Long Island City won’t be retail ghost town forever, panel says
Long Island City’s notorious lack of retail was one of the main points at this year’s LIC Summit, with developers and realtors saying they finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
During the summit’s “Retail as Placemaking” panel discussion, which was moderated by Rockrose Development’s Patricia Dunphy, local realtor Donna Drimer said a lack of stores is still a major problem in the area — and it makes it hard for her business Matted LIC to survive.
“It’s horrible. I’m the only destination. There is no place else to go shopping,” she said, “so rather than coming to me, it’s a lot easier to hop back on the 7, go into Grand Central and go wherever and go shopping,” she said.
Aaron Fishbein, who heads up retail real estate at the Winick Realty Group, said he doesn’t believe the problem will continue for too much longer. He said Long Island City is currently in the first wave of retail, which consists largely of fitness, medical and education tenants. Fishbein maintained that this will be followed by a wave of restaurants, which will in turn be followed by big box retail.
“Long Island City is big league. Let’s get that out of the way,” he said, adding that the neighborhood has the key ingredients in transportation, office space, schools, hotels and residential space.
“It has everything,” he said, “so it has the infrastructure, currently, for retail.”
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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services. Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies. Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.