Tag Archives: Beach 116th Street

Beach 116th Street Partnership, businesses working together to get back on their feet

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Mark Mina watched his Rockaway Park storefront burn to the ground during Sandy, and over $1 million and priceless memorabilia go down with it. But today, his Beach 116th Street business has risen from the ashes.

“The storm just brought determination out and made us stronger every day,” said Mina, owner of MSM/Elite Production Consultants.

That October night, Mina said his company “lost everything, not even a paper clip was saved.” The landlord of the building called the night of the storm and said the place was up in flames.

“I ran down here with my truck. The fire chief tackled me to stop me from going in,” he said. “We sat and watched the building burn for about 12 hours. We couldn’t do anything.”

But the show had to go on, and Mina opened a temporary location in a John F. Kennedy International Airport warehouse.

Meanwhile, FEMA, Mina’s insurance company and Small Business Services said they couldn’t help him rebuild, and Mina paid about $130,000 out of pocket to rebuild what the superstorm took.

He set up shop on the second floor of a Beach 116th Street building and today says he’s “almost in the black again,” and the camaraderie amongst street business owners kept morale alive.

The Beach 116th Street Partnership was formed and “we weren’t alone,” Mina said.

“As we did feel in despair from government agencies, we worked and helped each other,” he said. “I just want to see this place prosper again.”

Krzysztof Sadlej, executive director of the partnership, said over a year after the storm, customer volume is “starting to pick back up, kind of to par.”

“We’re still gaining momentum,” he said.

Although Beach 116th Street is not completely whole, Mina said “good karma” is coming their way.

“There are still a lot of people healing,” he said. “But we have each other to lean on, to motivate and just get a hug if you need it.”



Astoria and LIC among Queens stops recommended for East River Ferry expansion

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the East River Ferry

Queens could be the big winner from an expansion of the East River Ferry service if the city can find a spare $80 million to expand existing infrastructure and a private ferry company willing to pony up $10 million a year to run it.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) released its preliminary 2013 Citywide Ferry Study earlier this week, in which it considered 58 potential new ferry stops, including some based on community recommendations, for the East River.

In the end, the NYCEDC recommended 11 possible spots. The areas in Queens include Astoria Cove, Long Island City North, and Beach 108th and 116th Street in the Rockaways, according to the report. Ferry service was also recommended looked into for LaGuardia Airport.

“In the span of only a few years, ferry service has become an integral part of the City’s transportation infrastructure, serving millions of passengers and providing momentum for continued development along the City’s waterfront,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.

According to the report, these new routes would require “considerable capital and operating subsidies” and an expanded new network featuring the East River Ferry and the additional routes would require “an annual subsidy for weekday service of close to $10 million.”

The potential new stops would also require additional capital investment to construct docking stations which feature shelters, ticketing machines, benches, bike racks, and two-slip or single-slip barges.

Following the recent study, the possible ferry service expansion proposal will now be reviewed by local elected officials, leaders, private ferry companies and the community at large in order to discuss the specific new routes and how to fund them.

Currently the only East River Ferry stop in Queens is by Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City between 54th Avenue and 2nd Street.