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RELA focuses on LI.

The Real Estate Lenders Association (RELA) hosted Richard Brancato, senior vice president, Rockrose Development Corp., as guest speaker at the association's April breakfast meeting for lenders and equity providers at the Sky Club in the MetLife Building.

Mr. Brancato's presentation focused on his companyAEs new waterfront residential developments in Long Island City, which he described as oManhattanAEs new East Coasto. Rockrose plans to build 3,000 new luxury residences in seven buildings on what is now known as the Pepsi Site. "Essentially, this will be another Battery Park City including a waterfront esplanade," said Mr. Brancato.

The company's Long Island City developments will follow RockroseAEs strategy of, according to Mr. Brancato, ogetting in early and creating a neighborhoodo as Rockrose successfully did when ManhattanAEs Chelsea, Far West Village and Financial District were emerging as residential areas.

Rockrose's first building, scheduled for spring 2006 occupancy, will be a 31-story glass structure designed by Arquitectonica. As part of the companyAEs strategy of helping to build a full-service residential neighborhood, the first building will have a temporary supermarket and the second, a permanent one.

Rockrose started buying land in Long Island City in the 1980's after Citigroup moved its offices to the area.

The company is anticipating its developments will draw people from Manhattan and eastern Queens, as well as empty nesters from the suburbs, who will be attracted to less expensive rents, easy commutes and relaxed lifestyle.

Brancato likened Long Island City's relationship to midtown to that of Jersey City to downtown. "Long Island City is slowly becoming a hip place," he said. "Pioneers are arriving for the views, the value, the relative ease of keeping a car and for the culture and nightlife that is beginning to pick up.
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Title Annotation:Westchester
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 19, 2004
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