Long Island City is undergoing a development boom

- Whichever way you turn in Long Island City, avoiding the sight of construction is nearly impossible.

"A sense of place is what makes people actually want to live somewhere," said Justin Elghanayan, the president of Rockrose Development Corp. "It's not just having nice buildings with nice amenities."

Elghanayan is one developer making his mark on the community. Rockrose Development is building a 2,500-unit residential development, but is also making sure to bring lots of retail to the neighborhood, too. He is opening a bookstore, and just built a new coffee shop and gourmet pizzeria on Jackson Avenue.

"We've also invested in preserving a bunch of these old buildings… to preserve the industrial feeling and let people have that small neighborhood feeling, which is what attracts people to living somewhere," Elghanayan said.

Long Island City Partnership, a nonprofit promoting economic development, supports the new projects. One is called The JACX from the real estate group Tishman Speyer, which is building a two-tower complex with a food hall, fitness center, and a park.

LICP President Elizabeth Lusskin said she believes this community and the local transit system can handle it all.

"The great thing about a mixed-use neighborhood is that it actually relieves some of the burden on the transit system because people can work and live in the same neighborhood," Lusskin said.

Another huge project is coming to 44th Drive near the East River. The city's Economic Development Corporation is building more than 1,000 apartments, a new school, offices, and a manufacturing space.

"So it's this mix of cultural, industrial, residential, commercial, tech and all of them are growing," Lusskin said. 

An EDC spokesperson said the development of the 1.5-million-square-foot project is expected to create more than 2,500 construction jobs over the next 10 years and about 1,500 permanent jobs.

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