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Grubb properties to expand transit in Long Island

Grubb Properties/MTA Team Up to Expand Transit Accessibility in Long Island City

By Grubb Properties Development Team

“Doing well by doing good” is more than a motto at Grubb Properties. We’re always on the hunt for ways to partner with local governments to ensure our Link Apartments℠ developments address the need for essential housing and improve the communities surrounding them.

Our unique partnership with New York City's Department of City Planning and transit authorities is the most recent example of how we fulfill this dual mandate. Grubb Properties will install a new elevator to improve ADA access to the Queensboro Plaza subway station as part of our Link Apartments℠ development in Long Island City. In exchange, we’ve been granted additional density for the development, enabling the addition of more than 400 units of essential housing to the New York market. This marks only the second use of New York’s Zoning for Accessibility (ZFA) program and the first outside of Manhattan.

Queensboro Plaza subway entrance
Rendering of Queens Plaza North development with upgrades to the Queensboro Plaza subway entrance

Zoning for Accessibility became law in New York City in 2021 as a result of a joint effort by the New York City Department of City Planning, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. It aims to quickly expand the accessibility of transit stations across the New York metropolitan area by expanding incentives for developers to build elevators and related station upgrades in new, high-density buildings. Only about 30% of the 493 total subway and Staten Island Railway stations are ADA accessible.

Reconstruction of Queensboro Plaza subway entrance
Current state of the Queens Plaza North buildings and Queensboro Plaza subway entrance

Our street-level elevator at the Queensboro Plaza station complements ongoing MTA capital work there, which includes the installation of two additional elevators. Our joint efforts make the station fully accessible, with Grubb’s elevator connecting the street to the mezzanine level and the MTA’s elevator connecting the mezzanine to the platform. Our elevator will be open to the public 24/7.

The plan received unanimous approval by the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) at its July 27 meeting. “This is a huge win for transit riders and further proof that Zoning for Accessibility will continue to deliver results for New Yorkers,” said Department of City Planning Director and City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick. “In partnership with the MTA, the City Planning Commission has approved a project that will deliver not only a new elevator and entryway for transit riders, which is paid for by private developers but also 400 new homes – 120 of them affordable – across the street.”

Queensboro Plaza station
The project will deliver a new elevator and entryway for transit riders

Grubb Properties’ CEO Clay Grubb applauded the CPC for this public/private partnership: “A key attraction of the Long Island City development site was its proximity to public transportation. We’re thrilled to work with the city to make the station more accessible and add much-needed essential housing to the New York market. Our partnership serves as a reminder that the relationship between developers and local government does not have to be adversarial, and this type of forward-thinking legislation proves that we can solve problems by working together.”

The Long Island City Link Apartments℠ development is located at 25-01 Queens Plaza North and will contain 416 units. It will be joined by two other Link Apartments℠ communities in the New York metropolitan area, including a development in the Financial District in Manhattan and a development in Hempstead, Long Island.

For more information about Grubb Properties’ commitment to community, visit our ESG page.