LeFrak City, Queens (History)

(Neighborhoods In Queens)

LeFrak City (originally spelled Lefrak and pronounced as LEF-rak back in the 1960s/1970s, but now pronounced as Le-FRAK) is a very large apartment development in the southernmost region of Corona and the easternmost part of Elmhurst, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is located between Junction Boulevard, 57th Avenue, 99th Street and the Long Island Expressway. The complex of twenty 16-story apartment towers (with the topmost floor signed as 18, the lobbies are the 2nd floors and there are no 13th floors) covers 40 acres (16 ha) and currently houses over 14,000 people. The development is part of Queens Community Board 4.

Named for its developer, the LeFrak Organization (founded by Samuel J. LeFrak), LeFrak City was built in 1960-1969 primarily for working- and middle-class families who were interested in modern facilities but could not afford or did not desire to live in Manhattan. The fortunes of the buildings have been closely tied to housing and social trends in New York in general, and today the complex is home to a very diverse population. The development remains popular (i.e. has low vacancy) due to its reasonable rents, and large apartments.

The site includes sitting and play areas, sports courts, a swimming pool, a branch of the Queens Borough Public Library, a post office, two large office buildings, shops, and over 3,500 parking spaces. Recent retail developments such as Queens Center Mall and Rego Center are a short walk away.