Long Island City’s Tech Takeover


The Hozziner has his eyes set on the tech industry, repeating over and over that he wants New York City to become the new Palo Alto, the new Mountain View and the new Copertino – all hubs of some of the past decade’s greatest innovations. Progress is rapidly being made to make that dream a reality: SoHo and Dumbo have become the new destinations for start-ups, NYU-Poly is proposing tech incubators left and right in Downtown Brooklyn and Bloomberg just signed off on Cornell’s new applied sciences graduate school on Roosevelt Island.

But recent news point to yet another major development site in the works for a techie revolution: Long Island City, the last neighborhood in Queens before the East River and home to P.S. 1 MoMa, the 5 Pointz graffiti mecca and a whole slew of old warehouses just waiting to be refurbished into computer dens. Many have said that the village will head the way of Williamsburg and Astoria, two neighborhoods known for their recent cultural and demographic upheavals as hordes of Millennials hunt out spots for their online businesses.
Today, the Daily News reported on a brand new tech incubator that has been proposed for the industrial area in Queens – one that owners hope will spur job creation in times of rough unemployment numbers and bring a modern manufacturing wave to the growing spot.
Welcome, Long Island City, to the tech takeover.

The new project has been labeled the Anable Basin Tech Incubator. The backers – the Coalition for Queens and the packaging company Plaxall – submitted the proposal to Long Island City and surrounding neighborhoods’ local Regional Economic Development Council. The board, one of ten that have been set up across the state in recent years, works as an approval machine, pumping out grants and awards to proposals it deems fit for construction.

And the set-up of the Incubator is pretty basic: the space will act as a cooperative, allowing coders and programmers to work side by side, MacBook by MacBook, in common Millennial fashion. Also, it will host events and educational classes in tech entrepreneurship. This business approach is similar to what has been established in the SoHo and Dumbo offices – give the start-ups the space they need and they will prosper.
The Council will announce its allocation of awards in the fall. But, for now, Long Island City is working with yet another modern manufacturing endeavor that will be underway this summer. The spot, known as Spaceways, uses 3D printing to build a whole slew of products in an inexpensive way. We didn’t know ‘3D printing’ existed either but, hey, if it’s cheap and employs 80 people, as the company has said it will do, then we’ll give them the benefit of doubt.
Basically, companies post their designs on Shapeways’s website and the manufacturers get to work creating the proposed product. It is a mutually beneficial process that cuts costs by leaning away from the large-scale manufacturing of the past.
The enthusiasm on the Millennial tech boom is only just starting in this tiny Queens outpost. But, with the projects mentioned above, it is evident that Long Island City has a lot on the horizon.

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