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MAP: Thousands of New Apartments Coming to Queens Plaza and Court Square

 The area will see an influx of amenity-packed new apartments in the next several years.
Residential Projects Planned for Queens Plaza
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QUEENS — Thousands of new apartments are set to come to Queens Plaza and nearby Court Square in the next several years — an area that is crammed with construction sites and soon-to-be developed lots.

Interest in the neighborhood is fueled not only by easy access to transportation and proximity to Manhattan but also an increasing number of firms that are setting up offices in the area.

Among the amenities being offered at the new buildings are landscaped roofs, fitness centers and even a Zen garden.

"We're tipping over into a kind of critical mass of units...filling in a lot of spaces that have sort of been waiting to be developed," said Elizabeth Lusskin, director of the economic advocacy group Long Island City Partnership, which maintains an online map of recently completed, current and planned construction projects in the area.

View Development in LIC in a full screen map
MAP CREDIT: LIC Partnership, via licpartnership.org/development-map  

Lusskin says the neighborhood, a mix of industrial, residential, commercial and cultural, has been a draw to developers for a number of reasons, including its "unbelievable transportation," with access to seven train lines between Queens Plaza and nearby Court Square.

That's one of the perks that attracted the World Wide Group to the area, which recently topped out construction of its 21-story rental building at 24th Street and Queens Plaza North, which will be called QLIC and start leasing this spring.

"The first thing that strikes you by the whole area is just the access and the transportation — whether it be by subway or car or bike or bus, you name it, you can get to it and get from it," said Rachel Loeb, director of development for the World Wide Group.

The neighborhood also offers great views of Manhattan across the river, she said, while Queens Plaza has benefited from improvements including traffic calming measures and a new green space.

But residents aren't just moving to the area for the easy ride to Midtown — more office workers whose jobs are based in the neighborhood are opting to move in nearby, according to Lusskin.

"You're seeing people who aren’t just living here to commute to Manhattan, but who are living here because they work in the area and they see all the great things that are happening," she said, pointing to a growing number of amenities as well as cultural venues like MoMA PS1 and the Noguchi Museum.

"That as much as economics is helping to drive the popularity," she said.

Here are some of the notable residential projects planned for the area:

QLIC, Queens Plaza North and 24th Street
Construction on the project, a 21-story tower with 421 units, topped out in September. It will feature a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, to start leasing in the spring of 2015. It will also boast a fitness center, bike room, private garden and outdoor pool on the roof with a landscaped deck, according to the developers. Rents have not been finalized yet.

The project will also include about 8,200-square-feet of retail space on the ground floor along Queens Plaza North, according to Loeb.

43-22 Queens St.
Rockrose Development Corp. purchased this property — the former Eagle Electric factory — in 2012, with plans to renovate the existing building and construct a luxury rental tower above it. Permits were filed at the site in July, according to spokeswoman for Rockrose, which is planning to build a 54-story building with 700 units and over 34,000-square-feet of commercial space.

Rents at the future development, to be called Eagle Lofts, are expected to run from $1,800 for a studio, $2,600 for a one-bedroom and $3,400 for a two-bedroom, according to a spokeswoman. There's no set timeline yet for when the project will open.

43-25 Hunter St.
This development from Rockrose will consist of two towers measuring 14 stories and 50 stories tall and containing 974 apartments and 19,400-square-feet of commercial space on the ground floor, according to a spokeswoman for the developer.

Affordable units will make up 20 percent of units in the project, while the rest will be market rate, according to the spokeswoman. Construction started in July and is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2017. Amenities at the site will include three rooftop terraces — including one with a solarium and a lawn — a fitness center, basketball court, yoga room, billiard room, a zen garden and a kids' play room.

H&R Real Estate Investment Trust and Tishman Speyer's Future Development Next to 2 Gotham Center
In June, the two companies announced their plan to develop the parcel of land adjacent to the office tower at 2 Gotham Center. According to Curbed, the site of the future development is located between Queens Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and Orchard Street. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the site was once a cemetery for the Van Alst family.

A press release from the developers says the parcel of land can potentially hold up to 1,600 rental units and 30,000-square-feet of retail. A first phase of construction is set to break ground in 2015 to build a 42-story tower with 700 apartments, with an expected occupancy of 2017.

23-10 Queens Plaza South
Property Markets Group is planning a mixed-use development at the site which will consist of a 40-story tower combined with an existing four-story structure, according to the company's website. The project will include 345 apartments, retail on the ground floor and two floors of office space, as well as amenities like a rooftop pool. Expected completion is 2017, according to a spokeswoman for the developer.

Packard Square West
Located between Queens Plaza North and 41st Avenue, this will be the Ciampa Organization's fourth and last building in its Packard Square complex, which will eventually be linked to one another with a shared courtyard and garden, according to a spokesman for Citi Habitats, which will be leasing the future property. The building will be 11 stories high and contain 125 rental apartments, which are expected to start leasing in November 2015.