JetBlue wants to build 40-ft. sign on LIC location

JetBlue wants a zoning amendment so it can install a 40-foot sign on the Brewster Building in Long Island City, where it will move to this year. Rendering courtesy JetBlue
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Despite some push back from Community Board 2 at its last monthly meeting, the airline JetBlue said it is confident the city will pass a zoning amendment to allow it to install a 40-foot sign at its new headquarters in Long Island City’s Queens Plaza.

“JetBlue is proud to be New York’s hometown airline,” said Bryan Baldwin, spokesman for JetBlue, in an e-mail. “We would like to be part of the iconic skyline of this great city.”

Baldwin said the airline’s new sign will be a back-lit version of its company logo. It will be on the top of its new headquarters at the Brewster Building, at 27-01 Queens Plaza N., where it plans to move almost 1,000 employees later this year.

“It is not a billboard-type sign and is very in keeping with Long Island City’s industrial history and other existing signs in the neighborhood, including the iconic Silvercup and PepsiCola signs,” he said.

The Department of City Planning held a meeting Monday to discuss the proposed sign and scheduled public hearings for later this week.

“We are about a month away from a decision,” a spokesman for the agency said.

To be able to install the sign, JetBlue has proposed a text amendment for Queens Plaza and solicited the approval of Community Boards 1 and 2.

CB 1’s district covers the north side of Queens Plaza while CB 2’s district covers the south side. At CB 2’s meeting last month, Penny Lee from City Planning said the text amendment would allow a business that occupies 25 percent of a building in the area’s floor space to have a similar sign. The sign will not involve flashing lights or changing colors.

“We consulted with zoning experts and were guided that this was the right path,” JetBlue’s Baldwin said.

While CB 1 gave the amendment the green light, CB 2 recommended against it. Members said while they approved of JetBlue and were eager to have the airline move from Forest Hills into the neighborhood, they would rather consider whether or not a business should have a large-scale sign on a case-by-case basis.

“The committee had some grave concerns about what this amendment would allow,” CB 2 member Lisa Deller said.

Baldwin said despite CB 2’s rejection of the amendment, they had a written letter of support from the board.

Borough President Helen Marshall also gave her approval.

“We look forward to working with these community leaders,” Baldwin said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 5:46 pm, February 29, 2012
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