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February 27, 2007 | Source: The Real Deal

Second Skyscraper for LIC

Second skyscraper for LIC?

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A rendering shows Court Square Two, right, rising nearly 40 stories.

For years, Citigroup's 48-story Long Island City tower has been the only skyscraper in the Queens commercial district, but it may eventually get some company.

Tishman Speyer Properties is developing an office building for Citigroup called Court Square Two that could grow to 38 stories, or 600 feet tall, just shy of the finance giant's nearby tower. According to documents uncovered by The Real Deal, the site is zoned for 1.2 million square feet, and a rendering prepared by the skyscraper's architect
shows the building rising almost 40 stories.

Tishman Speyer has said, however, that they only plan to build 16 stories and 486,000 square feet. A spokesman for Tishman Speyer claimed he wasn't aware of the zoning for the site, but the Web site for the tower's structural engineer, WSP Cantor Seinuk, says a second phase of the tower would bring it to 38 stories. It appears the current plan for the building only calls for finishing the first phase of construction; a representative for the architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox, echoed Tishman Speyer, saying the tower is only being constructed to 16 stories.

The time may not be right for a huge tower in western Queens. For decades, Long Island City has been slated to be the city's fourth commercial center, after Midtown and Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, but the district has never quite lived up to its promise. The latest blow to the area came in December, when Metropolitan Life Insurance announced its plans to move the bulk of its operations from Long Island City, where it had relocated in 2001, back to Manhattan.

Still, there is some new office development taking place in Long Island City, with developers looking to attract tenants that can't afford Manhattan's ever-pricier office space. TRD
the site is zoned for 1.2 million square feet, and a rendering prepared by the skyscraper's architect
shows the building rising almost 40 stories.

Tishman Speyer has said, however, that they only plan to build 16 stories and 486,000 square feet. A spokesman for Tishman Speyer claimed he wasn't aware of the zoning for the site, but the Web site for the tower's structural engineer, WSP Cantor Seinuk, says a second phase of the tower would bring it to 38 stories. It appears the current plan for the building only calls for finishing the first phase of construction; a representative for the architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox, echoed Tishman Speyer, saying the tower is only being constructed to 16 stories.

The time may not be right for a huge tower in western Queens. For decades, Long Island City has been slated to be the city's fourth commercial center, after Midtown and Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, but the district has never quite lived up to its promise. The latest blow to the area came in December, when Metropolitan Life Insurance announced its plans to move the bulk of its operations from Long Island City, where it had relocated in 2001, back to Manhattan.

Still, there is some new office development taking place in Long Island City, with developers looking to attract tenants that can't afford Manhattan's ever-pricier office space. TRD

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