Tag Archives: Dutch Kills

Partially developed controversial Dutch Kills hotel for sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Massey Knakal

The owner of a controversial, partially constructed hotel in Dutch Kills is selling the structure.

Residents protested and even sued to stop construction of the nine-story boutique hotel on 39-35 27th St. in the Long Island City neighborhood in 2010, according to published reports.

But now, with more than 20 new hotels opened over the last five years, the area has become a hot hotel market, and owner Steven Baharestani of Dutch Kills Partners LLC is hoping to sell the yet-to-be completed hotel to the highest bidder.

“The offering presents a unique opportunity to acquire a full or partial interest in a hotel in the construction phase, in one of the most rapidly developing hotel markets in the New York metro area,” said Andrew Posil, director of sales at Massey Knakalwhich is marketing the building.

Construction on the hotel is one-third complete, according to the real estate firm. It will be 38,000 square feet and have 79 rooms when finished.

Baharestani is looking for the best possible offer for the hotel, and there isn’t an asking price for the building, a Massey Knakal representative said.

The Buildings Department originally approved plans for the hotel back in 2007.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Street cleaning initiative expands to Dutch Kills


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office

More streets of western Queens will continue to shine as The Doe Fund expands into Dutch Kills.

The move into the Long Island City neighborhood comes a month after it was announced the nonprofit organization’s reach would be expanding to other areas of Long Island City and Hunters Point, and would also be remaining in Woodside.

The Doe Fund, which employs recently homeless or formerly incarcerated people as part of its Ready, Willing and Able transitional work program, will keep the sidewalks clean and clear corner trash cans on 36th Avenue from 27th to 36th streets.

Two workers will be on-site two days per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We continue to tackle the issue of street cleanliness head-on,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who secured $33,000 to begin The Doe Fund program in Dutch Kills. “The maintenance of our commercial corridors and residential streets is a top priority for me.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New Dutch Kills coffee shop looks to become community spot


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

One new shop owner hopes to bring the Dutch Kills community together over a cup of joe.

Beatrix Czagany will soon open Our Coffee Shop in the Long Island City neighborhood at 38-08 29th St. with plans to sell a variety of pastries, including Hungarian delicacies, coffees and teas.

The name of the spot comes from Czagany’s hope to become a coffee shop for the neighborhood.

“Personally owned coffee shops have more character than the coffee chains,” Czagany said. “I want to bring the people together again, like a community. I really want people to sit down, drink a coffee and have a normal conversation.”

The Astoria resident, who has been in the fitness and health business for 15 years, said she found the spot for her shop after passing by the vacant storefront while helping a friend move late last year.

Although she has no prior experience in owning a business, Czagany said her decision to open the coffee shop came from working at a friend’s pizza restaurant and realizing she enjoyed the interaction with customers better than at her current job.

She said she has also gone to numerous coffee shops throughout the city to get a taste of coffee types and an idea of site set-ups.

“I never ever thought I would be in the restaurant business. Many years ago I was thinking I would have my little own gym. And this is the opposite of that,” said Czagany, who immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 2002. “If someone told me, ‘You’re going to come to America and sell Hungarian stuff,” I would say, ‘Are you crazy?’”

Met with bills from having to fix up the site by herself and buying all equipment and items needed, Czagany has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds with hopes to open the shop by the end of September.

“I really just need a little backup,” she said. The goal of the campaign, which ends on Sept. 16, is set at $1,800.

For the time being, Our Coffee Shop will be selling pastries from Astoria bakeries as Czagany searches for local commercial kitchens where Hungarian delicacies could be handmade. She hopes to begin serving the Hungarian treats by December.

“I hope [customers] will get to know each other. It’s more like a little family spot. They are going to bring their own ideas here,” said Czagany, who hopes to hold community events at the shop. “It’s going to be shaped every month and every season there will be something new.”

Czagany plans to open Our Coffee Shop seven days a week starting at 6 a.m.

To donate to the Our Coffee Shop Kickstarter campaign, click here.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Two LIC bars battle over naming rights


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

One Long Island City neighborhood’s name is at the center of a battle brewing between two local bars.

The owner of Dutch Kills, a bar and restaurant located at 27-24 Jackson Ave. since 2009, filed a suit in Brooklyn Federal Court last week against the owners of Dutch Kills Centraal, a new establishment that opened up shop in September at 38-40 29th St.

According to court documents, the suit is over the name of the bar, which Dutch Kills owner Richard Boccato says has caused confusion among customers who essentially believe the two establishments are either the same or affiliated with one another.

“My clients want to protect the name they worked so hard to build,” said David DeStefano, Boccato’s attorney. “The issue is that there is confusion in the marketplace where people don’t know which bar is which.”

The suit is looking to have Dutch Kills Centraal discontinue the use of the trademarked “Dutch Kills” in its name, which the suit claims Boccato developed common law rights after five years, because he said it has caused “irreparable harm” to the business. He also wants to recover monetary damages for “trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive acts and practices, and unjust enrichment” from the use of the name.

DeStefano said his client sent a cease and desist letter in October asking Dutch Kills Centraal to cease using the name, but the letter was ignored. Future letters and calls were also ignored, said De Stefano.

However, Dominic Stiller, owner of Dutch Kills Centraal and president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, says the letters were just bullying him into changing the name with no reason or further discussion.

The Long Island City resident has put in a trademark application for the whole “Dutch Kills Centraal” name not solely the “Dutch Kills” portion, which is what Boccato is looking to do, Stiller said.

Stiller also said the community is asking the MTA to change the 39th Avenue subway station to 39th Avenue – Dutch Kills.

He said when he gave his bar a name he did not give it a second thought because it represented a “wonderful 400-year-old neighborhood” he lives and works in, and where his daughter attends school.

“I created Dutch Kills Centraal to be a gathering place for the community,” Stiller said. “Often after the Dutch Kills Civic Association meeting there was nowhere to go to have a drink and some food, this pub needed renovation, we did it, and now we have a great place that Dutch Kills is proud of.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Community pushes for pedestrian safety in western Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Update Tuesday, October 1, 6:00 p.m. 

After three pedestrians were struck in the last three months — two fatally and one left in critical condition — the western Queens community is asking for safer traffic measures. 

According to police, on Friday, September 13 a woman was struck and killed as she was crossing Queens Plaza North and 27th Street. Just two month before, on July 2, another woman was struck and critically injured on 29th Street, just two blocks down. 

“We have a growing epidemic where pedestrians are not safe on the sidewalks and the streets of Queensboro Plaza,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who recently helped bring improvements to an intersection in front of LaGuardia Community College where a 16-year-old high school student was struck and killed in March. “Dutch Kills and Long Island City are home to thousands of new residents as well as hundreds of growing businesses. More and more people are crossing through Queensboro Plaza every single day.”

Van Bramer gathered along with other elected officials and residents on Friday, September 27 at the intersection of Queens Plaza North and 27th Street to ask the Department of Transportation (DOT) for street safety enhancements to the busy plaza near the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. 

The changes to increase pedestrian safety at Queensboro Plaza include extending the current 20 second countdown clocks at the crosswalks to give pedestrians more time to cross the congested streets and installing more street signage allowing pedestrians to be more alert of bicycle lanes.

“Crossing Queens Plaza should not be like playing Frogger,” said Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives. “We’re sending the message that traffic crashes are preventable.”

According to the DOT, between 2007 to 2011, there has been one reported pedestrian injury at the intersection of Queens Plaza North and 27th Street and from 2007 to present, there has been one fatality.

“Safety is DOT’s top priority and the agency is currently reviewing the location to see if there are ways to further enhance safety at this intersection and the surrounding area for all street users, including possible upgrades to signage,” said Nicholas Mosquera, DOT spokesperson.

A day after the call for safety measures in Queens Plaza, 19 year old Luis Bravo lost his life in a hit-and-run along Broadway in Woodside.

“Yet another person has been killed here in western Queens as a result of a vehicular collision,” said Van Bramer. “For over a year now the Department of Transportation has not done anything about motorists speeding along Broadway here in Woodside. Every time a pedestrian is struck and dies as a result of a vehicular collision we will speak out against it.”

Photo Courtesy Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

The councilmember gathered with local officials and residents on October 1 at the corner of 58th Street and Broadway where Bravo was struck and the vehicle fled the scene, to ask the DOT to bring safety measures to that area as well.

“It is heartbreaking anytime a young person’s life is lost, but this instance hurts because it was so sudden and the driver who killed Luis and sped off is still at large,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “I urge everyone in our community to join together to bring this hit-and-run driver to justice, and I urge the DOT to do everything it can to make our streets safer.”

Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is encouraged to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers by calling 800-577-TIPS.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Long Island City neighborhood calls for traffic safety improvements


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Benjamin Fang

ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND BENJAMIN FANG

As the Dutch Kills neighborhood in Long Island City continues to grow, local politicians and residents are calling on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve traffic safety.

“The city must ensure that its priority remains the safety of neighborhood residents,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “We are trying to be proactive on this side of the plaza and make sure that the residents and people who are staying in hotels here are safe as they walk the streets and visit all the new businesses.”

According to Gianaris and Dominic Stiller, president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, there have been six to seven car crashes and accidents over the past several months at intersections in the neighborhood from 38th Avenue and 40th Avenue to 21st Street and 30th Street.

Through a petition, residents are asking the DOT for curb extensions, speed bumps, more four-way stop signs, new stop signs and enforcement of existing traffic laws to reduce speeding and unsafe driving as well as enhance pedestrian safety.

“This is a topic where lives can be saved,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “We don’t want to wait until someone dies here before the Department of Transportation takes all of these really good suggestions.”

A DOT spokesperson said safety is department’s first priority. Nicholas Mosquera added the DOT has met with Gianaris to discuss safety enhancements at 39th Avenue and 29th Street, an area which the agency is reevaluating for extra stop signs and marking upgrades. The DOT is also inspecting the Queensboro Plaza area to figure out if there are any additional methods needed to increase safety.

The DOT has also launched an outreach initiative in the area and positioned street safety managers to help pedestrians and bicyclists near Dutch Kills Park.

“This initiative is part of a citywide campaign to educate and promote shared responsibility for everyone using the streets,” said Mosquera said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New park unveiled in Dutch Kills


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer:

The city has reinvented “parking” in Dutch Kills.

Elected officials united on April 4 to officially unveil a new park in the community, Dutch Kills Green at Queens Plaza – which was a former John F. Kennedy Airport commuter parking lot. The space, which is one-and-a-half acres large, extends along Queens Plaza North and Queens Plaza South and from Northern Boulevard and Queens Plaza East west to 21st Street in Long Island City.

The project broke ground in 2009, and includes 489 new trees, wetlands, landscaped medians, artist-designed benches and a great deal of open space. Pedestrian, bicycle and roadway improvements were made as well, with the installation of new crosswalks and sidewalks, countdown pedestrian signals and improved lighting aimed at enhancing the overall traffic environment

While looking towards the neighborhood’s future, the project also commemorates its past by incorporating an active reuse of historic millstones – previously embedded in a traffic island of the parking lot – allowing residents to appreciate the borough’s agricultural significance.

“The opening of the park at Queen Plaza represents the ongoing transformation of an area which is the gateway of Queens,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents L.I.C. “That gateway should be as inviting as the people of Queens. This park is an expansion of a neighborhood green space that will be an oasis for residents and workers alike. This is a great day for Dutch Kills, Queens Plaza and all of L.I.C.”

Back to school drive collects 4,000 items


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

doc4e933db85223a229384572

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is “driving” the students of I.S. 125 towards success.

The councilmember joined parents, faculty and students at the school, located at 46-02 47th Avenue in Woodside, on October 5 to donate supplies gathered from his 2nd annual Back to School Supply Drive.

The drive received over 4,000 items, all donated by members of the community. Supplies were collected at Van Bramer’s office and at five libraries throughout his district. Among the donated items were book bags, writing materials and rulers.

The drive supports a number of local schools in the councilmember’s district, and his next donation delivery will be to P.S. 166 in Dutch Kills.

“I am so proud to live in a community where everyone chips in and does their part to better their surroundings and enhance the lives of all of our children,” said Van Bramer. “I would like to thank all of those who donated to the drive. You have helped these students receive the tools they need to succeed. This is an effort I was happy to begin last year, and look forward to continuing every year.”

Smart students at I.S. 204 will learn on smart boards


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

In today’s evolving world, advancements in education come hand-in-hand with technological innovations, and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is assuring that the students of I.S. 204 are not left behind.

The councilmember attended I.S. 204’s first PTA meeting of the year on September 27 and announced that he is allocating $50,000 of his capital funding to improving technology at the school, including providing each classroom with a new smart board.

Through Van Bramer’s efforts, I.S. 204, located at 36-41 28th Street in Long Island City, also received $40,000 over the past two years to fund its Cultural After School Adventure program with the Intrepid Museum.

“I.S. 204 is a vital school in the community of Dutch Kills and Long Island City,” said the councilmember. “The students deserve to have a nurturing environment, rigorous coursework and current technology that will give them the skills to transition smoothly into high school and be a productive member of society. I am pleased to have been able to provide these resources.”