Tag Archives: Flushing

New Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce aims to unify businesses


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

File photo

Downtown Flushing bristles with businesses. Yet for all its economic activity, the area doesn’t have a Chamber of Commerce to advocate for the businesses’ needs in government. But that’s about to change.

John Choe is the executive director for the new Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. The organization is being put together and Choe plans on having a launch party for the organization in December.

“The chamber will look at making sure we not only have policies that benefit businesses,” Choe said, “but we also get the same level of attention that reflects the level of economic taxes that we generate for the government.”

Flushing’s previous chamber of commerce dissolved in 2012 after 80 years of operation, according to earlier reports. The previous organization, the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, began to recede in importance as a new wave of Asian immigrants moved to the area, bringing with them their own business groups.

Choe is hoping to not share his predecessor’s fate by bringing the various business interest groups under one flag and “creating a multicultural chamber at its core.”

“We want to create a chamber of commerce that will reflect the diversity of the greater Flushing area,” he said.

The area’s business groups include the Flushing Business Improvement District, Korean American Small Business Service Center of New York, Flushing Chinese Business Association, Taiwan Merchants Association, One Flushing and the Flushing Development Center.

“It’s a complicated task,” Choe said.

News of the chamber’s creation was welcomed by many in the community.

“The creation of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is a good idea because it will help small business owners by providing them with a resource that is dedicated to expanding their business opportunities and financial growth,” Councilman Peter Koo said. “We are still living in a climate of overregulation that remains challenging for many small business owners, so the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will be a welcomed addition to the diverse business community here.”

Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, said that his organization would be willing to work with Choe and the chamber.

“Anybody who is willing to pitch in for the Flushing community is always a good thing,” Yu said. “We work with everybody. We welcome everybody to fight for the community.”

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Father attacks family, attempts suicide at Flushing home: cops


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

A Flushing man viciously attacked his family, including a child, at their home on Wednesday, leaving them in critical condition, a police source said.

The attack took place in the family’s home on Jasmine Avenue at 9 p.m., police said. The suspect,  49-year-Quan Hui Liang, stabbed his wife over 20 times and then repeatedly beat his 7-year-old son with a barbell before finally attacking the child’s 77-year-old grandmother, according to police.

The grandmother, who was the least injured, ran to a neighbors apartment and told them to call the police. The EMS were the first to arrive at the scene, where they found the family members on the floor in their own pools of blood. The man, EMS discovered, slit his own throat in a failed suicide attempt, authorities said, ending a flurry of violence. Police don’t know what sparked the whole thing.

Police have charged Liang with two counts of attempted murder, possession of a weapon and acting in a manner injurious to a minor.

According to the police, the family recently moved to Flushing from China and, according to the New York Post, the family was quiet and nice.

The son is in Long Island Jewish Hospital where he is being treated, according to the New York Post. The wife is being treated at New York Hospital Queens. Her two eye sockets are broken and she had more than 20 lacerations in her head.

The mother-in-law is being treated at the same hospital for lacerations to her head.

Liang is in critical condition at New York Hospital-Queens.

The family members are in critical condition, but the wife and 7-year-old boy are in the most serious condition, police said. All of the family members are still in separate hospitals.

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60-year-old man fatally hit by Q13 bus


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

A 60-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by an MTA bus as he was crossing a Flushing intersection Wednesday night, police said.

The man was within the crosswalk at Union Street at Northern Boulevard around 10:30 p.m. when he was hit by a Q13 bus as it was making a right turn onto Northern, authorities said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police said the driver remained on the scene and they were investigating the accident.

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Real estate roundup: Flushing Commons construction woes, Costco eyeing downtown Jamaica


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of TDC Development International

Flushing Commons Construction Causes Traffic, Pedestrian Pains

Flushing Commons will eventually bring open space, housing and retail to downtown Flushing, but right now, construction is creating a problem for pedestrians and drivers alike.” Read more [CBS]

Costco Eyes Location in Downtown Jamaica, Developers Say

“Costco, one of the largest wholesalers in the country, is actively investigating opening a store in Downtown Jamaica, according to those approached by reps for the mega-chain. Costco representatives recently spoke to at least two developers who own property in the area, the developers confirmed.” Read more [DNAinfo]

New restaurants continue to open in Ditmars– with two more opening recently

“New restaurants continue to pop up in Ditmars. Grano’s, an Italian restaurant located at 38-01 Ditmars Blvd, began its soft opening last week and will be celebrating its official grand opening in about three weeks, according to manager Jason Day.” Read more [Astoria Post]

Queens Library in Flushing starts lending Google Nexus tablets


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

One year after it first started the program, Queens Library will now lend Google Nexus tablets at its Flushing branch at 41-17 Main St.

The library has been lending the Google tablets for free from many of its other branches since November 2013. A library member needs to show only their Queens Library card in order to borrow a tablet for a month, with three possible renewals. If it’s the first time the library member is borrowing a tablet, they also have to sign an agreement and provide photo ID.

The Queens Library has installed its custom proprietary software in the Nexus tablets it lends in order to make it easy for members who have no experience in using technology to interface with the device. The tablets also come loaded with educational content, feature content, book lists and offline access to e-books and magazines.

The library began its tablet-lending program after Superstorm Sandy. Google, as part of its efforts to help Sandy-affected areas, donated 17,000 tablets. The Queens Library received 5,000 of those devices and began customizing them to suit their members’ needs.

The initiative won the Queens Library the 2014 Best Practices Award, given by the New York Library Association’s Public Libraries Section every two years to a public library or public library system that uses technology to promote its services.

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Real estate roundup: 15-story LIC hotel planned, more Queensboro Hill row house conversions


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Queensboro Hill nightmare continues

“In less than one year, a third oversized house is now being built on 56th Road in Queensboro Hill.” Read more [Queens Crap]

Permits for 15-Story Hotel at 41-32 27th Street in Long Island City 

“An LLC has filed applications to precede construction of a 15-story and 46-room hotel of 34,409 square feet at 41-32 27th Street, in Long Island City; an existing two-story structure was approved for demolition in September, and Arc Architecture + Design Studio is designing.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

These key players will decide the fate of Astoria Cove

“The mixed-use 2.2 million-square-foot megaproject known as Astoria Cove is widely seen as the first test of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary zoning program. The proposal by a consortium of developers led by Alma Realty includes 345 affordable units (or 20 percent of the roughly 1,700 units), a number that affordable housing advocates and elected officials have said is too low.” Read more [The Real Deal]

In Astoria, Queens, a Youth Movement, With Souvlaki

“It can take a while for some people to get acquainted with the quieter, lower-slung section of Astoria, Queens, called Ditmars by its residents and sometimes referred to as Ditmars-Steinway by real estate agents.” Read more [The New York Times]

Conservancy group pushes local pols to fund meditation garden in Kissena Corridor Park


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Illustrations courtesy of the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy

The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy  is trying to turn a section of the Flushing park that’s overgrown with weeds into a meditation garden. But a lack of money is keeping the group from attaining tranquility.

The conservancy group is turning to local politicians like Councilman Peter Koo to help fund the project, which could cost up to $1 million to complete. In 2009, the group received $6,000 from Congressmember Grace Meng. Koo allocated $100,000 this year from the council’s budget. So far, they’ve collected $160,000.

“We we want to get something in there that’s meaningful to everybody,” said Roland Wade, president of the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy.

Wade came up with the idea and in 2009 his group proposed it to the Parks Department. The department accepted the idea but they refused to fund it. The Parks Department told the conservancy that the proposed garden would need at least $1 million, according to former conservancy president Dorothy Woo.

“We’re happy to work with the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy on designing and constructing the garden, once funding is in place,” a Parks Department spokeswoman said. “Anyone who would like to see capital improvements made to their park should reach out to their local elected officials to seek funding.”

The plans for the garden call for cedar of Lebanon trees, lighting, a water feature and various flowers and bushes. The garden would be across the street from the New York Hospital Queens on 56th Avenue. Wade said that the plans for the garden are completely done and once they receive the money, work can begin.

“We thought, why not a memorial garden where people from the hospital can come and meditate,” Wade said. “That they could enter a garden of tranquility where there could be beauty quiet, nature, flowers.”


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Cops looking for five suspects following Flushing shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarLightsHC0708_L_300_C_Y-624x414

Five men fled in an SUV after a man was shot in Flushing early Wednesday morning, police said.

The 24-year-old victim was shot on the second-floor of 46-07 Kissena Blvd. at about 1:35 a.m., according to authorities.

Five suspects, described as Asian men in their 20s, fled in a white Nissan SUV eastbound on Holly Avenue, police said.

The victim was taken to New York Hospital Queens in stable condition.

It was not immediately clear what led to the shooting.

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Real estate roundup: 3 hotels planned for Jamaica, housing problems in Flushing  


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal 

Developer Plans 3 Hotels, Apartment Building and Supermarket in Jamaica

“A Flushing-based developer who recently plunked down $22 million in cash to buy the largest property in Downtown Jamaica, is planning to build three Marriott-brand hotels in the area, he said.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Family Blames Home Collapse on Nearby Sinkhole

“A Queens family thinks a nearby sinkhole on the street is the reason a giant hole opened up under their home, forcing them out. But they say the city has been no help in getting the sinkhole fixed.” Read more [NBC]

New report by Assemblyman Ron Kim shows the majority of people who come into his Flushing district office need help with housing

“The freshman state legislator issued his first-ever “District Trends Report,” analyzing 17,687 visits to his Flushing office from constituents since he took office in Jan. 2013.” Read more [New York Daily News]

The Beast Next Door to open late November

“The Beast Next Door, a neighborhood café and bar located at 42-51 27th Street, is set to open in about a month. It will be a café by day and a full bar by night, according to owner John Veenema.” Read more [LIC Post]

 

 

 

Police shoot and kill knife-wielding man in Flushing


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

One man is dead after he confronted police with a utility knife Sunday morning in Flushing, according to authorities.

The incident started when a 29-year-old man at New York Hospital Queens threatened personnel with a knife and then fled the facility, police said.

According to published reports, the man, Joseph Priolo, checked into the hospital early Sunday morning complaining of chest pains. Following his release, he returned a short time later, brandishing the weapon.

After he fled the hospital, cops were called, and at about 7:40 a.m., they began to canvas the area.

Then at about 8:24 a.m., a suspect, who fit Priolo’s description, was seen in front of 43-32 Kissena Blvd., according to authorities.

Police approached Priolo on foot and he then confronted one of the officers while holding a utility knife in one hand, authorities said. The officer then shot his gun twice, striking Priolo once in the torso.

Priolo was taken to New York Hospital Queens where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Four members of the NYPD were taken to New York Hospital Queens for treatment of tinnitus.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Suspect wanted in connection to 21 Queens, Bronx commercial break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection with a string of citywide commercial burglaries.

In a total of 21 incidents, starting in June in Rosedale and most recently occurring on Oct. 20 in the Bronx, at least one suspect broke into commercial establishments via the roof, side or rear doors, or ventilation ducts while the business were closed, according authorities. Money from the cash register and broken-into ATMs, as well as miscellaneous items, such as cigarettes, were taken during the thefts.

In Queens, the burglaries have occurred in Laurelton, Broad Channel, Jamaica, Astoria, Queens Village, Bayside, Hollis, Glen Oaks, College Point, Richmond Hill and Flushing. The other break-ins all happened in the Bronx.

The NYPD has released surveillance photos of the male suspect wanted in an incident on Sept. 12 in Richmond Hill. During this burglary, at about 8 p.m. the suspect entered 88-24 Van Wyck Expressway via the roof, damaged the security system but did not remove any property, police said.

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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City’s closure of Flushing overpass causes businesses to suffer


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The city’s extended closure of an overpass bridge in Flushing is set to end by 2016, according to a Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesman. But the long wait could continue to hurt local business owners.

LIRR train tracks cut through 149th Street, with an overpass bridge connecting the two sides of the street. The bridge has been closed since 2009, according to residents and business owners in the area.

According to a DOT spokesman, a new bridge was ready to open in 2012, but during a final inspection the department found cracks in the foundation, leading the department to keep the bridge closed.

The lack of a bridge in the area left several businesses on 41st Avenue disconnected from the other side. Traffic withered away as a result, business owners said, and led to a noticeable reduction in customers visiting the stores on 41st Avenue, near the 149th Street overpass bridge.

“I’m lucky if I get half the customers I used to get before the bridge closed,” said Kyung Yoon, who owns a deli on 41st Avenue. “It’s not good for business. We pay taxes, don’t we? So why are they taking so long to open it again?”

Yoon points out that there are other overpass bridges in the area but for most people they’re inconvenient to use.

The city’s spokesman said that the bridge will remain closed for public safety. He said they continue to meet with local stakeholders and they will continue to provide updates to the community as they work to “reopen this important connection.”

The spokesman pointed out that the city opened the bridge to foot traffic in response to the community’s needs.

While pedestrians can still use the bridge, the area has become a hang out spot for people who want to drink alcohol, residents said. And, for this reason, resident Karina Hernandez said she barely ever comes to the deli’s side of the tracks.

Karina Hernandez lives on the other side of the tracks and she often goes to Northern Boulevard instead because if she drives it’s too inconvenient to use one of the working overpass bridges. And if she walks, the people who hang out on the bridge deter her from making the journey.

“It’s so ridiculous that it’s been closed for this long,” she said. “I used to come to these places all the time. But now, I barely ever make it unless it’s during the day and I’m not driving.”

Along with Yoon’s deli, there is also a pharmacy-café, a Chinese restaurant and a Korean restaurant. The workers at the pharmacy-café and the Korean restaurant also noted that business hasn’t been as good over the last five years because of the closed overpass bridge.

The city plans on completing a final design in 2014. And in the fall of 2015 the spokesman expects a construction contract to be hashed out. The new overpass bridge should be completed within six months after that.

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Real estate roundup: Worst landlords in Queens, new 11-story Elmhurst building revealed


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark

Sunnyside building winds up on ‘Worst Landlord Watch List’

“New York’s annual “Worst Landlord Watch List” was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside. The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street.” Read more [Sunnyside Post]

Revealed: 70-32 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst

“The new 69-unit residential building at 70-32 Queens Boulevard, in Elmhurst, is being designed by Flushing-based architect Michael Kang. It will include about 55,000 square feet of residential space, with all apartments around 800 square feet in size. In most of the city this would mean rentals, but these will simply be small condos, as is common in New York’s Chinese neighborhoods.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

Planned Parenthood Is Expanding to Queens

Planned Parenthood’s abortion services have made it the target of national activism and federal budget cuts. But in spite of vocal opposition elsewhere, the organization is about to expand in New York City, breaking ground Thursday on its only center in Queens.” Read more [New York Times] 

Flushing’s Sky View Parc development up for sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal Realty Services

The development rights for the second phase of the Sky View Parc luxury condos are for sale, and offers have been extending past $100 million, according to a published report.

Massey Knakal Realty Services is marketing the site at 40-28 College Point Blvd. in Flushing, New York YIMBY reported.

Plans have already been approved and the foundation is in place to develop three residential towers on the site.

The new buildings will total 746,357 square feet, and plans are calling for 806 luxury condos, according to Massey Knakal, which hopes to reach a deal soon.

Phase One of the project is already complete with 448 luxury condominiums and 785,000 square feet of retail and amenities, such as a rooftop garden, basketball court, tennis courts and putting green.

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Police arrest Flushing woman for hit-and-run


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Police arrested a Flushing resident for a hit-and-run Tuesday nearby Robert F. Kennedy Community High School, according to authorities.

Gina Morales, 41, was arrested in front of her home on Union Turnpike and charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the injury of a woman, cops said. The car, police observed, had bumps on it that indicated it had hit something. No description of the vehicle was available.

She told police that she was making a turn on the corner of Parsons Boulevard and 75th Road in Pomonok when she felt a “bump” but decided to keep driving.

The victim was taken to Queens Hospital Center with minor injuries.

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