participants are, at the Anable Basin.

Plaxall will act as the master developer, assuming responsibility, as owners, that future developments meet the goals and objectives we have laid out in our plan, and related obligations to the community, all of which will be codified into the rezoning when passed.

If this rezoning is approved, when will construction begin?

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020.

What is the timeline for construction?

There is no set timeline for construction. Our environmental impact analysis anticipates a phased 15-year build out with an estimated start date in 2020 and a completion date in 2034.

How large will the project be at full build-out?

The scale and mix of development for parcels in the rezoning would be developed subject to changing community needs and market dynamics. Therefore, we have formulated two conceptual development scenarios to estimate the project’s environmental impacts: one that reflects a principally residential program, and one with a larger commercial component. Each conceptual development scenario comprises approximately 5.8 million gross square feet.

Under the residential scenario’s full 15-year build-out, the rezoning would result in 4,995 units of housing and 335,000 gross square feet of dedicated space for production and light industrial uses, along with 328,000 gross square feet of retail, arts, and cultural space, and commercial office.

Under the commercial scenario’s full 15-year build-out, the rezoning would result in 3,652 units of housing and 255,000 gross square feet of dedicated space for creative production and light industrial uses, along with 1.48 million gross square feet of office, retail, arts, and cultural space. Both of the conceptual development scenarios would include 38,000 gross square feet of community facility space, and 3.1 acres of waterfront open space and pedestrian lanes.

Would the project include parking?

The rezoning framework would allow for up to 1,800 parking spaces on Plaxall’s properties at full build-out, and the standard LIC maximum of 225 spaces per mixed-use building would apply on the other properties.

What percentage of units will be affordable and at what income levels?

Each development site within the rezoning area will comply with the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. At the baseline statutory level of MIH participation, the rezoning would require at least 25 percent of all residential area to be permanently affordable. At full residential build-out, this would result in approximately 1,250 units of permanently affordable housing.

What will happen to current Anable Basin tenants once construction starts?

Over the past several years, Plaxall’s leasing strategy has anticipated eventual re-development of this area with the goal of minimizing impacts on existing businesses. Plaxall is fortunate to have some really creative and productive tenants currently leasing space: artists, artisans, light industrial tenants, tech start-ups and others all occupy space around Anable Basin. As landlords, we view maintaining and growing this mix and type of enterprise as mutually beneficial to our commercial community. Our proposal specifically encourages, and even requires, these types of uses in the new development. Through possible temporary relocations and a phased approach over several years, it is our hope that many of the existing tenants will choose to relocate within the new special district.

How can I learn more and participate in the process?

Plaxall has discussed the potential redevelopment of Anable Basin with many members of the community for several years, and has held a series of informal briefings about the proposed rezoning with local stakeholders. The proposal requires a change of the site’s existing zoning. In New York City, projects seeking such changes are required to undergo a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) , a standardized procedure whereby applications are publicly reviewed at the community board, borough president, City Planning Commission and City Council. More information on the process is available here. A Pre-Application Statement was filed in September of 2016, and we hope to conclude the approval process in 2018. Additionally, the Department of City Planning and Plaxall will host a public meeting concerning the scope of the project’s environmental review on December 14th. And during the ULURP process, Queens Community Board 2, the New York City Planning Commission and the New York City Council will hold public hearings on the proposal.

In addition to the opportunities for public input during the formal rezoning process, Plaxall plans to host a number of informal information sessions in the coming months. These gatherings will allow our neighbors and community members to ask questions and provide feedback on the various aspects of our plan. Please check our website for information on upcoming meetings.

 

Contact Us

For more information,  please view our press release here, and download the high-resolution renderings here. For press inquiries, contact James Yolles at AnableBasinLIC.info@plaxall.com or 646-676-4488.