More People, No significant new city services: LIC Edition

Published on: June 1st, 2015 | Last updated: December 3, 2015 Written by:

As anyone who has been paying attention (or read my last article) knows, the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, LIC (and soon Astoria) have been seeing massive increases in population without significant associated increases in city services (first responders, transit, schools, hospitals, etc).

We already know this is a problem. This article is will focus on LIC and clarify the scope of this problem.

Let’s look at several large planned development projects – many of which have already begun and will be completed in the next 3-5 years:

The residential towers being built at the former 5ptz will result in 1000 new apartments.

The residential towers being built at the former C.N. West factory will result in 1,789 new apartments.

The building going up next to where 5ptz was will have 182 new apartments.

The former site of one of the Eagle Electric factories on Queens Plaza will have 400+ apartments.

The former site of another Eagle Electric factory will have 780 apartments.

A new tower on Purves street (former site of 3 low rise factories) will have 270 apartments.

Two other towers will bring 119 new apartments near Queens Plaza and on Vernon.

There are dozens of smaller projects in LIC as well – enough to keep an entire blog very busy with updates. Together they add up to hundreds more new apartments.

Just the above large projects alone will result in 4,540 new apartments. If we assume two residents per apartment, that will be 9,080 new residents moving to LIC within the next 3-5 years. When you consider there’s at least a dozen other smaller ‘development’ projects in the works my estimate of 9000+ new residents is actually a conservative estimate.

There are no plans for any new first responders to support these residents.

There are no plans for any new first responders, or even additional trash collection to support these residents.

There is currently one new school planned which will have 456 seats. It will be in a leased space and not a proper city owned school building.

Hunters Point South: The Big Kahuna

All of the above ‘development’ projects pale in comparison to Hunters Point South, which will bring 5000 new apartments and up to 10000+ new residents to a previously vacant/industrial area.

The ‘Hunters Point South’ area was under water during Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, and is a ‘Zone A’ flood zone.

1 new school is planned for this new ‘development’. No increases in fire, EMT or police protection are planned. No plans have been mentioned in regard to trash removal and increased DSNY staffing.

We are now at roughly 19000 new residents. If only one third of them have one child, we are looking at 6300 school age children in the next 10 years (it is worth noting that the population moving into all of these new LIC buildings is largely young and of child bearing age). NYC government currently has vague plans to only build two new school in LIC.

Remember: this is a ‘Zone A’ flood zone, and Bloomberg closed a nearby firehouse in 2003. LIC is receiving less first responder staffing despite massive increases in population.

LIC will see around 20,000 new residents in the next few years. If the city doesn’t start planning increased city services (particularly FDNY & NYPD), there will be problems.

All of the above are easily verifiable facts. If you are not convinced, perform your own research.

LIC will see around 20,000 new residents in the next few years. If the city doesn’t start planning increased city services (particularly FDNY & NYPD), there will be problems. When the inevitable disaster strikes, lives may be lost. When new schools are needed, at the current pace of ‘development’, there may not be any available land to build them on, or additional space to lease.

What to do…

As always, it is up to you to contact your local elected representatives and urge them to do their jobs using our tax dollars to provide vital city services. You may or may not get far since real estate developers are the largest campaign donors in NY State.


Since my last article on closed firehouses, I received some interesting negative feedback. Let me address the most common critiques:

Don’t be a NIMBY! Move! Someone else will happily move in!
A NIMBY by definition is someone who doesn’t want anything in their backyard. I’m 100% ok with what is in my back yard, and am in fact asking for MORE to be in my back yard. Give me well paved streets. Give me more schools, transit options, trash removal, EMTs, police and especially fire protection – because we are woefully understaffed in these areas. There is nothing NIMBY about my articles at all.

Everyone knew they were closing firehouses in 2003! It’s too late, too bad, screw you!
In 2003 many areas of LIC and North Brooklyn were still industrial, with significantly less population. The city was also in a post 9/11 recession facing budgetary issues. In 2015 NYC, the economy is on overload, new buildings get filled with residents quickly, and there is no budget gap.

FDNY Engine 261 spent half its time in the Bronx in the 1970s!
So? Are you telling me that a city that is surpassing it’s own estimates for population growth should not reopen closed firehouses, and in fact open new ones? As I stated in my original article – additional firehouses would have both local benefit and citywide benefit.

Reopening 261 and 212 are simply low hanging fruit: the impact on response time locally would be immediate, and provide for additional protection when ‘the new normal’ of extreme weather takes place.

City Services are only added after they are needed – not before
In the case of first responders, you’re saying we should only add them after they are needed. How will we know they are needed? An uptick in crime, fires and deaths due to no ambulances available? Anyone advocating that we ‘wait and see’ may want to seek psychological help for their apparently desire to watch preventable deaths.

For the record, construction related deaths are on pace to double what they were in 2014.

How long would we have to wait for additional first responders? It only took the city decades to break ground on a Library for LIC. (Oh and by the way, this library is millions over-budget already – millions that could have been used to hire first responders and reopen firehouses).

The lack of substance in the very small negative response to my original article only serves to further validate one truth: There is no logical reason not to reopen the firehouses closed by Bloomberg.

3 responses to “More People, No significant new city services: LIC Edition”

  1. Joe Moretti says:

    Typical NYC thinking, over development with no type of infrastructure out in place. A disaster waiting to happen. Totally reactive and not proactive.

  2. Max says:

    You have to give Councilman Van Bramer alot of credit — he was out there protesting the poor, overcrowded service on the #7 in the name of his constituents. The same Jimmy Van Bramer who over-ruled a unanimous decision by the Community Board to not grant the Wolkoff’s almost double the size of their project on the 5 Pointz site. He did a complete end-run around the Board and the wishes of the community for a couple of thousand in campaign donations from the Wolkoff’s & their allies. Now he refuses to answer questions about it stating only that it was private property so of course they could develop it, saying nothing about doubling the size. The hypocrisy is staggering

  3. Michael Boylan says:

    Term Limits for all politicians. Vote them out especially after 8 years.

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  • About The Author

    Ray Cevoli

    "RayCev" is the nom de plume of a budding NYC muckracker. By day he works in finance, and by night he exposes corruption and highlights the insufficient in city planning and services. 
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