FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 27, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Queens congresswoman proposes plan to end homelessness
BY JENNA BAGCAL
In an eff ort to quell the homelessness
and housing poverty epidemics across the
country, a Queens congresswoman proposed
TF Cornerstone contemplates massive offi ce tower on former Amazon HQ2 in LIC
BY BILL PARRY
Developer TF Cornerstone is planning
to build a massive offi ce tower along the
Anable Basin in Long Island City where
Amazon planned to build its HQ2 campus
before bolting the borough on St.
Valentine’s Day just over a year ago.
In an interview with Th e Real Deal
at the Real Estate Board of New York’s
annual gala, TF Cornerstone’s chairman
and co-founder Tom Elghanayan discussed
the e-commerce giant scuttling
the project over a lack of collaborative
relationships with state and local offi cials.
“We never expected Amazon and as
abruptly as they came, they left abruptly,
too,” Elghanayan said. “It was sort of surgical.
It wasn’t a long, drawn-out thing. It
was like the patient was sick, and then he
Elghanayan was also able to fi nd a silver
lining aft er his company’s partnership
with Amazon collapsed.
“In a funny way, it improved Long
Island City because no one was thinking
about Long Island City as an offi ce headquarters
distinction before and now people
are going, ‘Well, Amazon could go
there,’” Elghanayan said. “In fact, we plan
to build a building a million square feet.
It’s quite a large building.”
Asked for further clarifi cation, a spokesperson
for TF Cornerstone said that there
are no fi nal plans for the sites, but they
are exploring job-generating uses aft er
hearing from the community and the city
that economic empowerment, the creation
of good jobs, and workforce training
opportunities are some of the top priorities.
“We are also exploring other community
serving uses, public open space, education,
and more based on residents feedback,”
the spokesperson said. “Th e public
engagement process for the full 28 acres
of waterfront will continue in the coming
months and we look forward to presenting
plans to the community aft er the
completion of the community visioning
TF Cornerstone, Plaxall, Simon Baron
Development and L&L MAG launched
the YourLIC public engagement process
for the future of the waterfront in
November. Th ere are two more public
workshops coming up next month.
Th e Comprehensive Neighborhood
Planning Mobility and Infrastructure
workshop will take place Monday, March
9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Info Tech High
School, located at 21-16 44th Road. Th at
will be followed by a Density and Uses
workshop on March 23 at a time and
location to be determined.
Photo courtesy of Rep. Grace
Meng’s offi ce
Grace Meng proposes
to Stable and
A f fo r d a b l e
a bill that would invest tens of billions
of dollars in programs to combat
Congresswoman Grace Meng recently
introduced the Pathway to Stable and
Aff ordable Housing for All Act, a “robust
10-year investment plan” focused on
meeting the housing challenges communities
“Housing is a human right, and everyone
deserves a safe and aff ordable home.
But too many families are stricken with
the cruel and impossible decision of
choosing between paying rent or paying
for groceries or prescription drugs.
Homelessness and the lack of aff ordable
housing are moral crises that we must
fi ght, once and for all,” said Meng.
Meng’s plan would
focus on the four following
Investing $10 billion
a year in additional
Program. Th is program focuses on homelessness
prevention and “rapid rehousing”
for those who fi nd themselves homeless.
Putting an additional $10 billion per
year toward the Continuum of
Care Program, which helps
organizations aid individuals
into the shelter system.
billion a year in
Ho u s i n g
w h i c h
on top of
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac funding.
Th is would allow the country to begin
paying back the defi cits in aff ordable
Fully funding Tenant-Based
Rental Assistance, vouchers
that allow all eligible
households to gain
permanent and safe
aff ordable housing.
“In New York,
more than 90,000
New Yorkers are
without a home,
only 37 aff ordable and available homes
exist for every 100 extremely low-income
renter households. In my own Sixth
Congressional District of New York, these
numbers are even worse; only 18 housing
units are available for every 100 extremely
low-income households,” said Meng,
a member of the House Appropriations
Meng’s legislation is the companion
to the Pathway to Stable and Aff ordable
Housing for All Act, a bill introduced
by Senators Mazie Hirono, Kirsten
Gillibrand and Corey Booker.
According to the National Low Income
Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the bill would
“eff ectively end the scourge of homelessness
and housing poverty in the country.”
“Th rough robust investments in the
national Housing Trust Fund, housing
vouchers, and homeless assistance grants,
Representative Meng’s bill addresses the
underlying, systemic causes of the aff ordable
housing and homelessness crisis: the
widening gap between incomes and housing
costs and severe shortage of
homes aff ordable and available
to the lowest-income seniors,
people of color, people with
disabilities, families with children,
and other individuals,”
said Diane Yentel, president
and CEO of the NLIHC.
Courtesy of Governor’s offi ce
TF Cornerstons plans to build a massive offi ce tower along the Anable Basin in LIC where Amazon HQ2’s campus would have been.