Tag Archives: Center Boulevard

More retail coming to Long Island City waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Winick Realty Group

More retail is on its way to Long Island City.

Leasing for the retail spaces in real estate company TF Cornerstone’s East Coast Development, a mixed-use project of six buildings located on the Long Island City waterfront, has been completed by Winick Realty Group.

Of the six buildings, eight retail leases were signed at 45-45 Center Blvd., 45-40 Center Blvd., 46-10 Center Blvd., 46-15 Center Blvd. and 46-30 Center Blvd., according to the realty group.

“Through the strong market knowledge we have gained by working with many Long Island City developers, as well as assisting many active retailers, we were able to achieve record rent numbers and secure strong tenants on behalf of TF Cornerstone,” broker Aaron Fishbein said.

Joining New York Kids Club, which announced last August that it would be opening up a 5,003-square-foot space at 45-45 Center Blvd., will be three new tenants that range from fitness to children’s clothing.

Fitness program I Love Kickboxing has leased a 2,967-square-foot studio at the location, and children’s salon and clothing store Mimi & Mo is expected to open a 1,239-square-foot shop as well. European Wax Center, offering waxing services for men and women, has also signed up to occupy 1,252 square feet at the site.

An Italian restaurant from TD Restaurant Group, which is still unnamed, has signed a lease for a 7,733-square-foot ground floor restaurant at 46-10 Center Blvd. located directly behind the Pepsi-Cola sign. The restaurant will also occupy a 2,200-square-foot outdoor terrace overlooking the East River. Latin fusion restaurant Blend, Sweetleaf Coffee and Espresso Bar and Crank Cycling Studio are also located within the building.

“Working together with Winick Realty Group, we have been able to craft an incredible mix of retailers that will serve the residents in the East Coast Development, as well as the entire Long Island City community,” said Steve N. Gonzalez, head of retail leasing for TF Cornerstone.

 

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TF Cornerstone celebrates sixth building opening on LIC waterfront


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Marino Organization

SALVATORE LICATA

TF Cornerstone kicked off the opening of its final project in the six-building Center Boulevard complex on the Long Island City waterfront last week.

The real estate company celebrated on June 12 the opening of the luxury apartment tower 4610 Center Boulevard, a 26-story building which curves around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign by the East River.

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, 4610 Center Boulevard is made up of 584 units including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

The final project also marks a decade of the company helping pioneer the western Queens waterfront.

TF Cornerstone’s six-buildings encompass 2.6 million square feet and include 2,800 rental units, 184 condominiums, 35,000 square feet of retail space, and acres of parkland and open space.

“When TF Cornerstone purchased this property in Long Island City, more than 10 years ago, our vision for the neighborhood went beyond just developing beautiful buildings,” said Jon McMillan, director of planning for TF Cornerstone. “We sought to create an entire new waterfront community for our residents.”

The Center Boulevard development is a four-minute subway ride away from Midtown Manhattan on the 7 train, and accessible by the G, E and M trains.

 

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Reward for missing autistic teen increased to $75K as search continues two weeks later


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy NYPD

After two weeks since Avonte Oquendo was last seen leaving his Long Island City School, the search continues for the lovable autistic teen.

Avonte, 14, was last seen leaving the Center Boulevard School at 1-50 51st Avenue in Long Island City around 12:38 p.m. on Friday, October 4. There have been mixed reports on how the Rego Park teen, who cannot verbally communicate and is supposed to be supervised at all times, managed to leave the school, said the family’s attorney, David Perecman.

According to Avonte’s grandmother, the security guard appointed to the front of the school said she had seen Avonte running towards the door, asked him where he was going and after he did not respond, she just allowed him to leave because she did not know he was a special needs student.  Yet, according to Perecman, no student at the school is allowed to leave the property until dismissal.

Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, previously told The Courier the school “failed her” when they took close to an hour to inform her that Avonte had gone missing.

However, according to reports, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the school safety officer did nothing wrong and investigations show she did what she had to do.

The NYPD has officers searching the streets daily for the boy, who family says loves trains, and looking for him by helicopter and with divers. Recently, the police has been driving around in patrol cars and search vans with loudspeakers echoing Avonte’s mother’s calls.

Avonte’s family also sought the help from the Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team, a group of volunteers that have helped find numerous missing people throughout the country.

The team said it would be traveling to the site on Friday, October 18 and would “evaluate the situation” to determine if they have resources to help search for Avonte.

The family has filed a notice of claim to sue the City of New York for $25 million, taking claims of negligence against both the Department of Education and the Special Security Division which provide the security agents for the school.

An initial $5,000 reward for Avonte’s return was offered by Mayerson & Associates, a New York Law Firm which represents individuals with autism. Manhattan Children’s Center, a nonprofit private autism school, announced it was matching the law firm’s offer with an additional $5,000 from the Gelb Family Foundation.

Since then, the reward has increased to $75,000 through the support of Health First, the employer of the missing teen’s mother, Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, David Perecman of the Perecman Firm, and an anonymous donor, according to Autism Speaks.

Reverend Al Sharpton will hold a community outreach rally on Saturday, October 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Action Network headquarters located at 106 West 145th Street in Manhattan.

Avonte was last seen wearing a gray striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers. He is 5’3” tall and weighs 125 pounds.

The NYPD has released a new photo of Avonte together with an image of the shirt he was wearing the day he went missing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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TF Cornerstone officially opens LIC building’s 50,000-square-foot amenity deck


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

TF Cornerstone officially opened its 50,000-square-foot amenity deck at 45-45 Center Boulevard, the 41-story rental tower on the Long Island City waterfront, now over 65 percent leased.

Designed by award-winning architecture firm Arquitectonica, 45-45 Center Boulevard’s amenity deck is an expansive, landscaped terrace off the seventh floor. The deck features a real sand beach volleyball court, two tennis courts, a reflecting pool, sprawling lawn, and sun deck with BBQ grills, lounge chairs and benches.

The building’s other amenities include club rooms with a catering kitchen, bicycle storage, indoor parking garage and a 24-hour concierge and valet. Especially appealing to families is a children’s playroom, designed in collaboration with apple seeds, an award-winning children’s play center. The indoor playroom and outdoor playground will spark the imagination of kids of all ages with an infant crawling area, Lego tables, interactive exhibits and more. These kid-friendly amenities will be complemented by the 5,000-square-foot NY Kids Club set to open on the ground level in fall of 2014 with three sunlit classrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and an outdoor play space.

The building’s 820 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments provide for open-air, modern luxury and comfort. Starting at $2,200 a month, residents relish spaciously laid-out apartments with hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens with natural stone countertops and stainless steel appliances, and generous closet space. The floor-to-ceiling windows along the building’s glass façade maximize exclusive views of the East River, Gantry Plaza State Park and Manhattan.

Frank D. Vasta, Executive V.P. TF Cornerstone ; Connor Atkinson, V.P. Wells Fargo; Tom Elghanayan TF Cornerstone; Michael Kaczynski, Senior V.P. Wells Fargo

Kevin P. Singleton, Executive V.P. TF Cornerstone; Andrew Gerstein, Senior V.P., Treasurer  TF Cornerstone; Frank D. Vasta, Executive V.P. TF Cornerstone

Sofia Estevez, Executive V.P. TF Cornerstone, and Tom Elghanayan, Chair, TF Cornerstone

Joshua Schneps, Co- Publisher Schneps Communications, Nicole Chin-Lyn, Asst. Account Executive, The Marino Organization; Cara Marino Gentile, Vice President, The Marino Organization; Elizabeth Ferrara-Latino, Account Executive, The Marino Organization

Douglas Elliman Real Estate Brokers; Rick Rosa, Ebony Grevious, Emmanuel Molina, Lauren Bennett, Alexander Pereira 

Sofia Estevez, Executive V.P. TF Cornerstone; Tom Elghanayan, Chairman TF Cornerstone; Joshua Schneps, Co- Publisher, Schneps Communications

Ivan Urgiles, TF Cornerstone Leasing agent; Margaret Nieves, Director of Leasing TF Cornerstone

Armondo Chavez; Scott Walsh, TF Cornerstone; Michele Beaudoin, LIC Real Estate Broker/Owner

TF Cornerstone employees: Steve Gonzalez, Amy Polanik, Irene Malatesta, Denisse Recinos, Chip Sealy

 

 

Operator, contractor cited in Long Island City crane collapse


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued 12 violations to several parties involved in the Long Island City crane collapse that injured seven workers earlier this month.

According to the DOB, combined, these violations have a minimum penalty of $132,800, and $64,000 of that amount was issued to the crane’s operator, Paul Geer.

“Cranes are complex pieces of equipment that serve as the driving force of any major construction project. They must be properly operated and maintained, and when that fails to occur, there can be serious consequences. In this case, neither the crane operator nor his supervisors made sure the operation was being performed according to approved plans,” said DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

A preliminary investigation by the DOB found that Geer tried to lift 23,900 pounds of lumber at the 46-10 Center Boulevard site, more than double the crane’s weight capacity. The DOB also said that that Geer couldn’t see what he was picking up and was lifting the materials outside the approved loading zone.

Geer and the contractor, Cross Country Construction, LLC, received five violations for operating a crane in an unsafe manner, failure to inspect equipment prior to operation, work that does not conform to approved construction documents, failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations, and failure to post proper load chart for crane.

The site safety manager, Arthur Covelli, and the property owner, TF Cornerstone, were also each issued a violation for failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations.

 

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License of operator in Long Island City crane collapse suspended


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The man operating the crane that collapsed at a Long Island City construction site Wednesday, injuring seven, has had his license suspended by the city, said the Department of Buildings (DOB).

A preliminary investigation by the DOB found that operator Paul Geer tried to lift 23,900 pounds of lumber at the 46-10 Center Boulevard site, more than double the crane’s weight capacity.

The DOB also said that that Geer couldn’t see what he was picking up and was lifting the materials outside the approved loading zone. A Stop Work Order for crane operations remains in effect while the DOB’s investigation continues.

The crane’s owner, New York Crane, was also involved in a deadly collapse on the Upper East Side. James Lomma, who owns the company, was tried for manslaughter, but acquitted last April.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed that the crane’s operator tried to lift too much weight and that Lomma used a cheap, unqualified Chinese company to do repairs.

A representative from New York Crane declined to answer questions, stating that they “had been advised not to speak at this time.”

The building where the accident took place is being developed by TF Cornerstone, the same company that has overseen several towers built as part of the revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront.

“Site safety is always our first priority as it relates to construction, and we are cooperating fully with all relevant authorities to try and determine what caused this occurrence,” read a statement from the developer.
Work at the site was subcontracted to Cross Country Construction, according to a TF Cornerstone spokesperson.

According to a spokesperson for Elmhurst Hospital, the seven injured workers, most of whom were in their 40s and 50s, were all treated and released by the end of last week.


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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Urinetown: The Musical

Winner of three Tony awards and one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Performances start Thursday, January 10 and continue through Saturday, January 26 at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Crane collapses in Long Island City, injuring seven


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Seven workers suffered minor injuries when a crane collapsed at a Long Island City building site.

Around 2:20 p.m. today,  firefighters responded to the incident at Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue, where they discovered three workers trapped beneath the fallen crane. According to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ferran, the trapped individuals were extricated from the scene and taken to an area hospital, along with four other workers who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. No civilians were injured in the crash.

Several dozen workers were at the scene when the crane fell.

According to Ferran, the cause of the crane collapse is under investigation by Department of Buildings (DOB) engineers.

Diana Sanchez saw the crane collapse from her apartment in the building across the street. She said the crane shook as it attempted to lift loads of metal she believed to be too heavy for the device. She grew nervous as she watched the beleaguered apparatus. Then, it snapped.

“Everyone was screaming and running,” she said.

Sanchez said that following the recent collapse of a crane in Manhattan and the increase in construction jobs in Long Island City, she has been concerned about one collapsing nearby for some time.

The Maspeth-based company that manufactures the crane, New York Crane, declined to comment.

The same company was involved in a deadly 2008 crane collapse on the Upper East Side.

Its owner, James Lomma, was charged with manslaughter, but was found not guilty.

The crane from today’s accident was last approved for use by the DOB in October, according to the Daily News.

“Such accidents are avoidable, and I am hopeful a comprehensive investigation will be conducted to discover why today’s frightening incident occurred,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

Officials from TF Cornerstone, the building’s developer, were on scene but denied comment on the incident. The building is one of several built by TF Cornerstone as part of the revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront.

Photo Twitter/@UnSweetTee

 

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola 

 

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Queens priciest condo hits the market


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Queens’ priciest condo hit the market last week, delighting real estate experts and business buffs alike, as they anticipate an increase in luxury living spaces will bring notoriety to the already burgeoning neighborhood of Long Island City.

The costly condo, perched atop The View on Center Boulevard, is priced at $3.25 million – the steepest price of an apartment currently on the market in Queens.

Silvette Julian, the broker handling the sale for Nest Seekers, said the duplex in the sky boasts three bedrooms, four bathrooms, elevated ceilings, gorgeous fixtures and a view of the Manhattan skyline.

“It’s quite possibly the most stunning property in the building,” said Julian, who previously sold several of The View’s other units.

The condominium was built in 2009 by local developer TF Cornerstone. According to Julian, ritzy real estate in Long Island City is swiftly following in the footsteps of the Manhattan market.

“[This property going on the market] is very positive,” said Julian. “It will increase property value and give the neighborhood the recognition it deserves. Long Island City has been a well-kept secret but unfortunately it’s no longer a secret.”

According to Property Shark, a Hunters Point pad sold in 2008 for $3.05 million holds the record for the borough’s most expensive condo.

According to a mid-year report released by Modern Spaces, the average two-bedroom apartment in Long Island City sells for around $900,000, while spaces over 1,500- square-feet go for about $1.3 million. The study said of current inventory, 94 percent is sold and 6 percent is available – showing a divide between the high demand for LIC living spaces and properties available.

Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership, said a listing such as this is indicative of current market trends in the neighborhood.

“It certainly is a very positive explanation for what’s happening in Long Island City right now,” said Baron. “When you have an expensive apartment of that nature, you attract other buyers.”

Baron claimed an increase in demand for luxury homes provides critical mass for local businesses, driving retail and restaurants that cater to high-end clientele.

“With these prospective buyers brings more businesses to the neighborhood as well, [businesses] who might not have considered the neighborhood before.”