Borden Avenue Study

LocationQueens, NY

Real estate development company, The Vorea Group, asked Mapos to work closely with them on a unique development in Long Island City, New York. The project includes design and feasibility studies for a site on Borden Ave, at the southern visual terminus of Jackson and Vernon boulevards. Long and narrow, the site is bounded by the LIRR tracks to the South, the LIE and Queens-Manhattan Tunnel to the North, and sits above the Amtrak tunnels headed to Penn Station. Through a zoning and code review, interviews with local homeowners and businesses, and soil and structural analysis, Mapos defined best-case use and massing scenarios for the site.

A design exercise followed to illustrate to potential tenants and partners the opportunities on this unique site. Potential uses ranged from entertainment, cinema, and a museum campus, to a fitness complex and more standard commercial office space.


For a health and wellness complex, a ground floor restaurant and cafe animates the street and the fitness center is visible on the upper floors. A sculptural climbing tower would serve as a beacon at the end of Jackson Avenue.

Shifting floor plates of a commercial office building give each floor outdoor space and sun protection. Tenants would each have a sculptural sign board as a complement to an existing billboard.

The eight theaters of the cineplex are visible behind glazing with lobbies and amenities open to the street below. A large video marquee tower is visible from the busy car and train traffic in the area.

The museum is a bold and simple volume sitting atop street level retail and below a taller light well. A changing rooftop installation serves as a new icon for Long Island City.