Remember Silvercup West, the massive three-tower extension of Long Island City’s famed film and television production studio? Probably not. That’s because chatter of the undertaking has been on the outs for the past, oh, six years. But now, Queens Courier and Q’Stoner report that the $1 billion expansion is back on the table. The studio has filed special permit renewals with Queens Community Board 2’s land use committee. If actualized, the project will bring a 2.2 million-square-foot complex with eight sound studios, an office tower, 1,000 apartments, a 1,400-space parking garage, and cultural and retail space to the site just south of the Queensboro Bridge.
The undertaking won the consent of the community board, borough president, City Planning and the City Council when it first premiered in 2006. Permits for the project then lapsed in 2010. It seems the delay is due to the site’s current occupants, a 79-megawatt generating station operated by the New York Power Authority, a city salt pile, and a historic terra cotta building. The generators must be decommissioned and removed, and Silvercup will move ahead with restoring the nearly 100-year-old terra cotta building at 42-10 Vernon Boulevard. Because approvals for the project are already in place, this project may move forth imminently, and the timing really couldn’t be much more appropriate.
The $1 billion expansion of Long Island City’s Silver Cup Studios cleared an early hurdle by winning the approval of Queens Community Board 2 on Thursday.
The 2.2 million-square-foot mixed-used complex located south of the Queensboro Bridge received nearly unanimous support from the board, the Queens Courier reported. Members did, however, suggest upping the amount of affordable units in the 1,000-apartment residential component to 20 percent from a proposed 10 percent, according to the newspaper’s blog.
The community board would also like to see new signage be constructed from materials that lend a sense of history.
The project can now go before the Department of City Planning, which approved the plans in 2006 before the project was shelved. The New York Power Authority must also decommission and remove generators that currently occupy a part of the project’s footprint.
I think we’ll be hearing about this again one of these days. It doesn’t seem like this is dead.
Several plots of land adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge, owned by Silvercup Studios and eyed for development for over a decade, have been certified cleared of contamination by the state, giving the movie studio the green light to build on the sites.
Silvercup has not spoken publicly about their development plans for the waterfront site since 2014, when the movie studio’s request to renew special building permits needed for their project was approved by Community Board 2 and the City Planning Commission.
While the rezoning remains in effect, the special permits have since expired, a spokesperson for the Department of City Planning said. Silvercup would have to go through the entire ULURP process again if they were to propose a project for the waterfront site that requires special permits, as the one first put forth in 2006 did, the spokesperson added.