City Limits looks back at a story from its March 1985 issue exploring early development plans for the Hunters Point waterfront, at the time home to just 5,000 residents—what the author described as a “developer’s dream.”

City Limits Archive/Beth Rosenthal

Images of Long Island City from the March 1985 issue of City Limits. Top right: The spire of St. Mary’s church from Vernon Boulevard. Bottom right: Deborah Whitelaw and Sal Anzalone outside Cassino Italian Restaurant on Vernon Boulevard and 47th Road.

Each Friday, City Limits—founded in 1976—highlights a story from our archives.

Newer Long Island City residents might not remember a time when high-rises didn’t dominate the former industrial area’s skyline, before it was the happening residential and commercial area it is today—but City Limits does.

The Hunters Point waterfront has transformed significantly since the mid-1980s, when the neighborhood was home to about 5,000 residents, City Limits reported at the time. It has since undergone  significant development, with a focus on increased housing, public spaces, and waterfront access. The area is now also being eyed for one of the city’s next neighborhood rezonings.

But 38 years ago, the process was just getting started—and real estate interests were hungry to build.

“It’s a developer’s dream: 91.6 acres, a mile of waterfront, mostly undeveloped, with a spectacular view of the midtown skyline,” wrote Robert Neuwirth for City Limits, in this story of a neighborhood on the brink of change.

Read the full piece from our March 1985 issue here or below.