Redevelopment Strategy and Entitlement Management for Anable Basin

Challenge

Plaxall is a family-owned plastics manufacturing company operating in Long Island City, Queens for over 70 years. Over seven decades, the family invested in local cultural and community institutions and acquired a significant portfolio of properties. Their holdings include a 12-acre assemblage surrounding Anable Basin and along the East River, which features spectacular views of Midtown Manhattan. However, the site’s obsolete built form and low-density industrial zoning prevented Plaxall from realizing the true value of its unique waterfront property in one the nation’s strongest markets for new development.
 

Solution

With a team of architects and land use attorneys, HR&A worked with Plaxall to design a development vision for the future of Anable Basin that creates long-term value for Plaxall’s shareholders and addresses community needs and city policy goals.
 
Drawing on our deep understanding of New York City’s policy priorities, HR&A recognized that Plaxall’s experience with light industrial and artist tenants would be key assets in negotiations with the city. We devised a unique plan that integrates industrial and artist space into new residential buildings, addressing local interest in job creation and fears of industrial displacement. The plan includes almost 5,000 mixed-income residential units with building forms that reflect the neighborhood’s industrial heritage, and over three acres of waterfront open space.
 
HR&A is overseeing all planning activities associated with the site, from evaluating the financial performance of this pioneering mixed-use development, to leading engagement with City leadership on a rezoning, and working with Plaxall to create a long-term redevelopment strategy.

 

IMPACT

In December 2017, the Anable Basin Rezoning team held its first official public meeting as part of the environmental review process. The rezoning is anticipated to be complete in 2019, paving the way for over 5 million square feet of new development, a new waterfront esplanade, and a new school in Long Island City.

HR&A supported the development of an ambitious plan for a 15-acre district on the Long Island City waterfront.