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Queens West project hires development company

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LCOR, a commercial development company from Berywn, Pa., has been hired to develop about 13.5 acres of Queens West waterfront property into more than 2 million square feet of commercial space, Queens and New York officials announced last week.

Groundbreaking on the $500 million project was expected to begin within three years, said Gov. George Pataki. Queens West, a $2.3 billion residential and commercial project covering 74 acres at Hunter's Point in Queens, is located directly across the East River from the United Nations.

LCOR, a national development, asset management, investment and operations management company is also responsible for JFK Airport's $3 billion Terminal 4, the $292 million Foley Square Federal Office Building in Manhattan and the $233 Million 101 Hudson St. office complex in Jersey City.

LCOR was designated the developer of the project at the Jan. 24 monthly meeting of the Queens West Development Corporation, said Pataki.

"Just five weeks after breaking ground for new luxury apartment building, Queens West marches forward with a $500 million investment that continues our efforts to make the waterfront a catalyst for Queens' economic expansion," Pataki said. "Queens West's 2 million square feet of new commercial space will help answer the demands of our expanding economy."

Last week's announcement came on the heels of a Dec. 14 groundbreaking on the first of three luxury apartment buildings that AvalonBay is constructing in Long Island City. These three rental buildings will join Citilights, the sold-out 522 unit co-operative apartment building that opened in 1997.

In November, an additional $65 million was secured from the Port Authority for the Queens West project, bringing the total amount of funding to $190 million. Mayor Giuliani also committed $45 million for the Queens West project, a move he said would further spur economic growth for the Long Island City area.

The developer's initial plans call for investing $500 million to build five new buildings, including class A office space and potential new retail and hotel development.

"This is a great step forward for this monumental project," Giuliani said in a statement. "The Queens West project is an example of public/private partnership at its best. Working together, the city, state and private sector are providing quality residential and commercial space, as well as waterfront access for the residents of Queens."

Borough President Claire Shulman, who has lobbied to develop the Long Island City waterfront for years said the decision to reward the contract to LCOR would benefit Queens for years to come.

"We have been working since 1984 to fulfill the vision of the Queens West development as a center for housing, commercial and retail activity," Shulman said. "It is the latest step forward in the continuing development of the East River waterfront for appropriate uses."

In recent months, the Queens West development plans have been in jeopardy because the New York Power Authority wants to place two turbines near what Shulman considers prime real estate property.

Silvercup Studios, one of the city's largest film production companies that produces TV shows including "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City," is also threatening a lawsuit to stop NYPA's plans. It sits at 42-30 Vernon Blvd. across from the site proposed for the generators.

"I am against the proposed NYPA generator site on the Long Island City waterfront," Shulman said at a protest last month. "This proposal is contrary to all city waterfront development policy and will have a negative impact on future development."

Reach reporter Peter Sorkin by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-03?00, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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