Just as Long Island City’s residential boom approaches its peak, we’ve come across plans for a 10-story office and retail building at 30-20 Northern Boulevard, next to the elevated subway tracks and Sunnyside Yards.
New building applications filed on Friday call for a 132-foot-tall commercial building on a busy industrial stretch of Northern Boulevard. It would rise on a large, industrially zoned property between 40th Avenue and 40th Road, close to several subway lines and Queensboro Plaza.
The first two floors would have retail space, and office space would fill the remaining eight stories. There would be a terrace on the fourth floor and 250 parking spaces in a two-level underground garage. All told, it would hold 315,626 square feet of commercial space.
The 105,000-square-foot property is currently home to a huge five-story factory that was known for its iconic “Apple Tag & Label” sign. Developer Alma Realty has already renovated the aging 238,000-square-foot building into offices, added two extra stories, and removed the old neon sign. The office space is currently on the market, and the listing says tenants can move in by June 2016.
Since the factory occupies just over a quarter of the plot, Alma will likely build on the huge parking lot next door.
Alma announced plans for the complex in early 2014. Back then, the company hoped to bring in a big box store and rooftop restaurants with lounges. Winick Realty Group, which was marketing the retail space, told DNAinfo that they were looking for “apparel, home goods and department stores, as well as gourmet markets, restaurants and financial institutions.” And “there will also be smaller spaces available for coffee uses, quick service restaurants and electronics retailers.”
Flushing-based architect Panagis Georgopoulos applied for the permits. The Long Island City-based developer paid $21.5 million for the site in 2011, which was around the time it acquired property for the controversial Astoria Cove megaproject on Hallets Point.
More office development would liven up the manufacturing area next to the rail yards, and now some residents of Long Island City’s new apartment towers might be able to walk to work, instead of taking the 7 train or the E/M/R into Midtown.
When the city rezoned LIC for mixed-use development during the Bloomberg years, several blocks along Sunnyside Yards kept their manufacturing zoning. The old Apple Tag & Label building sits at the eastern edge of this industrial area. Other new construction in the neighborhood includes a recently completed office tower next door and a self-storage facility across the street.