Tag Archives: Flushing

Four sought in Flushing massage parlor assault, attempted robbery


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A group of men walked into a Flushing massage parlor last month and punched a man repeatedly in a failed robbery, cops said.

The incident happened at 135-28 40th Rd., near Main Street just after 11 p.m. on March 29.

After entering the massage parlor and heading to the second floor, the four suspects came up to the 48-year-old victim and tried to take his iPhone 6 from his front jacket pocket, police said. They then punched the victim several times, causing a laceration to the left side of his face.

The suspects fled on foot in an unknown direction without the victim’s property, cops said.

The victim was taken to Flushing Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

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 can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Disbarred Flushing attorney accused of stealing $34K in estate funds


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A Flushing man found himself on the wrong side of the law after the disbarred attorney stole $34,000 in legal expenses while handling an estate intended for a convent, prosecutors said.

John Giordanella, 48, was arraigned last week in Queens Criminal Court, where he was charged with third-degree grand larceny and a violation of the judiciary law (practice of law by an attorney who has been disbarred, suspended or convicted of a felony), according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Giordanella practiced law from 1990 until his disbarment on March 13, 2007, prosecutors said. But he allegedly not only continued to represent himself as a licensed attorney, but is accused of stealing when he was hired by a Kew Gardens Hills couple to handle the estate of their deceased friend.

The couple did not know Giordanella was disbarred, and entrusted him to handle the estate valued at $130,000. According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, any money left over after expenses were to be given to a convent.

Giordanella was given six checks, totaling $34,247, for expenses, such as securing bonds, a probate “fast track” fee and estate taxes, between February 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Giordanella also asked for an additional $20,000 to secure a bond and $6,247 to pay estate taxes. The six checks were allegedly deposited into the accounts of Giordanella and his wife.

According to the district attorney’s office, the will did not require the filing of a New York State estate tax return since the value of the estate did not exceed $1 million. Also, there were no fees required and no bonds requested, and the only activity for the will was its filing in April 2014.

Giordanella faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on May 6.

Anyone who may have been a victim or knows someone who may have been a victim of Giordanella should contact the Queens District Attorney’s Office at 718-286-5957.

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Community Board 7 calls for denial of College Point land sale


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

A local high-tech manufacturing company was at the center of a heated College Point land deal debate at Monday’s Community Board 7 (CB 7) meeting in Flushing that culminated with a thumbs down from the advisory body.

S&L Aerospace Metals LLC, located at 120-22 28th St. in Flushing, is looking to purchase two plots of land from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). One plot of land is owned by the city and the other is owned by the EDC.

To purchase the city-owned land, S&L had to submit an application to the Department of City Planning (DCP) to comply with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Once the application was accepted, it was sent to the community board for review.

The board was to vote on whether to recommend allowing the sale of the city-owned land to S&L. Then, the Queens Borough Board will follow with its own recommendation, and the City Council ultimately has the final say in the decision.

The debate on whether or not to recommend allowing the sale came about because, after an asphalt company, Cofire Asphalt Corp., acquired some of the land in a 2010 land swap, Cofire did not take proper care of the plot.

“The deal was they were going to clean it,” explained Chuck Apelian, first vice chairman of CB 7. “They were going to maintain the operations at the site…the stipulations were all part of the deed restriction. None of these took place.”

Even though the previous deal was not handled correctly, the board made it abundantly clear that they support S&L and their operation.

“I support S&L; they know it,” Apelian said. “I also explained to them why we did what we did and we think it is ultimately to the benefit of, not only the community, but to S&L and everybody that this gets done the right way.”

“We can’t approve a land sale of contaminated land that was supposed to be cleaned up five years ago,” he added.

While some members agreed with Apelian, others felt that recommending denying the sale would be punishing S&L for something they had no control over.

“If this was a final vote and we made the decision tonight, you’d be right, we would be punishing them,” Apelian told those in favor of recommending the sale. “But we’re not punishing them because we’re not making the decision. We’re making a recommendation to the others in the process and ultimately to ones that make it.”

Ultimately the board voted 33 to three to recommend to deny S&L’s application to purchase the land.

The recommendation will now be presented to the Queens Borough Board, which has 30 days to make their recommendation.

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First Uniqlo in Queens to open at SkyView Center in Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Shops at SkyView Center

Japanese-based clothing chain Uniqlo is opening its first Queens location in The Shops at SkyView Center, marking another big brand coming to the Flushing mall.

The global clothing retailer recently signed a long-term lease for an 8,000-square-foot space on Level D of the shopping center and plans to open within a few weeks, representatives of the mall announced Tuesday.

Uniqlo becomes just the latest major clothing retailer to come to the 700,000-square-foot mall, as Nordstrom Rack and Forever 21 recently opened locations there as well. Marshall’s is also a tenant in the mall.

SkyView Center also features a mix of major shopping outlets such as Target, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond among other stores. And like Uniqlo, SkyView is the only place in the borough to find a Nike Factory Store and Nordstrom Rack.

“The Shops at SkyView Center has been set apart as a preferred site for today’s global retailers in the region, with the addition of Uniqlo marking the sixth nationally renowned brand contributing to the continuing momentum in Flushing,” said Michael Dana, president of Onex Real Estate Partners, owner and developer of the mall. “We foresee Uniqlo bringing more style and value options to the Queens community upon joining our home of the most recognized style-savvy brands.”

 

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Holy Cross High School to host doowop spectacular April 18


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Jay Siegel and the Tokens will play the Doowop Spectacular at Holy Cross High School on April 18.

Some of music’s most famous doowop acts will bring their vocal talents to Holy Cross High School later this month for the Flushing school’s 17th annual Doowop Spectacular.

Presented by the Holy Cross Fathers’ Club, the show takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, at the school located at 26-20 Francis Lewis Blvd. Disc jockey Dennis “Dion” Nardone of WVOX-AM serves as the host.

Headlining the spectacular will be Jay Siegel’s Tokens, best known for their 1961 hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Also scheduled to take the stage will be The Marcels, famous for their 1961 classic “Blue Moon”; John Kuse and The Excellents, who had the 1962 single “Coney Island Baby”; The Orions, whose “Wah Watusi” rocked the charts in 1962; and The Knockouts, best known for their 1959 single, “Darling Lorraine.”

The CODA Band will back up all the acts as they take the microphone.

Founded in 1956, the Holy Cross Fathers’ Club holds various fundraising events every school year to assist the Flushing all-boys school in meeting the educational and spiritual needs of its students.

Through its events, the Fathers’ Club typically raises about $15,000 every year for Holy Cross, according to John Wheelan, who has coordinated the doowop spectacular the last 17 years.

Reserved seating tickets are $45 a piece. To purchase tickets or for more information, call Wheelen at 718-279-0470 or Holy Cross High School’s main office at 718-886-7250, ext. 574.

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What cemeteries are most popular for Queens homebuyers


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

Not just the deceased are dying to be around All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village.

Although it may not be as attractive a view as the New York City skyline, All Faiths was the Queens cemetery with the most nearby home sales over a two-year period, with 103 residences sold, according to an analysis from real estate website PropertyShark. That number is double that of the runner-up, Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Glendale, which had just 48.

While Queens is well known for having an abundance of cemeteries throughout the borough, about a quarter of homebuyers who chose to purchase near the dead bought homes close to All Faiths.

There were approximately 377 sales of one- and two-family homes within 300 feet of a cemetery in the top ten list recorded since January 2013 to March 2015, according to the data.

Completing the top ten is Linden Hill Cemetery in Ridgewood, where only 13 homes sold over the two-year span.

Queens_cemeteries stat boxAlso interesting to note, Flushing Cemetery recorded the most expensive sales with average prices at nearly $630,000.

Not surprisingly, the Springfield Cemetery in Springfield Gardens had the least expensive home sales with an average of about $329,000.

The spirits probably aren’t behind the low prices for those homes, because in 2014 Springfield Gardens as a whole had median asking prices at around $343,500 and had the lowest absorption rate, a metric showing rate of sales by calculating what share of home listings either went into contract or were removed.

Click here to see a map of the properties that were sold around cemeteries in the borough over the past two years.

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Flushing condo building completed after foreclosure process


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Triangle Equities

The condominium building at 42-05 Parsons Blvd. in Flushing has finally been completed, owner Triangle Equities announced on Monday.

The real estate development firm acquired the uncompleted building a few years ago, and proceeded to finish the nearly 30,000-square-foot, nine-story, mixed-use structure after a foreclosure process.

“We purchased a non-performing note collateralized by the building in 2011, which had been 85 percent complete,” said Brett Goldman, director of acquisitions at Triangle Equities. “After going through the foreclosure process, we ultimately obtained control of the asset and are thrilled to be able to offer brand-new luxury housing and office space to the surrounding community.”

The Raymond Chan-designed building features an all-glass and panel façade, which allows views of Queens, and even the Manhattan skyline at top floors.

On the first two floors there are five condo office units, which are being marketed for sale.

And in the upper floors there are 14 condos apartments, which are 90 percent sold, including two penthouse units with three bedrooms and three bathrooms on the eighth and ninth floors.

Prices in the building for residential condos start near $550,000 and top out over $1 million.

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Cops release sketch of Flushing groping suspect


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Police have released a sketch of the man who allegedly groped teenage girls in three separate incidents in Flushing since November.

During all of the incidents, which took place within a five-block radius, the suspect grabs the buttocks or crotch area of the young women over their clothing before fleeing on foot, authorities said.

The suspect first targeted a 15-year-old girl at the corner of 136th Street and 60th Avenue in Flushing at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2014, according to police.

He then allegedly groped a 13-year-old girl on March 11 of this year at about 7:50 a.m. outside of 132-34 58th Ave., near 134th Street.

The suspect is also accused of attacking a 19-year-old woman at the corner of 136th Street and 59th Avenue at about 7:30 a.m. on March 23.


Police additionally released video footage of the suspect earlier this week and describe the man as white, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 30 to 40 years old and 170 pounds with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark green jacket, grey hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

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 can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.  

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61-year-old man fatally struck in Flushing hit-and-run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 61-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday night as he was crossing the street in Flushing, police said.

The victim was walking across 46th Avenue near Utopia Parkway at about 11:40 p.m. when the driver struck the man and then fled, authorities said.

The pedestrian, who was not identified by police, was taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police currently do not have a vehicle description.

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 can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Video: Pair wanted in beating, robbery of man in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A pair of suspected robbers instigated a fight with a man on a Flushing street before beating him up and stealing his cellphone, police said.

The suspects, a man and woman, approached the 30-year-old male victim as he was walking near Sanford Avenue and 147th Street, and started an argument with the victim, authorities said. The male suspect then began to strike the man several times on the head and shoved him to the ground, kicking him several times.

As the victim was on the ground, the female suspect took his Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and both suspects fled.

The victim refused medical attention at the scene.


Police have released video footage of the suspects, which captures them during the incident.

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 can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.  

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More Queens Library locations loaning mobile hot spots, tablets


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library

Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card, and now more cardholders will be able to stay connected while on the go.

The Queens Library announced Tuesday that it will be expanding its mobile technology lending program in the upcoming weeks to more libraries throughout the borough.

While using their Queens Library cards, customers will be able to borrow free mobile hot spots, providing Internet access anywhere to any Wi-Fi-enabled devices with cellphone reception. Customers will also have the chance to borrow free Google Nexus tablets.

The hot spots are available for one month, and there are three renewals available afterwards. First-time hot spot borrowers will have to sign an agreement and bring a photo ID.

Locations that have been offering the free mobile hot spots and tablets since last year include branches at 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica; 1637 Central Ave., Far Rockaway; 108-19 71st Ave., Forest Hills; 41-17 Main St., Flushing; and 35-51 81st St., Jackson Heights.

The new locations offering the hot spots include 214-20 Northern Blvd. in Bayside and 37-44 21st St. in Long Island City. They will also be available at the branch at 218-13 Linden Blvd. in Cambria Heights starting April 8; 193-20 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows on April 15; and 169-09 137th Ave. in Rochdale Village on April 22.

The Google Nexus tablets are now available at Queens Library branches at 2012 Madison St. in Ridgewood; 128-16 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park; and 169-09 137th Ave. in Rochdale Village. Starting later this month, the tablets will be available at the following locations: 187-05 Union Turnpike in Hillcrest; 103-34 Lefferts Blvd. in Richmond Hill; and the Langston Hughes Community Library at 100-01 Northern Blvd.

A full list of borrowing sites is available at www.queenslibrary.org.

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Local high school sluggers look to rack up ‘WINS for Cancer’


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Mary Louis Academy

Like good siblings, the sports teams at Holy Cross High School in Flushing and The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica have long supported each other, and this spring they’re taking that partnership to a new level for a good cause.

Holy Cross’ varsity and junior varsity baseball teams, along with their softball counterparts at Mary Louis, officially launched their joint “WINS for Cancer” campaign in Jamaica Estates Thursday afternoon.

The athletic programs at the all-boys Holy Cross and all-girls Mary Louis developed a strong bond over the years. Mary Louis cheerleaders rally the crowds at Holy Cross football games. Holy Cross, in turn, opened its gym to Mary Louis for their girls CHSAA basketball games.

With CHSAA baseball and softball seasons on the horizon, the two schools launched “WINS for Cancer,” hoping that their teams’ performance on the field would raise big bucks for the Sunrise Day Camp, a Suffolk County summer escape for children battling cancer and their siblings.

For Joe Lewinger, Mary Louis’ athletic director, “WINS for Cancer” is a personal cause, as his twin son and daughter are cancer survivors.  Diagnosed at age 2, they attended Sunrise Day Camp during and after treatment, and got to enjoy outdoor summer activities that the isolation of cancer treatment deprived them.

“It’s the opportunity for kids who are forced to live an isolated life to feel like a normal kid,” Lewinger said. The experience at Sunrise proved wonderful for his children, both of whom are now 9 and in remission.

Sunrise Day Camp is the only camp of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to cancer survivors and their siblings from 3 1/2 to 16 years of age. It is equipped with specialized services and facilities to allow all children to have fun in safety, including an on-call medical staff.

The camp is offered free to parents and relies solely on donations.

According to Lewinger, Holy Cross’ baseball teams pledged to contribute $10 per league win, while Mary Louis’ softball will pitch in $20 per league victory; Holy Cross has 16 league games on schedule, while Mary Louis has eight.

Lewinger is hoping for a perfect campaign so Holy Cross and Mary Louis can deliver at least $640 to Sunrise Day Camp. Parents are also invited to sponsor their sons or daughters on the teams and contribute per batting achievement, such as a hit, run, home run or stolen base.

“We got the two teams together, hope to win a lot of games and help a good cause,” Holy Cross Assistant Athletic Director Tim Gilvary added.

Click here for more information about Sunrise Day Camp.

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Police looking for groper who targeted teens in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A man is wanted for groping teenage girls in three separate incidents within the same five-block radius not far from Flushing Meadows Corona Park, authorities said.

In each incident, the suspect grabs the buttocks or crotch area of the women over their clothing before fleeing on foot, police said.

The man started his groping spree last year when he allegedly grabbed a 15-year-old girl at the corner of 136th Street and 60th Avenue in Flushing at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 6.

According to authorities, the same suspect struck again on March 11 at about 7:50 a.m. outside of 132-34 58th Ave., near 134th Street, when he groped a 13-year-old girl.

The third incident took place at the corner of 136th Street and 59th Avenue at about 7:30 a.m. on March 23 and involved a 19-year-old female victim.

Police have released video footage of the suspect and describe the man as white, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 30 to 40 years old and 170 pounds with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark green jacket and grey hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

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 can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.  

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Flushing real estate seeking new heights


| spreuss@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

Stephen Preuss is a vice president at Cushman & Wakefield who focuses on the Queens market. 

Last year showed us record-breaking pricing of development sites in the Flushing area. This year has taken those numbers upwards and has even left real estate professionals scratching their heads.

The average price per buildable square foot in the fourth quarter of 2014 throughout the city was approximately $303, which is 52 percent higher than the same period last year. Since the start of 2015, we have seen multiple properties sell at more than $300 per buildable square foot.

Just this past February we sold a development site at 142-26 Roosevelt Ave., a prime location in downtown Flushing. The property offered 21,060 buildable square feet and sold at $322.89 per buildable square foot.

Recently we have received several calls from appraisers trying to make sense of these prices where capitalization rates and price per square foot do not make financial sense.

The interest from foreign buyers has kept the interest in an upswing and has since resulted in sale prices comparable to those in Manhattan. Multiple properties especially on Northern Boulevard have sold for above average pricing, and most properties have a retail component with development potential.

For example, 138-12 Northern Blvd. in Flushing sold at $341.27 per buildable square foot. The property consisted of a four-unit retail strip, but allowed for an additional 20,000 buildable square feet to be developed on site.

We have been seeing an exponential amount of interest in development since 2012 and expect the remainder of this year to follow suit.

Stephen-Preuss

Stephen Preuss

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More traffic agents, safety devices near Flushing Commons site


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of TDC Development International

Hoping to ease the pain for drivers and pedestrians, the city is bringing more traffic agents and safety devices to downtown Flushing.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced the measures during Wednesday’s meeting of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Flushing Commons Task Force. The advisory body was formed last year to focus on congestion issues related to the billion-dollar Flushing Commons project, a complex of housing, shops and businesses rising on a former municipal parking lot.

As of Wednesday, teams of two NYPD traffic enforcement agents were assigned to the intersections of 37th Avenue and Main Street as well as Roosevelt Avenue and Union Street. A single traffic agent was stationed at the corner of 37th Avenue and 138th Street.

Trottenberg said the DOT will also create a left-turn-only lane from 37th Avenue onto Main Street and install a temporary all-way stop sign at the corner of 37th Avenue and 138th Street.

Each of the measures, she noted, aims to improve traffic flow and increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians traveling through downtown Flushing near the Commons site.

“The task force appreciates the commitment by the DOT, the NYPD and the developers to consider all possible measures to enhance traffic flow and pedestrian safety in Flushing’s downtown core,” Katz said. “These actions are sound steps that demonstrate the DOT’s commitment, and continual engagement by all stakeholders is necessary to keep the economic engine of downtown Flushing running amidst the building pains of development.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblyman Ron Kim, City Councilman Peter Koo and Community Board 7 Chairperson Chuck Apelian all expressed support for the new safety measures.

Congestion in Flushing has been problematic for years; the downtown area has the highest per capita number in Queens of vehicular accidents resulting in pedestrian injury or death.

Flushing’s traffic woes increased in the area around the Commons site after work started last year. Several entrances and exits on Union Street were shut down, and a bus terminus was relocated onto 128th Street between 37th and 39th avenues, shifting many buses through the neighborhood.

Katz formed the task force last year to engage city agencies and F&T Group, Flushing Commons’ developer, with local business groups and civic leaders to find ways to alleviate Flushing’s traffic problems. Since December, the DOT — at the task force’s urging — amended a pedestrian walkway permit at the Commons site, shifting it into a parking lane. This, the borough president’s office noted, helped improve traffic flow through the neighborhood.

Along with the measures announced Wednesday, Trottenberg said the DOT is contemplating the following additional measures to further improve traffic conditions in Flushing:

  • Reversing the direction of traffic on one-way 38th Avenue;
  • Creating a right-turn lane from 37th Avenue onto Main Street;
  • Temporarily removing parking spaces on 37th Avenue and 138th Street immediately adjacent to the Flushing Commons construction site; and
  • Installing new stop signs, traffic signals and/or enhanced street markings at several other intersections, including 37th Avenue and 138th Street, Union Street and 38th Avenue, Main Street and 37th Avenue, 39th Avenue and Union Street, and Roosevelt Avenue and Union Street.