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Your guide to Long Island City


Trying to decide which NYC neighborhood feels right for you when you start a home hunt can feel daunting. You first need to narrow down which borough offers up the best combo of prices, distance from work, and good housing options, but then have to figure out which neighborhood resonates best with you.

If you end up opting for a move to Queens, you have a ton of areas to choose from. You might want to find a quiet house or apartment deep in Ridgewood, grab a trendy unit in a new development in Astoria, or even explore the outer reaches of Queens in Flushing. If you want a little bit of everything, you can’t go wrong with LIC, aka Long Island City.

If you head into Queens, it’s possible to entirely miss this neighborhood. When you take the 7 or E trains east, you have to pass through this area the moment you leave Manhattan. Curbed reports that originally, Long Island City used to include “everything west of 49th Street” and even included iconic Queens neighborhoods like Astoria and Steinway.

Before New York City incorporated this area, LIC historically included a ton of farmland and some railroad infrastructure. As the area fell into debt by 1865, local leaders eventually decided to merge the area with Queens. The area continued to face financial hardship until it joined the rest of New York City at the end of the 19th century.

In the few short decades of Long Island City’s independence, lawmakers, politicians, and a huge amount of workers helped lay the infrastructure of what would one day become a manufacturing district that was even for a time considered for the homebase of Amazon, per CNN. While Amazon decided to pull out of Long Island City before it finished constructing its new headquarters, the media attention put a spotlight on the area and introduced a wide swathe of potential real estate buyers to the area.

What Makes Long Island City Special

Long Island City looks like few other areas in Queens. According to NYCGO, this particular portion of the borough offers up certain features that make it stand out. The neighborhood once boasted a ton of manufacturing plants and industrial centers, but in recent days, LIC has shifted into one of the more hip areas of Queens.

Over the years, a sizable portion of breweries and restaurants have popped up within the neighborhood limits, and the area is ripe for historical buffs. Untapped Cities found a treasure trove of NYC history lurking beneath the depths of the city. This shouldn’t prove too surprising based on its adjacent location directly next to Manhattan.

A handful of historical waterways and the preserved buildings of companies that once defined early Queens still stand in LIC, ranging from the brick-and-mortar Silvercup bakery building, all the way to the former headquarters of the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Firm, the group that supplied the building materials to major constructions like Carnegie Hall and the Plaza Hotel.

Long Island City also boasts some of the biggest skyscrapers in Queens, like One Court Square and the Chase Manhattan Bank Building. If you want to get even more altitude, you can also visit Queens’ only aviation school, located right in the middle of the neighborhood. You might never guess, but the school boasts one of the best reputation among flight schools in the country and the area was once synonymous with pilot training programs.

You have also most likely seen LIC in movies countless times — the area has served as a film shoot location for every genre of movie under the sun and continues to provide some of the best city scenes that directors can use.

While these historical attractions can easily attract the occasional tourist, certain landmarks and museums truly bring in the crowds.

The Best Long Island City Attractions

If you find yourself in Long Island City, you can plan to visit a wide variety of attractions across the neighborhoods. If visiting a Long Island City park sounds like a fun experience, the area boasts a few notable locations that locals love to lounge in.

Secret NYC raves about Gantry State Park, a long waterfront park that offers the perfect view of the Manhattan skyline from the opposite side of the East River. This park also features an iconic vintage Pepsi-Cola sign that passersby can easily see by the river. The park also boasts a mix of playgrounds, lounge chairs, a fountain and multiple piers to explore, making it a great location for a fun day out.

If you like your Long Island City parks to look a bit more scenic, you have to check out Hunters Point Park. NYC Parks reports that this area used to function as a “post-industrial area” that sat across from Manhattan. Nowadays, this 10-acre park looks clean and pristine and offers another great view of the Manhattan skyline. If you need a scenic spot for your picnic, look no further than this Long Island City park.

If you crave something indoors, art buffs shouldn’t miss MOMA PS1, a top-notch offshoot of the main Moma museum in Manhattan. This Long Island City art museum finds itself located in a converted school building that still has the distressed interior that invokes a near-abandoned look. According to Gothamist the elementary school building that houses the museum’s collection dates back to 1893 and serviced Long Island City before its incorporation into Manhattan. Eventually the school was shuttered, but was spotted in the 1970s and converted into an art center that promoted up-and-coming artists. The PS1 Art Center eventually joined forces with MOMA and continues to show off great art from talented creatives to this day.

The Cost Of Living In Long Island City

With so many attractions and a reputation bolstered by a potential Amazon headquarters location, you might expect Long Island City to stay out of financial reach. The area has certainly hit its stride when it comes to bringing in residents. LIC Post found that the area’s condo market almost exceeded $1 billion during 2021 and LIC proves to be a hot area to live in.

A separate article in LIC Post in 2022 only further cemented these numbers. The housing market within Long Island City in June 2022 looked incredibly active — the average monthly rent of a studio apartment in the area clocked in at $3,167, while single-bedrooms went for $3,959 and two-bedroom units averaged $5,304 per month.

The area could easily compete with other attractive neighborhoods in Queens, as Astoria and Jamaica Plains also saw a price increase from 2021 to 2022, cementing the area as one of the more desirable portions of the borough. With rising prices like this, some units provide considerably more when it comes to the renter’s experience.

Where To Live In Long Island City

When it comes to finding the perfect properties in LIC, you have your work cut out for you. This part of Queens boasts everything from historic townhouses that date back over 100 years and modern constructions that can easily compete with some of the most luxurious Manhattan apartments.

The Skyline Tower ranks as one of the most attractive modern buildings in the area. The building went up in 2020 and offers up 67 stories with a total of 802 units in total. The Skyline Tower contains everything from studio apartments to 4-bedroom units, but really shines when it comes to one or two-bedroom properties.

The building hosts 106 studios, 284 one-bedroom apartments, 364 two-bedrooms, 34 3-bedroom units, and four 4-bedroom properties. If this glistening new construction sounds like it might be up your alley, expect to pay somewhere between $1,638 and $1,836 per square foot.

This new construction will do more than just provide modern amenities to a slew of new occupants. According to New York Yimby, The Skyline Tower ranks as the tallest building in all of Queens and in addition to providing a wide variety of units, the building also includes “a fitness center with a swimming pool, a sauna and spa, a yoga room, laundry room, a children’s playroom, and multiple lounges” that residents and guests can take advantage of.

Couple stellar amenities with an unparalleled view of the Manhattan skyline, and you end up with a breathtaking living experience that encapsulates the best that the city has to offer.

How To Find The Perfect Property In Long Island City

Finding the ideal locale in LIC can prove incredibly difficult. Deciding if you want to live in a historic home that dates back to the area’s origin as a separate town or a brand new construction can make anyone’s head spin.

Don’t tackle this major decision alone — NewDevRev specializes in tracking down the perfect home and has a ton of options available in Long Island City. If you love the idea of living in your own cozy chunk of Queens that sits right next to the action of NYC, you can’t go wrong living in this locale.

Talk to an expert today to find the right property for you!