Tag Archives: Flushing

Flushing’s Bowne Playground to be redone

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYC Parks Department

The Bowne Playground adjacent to P.S. 20 in Flushing is set to receive a multimillion-dollar renovation that will see the layout of the park completely updated and reimagined.

The design has been internally approved by the Parks Department, and is now going through the process of receiving comments and approval from external regulatory agencies after Community Board 7 voted Monday in favor of approving the project.

The Bowne Playground occupies 1.28 acres at Union Street between Barclay Avenue and Sanford Avenue. It is utilized by both neighborhood families and students at P.S. 20, which has an enrollment of around 1,400.

The renovation aims to create new park amenities and increase play opportunities for children of all ages, as well as upgrade existing features and create community space with flexible uses. The estimated end date for the project is set for 2017.

The new design will change the layout of the park to divide the area into several different sections for different activities and age groups. Currently, the playground contains a play area, a swing set, and basketball and handball courts that surround a multiuse paved space in the center of the playground.

The worn and cracked asphalt will be replaced, and two new play areas and swing sets for different age groups will be installed. The ball courts will remain, and new areas will be added, including a group of game tables, a space with adult fitness equipment, and an open area for community gatherings and events.

One of noticeable changes will be a new 4-foot wrought-iron exterior fence replacing the 12- and 16-foot chain-link fencing that currently encircles the playground’s perimeter. This switch was initially met with contention by some members of the community board who feared that lower barriers may pose a higher risk to children who might try to climb into the park and fall, or that teenagers might climb over in the nighttime after park hours.

Joanne Amagrande-Savarese, chief of staff to the Queens Parks Department commissioner, said that the department did not anticipate having problems with children climbing over the fences because it would be easy to get in through other entryways into the area. She added that in recent years the department has been trying make parks look less enclosed and more open to the community, and have largely been lowering the height of park fences to a four-foot standard in order to achieve this goal.

“What we’re trying to do right now is make our parks more inviting and more accessible,” said Amagrande-Savarese.

In addition to the new fences, the new playground will also be significantly greener, with twice as much permeable surface area to collect stormwater. There are currently trees only around the perimeter of the playground, and the new design will significantly increase the tree count to add more shade and differentiate between different areas of the park.


Three suspects wanted for shooting into Flushing lobby

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD


Detectives are asking for the public’s help in finding three men wanted for firing shots into the crowded lobby of a Flushing housing development Thursday afternoon.

The suspects pulled up in a black car to the Latimer Gardens housing complex on 137th Street at 3:10 p.m. and fired three shots into the main lobby, according to authorities.

Police believe the car is a two-door 2013 Hyundai Genesis with tinted windows.

The three suspects, described as Asian males in their 20s, missed their intended target, according to police, and fled in the car.

Though there were no reported injuries, several civilians, including schoolchildren, were standing in the direct vicinity of the shots fired, authorities 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.


High school teacher from Whitestone busted for setting up teen tryst: DA

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Updated 4:09 p.m.

A 27-year-old Whitestone man who teaches at a Bronx high school was arrested on Thursday on attempted rape and other charges after he tried to meet up with a 14-year-old girl who actually was an undercover cop, authorities said.

Jonathan Blum, a history teacher at DreamYard Preparatory School and basketball coach in Queens, was busted after he posted an ad on Craiglist looking for a young teen, student and/or young girl who would be interested in fooling around with a licensed real teacher, according to the district attorney’s office.

An undercover NYPD vice detective answered the ad and Blum started exchanging emails and text messages with the detective, who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

Those messages, sent back and forth between mid-April and mid-May, were sexually explicit, prosecutors said. After several exchanges, Blum wanted to meet up with the supposed teen and, according to police, arranged a rendezvous at a location on Northern Boulevard in Flushing. But instead of finding the girl there, Blum found himself in handcuffs at about 5:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Blum has been charged with attempted rape, attempted criminal sex act, attempted endangering the welfare of a child and attempted disseminating indecent material to minors, according to authorities. He is currently being held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.

According to the Department of Education (DOE), Blum has been a teacher at DreamYard Preparatory School, located at 240 E. 172nd St., since April 2011 and has no disciplinary history with the department. He has been reassigned away from the classroom pending the resolution of his case.

“While this alleged behavior is not school-related, it is incredibly disturbing,” DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye said. “This individual has been immediately reassigned away from the classroom, and he will not be in contact with any students.”

If convicted of the criminal charges, Blum faces up four years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender.

Any parent whose child has conversed with the email address jess_delia@yahoo.com, which Blum used in his exchanges with the undercover officer, and has concerns is encouraged to call the Queens district attorney’s office at 718-286-6260.


Flushing native pens modern-day version of ‘Jane Eyre’

| kmedoff@queenscourier.com

Photo by Allana Taranto

When Patricia Park would misbehave as a child growing up in Flushing, her mother would say in broken English, “You act like orphan,” Park remembered. “I realized that her definition of orphan meant to act in a disgraceful way that shamed your family.”

While reading Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel “Jane Eyre,” Park said she was “continually struck by these epithets that are thrown at [Jane]: she’s ‘friendless,’ ‘mischievous,’ ‘wicked,’ as if she somehow embodied these characteristics” just because she was an orphan.

Park’s first novel, “Re Jane,” released on May 5, was born when Park “realized that the Victorian construction of the orphan and the Korean post-war one had similarities, and my mind drew that link,” she said.

This modern-day version of “Jane Eyre” begins in Flushing, where half-American, half-Korean orphan Jane Re was raised by her Korean aunt and uncle. “This is my America: all Korean, all the time,” Jane says in the first chapter.

“For Jane, that’s kind of the irony: that she’s living in America but the community she grows up in feels like an extension of Korea,” Park said.

In the novel, Jane journeys to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, where she works as an au pair, to Seoul, Korea, and back to Queens. The author herself traveled to South Korea on a Fulbright grant to research her book.

“It was nothing like the Korea in my mind’s eye,” which was shaped by her parents’ stories, she said.

Queens readers can expect to find familiar places in the book such as Astoria, as well as Flushing staples including Northern Boulevard and the 7 train.

“For me, being a native Queensite, that 7 train has been a rickety racket for my whole life,” Park joked.

Park, who moved to the Douglaston-Little Neck area around age 9, calls Jane Eyre “an early prototype for a feminist” with a “fighting spirit. … She’s unbreakable and I love that, so I wanted to preserve that,” she said. “My Jane might at first read as meek or quiet but deep down she’s quite resilient.”

“Re Jane,” like “Jane Eyre,” is a coming-of-age novel, but Jane Re is a couple years older than her progenitor, just out of college.

“I think that’s a critical time for a lot of young adults because your formal schooling is all complete and then at this point you have to make choices that will shape your future,” said the former Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow, who has taught writing at Queens College.

“As a Queens native, I feel like Queens doesn’t have much in the way of media representation and certainly not in literature,” she said. “I would love for ‘Re Jane’ to start that conversation. Queens has such a rich history and you have all these diverse ethnic neighborhoods, so in some ways ‘Re Jane’ is paying homage to the place I come from, warts and all.”

Patricia Park currently lives in Brooklyn. She read from her novel in Bayside on May 9 as part of her book tour, which will include a few more stops around the city later in May. “Re Jane” can be found in bookstores all over. Visit Park’s website for more details.


Congresswoman Meng pushes for EPA action on airplane noise

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

Congresswoman Grace Meng has reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to push for an increase in the agency’s efforts to control noise pollution from airplanes and helicopters.

Residents from Bayside, Flushing and surrounding neighborhoods have reported daily disruption from roaring, low-flying planes since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a route change in December 2012 that affected departing LaGuardia Airport traffic.

The new routes adhere to a required three-mile separation between planes coming into John F. Kennedy International Airport and planes taking off from LaGuardia Airport while using a new, precise navigation method.

Meng appealed to the EPA because the agency has the authority to investigate and study noise and its effect and respond to inquiries on matters related to noise under the federal Noise Control Act of 1972. The congresswoman charged that the FAA did not have the resources to properly improve the situation in north Queens, and that a lack of coordination between the aviation authority and airport operators is detrimental to any possible progress.

“[In] order to properly protect human health and the environment from excessive noise, the EPA must fully include flight noise in its jurisdiction,” Meng said. “I have no doubt that its involvement is the best way forward to coordinate the efforts of air carriers, the FAA and airport operators.”

In response to the outcry from the community after the route change, in March 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to double its sound monitors and create an office to address soaring noise complaints.

As part of the ongoing study, the Port Authority has since collected reports in an online noise complaint management system powered by PlaneNoise, an aviation noise consultancy specializing in airport noise complaint management solutions.


Queens councilman calls for boost in non-public school safety

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Lancman's Office


Private schools deserve better protection, Councilman Rory Lancman, school administrators and students said during a Monday press conference in Fresh Meadows.

Lancman was joined by representatives from Yeshiva Ketana, Al-Mamoor School and St. Nicholas of Tolentine to rally for a bill that would provide NYPD safety officers to these and other non-public schools.

The bill is supported by 46 of 51 council members, according to a press release.

“We live in a dangerous world where terrorists will not hesitate to target even innocent schoolchildren,” Lancman said. “The city must provide all schools with safety officers. Non-public school students deserve the same safe learning environment that their public school peers enjoy.”

The bill was introduced by Councilman David Greenfield and would require the city to provide full funding for the NYPD to provide public, private, religious and secular schools with safety agents, if they request them.

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), there are more than 5,200 school safety agents protecting New York City schools, making the School Safety Division one of the largest police forces in the country.

“It would be a tremendous benefit to the safety and well-being of our students to have an NYPD Safety Agent in our school,” Rabbi Binyomin, the Menahel of Yeshiva Ketana of Queens said.

School safety agents are unarmed but they are trained by the NYPD and are equipped with police radios to directly communicate with other NYPD officers.

“The administration, faculty and families of Al-Mamoor School strongly support this bill, which will provide our students with the protection they deserve,” Ismael Khalil, the president of Al-Mamoor School said. “We urge the City Council to pass this important legislation that will keep our students safe.”

Negotiations are being made for the city budget, and the deadline to finalize it is Tuesday, June 30. If funding for the budget is not approved, the City Council can take steps to pass the stand-alone bill.


Stop by these Queens Häagen-Dazs shops for Free Cone Day

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Just in time for the warmer weather, Tuesday is Free Cone Day at Häagen-Dazs stores throughout the country, including four in Queens.

From 4 to 8 p.m., participating locations are offering one free kiddie-sized ice cream in either a cup, sugar cone or cake cone.

Free Cone Day will also feature two new artisan flavors — chocolate caramelized oat and banana rum jam.

The following Häagen-Dazs shops around the borough are taking part in the event:

  • New World Mall, 136-20 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing
  • Queens Center mall, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst
  • 70-40 Austin St., Forest Hills
  • 61-10 188th St., Fresh Meadows

For more Häagen-Dazs locations around New York City, click here.


Open house tour given at alleged illegal hotel in Flushing

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

State Senator Tony Avella was given a tour of an alleged illegal hotel in Broadway-Flushing as part of the owner’s effort to demonstrate their intention to use the building as a family residence.

The senator had previously appeared at the home, located at 35-20 156th St., to attend a rally planned by the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association drawing attention to allegations that the home is being renovated to house a transient hotel with 14 bedrooms.

While around 80 people had been in attendance at the demonstration, as well as several local media outlets, the owners of the home were not notified in time to make an appearance on their own behalf. As a way to reach out to the community, Robert Wong, a lawyer hired by the Yang family, set up the meeting attended by Avella, local urban planner Paul Graziano, owner Qin Jin Yang and her husband, and the project’s architect, Shiming Tam.

“They want to carry on with the construction, but complaints are pouring in every day,” Tam said. “And the inspectors are forced to come here, and they pick on little things to justify why they are here.”

On April 27, the Department of Buildings (DOB) notified Qin Jin Yang of their intent to revoke the original building approval because of what deem a “questionable layout for a single family residence.” As part of the tour, the senator was led through the skeleton of a structure, with unfinished walls which afforded peeks of the street outside and a second floor which still had open holes straight through to the level below.

Avella said that he would be willing to discuss the matter further with the family to come to a conclusion.

“I appreciate the fact that you reached out,” Avella said. “That always shows good intentions.”

The Yangs originally submitted a plan for the home to have 14 bedrooms in March 2014, which was approved. After deciding that they wanted fewer bedrooms, the family amended the site plan to include 10 bedrooms and submitted it in April 2015. That site plan was rejected because it had fewer than the 18 bedrooms listed on a 1978 certificate of occupancy. According to Wong, the Yangs will submit a new plan, again with about 10 bedrooms, but the family wanted to first settle any remaining public contention.

Since 1989, the home has racked up 50 complaints with the DOB, but 42 of these occurred before the current owners came into control of the house in October 2013. Many of those complaints have similar allegations of the one-family home being illegally converted to accommodate transient hotel rooms or multiple separate dwellings.

Robert Hanophy, president of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association, has said that when the most recent renovations began, residents feared that they were in another battle against an illegal hotel in their neighborhood.

When asked if he would attend the tour of the home with Senator Avella, Hanophy told The Courier that he felt there was no need to participate because the association did not plan to pursue the matter further if the Yang’s moved in as a single family.

Although the signs may indicate that the community may have been wrong about 35-20 156 St., illegal conversions have been so pervasive in Queens that in March 1997 the Department of Buildings created the Queens Quality of Life Unit (QOL Unit) to oversee the increasing problem.

According to a report by the city Department of Buildings under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, investigating illegal conversions can be a challenging process because inspectors can be denied access to a property by its owner. The inspector would then have to get an access warrant, which can be difficult or nearly impossible to obtain. In 2008, the QOL Unit did not receive access to nearly 40 percent of properties for which they received complaints.


Flushing Letter Carriers collect food for annual drive

| asuriel@queenscourier.com


The Flushing Letter Carriers will be doing their part to help the hungry as part of the annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) food drive on Saturday, May 9.

To take part in the food drive, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag with non-perishable foods near their mailbox to be collected during their regular mail delivery on Saturday. The NALC had suggestions for what kind of food to leave, including peanut butter, rice, cereal, pasta and many canned options such as soup, vegetables, meats and fish.

This year will mark the 23rd time that the NALC will hold the food drive, which takes place every year on the second Sunday in May. According to the organization, it is the largest single-day food drive in the nation, with letter carriers in 10,000 cities and towns taking part in all 50 states.

Letter carriers will bring the collected food to local food banks, pantries and shelters. The NALC says that springtime is a crucial point for many hungry families, as food pantries filled courtesy of winter-holiday generosity are usually bare by this time of year.

“Letter carriers are honored to be able to help people in need,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “On a daily basis we see the needs in the communities we serve, and we believe it’s important to help meet those needs.”


Flushing HS handball team impresses on the court and in the classroom

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Betty Chow

The players on the Flushing High School handball team are not just adept athletes; they are also proficient in the classroom, with many of the student athletes taking advanced placement courses and holding high grade point averages.

After their latest victory, the Flushing Red Devils raised their record to 7-2 and are in first place.

“My hope is that we go deep into the playoffs this year,” said coach Betty Chow, who has been coaching the team for 12 years. “Last year, we advanced into the second round and lost to the eventual champions, Francis Lewis.”

As impressive as their record is this year, it does not compare to their work in the classroom.

The starters for the Red Devils are Waleed Akhtar, senior, who is enrolled in AP economics, AP English, AP calculus and AP biology, with an 85.25 average; Abraham Bautista, senior, who is taking both AP English and AP Spanish, as well as AP biology and AP economics and holds an 87.72 average; Richard Ong, senior, who is taking AP biology, AP economics, AP English and AP calculus and has a 93.96 average; Jianneng Wu, senior, who is enrolled in AP physics and AP economics, is on the math team and has an average of 97.15; and Andrew Yun, senior, who is taking AP English, AP biology, AP economics and AP calculus with a 91.6 average.

The other members of the team are Benson Liu, senior, who is enrolled in both AP physics and AP calculus with a 92.50 average; Jose Mendez, senior, who has an 82.50 average; Marlon Rea, senior, who holds an 84.57 average; Jerry Neira, junior, who posts an 83.83 average; and Brian Collado, sophomore, whose grades were not available.

The Red Devils look to continue their winning ways on the court and to keep up their impressive grades in the classroom.


Potential for development and commercial property values rising in Bayside

| stephen.preuss@cushwake.com

Photo courtesy Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

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

Last year, we discussed the Flushing market driving expansion outwards to the surrounding areas of Flushing.

Not only retail but also development potential has been slowly making its way to other territories. The lack of inventory and constant high demand in the Flushing area has forced investors to expand their area of interest. Since 2012, the cost of retail and commercial property has been gradually rising throughout Queens, most recently in the highly trafficked areas of Bayside.

In 2012, we saw commercial properties including retail and mixed-use selling for an average of $550 per square foot with prime properties on Bell Boulevard selling in the higher range of $600 and secondary areas selling in the $320 range – the same could go for 2013.

In 2014, we started to see the demand for Bayside commercial real estate rising. Prime retail sold at an average of $615 per square foot, a 12 percent increase from 2012. We sold a mixed retail and office building at 39-26 Bell Blvd. for $737 per square foot in 2014, 34 percent above the average for 2012 and 2013. We also currently have a package of mixed-use buildings under contract on Bell Boulevard at over $700 per square foot and a 4.8 percent cap rate.

We have been seeing recently that the awareness of Bayside’s potential has greatly increased with investors. Bayside offers a wide range of opportunity including tremendous development potential on Northern Boulevard as well as Bell Boulevard. Numerous sales within the past year have been transacted with the intentions of redevelopment. For example, 42-21 through 42-29 Bell Blvd., a nine-unit, mixed-use retail strip with multiple credit tenants, sold for $645 per square foot at a 3.98 percent cap with existing income. From a development standpoint, the property can be built up to 28,220 square feet which is an additional 17,510 square feet on the existing building.

We expect to see the action continue in Bayside through 2015 and the coming years.  A large amount of the territory in Bayside has been untapped and holds great potential for development and could lead to a growth in real estate investors, developers and major retail tenants.

Stephen Preuss

Stephen Preuss



YMCA questions its place in Flushing Commons project

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Flushing YMCA

A new recreational center is being built at Flushing Commons, but questions remain as to whether the Flushing YMCA will operate it.

Paul Custer, senior vice president of government affairs for the YMCA of Greater New York, told The Courier in an exclusive interview that the nonprofit organization is looking for answers regarding the project in planned meetings with Flushing Commons’ developers, F&T Group, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

The Flushing Y came on board with the Flushing Commons plan as the project’s “community benefit.” Original plans called for the new Flushing Y — which currently operates out of a 90-year-old building on Northern Boulevard — to be created on the second and third floors of a building erected during the project’s first phase.

Those plans, however, were amended in 2009 as a result of economic issues related to the project, Custer said. As part of a redesign, the Flushing Y was relocated to the basement of a retail and commercial building called “The Elm” to be constructed at the corner of 39th Avenue and 138th Street.

“It’s not a very viable place,” Custer said. “It’s kind of hard to make it a community center [from the basement].”

The changes, he noted, compromise the YMCA’s goals transforming its Flushing chapter into a 21st-century community center, allowing it to offer new programs and existing initiatives while also removing any physical obstacles preventing people from participating in them.

Michael Meyer of the F&T Group told The Courier that the group mutually agreed to explore “alternative locations or alternative buildings” at the Flushing Commons site for the Flushing Y.

“We will explore that with them and hopefully we’ll find a way to get there,” Meyer said. “But that’s all on the drawing boards and there’s no certainty.”

In future meetings with F&T Group and city representatives, Custer hopes the Flushing Y could find a more viable place at Flushing Commons. If that goal can’t be fulfilled, he noted, the Y will need to explore other alternatives while continuing to maintain an aging facility. It has reached out to local elected officials for assistance.

Meyer said the Flushing Y “has a home in Flushing Commons” and the F&T Group will construct a recreational center in the project, as required in its deal with the city. Should the Flushing Y choose to no longer participate in the project, he said, the F&T Group would seek another organization to operate the recreational center.

“We’re still building the facility,” he added. “That’s our agreement with the city. There’s no doubt about that.”

One elected official involved in the process, Councilman Peter Koo, was optimistic that a deal could be reached.

“The proposed YMCA in Flushing Commons would provide a tremendous boon to our community,” Koo said in a statement to The Courier. “I have encouraged both sides to come to the table to discuss how the project will move forward and remain optimistic that a mutually beneficial agreement will be reached between the two parties.”


Fired trash hauler workers win back their Maspeth jobs

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Teamsters Joint Council No. 16

Two private sanitation workers fired last Friday for testifying before the City Council’s Sanitation Committee got their jobs back Monday morning thanks to community and labor pressure on the company that let them go.

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who is the Sanitation Committee chair, held a press conference this morning in front of Five Star Carting’s location on Thames Street in Brooklyn in support of Michael Bush and Carlton Darden, the fired workers.

The conference was to have taken place in front of Five Star’s location on 47th Street in west Maspeth, but was moved to Brooklyn after the company organized a counteractive rally among its own supporters.

During a City Council hearing held last Wednesday, Darden and Bush testified about the problems in their industry, from low wages for long hours to dangerous working conditions. Both were subsequently given their notice by Five Star for speaking out against the company.

Federal labor law protects workers from retaliation for speaking publicly about their working conditions.

“These workers never deserved to be fired for speaking out—it was both illegal and unacceptable—so I am glad they are back to work,” Reynoso said. “It really speaks to the fact that the commercial waste industry desperately needs to be reformed. I am proud to join with the brave sanitation workers and to stand up for good jobs, worker protections and the right to free speech.”

Representatives from local labor unions joined the lawmaker in supporting Bush and Darden.

“New Yorkers have learned two things this week: Five Star Carting does not respect its workers or their free speech rights, but also that when workers, community members and elected officials stand together, we win,” said Sean Campbell, president of Teamsters Local 813. “The campaign for justice for sanitation workers is not over. From Maspeth to City Hall, we will keep fighting for good wages, worker safety and a clean environment.”

Allan Henry, an organizer for the Teamsters, said that after speaking out against Five Star Carting and their working conditions, Bush and Darden were told to sign papers deeming them terminated before they could receive their paychecks.

“Now they both have their jobs back, but this is the type of working conditions and the type of retaliation these workers are dealing in this industry,” Henry said.

Anthony Tristani, president of Five Star Carting, claimed that Bush and Darden were never fired from the company.

“Neither one was ever terminated,” he said in a phone interview. “Michael Bush was scheduled to come in yesterday.”

Tristani said that after the rally, Bush came into the Maspeth location and asked to use a sick day to cover the shift that he missed, which he was granted. Darden is scheduled to work tonight.


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