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Queens Council On The Arts Will Relocate To LIC In 2018

The Maximilian

The Maximilian

March 8, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

The Queens Council on the Arts, which has called Astoria home since 2013 and was a founding partner of the Kaufman Arts District, plans to relocate to Long Island City in 2018.

The arts nonprofit is slated to move into the Maximilian, a luxury apartment building located near the waterfront at 5-11 47th Ave.

A letter of intent for QCA to lease ground-floor space is in the works, according to Mitch Breindel, spokesperson for Maximilian developers O’Connor Capital Partners.

QCA executive director Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer said that the organization’s plan is to stay in Astoria until the end of their lease in 2018, and then relocate to the Maximilian. She said the move has been approved by the organization’s board.

QCA will be the Maximilian’s largest commercial tenant on the property, Breindel said. The new space will be 5,000 square feet, giving QCA more space than it has in Astoria.

Much of QCA’s work involves professional development for artists, which can involve providing space for exhibitions, performances or classes and workshops. The new Long Island City space will allow QCA to continue this work on a larger scale.

“In our Astoria space, [we can host] one thing, and that’s it,” Krakauer said. “In the new space, it could be two or three things at a time.”

Krakauer added that for many artists who QCA works with, a major challenge is finding space to perform or show their art. She said the organization is considering models for the Maximilian space to be rented out, host short-term artist residencies or be used outside of QCA’s office hours.

As in Astoria, the space will also be used for office and administrative functions.

Krakauer noted that the O’Connor deal has been in the works for almost a decade. She said negotiations started in 2007, before the recession hit.

“We look forward to working with the Queens Council on the Arts to successfully complete our original plan and vision for the property, and we are pleased to be a part of the cultural growth and development of the arts in Long Island City, which is a vibrant cultural center of New York City,” O’Connor Capital CEO William O’Connor said.

Regarding the exit from Astoria, Krakauer said, “I will never leave Astoria. We’re a borough-wide organization, so we’re in every area.”

“We’re still going to be very active in the Kaufman Arts District,” she added. “I don’t foresee it being as painful a leaving as it could be… Astoria and LIC are very close.”

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Makes perfect sense to me LIC is where it is at! The atmosphere and views are amazing in LIC. Astoria is a trendy wanna be neighborhood.


Actually Astoria has real restaurants, bars, supermarkets, playgrounds, schools and movie theaters.
LIC has mostly bars, which is fine if that is what you are into.


Many would say those are the things that are ruining the quality of life and overall peace. Do not forget, Astoria is very mixed. You have one block paying ridiculous rent and the next block full of people that can not afford the restaurants, bars, supermarkets,and movie theaters. LIC is more unified.

You think

LIC doesn’t have one block that pays ridiculous rent and the next that can’t afford the restaurants? How do playgrounds and supermarkets disrupt quality of life and peace? LIC is still an early stage neighborhood. Astoria is tried and true. Just like everything in life, it’s your perception that makes your reality. You dig LIC- good for you. Doesn’t make our neighborhood any less great to those who know it.


Please most of the restaurants in Astoria have bars and count on them to make a profit. Bars that serve food makes a liquor licenses much easier.

ted can not compare the two. LIC is truly exclusive, safer and much cleaner. The piers and water views are stunning.


I must admit LIC has done a great job in beautifying it. The piers and grass area for people to utilize are incredible. My friend has a place there. Yes it is very expensive..but his place is brand new and he has amazing city views. It is a lot cleaner and quieter compared to Astoria. I wish i could afford it.


Please and if those renters ever left who would be left in Astoria for landlords and business? Think about it. Astoria would then be known as Big Egypt.


And what is wrong with that? They are one of rising populations in Astoria that actually have families, raise and send there children to schools here. They are opening up a new school and mosques continue to grow in Astoria. Renters come and go with the trends. This population is here to stay and will only get bigger with the migrant crisis in the middle east.


Strange that they would be moving out of the Kaufman Arts District, but I guess those nice new buildings are pretty attractive.

They probably also got a decent deal from the landlord since builders are generally allowed to build more square footage if they include some dedicated community facility space in their design. The landlord and tenants of the building probably feel that getting the QCOA to move in sure beats putting in a methadone clinic or a homeless organization.

Whatever, they seem to be a pretty low key organization, from what I remember they do one kid’s art show and another local artists art show per year. If they do more than that they should probably publicize it a little better.


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