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Queens’ controversial new skyline

A classically industrial part of Long Island City, Queens has plans for the tallest building in New York outside of Manhattan. A 15-acre riverside property is turning into a mixed-use development with residential and retail space. Durst Organization has been chosen by Plaxall to manage the rezoning process. Jonathan Drescher estimates rezoning could take all of 2018 to complete.

Plaxall Realty is a family run company that started as a plastics company. They have owned the land in this area for over 70 years.  Louis Pfohl founded the company after moving to New York to engineer elevator cabs and then went on to found Plaxall. His grandchildren, Paula Kirby, Matthew Quigley, and Tony Pfohl believe this will be a great new development for the area that their grandfather would be proud of.

Plans for the mixed-use space include 5,000 apartments, 3.1 acres of public space, and 335,000 square feet set aside for manufacturing. Due to the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, a quarter of the 5,000 apartments will need to be offered below market value. Lack of affordable housing in New York was mentioned in one of our previous articles and is being treated by different city programs. For the developers, this means they will need to fill expensive penthouse apartments to compensate for the lower priced rooms.

Controversy over the plan for the site is likely because industrial spaces in the area are dwindling as is. Plaxall is open to selling the property but will not jump at the first offer. Construction for the mixed-use property is projected to begin in 2020.


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