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City Eyes 2 Possible Locations for New Long Island City Ferry Stop

By Jeanmarie Evelly | September 17, 2015 6:33pm
 The city is considering two spots in Long Island City as the site for a new ferry dock.
The city is considering two spots in Long Island City as the site for a new ferry dock.
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Flickr/otto-yamamoto

LONG ISLAND CITY — The city is considering two different locations for a new ferry stop in Hunters Point, part of a larger plan to expand ferry service across the five boroughs starting in 2017.

According to the NYC Economic Development Corporation's proposal, the new ferry station would either be situated on Center Boulevard at the very northern end of Gantry Plaza State Park, or further north at the end of 44th Drive, near Water's Edge Restaurant and Anable Basin bar.

The new dock would be the second ferry stop in Hunters Point, which already has a station further south near 54th Avenue and 2nd Street. It would be part of a different route from the existing site, and would instead connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11 in lower Manhattan, according to the EDC's plans.

The proposed spots for the new station got mixed reviews from local leaders. Though the two sites are not far from one another geographically, they're separated by a body of water called Anable Basin.

Brent O'Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, said the organization met with city officials to discuss the proposal earlier this week and that a majority of members would prefer to see the station built on Center Boulevard.

"That's where the people are," O'Leary said, pointing to the fact that the "population has exploded" along Center Boulevard in recent years as people have moved into its many high-rises.

"The other one [44th Drive], there was an argument that in the future that would be great for a lot of people, but there's just not the foot traffic there now," he said.

But at a public meeting about the ferry plan at Queens Borough Hall Wednesday night, some said the 44th Drive location would be more central to other parts of the neighborhood, beyond just the luxury buildings along Center Boulevard.

"To have the two ferry stops at locations of luxury housing on the water — there's also a question of availability and exclusivity," Debra Markell Kleinert, the district manager for Community Board 2, said at the meeting.

CB2 asked the EDC to look at the feasibility of the 44th Drive location, as development planned in that area may bring more residents that would make use of a ferry there, board chair Pat O'Brien said.

"While Center Boulevard is currently the most populated and the most built up, there are a lot of plans, both in the pipeline and coming down the pipeline, for development of large scale along 44th Drive," he said. "We're trying to look beyond the short [term]."

EDC spokesman Ian Fried said there are enough riders in Long Island City to support a second ferry stop in the neighborhood. The EDC does not have a set date for when it will decide between the two proposed locations, but will continue discussions with the community, he said.

With additional reporting by Katie Honan.