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New Long Island City Proposal Includes 700-Foot Tower, 5,000 Apartments

A satellite image of Anable Basin in Long Island City, Queens

Family-owned Plaxall Realty has held a plot of land surrounding Anable Basin in Long Island City for generations, and now the family is planning to transform it into a development of breathtaking size and scope.

The company has submitted plans for a massive mix of apartments, condos and light manufacturing space, anchored by a 700-foot tower. The New York Times reports that it would be the tallest in any borough outside Manhattan, but 9 DeKalb in Brooklyn is planned to be 1,066 feet tall and has already broken ground. Two other planned towers in Queens — The Durst Organization's Clock Tower project, at 710 feet tall, and Chris Jiashu Xu's Court Square City View Tower, at 984 feet.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3B, which would go toward 335K of manufacturing space, some retail (including dining barges in Anable Basin) and 4,995 apartments and condos split among multiple buildings on the 13-acre tract Plaxall owns abutting the man-made inlet. A series of low-slung industrial buildings would be razed to make way for the project, which was announced by the NYC Department of City Planning on Tuesday.

The proposal would require a massive rezoning of the industrial area, and the first public comments session for such a rezoning would be in December, the planning department announced. If it gets approval, Plaxall wants to sell a stake to a developer for the first phase of the project, estimated to deliver 500 apartments.

Plaxall would also be open to selling the entirety of the development, though it stressed to the Times that it is not merely looking to cash out on the first offer. Still, the descendants of Louis Pfohl, who bought the land in 1950, acknowledge the need for a developer with the know-how to build and finance such a massive project.

Plaxall's parcel is mere blocks away from a similar development from TF Cornerstone, which also hopes to integrate light manufacturing space with residential units, including a 650-foot-tall tower. Like TF Cornerstone, Plaxall explains the huge size of its project by noting the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. In order to profit from a development with a certain percentage of units designated as affordable, Plaxall said, it needs to be able to charge top dollar for upper-floor luxury units with unequaled views of Manhattan from the East River waterfront.

CORRECTION, NOV. 15, 5 P.M. EST: A previous version of this story said the planned tower would be the tallest in Queens. If it and other proposals are completed, it would be the third-tallest tower in the borough. This story has been updated.