Young parents who work in New York City often have to choose between a brutal commute and space for their children. However, changing zoning laws and the need for housing are ushering in a new age of development throughout the five boroughs. For some companies looking to engage an undervalued market segment, Long Island City is proving to be a spacious and lucrative place to grow.
At 45th Road and 11th Street, right across the road from the John F. Murray Playground, GDC Properties is currently constructing 38 new townhouses built to accommodate families. Each townhouse will be divided into two units, stacked on top of each other. The townhouses will surround a gated courtyard. The bottom unit will have a finished basement and personal backyard. The top unit will have a penthouse enclosure featuring a wet-bar and roof patio. GDC plans to do away with the bells-and-whistles that most new housing developments prioritize. What good is a rock-climbing wall anyway when there is no space for children to enjoy it?
GDC is a pioneer, indeed; but they are not the only company to recognize the new opportunities for families in Long Island City. Another company, Charney Construction, is currently planning a family-oriented condo tower on 47th Avenue. This building will hold 54 units, half of which will be two-bedroom, the other half one- and three-bedroom. This site caters to working adults, as its location places it close to several major subway lines.
A third such company, TF Cornerstone, has recently built a 41-story residential hub on Center Boulevard where families (and dogs!) have plenty of space to move around. This building comes complete with a pool, two tennis courts, and a 50,000 square foot recreation deck overlooking the East River. While it has more bells-and-whistles than GDC’s townhouses, it sacrifices most “amenities” in the name of space, and maintains only those that parents and children would most use.
New York has historically prioritized city growth over family growth. However, many new housing developers are seizing upon changing construction and zoning regulations in Long Island City to help the oft-overlooked professional young family. Companies like GDC, Charney, and TF Cornerstone are getting first dibs at a promising new market. At the same time, families are gaining ever more options to live, work, and grow alongside the city they love.