Tag Archives: Department of Buildings

LIC Clock Tower and vacant site sell for $77M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

Those looking to preserve the Long Island City Clock Tower may be running out of time.

Queens Plaza Park Development LLC bought the tower, which was the former Bank of Manhattan building, and an adjoining vacant site for a combined $77 million, according to property records filed with the city on Saturday.

Community members are hoping to landmark the building on 29-27 Queens Plaza North to avoid its development, according to recently published reports, after LIC Clock Tower LLC bought the tower in May for $15 million, city records show.

In just a few months, the price of the tower doubled and sold for $30.9 million. The buyer also purchased the vacant land at 29-37 41st Ave. for $46.3 million.

The vacant site has more than 205,000 buildable square feet. Queens-based developer Steve Cheung purchased the vacant site for $8 million in 2011, city records show, and last year he filed with the Department of Buildings for a 30-story residential tower with 242 units at the vacant site.

Plans for the Clock Tower site have yet to be filed with the Buildings Department.

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Construction progressing on boxy mixed-use building on Jackson Avenue


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre, renderings courtesy of ODA

Not long ago, foundation work was completed for a 11-story mixed-use residential and retail building in Long Island City.

Now construction work is moving on the ODA-designed project, and the lower levels of the 22-22 Jackson Ave. building are starting to take shape.

A construction poster at the site says the building is due to be completed by the summer of 2015.

The building, which is directly across from the crumbling 5Pointz site and MoMA PS1, will have more than 5,500 square feet of retail space and 175 rental units, according to filings with the Buildings Department.

It will feature an exposed concrete façade, a two-story lobby with lounge and library spaces, a gym, an indoor pool and a roof deck, according to ODA’s website.


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Seven-story residential building The Marx coming to Astoria


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Fogarty Finger

An early rendering of a new seven-story residential building called The Marx, which is planned for Astoria, was revealed Thursday.

The new structure at 34-32 35th St. will replace two small houses and a parking lot, according to 6sqft.

The building will have 33 units throughout nearly 30,000 square feet, according to filings with the Buildings Department.

Fogarty Finger is designing the project, which will also have 18 parking spaces. In addition, the Manhattan-based architecture firm is working on an 11-story condominium building in Long Island City for Charney Construction & Development.

Also in Astoria, developer New York Lions Group is working on an eight-story, 77-unit condominium called The Baron, at 14-07 Broadway.

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Massive development site near Queens Place and Queens Center malls sells for $26M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal.

A large parking lot behind Queens Place mall in Elmhurst sold for $26.5 million, according to property records filed on Saturday.

The lot, located at 88-18 Justice Ave., has about 227,352 square feet of buildable space, according to Massey Knakal, which listed the parcel of land in March, as The Courier reported.

Justice Ave Tower, LLC bought the property from 86-55 Queens Blvd. Corp., according to city records.

There have been no plans submitted for the site with the Department of Buildings as of yet.

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Townhouses planned for recently sold LIC sites


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark.

GDC Properties is hoping to construct townhouse developments at two connecting sites in Long Island City that it recently purchased, according to a published report.

The townhouses will be on 11-22 45th Rd. and 45-35 11th St., the Commercial Observer reported.

The developer snatched up the sites for a combined $44 million. Eunhasu Corporation sold a one-story warehouse at 45th Road to GDC for $37 million and Kyu Heung Park sold a factory on 11th Street to the firm for $7 million, according to city records.

According to the Observer, GDC expects the townhouses to be complete in 18 months.

Demolition permits have already been filed with the Department of Buildings for the existing structures on both sites.

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Glassy 77-unit Astoria condominium revealed, construction to begin next year


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of New York Lions Group

Plans for construction on a luxury Astoria condo building blocks away from the waterfront will begin shortly as demolition of the old properties on the site is nearing completion.

Developer New York Lions Group hopes to begin working on the eight-story, 77-unit condominium called The Baron, at 14-07 Broadway in January, following approvals from the Department of Buildings. The building is expected to be completed by September 2016, according to Ramin Shirian, vice president of Lions Group.

The 73,500-square-foot building will stretch 182 feet wide from the corner of 14th Street and replace two auto mechanical shops. One was already leveled and demolition will commence shortly on the other.

The Raymond Chan Architect-designed building will feature a modern glass façade with terraces attached on each residence, offering unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline.

The building, which will be marketed by Modern Spaces, will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, measuring approximately 600, 1,000 and 1,550 square feet respectively.

The ground floor will have duplex apartments that mostly measure 1,000 square feet each, but there will be two duplex units with about 1,500 square feet.

The Baron will be loaded with amenities, including a garden on the second floor terrace, community common space on the roof, a children’s room and play area, a gym and bicycle racks.

There will be a doorman for the building and pets are allowed. There are also 41 parking spaces underground.

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Real estate roundup: Landmark LIC clock tower, Breezy Point chooses to rebuild


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark 

Locals Look to Landmark Clock Tower Building in Queens Plaza

“Residents who live near the former Bank of Manhattan building in Queens Plaza — known for its clock tower — are pushing to see the structure landmarked.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Breezy Point Residents Choose to Remain and Rebuild

“In the two years since Hurricane Sandy devastated New York’s waterfront, the city has undergone a painful recovery process. In Breezy Point, Sea Gate, Ocean Breeze and Oakwood Beach—some of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the storm—residents have struggled to choose between rebuilding or retreating from the water.” Read more [Curbed]

Half of Illegal Home Subdivision Complaints Are in Queens

“Half of city’s complaints about illegal apartment conversions or subdivisions are in Queens, prompting an aggressive approach by the Department of Buildings in the borough, according to a representative from the agency.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Full Reveal: Planned Parenthood at 21-41 45th Road

“Scaffolding is down at 21-41 45th Road, the future home of Planned Parenthood.” Read more [The Court Square Blog]

 

 

LIC warehouse sells for $37M, demolition on the way


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Binter/PropertyShark 

GDC Properties bought a warehouse in Long Island City that is ripe for development for $37 million, according to city records filed Monday.

The firm also applied for demolition permits with the Department of Buildings for the one-story 33,660-square-foot warehouse previously owned by Eunhasu Corporation. The warehouse is located at 11-22 45th Rd. in the Court Square area, which has seen numerous plans for development recently.

The property has 114,000 buildable square feet, according to The Real Deal.

Permits for a new building have not been filed at the site yet.

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Real estate roundup: Transformation of Jamaica, Brooklyn residents join Astoria Cove protests


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Luxury Residence Among Buildings Changing the Face of Jamaica

Jamaica, once an overlooked and crime-ridden area in Southeast Queens, has been undergoing a transformation into a vibrant neighborhood, with a slew of new upscale apartment buildings, hotels and stores.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Battered bulkheads and seawall spell danger for some Rockaway residents

“Jamaica Bay’s crumbling seawalls are putting some Queens residents in jeopardy of flooding. City Councilman Donovan Richards and other officials called on the city to repair Hurricane Sandy-damaged bulkheads in order to protect Arverne streets and homes from the bay’s deluge.” Read more [New York Daily News]

Protesters Link a Queens Project to Brooklyn Rents

“Negotiations over the fate of Astoria Cove, the first new city development to opt into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing program, have attracted no shortage of advocates and critics hoping to influence the process.” Read more [New York Times]

Borough Keeping Buildings Department Busy

“It seems that Queens continues to keep the city Department of Buildings very busy. That was the story Tuesday night at the Community Board 9 meeting as DOB officials detailed how active the borough is with complaints, inspections and penalties.” Read more [The Forum]

 

 

Kew Gardens Hills synagogues experience growing pains


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Nicholas Strini/PropertyShark

The large and expanding Jewish community in Kew Gardens Hills has fueled the need for synagogue expansions, according to religious leaders, but some projects hinge on special permits which aren’t always easy to obtain.

In the latest batch of synagogues seeking variances, Community Board 8 will host a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 27, regarding a structural expansion of one place of worship and special operational permits for another. This comes after the board denied an application in June for expansion of a third synagogue, which is still hoping to get approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals in an upcoming vote.

The congregation of Torath Haim Ohel Sara at 144-11 77th Ave. is hoping the community board approves changes to an extant variance to allow it to operate without the lawfully required amount of space in its front, side and rear yards. They also request an extension of time to operate without a certificate of occupancy.

But this property, which is also undergoing construction, has Buildings Department violations for ignoring a stop-work order, according to city records, and has accrued penalties totaling nearly $100,000. Calls for comment from the synagogue were not returned.

A synagogue Just a block away, in a two-story building at 147-02 76th Rd., will also come before the board, hoping to get approval to add a floor to make room for a school and an office for the rabbi.

Isak Ambramov of Sharey Tefilah Synagogue initially applied for a brand-new three-story building in 2010 on the site and architectural firm Gerald Caliendo was slated to design it. However, the Buildings Department disapproved the plans, city records show.

And there hasn’t been any movement on the expansion application of Sephardic Congregation at 141-41 72nd Ave.

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The community board denied its appeal for a variance to expand to three floors in June, after community residents strongly opposed it due to the potential increase of noise and garbage along with 15 existing Building Department violations. The application then went to Borough President Melinda Katz for a public hearing later in the month.

Community Board 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide told The Courier she has not heard from Borough Hall as yet on that variance.

The borough president’s “recommendation is still being worked on,” according to a spokesman from Katz’s office, who said it would not be coming out Thursday, but did not have a definitive time frame beyond that point.

The Board of Standards and Appeals has the final say on all the applications.

The community board hearing will be held at Parsons Junior High School, 158-40 76th Rd., at 7:30 p.m.

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Influx of new commercial centers arriving in Bayside


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Three new commercial buildings are coming to a section of Northern Boulevard in Bayside, bringing an influx of retail space to the neighborhood strip.

Jeewha Kim, president of 211 St. LLC, filed permits with the Buildings Department on Friday for a new three-story commercial center at 211-02 Northern Blvd.

The new building will have 19,993 square feet of space with 66 parking spaces when completed, according to city filings.

About a block away from that development site, permits were issued last year for a two-story commercial plaza at 212-14 Northern Blvd., and renderings have been posted on the construction site. However, a partial stop work order exists on the property.

This building, designed by Victor K. Han Architect, will have 12,030 square feet of space and 40 parking spaces, including some underground.

On-site poster

On-site poster

Also, 209 Northern Property LLC has almost completed its two-story commercial building at 209-35 Northern Blvd.

That development will have 24,865 square feet and 84 spaces for parking, according to city records.

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Take a first look at new interior of Sandy-wrecked Peninsula library as construction is set to begin soon


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of Queens Library

The long chapter of devastation is coming to an end for the Peninsula library in Rockaway Beach.

The building on Beach 92nd Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard was “the hardest hit” library in the borough by Hurricane Sandy, according to a Queens Library spokeswoman, and has yet to reopen after nearly two years.

Service has been operating out of a trailer since January 2013, but officials are securing permits and bids to complete reconstruction and hope to open the library by early 2015.

“Beginning to rebuild the permanent library was delayed while we worked with FEMA and the city to establish how to proceed,” a representative for the library said. “Since this library had been scheduled for a complete redesign and renovation prior to the storm, we are taking this opportunity to present the community with a greatly enhanced library.”

The rebuilt library will include a larger multipurpose room for public use, which will allow for community events and meetings even if the library is closed.

There will also be a new adult reading area, children’s room and teen area with furniture and computers. Modern customer service equipment will be added, including exterior machines to return books at any time. And a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will be added throughout the building as well.

Adult reading area

Officials expect the Department of Buildings to issue permits in a matter of weeks making way for reconstruction to begin.

The Queens Library is collecting bids until Oct. 6 for a contractor to provide mechanical, plumbing and flood barrier renovation work, according to city documents.

In June, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder announced that he secured more than $700,000 through the Public Library Construction Grant Program to help renovate the Ozone Park library and the Peninsula library. Goldfeder said $582,654 was awarded to the Peninsula library reconstruction.

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Mixed-use manufacturing and residential building planned for LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Plans for a new five-story, mixed-use residential and manufacturing building were filed for 40-05 Crescent St. in Long Island City.

The structure will house 32 apartments in 25,018 square feet of residential space, according to records with the Department of Buildings.

The building will also include 11,415 square feet of manufacturing space.

Crescent Owners LLC, which owns the one-story manufacturing building currently on the lot, also filed for 48 enclosed parking spaces.

T.F. Cusanelli and Filletti Architects are designing the building.

 

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Plans for 16-story Two Fulton Square in Flushing moving ahead


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

With construction on twin 12-story towers at One Fulton Square wrapping up, The F&T Group is moving on to its sibling project at Two Fulton Square across the street.

The company filed plans with the Department of Buildings (DOB) on Tuesday for the project, which will be located on 39th Avenue between College Point Boulevard and Prince Street in downtown Flushing, about a block away from the No. 7 train.

One Fulton Square

The new building will be a 16-story mixed-use commercial, residential and community site sitting on 1,192,954 square feet, and will replace Flushing Mall.

Two Fulton Square will house 397 apartments in 368,868 square feet of residential space, and have 520 enclosed parking spaces, according to DOB filings.

It will also include 350,711 square feet of commercial space and 32,703 square feet of community space, according to the filings.

The 170-foot-tall building is being designed by Margulies Hoelzli Architecture. F&T Group is expected to file plans with the Board of Standard and Appeals for variances soon.

“The F&T Group has been evaluating a number of options for the redevelopment of the Flushing Mall site and recently submitted building plans to the NYC Department of Buildings as the first step in a potential future submission to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA),” F&T Group said in a statement. “Once our plans for the BSA are finalized, we look forward to sharing them with the community.”

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LIC’s Secret Theatre to stay open after surpassing fundraising goal


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

The show will go on at one Long Island City theatre thanks to a successful online fundraising campaign.

Last month Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., started an Indiegogo campaign looking to raise enough money to help keep the doors of the theatre open.

The fundraising site came after Mazda said the theatre had to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012 after the Department of Buildings (DOB) found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date.

The goal of the Indiegogo campaign, which ends Sept. 4 at 11:59 p.m., was set at $10,000, and as of Thursday afternoon $10,860 had been raised.

“I feel really good about it,” Mazda said about seeing the overwhelming amount of support. “Coming out and saying we’re in trouble was not easy. I feel very luck that so many people did rush to help.”

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, produced in-house shows and co-produced productions.

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said the funds will go toward renovations such as putting a restroom inside the Little Theatre, which had to be moved to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building after violations were found by the DOB.

He also hopes to turn the theatre into a nonprofit organization.

Mazda said he plans to start the Queens Theatre Fund, a small organization which brings together the Queens theatre community to create funding for “exceptional and emergency circumstances,” such as the one in which the Secret Theatre found itself.

“I tried to be very transparent and sincere and a lot of people have said to me that what I was saying to them hit home. They understood from the way that I communicated the message,” Mazda said about the overall fundraising experience. “I think they realized the Secret Theatre is a resource for the community.”

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