SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   Proposals (
-   -   NEW YORK | Anable Basin SOUTH (MULTI towers) | FT | FLOORS (

NYguy Nov 14, 2017 8:58 PM

NEW YORK | Anable Basin SOUTH (MULTI towers) | FT | FLOORS

A Record-Breaking Tower Is Proposed for Queens

NOV. 14, 2017


Among the city’s waterways, Anable Basin is not particularly grand or historic. It is a 500-foot artificial inlet cut into an industrial section along the East River, in Long Island City, Queens.

But as much of New York’s once-industrial waterfront has been transformed into pricey residential housing, the family that owns most of the land along the basin sees it as rich in possibilities for development, and it is proposing to replace its ho-hum warehouses with a $3-billion project, including an apartment tower that would rise about 700 feet, or 70 stories, making it taller than any existing building not only in Queens, but in all of the boroughs outside Manhattan.

“I think people will come out and say that’s too much,” said Diane Hendry, a spokeswoman for the LIC Coalition, a nonprofit that formed last year to fight overdevelopment in the neighborhood. Ms. Hendry, 58, a 29-year resident of the area and an artist, calls the family members from Plaxall Realty, the company behind the plan, “fabulous.”

“But that doesn’t mean they should have the biggest, grandest development,” she added.

The plan would require a massive rezoning of the area to allow for apartments and taller buildings. On Tuesday, it is poised to take its first step closer to reality when the Department of City Planning is expected to release the first public details of the project, while also announcing the first hearing for public comment, in December.

Plaxall was founded in 1938 by an engineer named Louis Pfohl after he relocated from the Midwest in order to design elevator cabs.

Three of Mr. Pfohl’s grandchildren — the cousins Paula Kirby, 51, a former fashion executive; Matthew Quigley, 52, a lawyer; and Tony Pfohl, 41, a lawyer who spends some of his time in Dubuque, Iowa, managing properties in the city where Mr. Pfohl grew up — acknowledge that the project’s tallest tower, which would surpass the Citigroup Building, Queens’ most recognizable skyscraper, will be controversial.

But they say the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which requires developers to create a certain percentage of affordable housing, mandates that a quarter of the 5,000 proposed condominiums and rental units be offered at below-market prices. If they can’t fetch top dollar for a large batch of apartments, they say, they have to make up the money with luxury apartments on upper floors with sweeping city views.

The tower and other planned buildings would be “a unique opportunity to really make a skyline for Long Island City,” Ms. Kirby said.

The development would also include 3.1 acres of public space, banked to protect against flooding, as well as barges with cafes and kayak docks.

The rezoning process for the mixed-use project, which would also add commercial spaces for light manufacturing, shops and day care providers, plus a public school on a different site, could eat up most of 2018, said Jonathan Drescher, a former executive with the Durst Organization, whom Plaxall hired to manage the process.

At the site, near Vernon Boulevard, Plaxall currently controls 13 acres, or about five city blocks, where all the buildings would be razed. The other two acres are owned by a handful of landlords, who are expected to either redevelop their land or sell their property once the rezoning is complete.

Plaxall has proposed 4,995 apartments, as well as 335,000 square feet of manufacturing space, which could be leased to tenants like furniture fabricators, breweries or bakeries.

Tenants, including people who work at those businesses, would live upstairs, according to the plan.

The project is similar to the two-towered complex planned around the corner on city-owned land on 44th Drive that will have 1,000 apartments and 100,000 square feet of light manufacturing space, from a team led by the firm TF Cornerstone; one of its towers would clock in at 650 feet.

But eliminating industrial activities, in a city where manufacturing zones are shrinking quickly, has not always gone over well.

Before construction begins on the first phase of the Anable Basin project, which would likely have 500 apartments, Plaxall is hoping to sell a stake to a developer, though company officials said it is too soon to name potential partners. Plaxall would also consider selling its entire five-block site.

But, said Mr. Pfohl, whose firm owns other buildings nearby, “it is certainly not in our best interests to cash out with the first offer we get.”

NYguy Nov 14, 2017 9:13 PM

Taken from scoping documents... scoping documents...

Another mini-mega development taking shape on the waterfront. Long overdue, and I love the density...

Hudson11 Nov 14, 2017 9:21 PM

wow! thats massive. Hopefully they bring in some starchitects here like they did with Riverside Center/Waterline Square. Long Island City's waterfront is in some dire need of eye candy. This will surely take time to develop, so hopefully they don't cut corners. I don't think they'll have to worry about height considering there are 3 developments nearer to One Court Square which will surpass it.
I wonder what will be tallest, the tallest tower here, or the tallest of Hunters Point Phase 2?

NYguy Nov 14, 2017 9:25 PM

The two towered development that will rise just to the north...

Larger early renders...

chris08876 Nov 14, 2017 9:48 PM

Looks like between Anable Basin I and II, there are 12 total towers.

1) 695'
2) 645'
3) 550'
4) 460'
5) 330'
6) 285'
7) 500'
8) 450'
9) 350'
10) 125'

Add the Basin I

11) 650'
12) 500'

Not bad! :cheers:

Can anyone verify? I have suspicion the two 500' heights are actually the same tower, but unsure.

NYguy Nov 17, 2017 12:44 AM


Plaxall hopes to have its plan certified by City Planning by the spring, which would start the seven-month public review process by Community Board 2, the Queens borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

“We are prepared to continue working with our neighbors, elected officials, and other local stakeholders to refine and improve the proposal through the rezoning process,” Kirby said.

There was negative reaction on social media Tuesday when a New York Times headline said the 65-story tower would be record-breaking, the tallest high-rise outside of Manhattan. But Matt Quigley explained during a briefing Tuesday that by the time the 695-foot tower is built there will be a number of taller towers in Queens and Brooklyn.

“At 695 it wouldn’t be the highest,” Quigley said. “Maybe we should put an exclamation mark on that.”

....“Paula, Matt and Tony care deeply about western Queens and have provided invaluable support over the years to help local residents break the cycle of poverty,” Urban Upbound Co-founder and CEO Bishop Mitchell Taylor said. “We hear a lot about new development, but what’s different here is that this plan was put together by people who have lived and breathed in this community for years. They understand what makes LIC work, what can help it grow responsibly, and what elements must remain to maintain its character. This plan accomplishes all three.”


If the rezoning is approved, Plaxall would give the School Construction Authority a site on 11th Street to be used for a new 700-plus seat school.

In a statement provided by Plaxall, LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said, “We applaud the thoughtful, holistic approach that has gone into its preparation, so that this extremely important piece of NYC’s waterfront can be developed in a way that advances the community and the city it serves.”

The company’s rezoning proposal is the second major initiative announced for the manmade basin this year.

The city Economic Development Corp. in August picked TF Cornerstone Inc. and Greenpoint Manufacturing to develop two 44th Drive lots — one of which now is being used as a parking lot for the Department of Education near the waterfront, and the other, which is more inland, holds a Department of Transportation facility, both of which will be moved — into a 1.5 million-square-foot waterfront mixed-use development.

Between the two lots, there will be approximately 1,000 residential units, 25 percent of which will be designated affordable housing; 400,000 square feet for office space, which will be used for companies specializing in technology, the arts and design; 100,000 square feet dedicated to “light industrial space”; a 25,000 square-foot performing arts training facility; and 19,000 square feet for retail space. Additionally, there will be an 80,000 square-foot public school, with 600 seats, and a one-acre park.

Plaxall officials said their rezoning initiative will not affect Cornerstone’s development in any way.

C. Nov 17, 2017 11:54 AM

What's the likehood this rezoning passes and isn't killed by NIMBYs?

tdawg Nov 17, 2017 3:57 PM

I have friends that live on the other side of the basin in Hunters Point and there is extremely strong opposition to this proposal. I, for one, hope it gets built as it will further the development creep up towards me on the Astoria waterfront. Plus, I hope they keep this: I had no idea that was Matthew Barney's studio.

Busy Bee Nov 17, 2017 6:16 PM

^Shocking development: Neighboring tower dwellers oppose blocked northern views!!!

News @ 11

antinimby Nov 17, 2017 8:10 PM


Originally Posted by CIA (Post 7989103)
What's the likehood this rezoning passes and isn't killed by NIMBYs?

It’s probably going to pass but heavily watered down both in terms of height and density, two things the NIMBYs hate and will fight/complain against. You can pretty much forget about the 600 and 500 feet heights. You will be lucky to even get 400 feet on any of the towers.

Busy Bee Nov 17, 2017 10:06 PM

I honestly think you're way off there. I wouldn't be surprised if the plan is approved in its current form but for market reasons slightly scaled down over the course of the 15 year phased build-out. Of course there is also a chance it gets built pretty much exactly as proposed. I think its highly possible.

Hamilton Nov 18, 2017 12:34 AM

Whether or not it's watered down depends on public input, which generally tends to come from NIMBYs. I'm pessimistic...these sorts of plans usually *are* watered down in New York. The councilman that controls this district, Jimmy Van Bramer, killed a 100% affordable building with 210 affordable units that was much smaller than this (only 9 stories). Van Bramer listens to NIMBYs.

The best way to ensure that it won't get watered down too much is to vocally support this proposal, especially if you live in LIC/Astoria.

Find your council district using this widget:

If you live in District 26, then you *must* call your council representative, Jimmy Van Bramer, and tell him you are a resident of his district (provide your address) and support this project because it provides the city with a school and over a thousand units of affordable housing and that you urge him to support it too.

His phone number is 718-383-9566 and his email is

NYguy Nov 15, 2018 2:46 AM

This dev site next to Amazon’s LIC campus could be home to an 800K sf project
Plaxall is holding onto the land, located between 46th Road and 46th Avenue

By Rich Bockmann and Kathryn Brenzel November 14, 2018


Plaxall isn’t completely handing over its large Long Island City project to Amazon.

The family-run plastics company, which last year developed a 15-acre plan that appears to have been the key to luring Amazon’s HQ2 to New York, will retain a site just to the south of the tech company’s planned campus where it can develop its own commercial building, according to a memorandum of understanding between the company and the state and city’s respective economic development arms.

“The Plaxall sites to the south, they are going to be almost exclusively commercial,” James Patchett, head of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, said during a press conference Tuesday announcing Amazon’s selection of Long Island City as the home of its new headquarters. “There’s some residential that we’re still contemplating as part of the general project plan for the southernmost section of those sites, but in the aggregate, it’s a commercial plan now focused on that. I’m not saying there won’t be any residential units as a part of it, but we’ll be having conversations with the community.”


Amazon plans to redevelop the northern portion of that site for its HQ2 headquarters, which will initially span 4 million square feet and could grow to as much as 8 million square feet.

Plaxall, however, will retain the southernmost block of the larger project: a group of properties that sit on the block between 46th Road and 46th Avenue. The six property lots, which cover nearly the entire block, would allow Plaxall to build a mixed-use building slightly larger than 800,000 square feet, or a residential building of nearly 566,000 square feet.

Under the residential plan, the new building would be subject to the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirements, and under either scenario, Plaxall would set aside 5 percent of the space for light industrial use.

The remaining areas that were part of the original planned rezoning...

NYguy Feb 19, 2020 9:52 PM

TF Cornerstone contemplates massive office tower on former Amazon HQ2 campus along the Anable Basin

By Bill Parry
February 19, 2020


Developer TF Cornerstone is planning to build a massive office tower along the Anable Basin in Long Island City where Amazon planned to build its HQ2 campus before bolting the borough on St. Valentine’s Day just over a year ago.

Elghanayan was also able to find a silver lining after his company’s partnership with Amazon collapsed.

“In a funny way, it improved Long Island City because no one was thinking about Long Island City as an office headquarters distinction before and now people are going ‘well, Amazon could go there,’” Elghanayan said. “In fact, we plan to build a building a million square feet. It’s quite a large building.

Asked for further clarification, a spokesperson for TF Cornerstone said that there are no final plans for the sites, but they are exploring job-generating uses after hearing from the community and the city that economic empowerment, the creation of good jobs, and workforce training opportunities are some of the top priorities.


“We are also exploring other community-serving uses, public open space, education, and more based on residents feedback,” the spokesperson said. “The public engagement process for the full 28 acres of waterfront will continue in the coming months and we look forward to presenting plans to the community after the completion of the community visioning process.”

TF Cornerstone, Plaxall, Simon Baron Development and L&L MAG launched the YourLIC public engagement process for the future of the waterfront in November. There are two more public workshops coming up next month.

The Comprehensive Neighborhood Planning Mobility and Infrastructure workshop will take place Monday, March 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Info Tech High School, located at 21-16 44th Road. That will be followed by a Density and Uses workshop on March 23 at a time and location to be determined.

BuildThemTaller Feb 20, 2020 1:53 AM

Wow! 1,000,000 SF. That could be large enough to block the view of the Citi Building from Midtown.

tdawg Feb 20, 2020 3:22 PM

That would be huge, literally. Hunters Point is really exploding. Having the 2 ferry stops is definitely helping accessibility.

NYguy Feb 20, 2020 4:36 PM

Yeah, a 1 msf office tower, regardless of height, would be huge for that area.

Development Team Discusses Waterfront Open Space, Congresswoman Maloney Says Make Room for Park

Jan. 10, 2020
By Christian Murray and Michael Dorgan


Four developers are trying to put together a united vision for a 28-acre area near Anable Basin, which includes land where Amazon’s New York headquarters was expected to go.

The property owners are currently working on a masterplan for the area and have started the process by looking at potential greenspace and flood resiliency—with the bigger issues of how much residential and commercial space will be built to be addressed later.

The City Council is calling on the owners to come up with a comprehensive masterplan for the area which is bound by the Con Edison site to the north, Queens West to the south and Vernon Boulevard to the east. The city wants the developers to come up with one united plan as opposed to producing their own separate concepts.


The 28-acre area primarily consists of private property although there are two city-owned sites on 44th Drive as well as the Department of Education property. The two city-owned sites are being overseen by the Economic Development Corp. and developed by TF Cornerstone.

The YourLIC consultants—from SHoP Architects, Sherwood Design Engineers and SCAPE Landscape Architecture–presented plans for greenspace as well as flood mitigation, noting that the area is vulnerable to coastal and rainwater flooding.

John Barrett, project director at SHoP Architects, told the board that the development group is looking into creating a plan that would bring open space linking the entire waterfront. They aim to provide waterfront park space that would connect from Gantry Plaza State Park although the way past the Con Edison site.


Many board members said it was difficult to give feedback on the open space plans without knowing what will ultimately be developed there.

“I’m noticing the beautiful presentation of open space and parkland but we don’t see images of the actual buildings–and the density and the height of the buildings–that will go right behind these open spaces,” said Kenny Greenberg, a Long Island City resident and community board 2 member.

“We are not getting a clear picture of the relationship between the properties and open space,” Greenberg added.

Board member Christine Hunter said it was difficult to assess the resiliency component and open space concept without knowing where the residential buildings will go and how many there will be.

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.