Long a gritty industrial wilderness, Long Island City, located one stop from Manhattan via six different trains, began the inevitable march to gentrification in 1997 with the construction of the Citylights co-op. Since then, an array of new developments (mostly rentals and condominiums) have followed and many more are under construction. LIC has been known for years as an affordable destination for artists, although—let’s face it—the artists are all going to be priced out sooner rather than later. One great indicator of how the neighborhood is changing: graffiti mecca 5 Pointz, which houses a number of artists’ studios, is being torn down next year to make way for—what else—high-rise rental buildings.
Rental units: Other than the numerous new developments on the waterfront (which are spreading further inland as we speak) Long Island City contains a hodgepodge of wood frame and brick two-family homes