Titan Machine, an elevator manufacturing and repair company founded in the neighborhood in 1973, partnered with RXR, a real estate company, to transform the site at 42-11 9th Street, which currently houses Titan’s 21 employees, into a new mixed-use building.
The project, which is currently undergoing the Uniformed Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), would bring 70,000 square feet of industrial space, 270,000 square feet of commercial office space and 2,900 square feet of ground-level retail to the area.
According to the companies, the development will result in creating 1,500 permanent jobs, including up to 350 industrial jobs, and boost the local economy.
“Long Island City is an industrial stronghold in a changing city, and this project will help maintain that character by creating even more industrial space than exists in our building today,” said Titan Machine president Carlos Escobar. “Titan will remain invested in this project for the long haul, and we’re eager to work with RXR to give back to the community that gave us so much and provide meaningful opportunities for our friends and neighbors in Long Island City.”
The project’s ULURP application, which now goes to the borough president’s office, seeks to designate the site as an Industrial Business Incentive Area (IBIA), a city mechanism that encourages private development of new industrial spaces.
Titan Machine and RXR have also worked with local organizations to create a workforce development program to connect local residents to the new construction jobs on site.
Urban Upbound will identify 100 local residents, with priority given to the tenants of the Queensbridge Houses, who will then receive the OSHA 30-hour certification and other training.
LaGuardia Community College will also provide 30 participants with a hands-on training in the skilled trades through its electrical and plumbing courses. The participants will graduate with credentials from the National Center for Construction Education and Research.
The companies said they are also seeking additional partnerships with other organizations to connect local residents to the 1,500 permanent jobs that will be created when the site opens.
“This project will serve as one of many projects needed to incite recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “The industrial development will serve as a catalyst to good-paying, skilled jobs for the surrounding community. We look forward to this project coming online.”
As for the site itself, the new building will include 43 on-site bike parking spaces, and is within five blocks of three Citi Bike stations and three subway stations served by eight subway lines.
The property will also feature 4,500 square feet of landscaped public open space with a public art installation on the corner of 10th Street and Queens Plaza South. There will be underground parking and truck loading to keep cars off local streets to prevent congestion and emissions from idling.
Other improvements include new tree pits and landscaped planters around the building, as well as lighting enhancements to brighten the surrounding streets.
In a statement, Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, called the project a “great example” of the type of investment that will buoy Queens to recovery.
“We’ve seen so much manufacturing space disappear over the years, so it’s encouraging to see a project reverse that trend by expanding Long Island City’s industrial building stock,” she said, “and the great jobs that follow, especially at a critical time like this.”