Future of the 3 Clusters outside Manhattan (JC, BK, LIC)

It’s really been cool to see the emergence of 3 distinct clusters form over the last couple decades and really accelerate in recent years. These 3 clusters are downtown Jersey City, LIC Queens, and downtown Brooklyn. 30 years ago these were not high-rise areas, save for a small handful of one off buildings. I’m curious how does everyone see these evolving in the next 10 to 20 years? And what would you consider to be the most exciting under construction/proposed project in each of the clusters?


Downtown Brooklyn is the cluster to watch. It has the most potential for tall developments because the FAA seems to have set their sights on LIC for its proximity to LGA. LIC will of course become much more dense - hopefully with more office and mixed use towers. The East river waterfront will sprawl from LIC to past the Williamsburg Bridge, and tall towers will be built on the Lower East Side waterfront in Manhattan. Journal Square in JC will be a cluster of its own worth. JC will look extra beefy with the addition of the Hudson Exchange West buildings
However, I must point out the potential for new clusters to pop up in the next 20 years. Jamaica is building up highrises around its airtrain station. New Rochelle, though not apart of the city proper, is also set to explode with highrise developments. We might even see developers pushing to building taller in the South Bronx, leading to a new cluster of tall highrises somewhere up there.
tl;dr - there’s a lot to look forward to.


Let’s also not forget the downtown area of Newark. It might not be close enough to Manhattan but there’s a lot of potential there as well. They’ve recently showed a rendering of the redevelopment of Bears Stadium, there’s the proposal for higher density and taller buildings in the Ironbound near Newark Penn, and there’s SoMa which has huge prospects. So there’s plenty to watch there too, maybe a few years from now, in that 20 year timeline.

I do agree that Downtown Brooklyn is the cluster to watch, even though I’m a JC resident :grin:. There’s a lot of FAA restrictions in downtown JC as well as Journal Square that have already hampered 99 Hudson and One Journal Square. So probably no supertalls in JC in the foreseeable future.


Newark is about as close to downtown/midtown Manhattan as Jamaica is. If it ever sprouts 40-50-story buildings, they’ll be visible from some vantage points in the city–my favorite is the top of Sunset Park, where you can see Downtown Brooklyn, Downtown Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, and JC (both downtown and JSQ) all in a single view. I’m sure on a clear day you’d be able to see a cluster of tall buildings in Newark from up there too, if it ever develops.

I have to say I find it amusing that two places named for the archetypal ‘burbs’–Long Island City and Jersey City–are in many ways the future of dense vertical urbanism in the NYC region. These places have a lot in common, including similar origins in the early 19th century as steamboat suburbs of NYC, similar history of growth as railyard hubs, similar architecture, similar geography and proximity to Manhattan, and today, they are the two main places alleviating the city’s housing shortage through the construction of tens of thousands of apartments.

Brooklyn will undoubtedly take the grown for the tallest and baddest towers, but Long Island City and Jersey City are where it’s at in terms of sheer number of future highrises and density.