Tag Archives: Community Board 5

Councilwoman Crowley requests support from CB 5 on light rail plan

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The plan to bring commuter light rail to Glendale is chugging along.

Hoping to garner support from Community Board 5’s (CB 5) Transportation and Public Transit Committees, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley presented her plans for a light rail infrastructure on the former lower Montauk line during the committees’ joint meeting on Tuesday night.

“What I would like to do as the next step in pushing this plan forward is why I’m here tonight: to engage you to consider putting a resolution together to support this plan, or something similar, to bring commuter rail back to this line,” Crowley said. “And I’m putting together a mission statement and a task force.”

Crowley believes that a commuter light rail line could benefit the communities it would service in several ways, the first being to bring more transportation options to Glendale.

“I don’t need to tell you, I live here right by Atlas Park, that this has been somewhat of a transportation desert in comparison to much of the rest of the city that is in such close proximity to the core,” Crowley said.

A light rail line, operating on the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Montauk branch, would create a connection from Glendale to Long Island City. Crowley proposes that the line would start at The Shops at Atlas Park, where there are 1,300 parking spaces available, with stops heading west, terminating at the Hunterspoint Avenue LIRR stop, which has a train depot to store and turn trains around.

The Montauk line also connects to the LIRR Bushwick branch, which is heavily used by freight rail but offers a potential light rail connection to Brooklyn, the legislator noted.

“I’m thinking if we bring it back … you could have an [interborough] connection to get to Brooklyn … that interborough connection is important and we need to improve on that,” Crowley said.

Adding a light rail line, Crowley noted, would also entice some of the young, creative professionals moving into Bushwick and Ridgewood to relocate or open up businesses in Glendale and other surrounding communities, thus creating economic growth.

“If you look at the line, there is a lot of underutilized manufacturing which is also threatening us,” Crowley said. “We have rich architecture in these old loft-style buildings which could provide opportunities for new technologies and economic development if we had a way to bring people to jobs that could be created in these buildings.”

In order to get her plan moving, the councilwoman has already met with several of her colleagues in the government including Assemblymen Mike Miller and Andrew Hevesi, Congresswoman Grace Meng, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“Right now, they all like what we’re discussing,” Crowley said. “I haven’t heard many negatives other than where are we going to get the money for this project.”

Members of the committees saw the potential in Crowley’s current plan, and even looked further ahead to a much larger plan extending the line to the west and the east.

“If you look at a master plan so to speak, this would be phase one of the master plan. You want to create this rail from a Glendale station in Atlas Park to wherever,” said CB 5 Chair Vincent Arcuri. “Eventually then the next phase would be into Sunnyside, 63rd Street, down the Second Avenue East Side Access. The third phase could be the Rockaway Branch, so that may be a whole presentation and we were the first ones to come out in favor of a rail transportation system on the Rockaway Branch.”

Some committee members were concerned over what type of effect a rail line like this would have on the freight operations on the line. Crowley responded by saying that companies are looking to increase the amount of freight, and if the community does not recognize this track as a benefit then it might be taken over for freight transportation.

The committees are expected to come up with a resolution on Crowley’s plan in the weeks ahead.


DOT proposes more bike lanes to CB 5 district

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Cyclists in Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and Ridgewood may soon have more lanes for pedaling.

Phase two of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to bring a comprehensive network of bike lanes to Community Board 5 (CB 5) is set to begin implementation on Oct. 1. After that, even more bike lanes could be on the horizon with a potential phase three.

Representatives from the DOT proposed a third phase consisting of three bike lane options to expand the network around the CB 5 neighborhoods during the board’s Transportation and Public Transit Services committees combined meeting on Tuesday night.

“What I would like to discuss tonight are three different ideas on how to continue to expand this network, to make connections into other neighborhoods and to improve mobility options for cyclists,” said Aaron Fraint, DOT project manager.

The three corridors the DOT has proposed in this third phase are 69th Street from Eliot Avenue to Maurice Avenue; 80th Street from Juniper Boulevard North to 57th Avenue; and Juniper Boulevard North from Lutheran Avenue to Dry Harbor Road.

Each of these corridors require their own unique type of bike lanes.

The strip of 69th Street that the DOT has identified as a potential bike lane route has varying widths, requiring the DOT to implement a series of bike lanes, parking lane stripes and shared lanes along the roadway.

For 80th Street, DOT is proposing adding a bike lane in both directions, keeping both travel lanes, having an 8-foot parking lane and adding in a 4-foot flush median.

The DOT has put forth two options for the proposal of the Juniper Boulevard North section: creating a standard configuration of a bike lane in both directions or adding a parking protected two-way bike path along the edge of Juniper Valley Park.

However, the two-way bike lane option does come with a caveat.

“Anywhere that we have a bicycle path where motor vehicle drivers are allowed to cross the path, we have to do something called a mixing zone,” Fraint said. “Basically it’s about five car lengths where you remove parking and you sort of adjust the sight lines of the motorist as well as the cyclist, and you give them space to cross over and safely negotiate the space at the same time.”

The two-way bike lane would intersect with 80th Street and Dry Harbor Road, requiring two mixing zones. This would cause the loss of approximately 10 parking spaces to accommodate both mixing zones.

The board can choose between either option, or decide that no bike lanes should be installed at this location.

This proposal is still in the planning phase and will not see any implementation until phase two of the plan is complete and the committees sign off on the changes they would like to see.


Maspeth residents call foul on late nights at Metropolitan Oval soccer field

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan's office

Maspeth residents raised the yellow card over late-night problems at a local soccer field, prompting a local lawmaker to take action.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan visited on Monday with several Maspeth families to discuss issues centered around the Metropolitan Oval soccer field, located in the vicinity of 60th Street and 59th Avenue, and possible solutions.

Maspeth residents Francesco Pellot and Norma Canepa say that they have witnessed excessive noise, alcohol use, littering and loitering at very late hours into the night on several occasions during the summer at the soccer complex.

Pellot and Canepa raised these issues at Community Board 5’s (CB 5) September meeting, and have collected over 100 signatures on a petition to call on the Metropolitan Oval soccer field to change its policies and become better neighbors to the community. The petition calls on the soccer field to reduce its noise levels, eliminate alcohol and suspected drug use, reduce littering around the area, improve the field’s security and close at a reasonable time.

“My office received several complaints from local residents about this establishment,” Nolan said in a statement. “The Metropolitan Oval has an obligation to be a good corporate citizen and respect the quality of life of nearby residents. I am optimistic that all parties involved can come to a resolution.”

Nolan passed these complaints along to the 104th Precinct and the Department of Sanitation, which has forwarded the complaints to their Enforcement Unit.

“I forwarded these very serious complaints to several city agencies including the 104th Precinct, which responded and has monitored the situation for the past several weeks,” Nolan said. “Thank you Captain Wachter and the 104th Precinct for tackling this very serious issue. I look forward to hearing back from the other agencies so we can continue to preserve the quality of life for all our local residents.”

The 4.2-acre Metropolitan Oval hosts a U.S. Soccer Development Academy of the same name that allows youths of all ages to play and learn the fundamentals of soccer through specialized training programs, camps and clinics.

The Ridgewood Times reached out to Metropolitan Oval for comment and is awaiting a response.


Ridgewood street renamed for beloved local activist and educator

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Elected officials, civic leaders, neighbors, friends and family gathered at the corner of Suydam Street and Cypress Avenue on Saturday to honor the legacy of longtime neighborhood activist, teacher and Ridgewood resident Ann Maggio.

Maggio, who died in 2013 at the age of 90, moved to Suydam Street as a teenager with her parents back in 1939, and went on to teach at the former St. Aloysius School from 1967 to 1983. However, Maggio is perhaps best known for her tireless efforts and commitment to improving the neighborhood in which she lived.

In 1984, she partnered with former Borough President Claire Shulman and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan to renovate the Grover Cleveland Park Athletic Field and help rid the area of chronic drug use and illicit activities. She co-founded the former Suydam Street Block Association in 1985, and went on to establish the Citizens for a Better Ridgewood civic group nearly a decade later. Maggio also served on Community Board 5 for many years.

During Saturday’s ceremony, City Council member Antonio Reynoso shared his memories of Maggio as both a community leader and personal hero.

“She was as pure-hearted and as great a person that you could ever find here in the city of New York, but especially in this community. It really breaks my heart that she’s no longer with us,” he said. “She was part of a system of politics here that wasn’t always the greatest. She said, ‘Antonio, don’t let that be who you become. Be better and do well.’”

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan remembered Maggio as a longtime friend, educator and role model. Long before their collaboration on improving the Grover Cleveland Athletic Field, Nolan had Maggio as her fifth-grade teacher at St. Aloysius School.

“She made a great impression on me, and particularly so many women and girls, because she held herself to a very high standard,” Nolan explained. “She was showing us that you could be a mom, a teacher and a wonderful, compassionate person. She never stopped using her education to help other people. She was really a pioneer in many ways. I feel a great personal debt to her.”

Ann Maggio's grandson Andrew, son Anthony, daughter-in-law Tracy and daughter Joann holding up the new street sign as a tribute to their mother

Ann Maggio’s grandson Andrew, son Anthony, daughter-in-law Tracy and daughter Joann holding up the new street sign as a tribute to their mother

“She may have been a petite lady, but she was a giant on the issues that mattered to her,” added Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. “At a time when the country is so divided, people like Ann reminded us that we need to do better. We are a better place, right here in Ridgewood, because of people like Ann Maggio.”

Rev. George Poltorak of St. Aloysius Church offered a blessing shortly before Maggio’s family addressed the crowd, thanking them for the moving tribute. Young children pulled the string to unveil Ann Maggio Way as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played. A random group of butterflies flew over the crowd as a sign, some believed, of Maggio’s presence.

“Our mom, Ann, always gave and did her best and encouraged those around her to do the same,” daughter Joann Maggio said. “She was someone who shaped many lives. She was a compassionate person and woman of integrity. She always put others ahead of herself. All have been made better by knowing her. I’m proud to call her our mom.”


Questions over dorms cast shadow on Glendale yeshiva’s future

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Googlemaps

It’s nothing personal; it’s just business.

While acknowledging they were on good terms with the owners of Glendale’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS), Community Board 5’s (CB 5) Land Use Committee recommended on Monday that the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) deny the yeshiva’s application for a zoning variance.

The YGS seeks the variance to allow the seminary located at 74-10 88th St. to build an extension that would combine the two buildings on the campus into one four-story building. The project would also add dormitories and bathrooms for the 1,050 students who attend the facility.

“I think the community as a whole is extremely uncomfortable with how we got to this point and why we got to this point with a lack of transparency,” said CB 5 member Kathy Masi.

Committee members contend that when the building opened in 2006, the yeshiva was allowed to put dormitory space in the building when living quarters are not permitted within the M1-1 zone where the yeshiva is located, without approaching CB 5.

“The number one concern that has been related me is that [the YGS] seem to have gotten the ability to put a dorm there which was entirely against any kind of zoning regulations,” said Walter Sanchez, chair of the Land Use Committee. “We’re not sure how that happens without coming to the community board first.”

Jay Goldstein, the lawyer who represents the YGS, assured the committee that the yeshiva is operating in compliance with their Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

“We have a C of O, again this was fully reviewed; this was not a self-certified job in 2006, there is a temporary C of O and a C of O that both reference the dormitories,” Goldstein said. “The Department of Buildings has come into the building and inspected the building and seen the dormitories, and they said … no violation warranted, it’s operating based off the C of O.”

The committee also believes that placing additional bathrooms and dormitory space in the facility will adversely affect the neighborhood’s infrastructure, mainly the water and sewage lines, where the zoning permits no residences.

The full community board will hear the Land Use Committee’s recommendation at its Oct. 14 meeting and make a recommendation of its own before sending it off to the BSA, which has the final say in granting the variance.


Street resurfacing coming to parts of Maspeth and Middle Village

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Street repairs are coming this fall for areas of Maspeth and Middle Village, according to Community Board 5 (CB 5).

After several streets within CB 5 were listed on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) tentative priority list for resurfacing, it was announced recently that 13 roads in northern Maspeth and southern Middle Village will get resurfaced.

Beginning in October or November, the streets are slated to be milled — a process in which the top layer of asphalt is removed from the street — followed by the application of the new asphalt to complete the repaving.

“They’re here milling in preparation for resurfacing,” said Gary Giordano, district manager for CB 5. “A lot of the streets on the list are in either northern Maspeth or the older portion of Middle Village, south Middle Village to most. I’m pleased that roadways in those two areas are getting resurfaced, especially in the northern part of Maspeth, especially since the avenues are in less than fair condition.

The following areas are scheduled for resurfacing:

  • 58th Place between Maspeth Avenue and Grand Avenue
  • Woodward Avenue from Metropolitan Avenue to Troutman Street
  • Stanhope Street between Grandview and Seneca avenues
  • 60th Lane from Flushing Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue
  • 60th Street from Flushing Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue
  • 60th Drive between 60th Street and Fresh Pond Road
  • 60th Place between Metropolitan Avenue and Eliot Avenue
  • 63rd Street from 59th Drive to Flushing Avenue
  • 58th Road from 64th Street to 66th Street
  • 66th Street between 58th Road and 59th Avenue
  • 59th Avenue from 66th Street to Fresh Pond Road
  • 64th Street between Flushing Avenue and 59th Drive
  • Aubrey Avenue from 88th Street to Metropolitan Avenue

“They’re going to resurface that portion of Woodward Avenue between Metropolitan and [Troutman]. That street there is very deteriorated,” Giordano said. “There is a lot truck traffic in that area. Two things that will really improve the look of the street and will give people a better outlook on their street is if the resurfacing is done properly and if street trees are planted. It will give the street a better look and give people a better outlook on their block.”


CB 5 splits again over liquor license for event at Maspeth arts venue

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com


Concerns over liquor license applications for events at Maspeth’s Knockdown Center continue to rise up for Community Board 5 (CB 5).

The Knockdown Center, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave., has been tapped by a catering company to host an architectural symposium where alcohol will be served. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, Sept. 18, and will host a dinner for 250 guests from 8 to 10 p.m. and an after party for 1,000 people from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. the following morning.

The art venue was recently granted a liquor license from the State Liquor Authority (SLA), pending the Knockdown Center getting a valid certificate of occupancy (C of O). The Knockdown Center still has not received its valid C of O, so its liquor license is currently not in effect.

Because the Knockdown Center does not have its liquor license, the caterers — The Cleaver Company — wish to use their liquor license to allow alcohol to be sold at the one-day event.

“Caterers have a floating license because they do these types of events,” said CB 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri. “Because of the prior controversy and current situation with them not having a valid C of O, [The Cleaver Company] needed to get a letter of no objection from the community board.”

The architectural symposium would not be part of the limited number of events the Knockdown Center is allowed to hold outlined in the liquor license stipulations set forth by the SLA.

CB 5 members landed on both sides of the fence on whether to approve this request.

Several members thought that it may be a good idea to vote in favor of the temporary permit, arguing that this offered the Knockdown Center an opportunity to prove itself to the board.

Others, however, did not want to risk allowing this event to be held without the Knockdown Center having a valid C of O, and permitting an event to take place that would not count toward the agreed upon number of events with the SLA.

In the end, CB 5 voted against The Cleaver Company’s application, 24-15, with two abstaining votes. Even so, the SLA makes the final decision whether or not to approve the permit.


Community Board 5 talks parks for capital budget priorities

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The city should set aside big bucks for park improvements in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, according to residents and members of Community Board 5 (CB 5).

Several parks within CB 5 are either in need of repairs or are due to receive repairs. The community board wants to make sure that such projects are included in the city’s fiscal year 2017 capital budget.

Rosemary’s Playground in Ridgewood, Frank Principe Park in Maspeth and Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village were main areas of concern with the community board mentioned during a special public hearing on the budget on Sept. 9 in Middle Village.

Rosemary’s Playground has been a focus of CB 5 for several months now, and it is garnering even more attention. Parents have been fighting to improve the conditions at the park and although some work has been done, more work is needed.

“There were small fixes done on the playground” in the last couple of months, said Steffi Sauer, member of the Friends of Rosemary’s Playground group. “Safety hazards were fixed so that’s great news. We want to thank the Parks Department for that, but again a lot more has to be done.”

The deteriorating condition of the park’s equipment has been addressed as well, but additional work is still needed.

“They scraped down the play equipment. They haven’t repainted that play equipment yet,” said CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano. “But now what’s going on is we are hearing people want a dog run in Ridgewood, and Rosemary’s Playground is one of the places that people are talking about. But when you’re talking about Ridgewood, you’re talking about a lot of users competing for small spaces.”

One park that is slated for repairs is Frank Principe Park. Last year Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley allocated over $5 million in city funding to repair the park’s baseball fields and running track.

“We need to, I think, push the Parks Department as far as design goes, but there is a substantial amount of money to our knowledge for the reconstruction of Frank Principe Park,” Giordano said. “With soccer booming in a lot of ways…that is a place that can really serve very well for soccer in Maspeth.”

Crowley has also funded the reconstruction of Juniper Valley Park’s running track and turf soccer field.

“I believe there’s 2 million dollars available for renovations in that part of Juniper,” Giordano said regarding the soccer field/running track area of the park.

As in previous years, CB 5 is also prioritizing improvements to the Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park on the Brooklyn-Queens border.


Opponents rail against Glendale yeshiva expansion during CB 5 meeting

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Googlemaps

Residents packed the CNL Center at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village on Wednesday night to speak out on the proposed expansion of Glendale’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS) during a Community Board 5 public hearing.

Many in attendance opposed the YGS plan for a Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) zoning variance allowing the seminary at 74-10 88th St. to build an extension to combine the two buildings on the campus into one, four-story building, adding more dormitories and bathrooms.

“The building itself, as it stands, will remain,” said attorney Jay Goldstein, who represents the yeshiva. “The enlargement will be the one-story portion closest to 88th Street [that will] receive three additional floors which will be dormitory rooms, and then there will be a four-story addition with a cellar which will act as a gymnasium, also classrooms and the additional dorm space.”

In the variance, the YGS seeks to reclassify the yeshiva as a religious school, since the building’s use is not permitted under the existing manufacturing zoning for the site, which is in an M1-1 zoning district.

“The yeshiva currently has 1,050 students,” Goldstein said. “Those students are extremely cramped within the learning space they are in right now … and the yeshiva seeks to expand to allow them to have extra classrooms so that they can have a better learning experience.”

Currently, the yeshiva has 360 dorm beds and seeks to expand to 710 dorm beds for the current student population.

“The yeshiva is not seeking an enlargement of the building to increase the population of the school. The population of the school is going to remain the same,” Goldstein assured the board.

Opponents of the variance pointed back to 2006, when the yeshiva was constructed. According to Dawn Scala, a Glendale resident, the original certificate of occupancy (C of O) for the yeshiva listed on the Department of Buildings’ website did not mention dorms on the site.

“In October of 2007, another temporary C of O was issued. This time it did mention accessory offices and dorms,” Scala said. “In January of 2008 a final C of O was issued and it mentions … accessory offices and dorms. So I looked at the zoning regulations and I discovered the following … sleeping accommodations are not allowed in M1-1 zone.”

This raised questions as to the legality of the current dorms at the yeshiva.

Several board members and residents also raised concerns over what adding more dormitories and bathrooms would do to the already stressed sewer system in Glendale.

“Now the dormitory situation is still the same as it was in 2006, we have a faulty infrastructure in Glendale, as the chair will tell you,” said Kathy Masi, CB 5 member. “We’re doing sewers regularly, we’re doing roads regularly, we’re trying to get caught up, and I just feel, as I did in 2006, that the impact on this is going to be terrible for the community.”

Although the community has concerns over the expansion, the YGS believes that if the BSA grants the variance for the extension, it will benefit the community by lowering the number of buses the yeshiva requires to transport students to and from their homes in Williamsburg to the school each day.

“By allowing for the additional beds it will significantly reduce the number of buses that travel back and forth every day,” Goldstein said. “It’s anticipated that the number of buses will be cut, approximately, in half.”

The CB 5 Land Use Committee is looking to set up a meeting with the YGS to tour the yeshiva and evaluate the property and the proposed expansion before making a recommendation to the board.


CB 5 to examine proposed expansion of Glendale yeshiva

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/Property Shark

Glendale residents can speak out at next week’s Community Board 5 meeting regarding plans to build additional dormitories and classroom space at the neighborhood’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS).

Plans to expand the campus located at 74-10 88th St., the former Monarch knitting mill, will be the focus of a public hearing at the Sept. 9 meeting of CB 5, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the CNL Center at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village.

Currently serving 1,050 students within two buildings on the site, the YGS is seeking a Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) variance to erect an extension and unite the buildings into one, four-story campus. The expansion would result in the creation of 28 new classrooms and 177 dormitory rooms, accommodating approximately 710 dormitory beds.

Abraham Markowitz, YGS building manager, told the Ridgewood Times on Monday the extension will allow more students to reside on campus; currently, the facility offers dormitory rooms accommodating 360 individuals. The remaining pupils are shuttled from their homes in Williamsburg to Glendale each day via school buses that the yeshiva charters.

The additional dormitories would reduce the number of daily school bus trips from 15 to between four and six, Markowitz said. The expansion plans also call for the creation of a second curb cut from 88th Street, which would allow school buses to queue up on the yeshiva grounds rather than along the roadway.

“This is much better for the traffic and will be good for the community,” Markowitz said.

Before constructing the additions, he noted, the YGS must receive a BSA variance because the building’s use is not permitted under the existing manufacturing zoning for the site. Originally opened as a trade school — which is permitted “as-of-right” under manufacturing zoning rules — the yeshiva would be reclassified as a religious school under the variance.

The building could be completed within up to two years should the zoning variance be approved, according to Markowitz.

Speakers at the public hearing will each have up to 3 minutes to voice their opinions.

The Sept. 9 CB 5 meeting will also feature a hearing on capital and expense budget ideas related to Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village for the city’s 2017 fiscal year. CB 5 members will use the feedback provided at this hearing in forming its list of budget priorities in October.

Also on the agenda is a public forum, reports from Chairperson Vincent Arcuri and District Manager Gary Giordano, a review of demolition notices, a rundown of liquor license applications and committee reports.

For more information or to register to speak, call 718-366-1834.


Ridgewood to get 17-story mixed-use building on St. Nicholas Avenue

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Rendering courtesy of AB Capstone

Plans for a large scale 17-story mixed-use building in the heart of Ridgewood have been filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB), according to Community Board 5 (CB 5).

The mixed retail and residential building will encompass the footprint of the sites at 54-27 Myrtle Ave. and 336 and 350 St. Nicholas Ave. At 17 stories, it will dwarf the surrounding buildings.

According to the plans filed earlier this month, there will be two retail spaces within the mixed-use structure, as well as several office spaces.

The site will have 129 residential units, according to Meir Babaev, of developer AB Capstone, owner of the properties.

“We are not quite certain yet regarding the percentage of units that will or will not be affordable. This will depend on the mayor’s office,” Babaev said.

AB Capstone purchased the sites last year and has set aside 87,441 square feet of space for the residential portion of the building; 88,598 square feet for the commercial aspects; and 3,265 square feet for an as-of-yet undefined community facility. This will total a square footage of 179,304 square feet, according to plans.

Babaev also confirmed that the site will have “below-grade attended parking.”

For future residents who depend on public transportation, the development site is located a block from the L and M Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues subway station, and is near the B13, B26, B52, B54, Q55 and Q58 buses.


Street resurfacing slated for Community Board 5

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 25, 4:25 p.m.

Street resurfacing may be coming to south Middle Village and other nearby areas, but the roadways are still in need of a complete and long overdue overhaul.

All of the streets, except for one, within the area south of Metropolitan Avenue, east of 73rd Place, north of Cooper Avenue and west of 80th Street are currently on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) tentative priority list for repaving, but it has not yet been confirmed if they will be approved, according to Vincent Arcuri, chair of Community Board 5 (CB 5).

CB 5 has been trying to get a complete reconstruction of the area for the better part of two decades.

“We have been advocating to get these streets done for the last 20 years,” Arcuri said, “but we have had very little success. I can’t understand why. Middle Village is a hard-working, middle-class community that deserves this from the city.”

A full reconstruction of the streets would include replacing the underground sewer systems, a repaving of the streets, rebuilding curbs and walkways and more.

The DOT has offered to resurface the streets, a far cry from the full project CB 5 has been asking for. A resurfacing project would include the milling of the roadway — a process in which the top layer of asphalt is removed from the street — followed by the application of the new asphalt, with no work done to the underground utility lines.

“We are having mixed reactions about it,” Arcuri said of the DOT’s resurfacing plans. “Do we let the people suffer and wait to try and get a full reconstruction, or do we take the resurfacing which would postpone any other construction for at least five years?”

If the project is accepted by the DOT, it will begin in October or November, with a completion date near 2020, Arcuri said.

“The city has put together a plan to address these dangerous infrastructure flaws in south Middle Village. But when the city keeps delaying the ground breaking of such a plan, it is both unfair and negligent,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said. “This project is a long time coming and is needed by hardworking taxpayers. Once complete, we will have a safer and more livable community in Middle Village.”

Along with these Middle Village streets, several others within the confines of CB 5 are on the DOT’s tentative resurfacing list.

That list includes the following:

  • 58th Place between Maspeth and Grand avenues in Maspeth;
  • Stanhope Street between Grandview and Seneca avenues in Ridgewood;
  • 63rd Street between 59th Drive and Flushing Avenue in Maspeth;
  • 83rd Street between Cooper and Doran avenues in Glendale;
  • Rutledge Avenue between Woodhaven Boulevard and 88th Street in Glendale;
  • Palmetto Street between Fairview and Forest avenues in Ridgewood;
  • And several more.

Once confirmed, all street resurfacings are scheduled to begin this October or November.


Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation kicks off summer fundraising campaign

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation

The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation (GRRC) has begun its semi-annual fundraising campaign, asking members of the Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village communities to make donations to help fund programs that have made an important contribution to the areas’ quality of life.

The GRRC has been instrumental in stabilizing and upgrading the neighborhoods that make up Community Board 5 for the last 40 years, offering free programs such as landlord/tenant counseling, helping homeowners apply for low-interest home improvement loans, lobbying for street tree plantings, removing graffiti and more.

The donations will go towards the purchase of a lift for the hot pressure washer used in graffiti removal.

“The pressure washer is extremely heavy and getting it off and on the van is very difficult,” said Angela Mirabile, executive director of GRRC. “Our fundraising goal this year is $10,000 in private donations. This will cover the cost of the lift and replacement of worn equipment and supplies.”

The anti-graffiti program is one of the most used programs offered by GRRC. Last year, GRRC removed graffiti at 125 locations, and this year has cleaned over 110 sites. The organization anticipates cleaning 50 more sites by the end of November.

“It is evident that graffiti vandalism is once again on the rise, and we are doing our best to stay on top of it,” said Christa Walls, community liaison specialist for GRRC.

Mirabile added that funds will also go to cover general administration expenses as well as updating GRRC’s computer systems and software.

“In the past we have received donations ranging from $10 to $2,500. The people of our community support our effort and we are very thankful,” Mirabile said. “The public in this community has been very responsive to our campaign efforts. They are very active and we appreciate that.”

Donations can be made through the GRRC website, through PayPal or by mail to 68-56 Forest Ave., Ridgewood, NY 11385.


Star of Queens: Sarah Feldman, Community Board 5

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Sarah Feldman

Background: Sarah Feldman’s family was originally from New York City but moved to Houston in the ‘70s. Her parents then moved to the West Coast, where her father works for a software company. She moved back to New York in 2006 to study fine arts and web design at Parsons School of Design. Feldman moved to Ridgewood in 2011, where she met her fiance Neil Myers, and she fell in love with the neighborhood.

Occupation: Feldman is self-employed. She also owns a small jewelry business, Prince Peacock, and works at the YMCA teaching art to kids.

She owns Ridgewood Market, which sells affordable art, goods and alcohol.

“I wanted a safe environment that is community driven with the decisions of others,” Feldman said. “I wanted to bring awareness and a new, unbiased perspective of old businesses.” The next market will take place on Sept. 13.

Community Involvement: Feldman was recently appointed to Community Board 5. She’s one of the youngest people on the board and says that she’s learned so much already from the other board members.

“They’ve lived here all their lives,” Feldman said. “There is so much you can learn from them.”

Feldman additionally runs the Ridgewood Social website as its head of marketing.

Biggest Challenge: “The recession was scary,” Feldman said. Additionally, at one point, Feldman couldn’t leave the house due to a health problem.

She had a lot of social anxiety but was able to overcome it. Feldman absolutely loved the feeling of being welcomed into the Ridgewood community, and she has a very positive outlook on life.

Greatest Achievement: “My greatest achievement was my social anxiety not being as bad,” Feldman said. Now, she has more self-confidence, and she added that the people in her neighborhood definitely made her happier.

“Kindness can get you so much further in life than jealousy can,” Feldman said.

Biggest Inspiration: “My biggest inspiration was my grandmother and my stepmom,” Feldman said. Her grandmother, who passed away in 2008, was a creative artist and a feminist who was like a mother to Feldman.

Feldman’s stepmom was the mom she never had. She is self-sufficient and a great role model. “My stepmom practically saved my life,” Feldman said.



LIRR bridge work to close Glendale street

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Tom Walsh

A portion of a Glendale street is closed as the Long Island Rail Road reconstructs an overpass above it.

The LIRR is making repairs to the railroad bridge that runs above 65th Street between Otto Road and Shaler Avenue in Glendale, according to Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5.

The tracks, which are owned by the LIRR, are leased for use by New York and Atlantic Railway (NY&A). According to NY&A President Paul Victor, the project will require the entire bridge to be replaced. What makes this project more difficult is that it must be done “under traffic,” which means train operations will not stop during the construction.

Only one of the four tracks will be out of service at a time, according to Victor, which will allow NY&A’s freight trains to continue to operate during construction.

“The street is going to probably be closed for a two month period, give or take,” Victor said.

Giordano told the Ridgewood Times in a phone interview that he received verbal confirmation from the LIRR that “in all likelihood, the project will not be completed before the end of calendar year 2015.”

Emergency vehicles and residents should be prepared to use Cypress Hills Street or 80th Street as alternate routes while the bridge is closed, Giordano said.