TF Cornerstone principals Tom and Fred Elghanayan toasted the final of the firm’s seven residential towers which have transformed the Long Island City waterfront in a dedication celebration Thursday night at 4610 Center Boulevard.
On land the company bought from PepsiCo for $85 million in 2003, TF Cornerstone erected 2.6 million square feet of new space, with 2,800 rental apartments, 184 condos, 35,000 square feet of retail and public parks for the complex of gleaming towers at the firm’s EastCoast development.
“This is the last building we’re building out here,” said Tom Elghanayan in the courtyard of the new 26-story, 584-unit glass building across the East River from Midtown Manhattan. “It’s been a long time. Nothing could stop us, we kept building one or two buildings a year.”
The company threw a celebration for local residents, elected officials and its staff in the green space next to the giant Pepsi sign, a remaining vestige of the formerly-industrial 21 acres. The brothers and other company officials recalled their first looks at the land more than a decade ago.
“We could project numbers from where we were standing,” said Sofia Estevez, the executive vice president of the firm. “It was like this weird thing, this industrial building with an amazing view. Some people didn’t think it could happen, but it did.”
Local merchants have moved in to the area to get business from what will be more than 6,000 new residents. Rockaway Brewing Company co- founder Marcus Burnett, who was serving up pale ale and extra strong bitter creations to the dozens of guests, started a small 900-square-foot, 2-barrel brewery a couple of blocks from the new building in 2012. But the company recently expanded to 3,400 square feet and 5 barrels in the same space, Mr. Burnett said.
“There’s a sort of symbiotic relationship between us and developers because they build the big glassy places people want to live and we bring the arts and culture that people want to experience,” said Mr. Burnett. “It’s kind of a perfect combination.”