Long Island City is the fastest growing neighborhood in America, and if you take a ride through there on the 7 Train, you’ll see the building hasn’t abated. Now, three of the developers responsible for this boom are hoping to capitalize on Amazon’s defeat with a shiny new website meant to convince Queens to let them build more. Why is that a problem?

  • Rising Rents. According to a study of U.S. Census data between 2000 – 2016, median rent in the Anable Basin waterfront area increased over 125%- the highest in all of Queens. The same studio apartment going for $800 in 2000 would be $1800 by 2016. (Study by the Office of Community Studies, Queens College). This has brought on massive gentrification, all thanks to a concentrated effort by the city to rezone and re-imagine LIC into the affluent and wealthy zone it is today. Since 2000, the median household income has risen 230 percent, from $53,000 to $123,000.

  • Overcrowding. The city’s own Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) found that originally, developers and the city predicted LIC’s rezoning would see just 300,000 square feet of residential development across 300 new units. The zoning changes have in fact produced 8.74 million square feet in new residential development, adding more than 10,000 new units to the area.
    • Public schools are now overcrowded; the original estimate required an additional 99 school seats by 2010; by 2010, the zoning changes had brought 240 new students to the neighborhood, and just eight years later, more than 3,200 students have been added. Seven out of nine local elementary schools are now overcrowded, with one operating at more than 200% capacity.
  • Transportation. Average ridership in LIC has increased at seven-times the city-wide rate over the last six years.

  • Homelessness. Since 2006, the city’s shelter population has risen from 31,000 to 64,000– and LIC has struggled with where to house its increased homeless population, leading to increased community tension.
  • Decaying Public Infrastructure. From rats, roaches and mold in NYCHA housing to backed-up sewers, Long Island City residents are already suffering from an overtaxed infrastructure. Until an actual, forward-thinking solution is created and paid for, any kind of major development project needs to be put on pause.