At the moment the rents in LIC are varied, but are still priced higher than neighboring areas of Queens. Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces, gave a breakdown of who is paying what at a breakfast forum hosted by the LIC Partnership last week.
He said that one-bedroom apartments on the waterfront rent for just below $3,000 a month, whereas those in Court Square are roughly $2,700. Similar apartments around Queens Plaza rent for around $2,500.
“The condos on the waterfront we’re seeing upwards of $1,000 per-square foot,” Benaim said.
“We recently had a customer that left Long Island City because they could not find a house that would be suitable for them and their family growing,” said one business owner at the forum, noting the market seems geared toward young singles and couples.
Benaim said that market might be too risky for developers at the moment.
“Currently on the market, 12 percent of the units are either three-bedroom or 1,500 square feet or larger,” he said. “There is a demand for larger spaces, unfortunately right now all developers are doing more tighter smaller type apartments.”
Michel Phillips, chief operating officer of Jamestown, which purchased the Falchi building at 31-00 47th Street, discussed what he believes will entice people to live in LIC and how it will compete with Brooklyn neighborhoods like DUMBO and Williamsburg.
“Brooklyn is the hip neighbor that is great if you’re in plaid shirts and black rimmed glasses,” Phillips joked. “But Long Island City is really about business and a lot of major companies are here.”
He also mentioned that there are benefits of just getting around town or to and from work that will out-do Brooklyn.
“It was really clear that the transportation access to most of this environment is much better than the broad landscape of Brooklyn,” he said. “I think Long Island City for a lot for reasons offers superior transportation options.”