Tag Archives: Flushing

Forever 21’s lower-cost brand F21 Red opening at SkyView Center in Flushing

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Shops at SkyView Center 

Clothing retailer Forever 21 is opening its new concept store F21 Red at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing on Saturday with free giveaways and music spun by a DJ.

Although Forever 21 is known for fashionable clothing and accessories at relatively low prices, the national apparel chain’s new store F21 Red offers even lower prices, such as $7.80 for jeans and $3.80 for T-shirts, according to published reports.

The first 100 people in line for the 10 a.m. opening will receive a $10 gift card, which means they should be able to afford a piece of clothing from the store just for showing up.

There are other F21 Red locations around the country already, but this 10,093-square-foot store in SkyView Center will be the first in the borough.

Forever 21 signed a lease for the space back in November, but decided to open its new concept store F21 Red at the location, because of the success the new brand has had, according to a SkyView representative.

F21 Red will join a long list of national and international brands in the 700,000-square-foot mall, some of which are the only Queens locales, such as the Nike Factory Store, Nordstrom Rack and the recently announced Uniqlo.


208-unit affordable housing and retail project selected for Flushing parking lot

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Bernheimer Architecture

The Housing Preservation and Development Department (HPD) announced the winning project Tuesday for a development on a Flushing municipal lot at 133-45 41st Ave. near Main Street.

A project called One Flushing from a team comprised of Brooklyn-based Monadnock Development, nonprofit Asian Americans for Equality and Hanac Inc., was selected following a request for proposals. The project will have 208 affordable housing units and community and retail space.

It is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in 10 years.

The apartments will be available to individuals earning between $24,200 to $72,600 annually and $34,520 to $103,560 annually for a family of four. Housing in the building will be divided between 60 apartments reserved for senior citizens and 147 for low- and moderate-income households. There is also one unit for a superintendent.

“The One Flushing development plan is an example of a dynamic proposal that encompasses affordable housing, supportive senior housing, and services for the community as a whole,” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said. “I look forward to seeing this development take shape and will be thrilled to welcome future residents to their new homes.”

Amenities will include a gym, a community room, laundry rooms, a 15,000-square-foot second-floor terrace and a green roof.

The Bernheimer Architecture-designed building will have large windows that are reinforced to reduce noise from the LIRR station behind the property. And it will have eco-friendly features such as solar panels on the roof.

The current parking lot on the site has 156 parking spaces on 43,200 square feet. When complete, the project will have more than the current amount of parking spots, according to HPD.

One Flushing Rendering


Confusion arises after allegations of illegal Flushing hotel

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Robert Hanophy Jr.

Questions and rumors continue to fly about a mystery home expansion in Flushing.

Although members of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association have issues with renovations on a single-family home they believe will create a transient hotel on 156th Street, the property’s owner was surprised to learn that these allegations were being spread about what he claims will be his family home.

The Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association has been circulating information that alleges that a three-floor home at 35-20 156th St. will be renovated to have 14 bedrooms and eight bathrooms and operate as an illegal hotel.

Robert Hanophy Jr., president of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association, said that he did not get a chance to speak to the Yang family, but that there would be no need for a rally if they were indeed planning to live in the house.

Until they get confirmation that this is the case, though, the demonstration is still set to take place. Hanophy said that the new owners are welcome to attend the rally on Thursday or to meet with the association at a more convenient time to speak directly to the community.

“What we are doing as the homeowners’ association is trying to maintain the neighborhood as single-family residences,” said Hanophy, “whether it’s grandma who lives alone or a family of 15 kids.”

The structure is located in a zoning district designated for only detached, single-family homes. Qira Yang, whose mother, Qiujin Yang is the property’s owner, said the situation is all a misunderstanding because his family does plan to live there once renovations are complete.

“We kind of have a big family here, so my mom just wants to have a room for every child she has,” said Yang, who said that his elderly mother has four adult children. The family plans to grow into the house as his generation gets married and has their own offspring.

Yang said he was not aware of a rally set to take place in front of the house with the homeowners’ association and state Senator Tony Avella Thursday afternoon, and that no one contacted him to tell them of their plans. According to Yang, the renovations taking place will actually reduce the number of bedrooms to 10 and make the rooms larger than they had been before.

Yang said that he was aware of the house’s history as an alleged hotel. The house has 50 recorded complaints with the city Department of Buildings, 42 of which occurred before the current owners came into control of the house in October 2013. Some of the complaints date from as far back as 1989, many of which indicate that the home had been illegally converted into multiple separate dwellings or transformed to accommodate transient hotel rooms.

While there is an order to stop work on the renovations based on one of the most recent complaints, these are related to minor infractions, including construction work that did not conform to the set plan and workers smoking cigarettes on the job site. The other complaints that were recorded during Yang’s ownership dealt largely with construction being done without the proper permits posted.

Avella could not immediately be reached for comment.



Heroin concealed in candy wrappers found inside car in Flushing: NYPD

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct

It was like taking candy from a criminal.

Police, while collaring a driver for a suspended license in Flushing Tuesday afternoon, discovered about $85,000 worth of heroin hidden in butterscotch-like wrappers inside the man’s car, authorities said.

Cops noticed the vehicle idling at Prince Street and 39th Avenue about 3:45 p.m., and when they ran the plate, they found that the driver, 40-year-old Jesus Perez, had a suspended license, according to the NYPD.

Inside the car, they uncovered the heroin and a digital scale, and arrested Perez, along with his passenger, Ivan Carvajas, 50.

According to the 109th Precinct, the drugs were valued at around $85,000.

Perez, of Deer Park, Long Island, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated unlicensed operator.

Carvajas, a Jackson Heights resident, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of burglary of tools.


Two dead after car strikes tree in Flushing

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Two men were killed early Tuesday morning when their car jumped a sidewalk and slammed into a tree in Flushing, authorities said.

The crash happened on Booth Memorial Avenue near 164th Street at about 1:30 a.m.

A 2005 Dodge Stratus was speeding down Booth Memorial when it went onto the sidewalk and struck a tree, according to police.

The driver, a 28-year-old man, and his passenger, a 26-year-old man, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Their identities were not immediately released.




Fresh Air Fund kicks off registration at YWCA in Flushing

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Some Queens kids are giving up summer in the city for a breath of fresh air.

The YWCA of Queens in Flushing hosted a registration kickoff event Thursday for the Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit that provides free summer experiences outside New York City for children from low-income families.

Families were able to register for the program while their children played a variety of card games with each other. The program has served 1.8 million youngsters since its creation in 1877.

Jenny Morgenthau, executive director of the Fresh Air Fund, said that the program is educational because kids can learn new things and gain experiences they would not normally be able to have. According to Morgenthau, for many kids it is a first chance to go swimming, climb a tree, or see a sky full of stars without New York City’s light pollution.

“On the most basic level, they look forward to fun,” Morgenthau said. “It’s an opportunity for children to be children and to play in a safe place.”

Helen J. Kim, executive director of the Queens YWCA, said that her organization has been an outreach center for the Fresh Air Fund for the past four years, and that she hopes the partnership will continue to provide services to our community.

“It’s very important for students in our community to have a chance to go out of the city environment to have a summer in the country,” Kim said.

Previous attendees of the program said that the Fresh Air camps provided a welcome change from their everyday lives.

“Life in the city is pretty busy. You’re always running from here to there and it’s so crowded,” said Frida, 14,  who attended one of five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. “The trees and nature, everything calms you down from all the stress you get being in the city.”

Even the youngest Fresh Air Fund kids had something to say about what they enjoyed in the program.

“It’s different because I get to feed baby cows and squeeze milk from the big cows,” said Lia, 7.



MTA will boost service on 7, L and M lines later this year

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

With overall subway ridership up 2.6 percent across the city, the MTA is set to meet the increased demand by boosting service on three local subway lines this December.

Most of the changes will take place during off-peak hours, as the MTA reported ridership between or after rush hour periods reached its highest rate in 65 years in 2014, with more than 1.75 billion riders systemwide.

The biggest boost will take place on the L line, with seven additional round trips added between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays. Ridership on the L line — which services Ridgewood and Bushwick — grew 4.7 percent last year, the largest increase of any line in the system.

According to the MTA, the seven additional trains will reduce wait times on the L line to five minutes between the morning and evening rush hours. Last fall, the MTA similarly enhanced L train service during weeknight and weekend periods.

The MTA will also introduce two additional round trips on the 7 line — which services the rapidly-growing neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Flushing — between 8 and 10:20 p.m. on weeknights. The agency said this will reduce wait times to under 4 1/2 minutes.

This service increase is expected to ease commuting, in particular, out of the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue station in Long Island City, which experienced a 12 percent growth in weekday ridership in 2014; and at the Flushing-Main Street terminal, which averages about 60,000 riders each day.

Finally, the M line will get an extra round trip just after the morning rush hour, between 9 and 9:30 a.m., reducing wait times to an average of 7 1/2 minutes. Since the line was rerouted in 2010 through Midtown Manhattan and northwest Queens (replacing the defunct V line), M train ridership is up about 31 percent, with an average increase of 6.2 percent at stations between Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

“New York is a dynamic city and it continues to grow as new or better housing options become available and more people come here for jobs or school,” said MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “By making these schedule changes, New York City Transit is making the most of its resources to deliver service that accurately reflects ridership in growing areas.”

The MTA plans to spend $1.6 million to implement the additional service.


Organizers reveal plans for upcoming Flushing Street Festival

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Queens business leaders came together Thursday to give details about the second annual Flushing Street Festival to be held on Saturday, August 1.

The festival is hosted by the Flushing Business Improvement District, a nonprofit organization that aims to help the community transform Flushing into a “destination of choice” for dining and shopping. While last year’s festival only had 46 booths and vendors, this year is set to be much larger, with space for as many as 100 booths.

Tina Lee, the co-chair of the Flushing Business Improvement District, said that although Flushing is one of New York City’s largest transit hubs, with 100,000 daily commuters, many people do not stop to appreciate the rich offerings of the neighborhood.

“We want more people to come and enjoy all that Flushing has to offer in food and in culture, so we hope that the street festival will help entice them to come to Flushing more,” Lee said.

Many businesses and cultural institutions with Asian backgrounds are expected to participate. Korean food vendors and the Asian American International Film Festival are already involved with the event, and traditional food and dress demonstrations from northwest China will be provided by the America Xinjiang Association.

Ikhwan Rim of the Union Street Business Association said that while many of the participants are of Asian descent, part of the aim of the festival is to unite people of diverse backgrounds.

“It’s not just Chinese or Korean, it’s about Flushing,” Rim said.

Festival organizers are also having a young entrepreneurs contest in conjunction with the event. The contest is open to college and high school students, and entrants will have to submit an application with an idea for a business venture they think could be successful in a booth in the festival. The winners will then be able to use a festival booth free of charge in a high traffic location, and will be allowed to keep any revenue from their efforts.


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.


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

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


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 also 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.


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.


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.”



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.


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.


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.