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Photos of the Forge courtesy of Brause Realty / Gotham Org. / FXCollaborative Photos of the Forge courtesy of Brause Realty / Gotham Org. / FXCollaborative
While Long Island City’s biggest draw surely isn’t its provocative architecture or even its charming streetscapes bursting with vitality, one newly-opened rental raises the design bar slightly higher than the architectural backwater surrounding it. Named The Forge, the 38-story rental tower was crafted by the prolific and environmentally-conscious office of FXCollaborative (formerly FXFOWLE Architects). Spared from cluttering balconies and antiseptic glass walls, the sleek design subtly captures the neighborhood’s industrial heritage with ribbons of gridded windows, accents of hearty materials, and elegant proportions.
A tower has been in the works for the irregularly-shaped site at 44-30 Purves Street, flanked by Thomson Avenue and 44th Drive, since the mid-2000s. Prior to the recession, a vapid 27-floor high-rise was to be developed by Baruch Singer and David Weiss with Gary Shoemaker steering the design. After a foreclosure auction in spring 2013, the parcel was acquired by Midtown-based Brause Realty who owns the nearby office building 1 MetLife Plaza — home to Jet Blue and where Esteé Lauder is moving a number of employees from Long Island. Brause co-developed the Forge with the Gotham Organization and received $105M in construction financing from M&T Bank in 2015.
The Forge Google Earth aerical showing location of the Forge (CityRealty)
The Forge discreetly stands at the end of Purves Street — one of the most development-heavy blocks in the city, with Halo LIC, the Harrison and Watermark LIC all opening their doors in the past year. The building’s southwest frontage overlooks the elevated Thomson Avenue which traverses Sunnyside Yards. Perhaps, if the city had the foresight to harness all this development potential for public good, there would be a way to get from dead-end Purves up to Thompson Avenue. But I digress…
Ground was broken on the Forge in spring 2015 and plans detailed a 267,000-square-foot tower that would stretch 374 feet high. A 2015 press release says, “The aesthetic of the project will combine the gritty industrial feel and history of Long Island City with the modern luxuries of a state-of-the-art residential building.” Not unlike the United Nations Secretariat Building, the slab-shaped tower is clad in broad bands of glass bookended by opaque, copper-colored panels (instead of marble). The tower rest on a sprawling podium that will have commercial retail spaces to activate the ground level.
“Instead of wiping out its industrial past, we embraced it.” - David Brause
THe forge-04 Left photo via FXCollaborative; Right photo via CityRealty
44-30 Purves Streer-04 Looking up from Purves Street (CityRealty)
David Brause, president of Brause Realty told the Observer, “Too many buildings, particularly on the waterfront, are out of character with the neighborhood and look like they could be in Miami.” He goes on to say, “Instead of wiping out its industrial past, we embraced it.” In his building review, our architecture critic Carter Horsley says, “Its slipped slab form is a stylistic descendant of the skyscraper forms of Raymond Hood’s 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and John Portman’s famous Peachtree and Embarcardero centers in Atlanta and San Francisco.”
The building is seeking LEED Silver accreditation and will be the first in Queens to utilize both solar and wind power. A recently-installed turbine and a solar power screen produce electricity. The building isn’t the first in Long Island City to harness the wind however, the nearby Pearson Court Square, designed by SLCE, boasts a trio of svelte turbines on its roof. The Forge also has several green roofs that are partly nourished by water retention tanks that ease the burden on our sewer system.
Inside are 270 market-rate residences enhanced by 26,300 square feet of amenities and 15,000 square feet of outdoor space. Apartments come in studio to two-bedroom configurations measuring 600 to 1,200 square feet in size. Energy-efficient features are incorporated into each home that reduce energy consumption and water waste. All homes have Feng Shui-certified layouts and sound-sensitive construction. There are European white oak floors, quartz kitchen countertops, custom wood grain glass kitchen cabinetry, and KitchenAid and Bosch stainless steel appliances that include a dishwasher and washer/dryer bundle.
Model living room
the forge Kitchen and bath details
forge-LIC Kitchen
“Every window becomes a living work of art, “ says the leasing team in describing the views. Most homes will have inspiring panoramas over the city with some lending onto urbanscapes of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Additionally, the oversized windows are better insulated than what is typically specified in new construction, thus reducing residents' cooling and heating expenses.
Studio apartments are priced from $2,662/month, one-bedrooms from $3,036/month and two-bedrooms from $3,889/month. Prices reflect a number of leasing specials being offered that include one month of free rent on a 13-month lease, three months free on a 27-month lease, free amenities for the initial lease term and a flat $1,000 security deposit fee.
Podium terrace
Sky Terrace
Outdoor seating and screening area
The design of the common spaces also echoes by LIC’s industrial spirit and uses warm woods, cool steel and leather details throughout. The building's amenities include several outdoor spaces with grilling and bar area and communal seating, an outdoor movie screen, a fitness center with movement studio, and a V-shaped pool with a 50-foot lap lane. Also present is a private party room, a sky lounge, a 75-car garage, bike parking, and a fully attended lobby. And, let's not forget, the tower benefits from the neighborhood’s biggest attraction: its fast commutes into Manhattan with the nearby Court Square station serving the E, G, and 7 lines.
Fitness Center

Additional Info About the Building

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