Tag Archives: Bayside

Queens Chamber celebrates winners of annual building awards


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted its 99th annual Building Awards on Thursday, recognizing architecture and design of new buildings around the borough.

Out of 100 total entries, just 19 new construction, interior and rehabilitated use projects were selected as winners from various categories, including public use, office space, commercial and residential.

City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod was the keynote speaker at the event in the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel. The Chamber’s President’s Award was given to College Point-based developer Mattone Group.

In terms of new construction, the modern, glassy, three-story commercial building by K.O.H. Architecture at 215-15 Northern Blvd. in Bayside was among the winners. The building is home to a Tiger Schulmann, a Pizza Hut and a day care.

Plaza College’s newly opened campus in the Forest Hills near the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike was among winners in the rehabilitative use category. The school moved following a devastating fire that destroyed its Jackson Heights campus at 74-09 37th Ave. The new campus serves 750 students and features labs and medical classrooms.

Mediterranean and soul food fusion restaurant Pa-Nash of Rosedale, which opened in April, was also a winner in the rehabilitative use category, as well as the Queens Library’s redesign of the teen space in the Cambria Heights branch.

Pa-Nash 3

Below is the full list of winners.

 

New Construction

Category                                                         Project

Schools                                                            Public School 330Q

Commercial                                                     215-15 Northern Blvd., Bayside

Office Buildings                                             Jackson Heights Office Building

Multi-Family, Low Rise

(up to 3 stories)                                               Xiaoyan Jin Residence

 

Single Residences

(1 family-detached up to 3000 sq. ft.)              Grippi Residence

 

Single Residences

(1 family-detached over 3000 sq. ft.)               Vaccaro Residence

 

Multi-Family, High Rise

(4 or more stories)                                           Multi-Family Residential Building

Mixed Use

(residential/commercial/industrial)                  Antonelli Building

 

Rehabilitation, Readaptive Use, Alteration or Addition

Category                                                         Project

Public Buildings                                             Queens Library @Cambria Heights-Teen Space

Colleges                                                          Plaza College

Schools                                                            P.S. 81Q

Commercial                                                     Pa-Nash Restaurant & Lounge

Single Residences

(1 family-detached up to 3000 sq. ft)               Annie Hsu Residence

 

Interiors

Category                                                         Project

Colleges                                              Queens College Rosenthal Library

Commercial                                                     Murphy’s Lobster Grill

Single Residences

(1 family-detached over 3000 sq. ft.)               Long Residence

 

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The winning attitude


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY LARRY FLEISHER

It began the first time Ray Salnave stepped foot inside the gym at Cardozo High School.

Even before any of the fall teams at the Bayside school started practicing, Salnave was working on his game over a span of about seven hours, according to coach Ron Naclerio.

Two years later, Salnave and the Judges are the defending city champions and are looking to add a third banner to a program that has produced standouts such as Rafer Alston, Duane Causwell, Duane and Brian Woodward, Royal Ivey and Darryl Hill.

To hear Naclerio say it, as good as those players were, Salnave is wired differently, and the junior shooting guard has a different motor on the court.

“He has certain traits that very [few] kids I’ve ever coached have,” Naclerio said. “He’s got one or two traits that none of the kids I’ve coached had. He’s tough to coach because he’s volatile sometimes and people know when he was young and childish, he did things but the volatility is his desire to win. I would probably say out of all the players I’ve ever coached, he might have the closest desire to win as do.”

“It’s a good thing, but some people are used to the ordinary basketball player,” Salnave said. “You can say I’m an ordinary basketball player, but my thing is I like to win. Whatever it takes, I’ll do what it takes to win. Coach says that about me — that means I’m doing something good. We have the same goal. We both don’t like losing.”

That desire manifested itself during the final seconds of title game against Thomas Jefferson at Barclays Center. In Cardozo’s 55-54 victory, Salnave drove to the basket, was fouled and made the free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining. That ended a 16-point game that saw him go 10-of-12 from the line and a title run that saw the Judges defeat teams from the powerhouse Brooklyn AA Division in Boys & Girls, South Shore, Brooklyn Collegiate and Jefferson.

Now Cardozo is the team to beat and even more so than other non-title years. The last time Cardozo won a title was in 1999, and since then, there have been some difficult defeats, notably a four-point overtime loss to Jefferson in the 2013 quarterfinals, a one-point loss to Lincoln in the 2011 semifinals and a five-point loss to Boys & Girls in the 2010 title game.

“When you put so much into it and you make it the most important thing in your life, it’s a weird feeling because you’re so used to having the agony of defeat at the end of the season,” Naclerio said. “To have that thrill of victory for the second time, you want the season to end like that and I know the odds are the season probably won’t end up like that.”

If Cardozo is going to experience that thrill again, besides Salnave — who averaged 18 points last season and was recently offered a scholarship to Rutgers — some other people will be even more important. Cardozo is replacing forwards Carl Edoua Balthazar and Francisco Williams as well as stout defenders Marzuq Jimoh and Kristian Mondesir.

Naclerio said that sophomore Tareq Coburn is ready and that he expects contributions from Armando Dunn and Amir Tutt. He also is anticipating the impact of guard Aaron Walker, who transferred from Molloy and was described as being a Division One player.

“I know how hard it is because not only do you have to be very good, you have to be a little lucky,” Naclerio said. “When you have a bad game you have to find a way to get through it in the playoffs, you got to get through injuries, you got to get through ineligibilities, you got to get through being the hunted and the kids that start the season off with the pain and agony from the previous year. It’s a lot easier to talk to them than when the kids think when the script is going to be the same.

The Judges were good by going 28-2 and 16-0 in league games. They also had the good fortune of having Salnave’s will in the title game and throughout the playoffs.

Or as Naclerio says: “I’d rather be a champ than a chump.”

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Bayside Tudor apartment complex becomes city landmark


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

Community members in Bayside no longer have to worry about the possible overdevelopment or radical changes to a collection of artfully designed Tudor apartments.

The City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LCP) voted unanimously Tuesday to landmark the Hawthorne Court Apartments, which are located on the corner of 216th Street and 43rd Avenue.

Designed by respected architect Benjamin Braunstein, the Tudor-style homes were built in 1930 and 1931. The architect arranged the homes into two groups with varying sizes, surrounding a courtyard.

“This charming and ornate complex is a fine example of the Tudor Revival style, and provides a critical narrative of Bayside’s transformation to a commuter suburb after the completion of the railroad tunnel to Manhattan in 1910,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said.

It is not the first time the Hawthorne Court Apartment buildings have received recognition for their architecture. In 1931, the Queens Chamber of Commerce selected the homes for an award for “excellence in design and civic value.”

 

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Bayside electronics store not closing – just improving


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Bayside residents recently took to social media to bemoan the loss of an electronics store on Bell Boulevard, saying it marked the end of an era filled with 45 RPM records and the British Invasion. But the store isn’t closing — it’s just adding a modern repair shop.

“We’ve been here since 1946 and we’re not going anywhere,” said Jay Hildebrand, the owner of S&L Electronics. “We love Bayside. Why would we leave?”

Jimmy James, a Bayside resident, recently posted on a Bayside Facebook group that the store was closing. Fans of the store commiserated over the sad news

“So sad…I bought all my 45s there. They had the top 40 laid out in order every week in these little cubby holes,” resident Denise Marie Coyle wrote.

Many wrote their recollections of the store’s workers fixing their record players and VHS players. Hildebrand wants to modernize the store’s ability to fix electronics by making the jump from cassette players to iPads.

“I don’t know how to fix any of these new gadgets,” he said. “So we’re renting out part of our space to an electronic repair shop.”

These days, the majority of customers who come into the store with broken electronics have digital gadgets, but Hildebrand has had to turn them away. Soon, though, he won’t have to.

Hildebrand expects the construction of a small shop in the front of the store to take about two weeks to complete.

In the summer, Hildebrand makes most of his money from air conditioner installations, and the store also serves as a thrift shop. Hildebrand’s eclectic business interests are reflected through the store’s messiness. He wants to take the opportunity of the repair shop construction to do some minor renovations and cleaning up.

“A lot of people gather all this stuff and then at the end of the life they look at it all and they don’t know what to do with it,” he said, with three jackets from the Korean War hanging on a pole behind him.

People often come in, Hildebrand said, wanting to sell their parents’ and grandparents’ belongings. And so the store has collected more than just electronic items.

As the new repair shop goes up, the business is still open, even if it looks like the store is closed.

“People ask me why don’t I retire,” Hildebrand said. “But that’s not fun.”

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Bayside no longer under consideration for homeless shelter site


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Potential plans to create an emergency homeless shelter in Bayside have been scrapped after a month of deliberations.

In late October, the Department of Homeless Services looked into Bayside as a possible candidate to host a homeless shelter. But, according to Councilman Paul Vallone, those plans have since been removed.

After hearing about the potential shelter last month, Vallone wrote a letter to the agency in which he asserted his belief that Bayside was not a good site for a shelter because of a lack of transportation and the residential nature of the area.

“I thank the Department of Homeless Services for listening to our concerns,” Vallone said, “and deciding to abandon plans for an emergency shelter in Bayside. As I’ve said before, my district not only has the lowest population of homeless persons in the whole city, but Bayside in particular lacks the infrastructure and public transportation options to support an emergency shelter. I’m glad that the DHS considered these obstacles and concerns and came to agree that Bayside is an inappropriate location.”

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Queens churches celebrate priest’s 50th year


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

pastor photo

St. Robert Bellarmine Parish congregants and trustees held a celebration on Nov. 16 to mark Monsignor Martin T. Geraghty’s 50th anniversary of priesthood. At 74, the pastor has served churches from Jackson Heights to Far Rockaway and now serves as the head of the Bayside church.

“Fifty years as a priest is a very special thing. So we needed to honor him,” said Bob Coccia, a trustee and one of the many organizers of the event. “The parish wanted to recognize and honor him for it.”

The mass that was held in his honor was packed with about 1,000 people, according to organizers. Afterward, there was a reception in the church’s hall where food was served as a slideshow of Geraghty’s life was on display.

Geraghty became the head of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish during uncertain times. The former pastor, Monsignor John Lavin, died in 2006 and Geraghty was his replacement.

“When Monsignor Lavin died, we couldn’t have had a better priest come in,” Coccia said. “He came in and very quietly gained the community’s respect. He filled Lavin’s shoes above and beyond. He serves with all his might.”

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Star of Queens: Harold Rutgers, contributor, Jewelers For Children


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0173

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

BACKGROUND: Harold Rutgers was born and raised in Flushing. His father Victor was a jewelry designer who opened a jewelry store in Great Neck in 1962. Rutgers, a certified gemologist, joined the family business and opened Bell Family Jewelers in Bayside in 1987.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Rutgers is associated with Jewelers For Children. It is a nonprofit organization that donates to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Rutgers has a box and a sign in his store that states that he won’t charge customers for services such as jewelry cleaning.

Instead, they can donate a sum of their choice to the charity by dropping it in the box. Rutgers said that after he started this initiative 10 years ago, he found that people come to his store for the services because they also get the opportunity to give back at the same time. This year, he has already collected more than $1,500 and hopes to surpass that and collect $2,000 next year.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “Being able to give back to the wonderful community,” said Rutgers. “Just being able to give back every day makes me feel great. I try to teach my two children to do the same.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Staying competitive in the business, keeping prices reasonable with today’s rising costs,” said Rutgers. “It’s a tough business environment.”

INSPIRATION: “My father,” said Rutgers. “He gave me an engraved ID bracelet when I went to high school that said, ‘The secret to success is consistency to purpose.’ That’s the rule I live by.”

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New Bayside Colombian restaurant is instant hit


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Chicken lovers flocked to Mr. Pollo #1 on Friday to try the new Colombian restaurant on Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard.

The eatery was even busier on Thursday, opening day, according to workers.

“They say it usually takes two years before a business becomes profitable, but I don’t think we’ll need to wait that long here,” the manager said as he rushed to answer ringing phones.

The pork loin lunch special

The restaurant’s opening is the latest in a South American food invasion on Bell Boulevard, with a new Peruvian restaurant, Piura, set to open and the Mexican restaurant Cinco de Mayo reopening further down the commercial strip.

The store was packed for the second day in a row. A steady stream of people ordered take-out on Friday afternoon, while others chose to eat inside the eatery. Two delivery boys tried to stay ahead of the lunch rush, while workers ran around like hens without their heads.

20141114_162139

The new business on Bell Boulevard claims to be the first Colombian restaurant in Bayside.

There is also a Mr. Pollo #2, owned by the same people, in Whitestone, according to the menu.

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Bayside’s small businesses tell film industry to take five


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/GreggSullivan

Call it Hollywood fatigue.

The Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) wants the city to put a temporary stop on granting filming permits to movie and show makers using Bayside as a shooting location.

The organization, representing dozens of small businesses, plans on sending a letter to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to request a moratorium on filming in commercial areas like Bell Boulevard, according to the organization’s executive director, Lyle Sclair.

“Filming in Bayside is a balancing act, but too often it’s swayed away from us,” Sclair said.  “There’s a much better way to work together.”

Citing a marked loss of business because of frequent filming activity in the area, Sclair said that small businesses need more representation in government.

The FX-produced show “The Americans” used Bayside to film several scenes in January. During filming, Harry Rutgers’ jewelry business was penned in on 41st Avenue and Bell Boulevard.

“We might as well be closed when the film crews are here,” said Rutgers, who is the owner of Bell Family Jewelers. “The whole business district shuts down and everybody suffers while one [group] benefits.”

Rutgers cited many of the same problems that Sclair will bring up to the city. The vehicles used to transport the film crews and equipment are big and bulky, and these vehicles take up all the parking spots on Bell Boulevard that would be used by potential customers.

Rutgers said that another problem is that the crews don’t spend any money in the area because they come with their own food and services.

“They don’t spend a nickel on Bell,” Rutgers said. “I never heard anyone say they benefited from the film crews.”

Rutgers suggested that the trucks and trailers used by the film industry should park away from Bell Boulevard so they don’t take up parking. He also said that if the crews spent money in the area, business owners would be more willing to tolerate the film industry.

Sclair plans on making all of these suggestions when he sends the letter to the Mayor’s office. He is also urging the City Council to pass oversight bills.

Councilman Paul Vallone is signing the letter, according to his spokesman.

“I firmly support the Bayside Village BID’s request for a moratorium on filming on Bell Boulevard and the surrounding avenues, as the area is rapidly becoming a filming hot spot,” he said. “Our residents and small business owners should not have to bear the burdens that come with excessive filming, especially in an area that already has very limited parking space availability. It’s unfair for our small businesses to suffer these consequences.”

Film crews park trailers and trucks in front of businesses and take up many parking spots, causing the merchants to lose money, according to Sclair. The large vehicles also cause people to think that businesses are closed.

Bayside is frequently used for movie and television shoots, reflecting the city’s initiative to make New York City a filming center.

The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment but, according to the city-run “Made in NY” site, the city “looks to support film and television productions of all shapes and sizes, and we look to make each and every one of those projects a clear, seamless, and enjoyable production experience.”

In the city’s haste to make the five boroughs film-friendly, it’s alienated small businesses, Sclair said.

“It seems like the city is saying, ‘We’re choosing the film industry over mom-and-pop businesses,” he said.

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Bayside small businesses praised by feds


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the borough president's office

With more small businesses than big box stores on Bell Boulevard, the commercial strip was the perfect destination for the head of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) when she made the trip to New York last week.

“I’m so excited to be here in Bayside,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of SBA. “Unlike many other places, Bell Boulevard has such a high concentration of small businesses and I want to keep this area thriving.”

Contreras-Sweet, along with Congresswoman Grace Meng, spoke to the owners of Bayside Milk Farm and went behind the food market’s deli to try out some of the food.

During the trip, Contreras-Sweet urged business owners to use the free resources that SBA provides. Many new initiatives, Contreras-Sweet said, are meant to help small businesses modernize their tools.

Small businesses can get technical assistance through a program called Operation HOPE. Entrepreneurs can also get loans and business counseling through SBA’s Direct Resource Packet, which brings together information about lenders and counselors in one document online.

“Thank you for your voice and thank you for all the great work you’re doing,” Meng said to Contreras-Sweet.

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Retail and office buildings on Bell Boulevard sell for $7.6 million


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Massey Knakal

Two sections of the Bell Boulevard commercial corridor in Bayside are under new management.

A retail strip with some office space on Bell Boulevard in Bayside traded hands for about $5.6 million, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services, which handled the transaction.

LCDM Investors LLC sold the property, which stretches from 43-19 to 43-23 Bell Blvd. The buildings have nearly 13,000 square feet of space, but 22,000 square feet of buildable space, the realty firm said.

Additionally, a two-story building a few blocks away at 39-26 Bell Blvd. was sold for $2 million. The building is fully leased with tenants, including longtime pizza restaurant Pete’s.

39-26 Bell Blvd.

39-26 Bell Blvd.

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Elderly driver plows car into Bayside garage after mistaking accelerator for brake


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Garage crash

An elderly woman shocked her Bayside neighbors when she accidentally plowed her car through her garage on Friday, police said.

The woman — whose age and name were not immediately released by police — was pulling into her garage on 48th Street about 1:15 p.m. when she mistook the accelerator for the brake and ripped through the structure, cops said.

The woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries while rescue services extracted the car.

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New show by Tina Fey begins filming in Bayside


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

Tina Fey, the writer, producer and star of “30 Rock,” was in Bayside on Wednesday filming her new show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Fey, who co-created the show, oversaw production as the camera rolled on the star of the show,  Ellie Kemper from “The Office.” Trucks and trailers clustered around St. Josaphat’s Church and the crew used the church’s parking lot for the scene.

The comedy show also stars Tituss Burgess, and the show will air in the spring.

Kemper stars as Kimmy Schmidt, who was forced to live in a cult for 15 years before being rescued. She decides to move to New York City instead of returning to her home in Indiana.

According to crew members, filming will continue into early tomorrow at 1 a.m. and they also plan to shoot scenes at Crocheron Park.

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Mount Sinai medical center opening in new Bayside office and retail building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Hospital will soon open an ambulatory surgical center on the second floor of a brand-new retail and office building in Bayside.

Construction on the second floor of the building, which is located at 45-64 Francis Lewis Blvd., is already complete. Furniture and medical equipment has been brought into the future center, which will boast four full-size operating rooms throughout 21,000 square feet.

The facility could start seeing patients within the next couple of months, according to a representative from FDC Realty, which is marketing the building.

The medical center will offer various types of operations, such as cataract surgery on both children and adults. And there is an underground parking lot for about 96 cars and above-ground spots for more vehicles to accommodate an expected high volume of patients and staff.

The 19,000-square-foot first floor space isn’t completed yet, but FDC Realty is negotiating with another medical provider for some space and said numerous retail stores have expressed interest in the building, including a national brand cafe and a pharmacy.

For leasing opportunities at the building, contact David Gelfond or Bruce Pollack at FDC Realty at 631-234-3200.

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Star of Queens: Dr. Nicholas Rallis, volunteer, Free to Smile Foundation


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

_1Nicholas Rallis

BACKGROUND: Born in Greece and raised in Brooklyn, Dr. Nicholas Rallis, 51, moved to Queens in 1988 and began his dental practice in Bayside in 1990. He knew that he wanted to be a dentist since high school as he sees this profession as the only one in which a doctor “can see the result of your handwork, what you build for people, the before and after,” he said. “You can be a doctor and an artist at the same time.” He likes the fact that he gets to interact with his patients and feel the joy they express after a dental makeover.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Rallis’ friend is involved with the Free to Smile Foundation, an organization that offers free dental and surgical care to the underprivileged around the world. Last year, the foundation invited him to Guatemala to help treat people with dental emergencies. It was a shock, seeing how people live in mud huts with no roofs over their heads. He was touched by the experience, and this year, he went again to Guatemala, taking two assistants from his private practice with him. He led the team of 22 dentists, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons in their work in the city of Santiago Atitlan. He stayed there for nine days in the first week of September. The team treated about 260 patients and conducted 48 surgeries. They treated problems such as tooth pain, dental abscesses, cleft palates and cleft lips. These are not just cosmetic problems, according to Rallis. “Kids [with cleft palates or cleft lips] are usually undernourished because they cannot eat and cannot be fed even through a bottle as they don’t have the ability to create suction with their tongue,” said Rallis. “It is a challenge to make them get the nutrition necessary to make it possible for them to undergo surgery.” The organization works in other countries such as Tibet, Niger, Cambodia and Colombia, and Rallis is eager to volunteer again next year. “You see the need that is there, you can’t really stop going,” he said.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “My family is my greatest achievement,” said Rallis. “I have a beautiful family, three wonderful children and a great wife.” He adds, “I am also the clinical instructor of the Mouth Rehabilitation Clinic at New York University. It is a prestigious position. It is a four-year continuous education course where we teach dentists, not students, from all disciplines of dentistry how to incorporate the various disciplines and become better clinicians. It is really fulfilling.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Both of them [family and position at NYU],” he laughs. “Things that you are good at are the things you have to work on the most, because you always want to strive to become better.”

INSPIRATION: “I had a mentor in dentistry who passed away,” said Rallis. “His name was Dr. Dan Ianniello. I just like the way he interacted with people and strive to be better at his work. He was very humble. I try the best I can [to emulate him].”

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