“The Creative Engine,” by Neil Scott Kleiman et al, from the

“More recently, with the help of a large city incentive package, Metropolitan Life moved 1,500 employees from Manhattan to a 400,000 square foot converted factory building on Queens Plaza North. If locals thought the arrival of MetLife would usher in a new wave of cultural development and mixed-use retail activity, they were wrong. MetLife received a hefty $26.2 million in discretionary tax and energy incentives over the next 20 years from the city, and the state kicked in $4.3 million in grants and loans for worker training and renovation costs. But like the Citicorp tower down the street, the MetLife building wasn’t developed in a way that encourages the firms’ employees to participate in the surrounding neighborhood. It has all the ‘comforts of home’ with a gym, cafeteria, ATM, and stamp vendors. The company is currently floating the idea of a pedestrian tunnel from the 7 train right into their building. If this happens, not a single worker will actually have to set foot in Long Island City.”

Posted December 28, 2002

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