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Tech Incubator Proposed for Long Island City

LONG ISLAND CITY — A tech incubator, which would help hundreds of entrepreneurs get their feet wet, has been proposed for Long Island City — the latest spot in the Big Apple that is looking for a foothold in the booming industry.

The Coalition for Queens and the packaging company Plaxall recently submitted a proposal to the Regional Economic Development Council to transform the company's warehouse in Hunters Point, near 44th Drive, into a space to house those looking to get foothold in the field, the Daily News reported.

“Our goal is to turn western Queens into a tech hub for New York City,” the company's president Andrew Kirby told the News. “It could help to attract the best and brightest of young innovators to the city to live and work and create exciting new businesses.”

Other locations are also under consideration for the space, which would have communal tables that could be used by hundreds of local entrepreneurs who would pay to use the space for work and networking.

The incubator would also provide office supplies and conference space, the paper said.

Gayle Baron, president of LIC Partnership, a neighborhood advocacy group, said that Long Island City would be a perfect location for the new tech incubator. “Considering its rapid development, it just makes sense,” she said.

She also hopes the tech incubator would attract new companies from the entire borough, as well as from Manhattan. “Once you create a hub, things start to take off,” she added.

The coalition and Plaxall are also exploring the idea of turning an old ferry boat near the warehouse into a floating garden and hosting weekend markets on a nearby parking lot, according to the report.

The project will now compete with numerous proposals to get state funding.  The winners will be announced this fall.