LeFrak City, Queens
LeFrak City (originally spelled Lefrak and pronounced as LEF-rak back in the 1960's/1970's, but now pronounced as Le-FRAK) is a very large apartment development in the southernmost region of Corona, 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 eighteen-story (technically sixteen-story, since the lobbies are the 2nd floors and there are no 13th floors) apartment towers 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 Park Center are a short walk away.
Notable current and former residents of LeFrak City include:
- Kenny Anderson, former basketball player for the New Jersey Nets and other teams during his ten-year NBA career.
- Bryant Dunston (born 1986), professional basketball player for Bnei HaSharon
- Noreaga (aka N.O.R.E.), rapper.
- Kool G Rap, rapper.
- Kenny Smith, former basketball player for the Houston Rockets and other teams during his ten-year NBA career.
- Akinyele, rapper
- Prodigy, rapper
- Emerson Boozer, NY Jets football player
- Mark White, bass player for the Spin Doctors
- Russell Bradley, musician and record producer
- Frankie Manning, One of the founding fathers of the Lindy Hop
- Tug Mcgraw, Pitcher for the New York Mets in the late 60's and early 70's
- Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry: This married 'Brill Building' songwriting team worked with Phil Spector and composed many of the 'girl group' era's greatest hits, including 'Chapel of Love,' 'Da Doo Ron Ron,' and 'Leader of the Pack'.
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- Cavanaugh, Jack. "BASKETBALL; Point Guard Rivalry Moves to the Big East", The New York Times, January 6, 2001. Accessed March 29, 2008. "Some of those open-court moves were picked up from Kenny Anderson and Kenny Smith, two other point guards from LeFrak City, the vast housing complex in Corona."
- Reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/nyregion/30about.html?_r=0
- "LeFrak City: One of (the) Largest Housing Complexes in Queens" from About.com
- A Developer's 30: LeFrak's Queens
- LeFrak Organization, developer's website
- Queens Times Ledger LeFrak City Library still closed after two months, article about flood damage