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Google Earth aerial view of Gotham Center in the future LIC skyline; CityRealty Google Earth aerial view of Gotham Center in the future LIC skyline; CityRealty
Finally, a large-scale office development is coming to neighborhoods outside of Manhattan’s two packed business cores. Long-planned commercial centers are beginning to coalesce in Downtown Brooklyn, the Meatpacking District and Long Island City, with even more commercial stirrings in Flushing, Jamaica and Williamsburg. Together, the multi-nodal metropolis-to-be will yield a more resilient Gotham, cementing the city as the pre-eminent business powerhouse accessible and affordable to a wide range of tenants.
Gotham-Center-23 Rendering of the office-retail-residential complex in Long Island City being developed by Tishman Speyer. Gotham Center to the right-hand side; Photo credit:Tishman Speyer
One of the largest office projects underway outside of Manhattan is One and Three Gotham Center in Long Island City. The Tishman-Speyer Properties/Qatari Diar Real Estate-developed ensemble will accommodate 1.1 million square feet of office space in two 27-story office towers. Slated to rise directly east of Two Gotham Center (2011), the $700 million project will anchor most of its block fronted by Jackson Avenue, Queens Plaza South and 42nd Road. Together, the towers will be the Long Island City’s largest ground-up office development since One Court Square (Citigroup Building) was finished in 1988. The ambitious venture has already netted a 550,000-square-foot lease from Macy’s and a 250,000-square-foot lease-signing by shared-office space giant WeWork Cos.
Gotham-Center View of construction site from the 7 train; CityRealty
Looking south down Jackson Avenue; CityRealty
Queens-Plaza-2 Looking south down Jackson Avenue; CityRealty
According to paperwork filed with the DOB, each of the towers will rise 427 feet tall. The architects are Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects (MdeAS) who designed fairly conventional volumes distinguished by horizontal, rust-colored spandrel panels. Within the four-story podium of One and Three Gotham West will be 43,000 square feet of retail which will include a food hall, a fitness center and restaurants.
The rapidly verticalizing neighborhood has been envisioned as a back-office hub for Midtown since the 1980s, but the flocks of cranes have more often been preparing new residential towers rather than commercial space. The result has been a bedroom community with great transportation links instead of a vibrant 24-hour live-work district. Now, with large development sites in Manhattan scarcer than ever, and a projected glut of 22,000 apartments slated to come online in the neighborhood, LIC developers may be giving past commercial plans another look.
Tishman Speyer’s development is a multi-faceted master plan led by Tishman Speyer that includes the construction of 1,600 residential apartments across Jackson Avenue, and three office buildings. We covered the rise of the residential component a few weeks back, where we announced the first of its three slab towers has topped off. Last September, Rob Speyer, chief executive of Tishman Speyer told the Wall Street Journal, "It wouldn’t surprise me if the people who work in our office development live in our residential development."
GOtham-center Looking south down Jackson Avenue; Tishman Speyer's One and Three Gotham Center to the right

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New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.