Tag Archives: Francis Lewis Boulevard

Truck driver in Auburndale had fatal heart attack behind wheel: cops

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


An apparent heart attack caused a 64-year-old truck driver to lose control and crash into several parked cars on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Auburndale Monday morning, according to police.

The NYPD said Frederick Harris of Westminster, Maryland, was behind the wheel of a box truck traveling northbound on Francis Lewis Boulevard near 49th Avenue at about 6:38 a.m. when he was stricken.

Reportedly, the vehicle veered to the left and across the concrete median into the boulevard’s southbound lanes before slamming into three parked vehicles.

Officers from the 111th Precinct responded to the scene along with EMS units, who pronounced Harris dead at the location.

A preliminary investigation concluded that Harris suffered an apparent heart attack, a law enforcement source said. The body was transported to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

No other injuries were reported and an investigation is ongoing.


New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai opens practice in Bayside

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) of Mount Sinai has opened a new care center in Bayside.

The new Bayside practice, located at 45-64 Francis Lewis Blvd., offers a wide range of ear and eye services, including general ear and eye care, consultations for laser eye surgery and evaluations of head, neck and thyroid masses.

“NYEE is excited to continue to expand our services to the residents of Queens as part of our ongoing commitment to care for those who need us in their communities,” said James Tsai, MD, president of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. “We hope to make NYEE’s renowned care more easily accessible to patients across the region and look forward to partnering with local physicians in the community in caring for their residents.”

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary has more than 600 affiliated physicians, 15 satellite offices, and two ambulatory surgery offices throughout the tri-state area with board-certified specialists.

The hospital also has a practice site in Forest Hills at 108-12 72nd Ave.


Mount Sinai medical center opening in new Bayside office and retail building

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Hospital will soon open an ambulatory surgical center on the second floor of a brand-new retail and office building in Bayside.

Construction on the second floor of the building, which is located at 45-64 Francis Lewis Blvd., is already complete. Furniture and medical equipment has been brought into the future center, which will boast four full-size operating rooms throughout 21,000 square feet.

The facility could start seeing patients within the next couple of months, according to a representative from FDC Realty, which is marketing the building.

The medical center will offer various types of operations, such as cataract surgery on both children and adults. And there is an underground parking lot for about 96 cars and above-ground spots for more vehicles to accommodate an expected high volume of patients and staff.

The 19,000-square-foot first floor space isn’t completed yet, but FDC Realty is negotiating with another medical provider for some space and said numerous retail stores have expressed interest in the building, including a national brand cafe and a pharmacy.

For leasing opportunities at the building, contact David Gelfond or Bruce Pollack at FDC Realty at 631-234-3200.


Residents demand city fix hazardous Auburndale road

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

For several years now, residents in Auburndale have been trying to get the city to cure its depression — a sinkhole on Francis Lewis Boulevard.

But calls for something to be done have brought no joy.

The 5-inch-wide by 5-inch-deep trench runs the length of Francis Lewis Boulevard between 50th and 53rd avenues and has plagued motorists and homeowners for more than five years.

“The depression started out as a small bump at first,” said Robert Veltri. “But over time it’s gotten so bad that every time a truck goes by it shakes the foundation of our home. We’ve had to move our bedroom to the back just so we can sleep.”

In 2013 the Department of Transportation (DOT) inspected the sinkhole adjacent to a manhole cover, deeming it a “depressed area,” according to DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall. Because of the proximity to the manhole and sewer line, DOT sent a repair request to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

But, residents observed, nothing has been done by any city agency.

“When big trucks go by, our furniture shakes,” another resident, Eileen Morrissey, said. “We can’t even stay in our house for too long. We pay too much in taxes to have this happening.”

Veltri and Morrissey contacted Councilman Mark Weprin to try to get repairs done. In a letter written earlier this year, Weprin asked the DEP to “take whatever measures are necessary to address Mr. Veltri’s concerns.”

In September, Weprin wrote to the Veltris and told them that the city was “currently looking into this case.”

The DEP, which has not responded to requests for comment on this story,  has yet to contact the Veltris regarding the letter.


Pols put a stop to dangerous traffic at Cambria Heights intersection

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Drivers passing through an accident-prone intersection can now do so more safely thanks to new streetlights.

In Cambria Heights, the intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st Avenue has been a notorious site for car crashes. Local officials responded and worked to get three streetlights put up along the busy roadway.

Councilmembers Donovan Richards and I. Daneek Miller, whose districts meet at the intersection, advocated for the safety measure in the residential neighborhood.

“For a very long time, this intersection has been dangerous to not only my district but Daneek’s district,” Richards said. “Today, you don’t see cars crisscrossing each other.”

Miller’s predecessor, Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, started work on the traffic installment during his time as a councilmember. Miller took over the project after his term began this month.

“I live and grew up on this street,” Miller said. “We’ve been watching it grow. We have a real increase in traffic that needs to be addressed.”

In recent years, Cambria Heights has experienced several traffic fatalities. A 27-year-old man lost his life in March 2013 after losing control of his vehicle while on icy Francis Lewis Boulevard, and Paulina Rodriguez, 24, died in a three-car accident after she ran a stop sign on 115th Avenue and 227th Street.


Duane Reade to stay for 15 more years in Flushing

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, Inc. (KDA) has arranged for the renewal of a 14,000 square-foot, long-term lease for New York-based drugstore chain Duane Reade at 198-15 Horace Harding Expressway at the Cross Path Shopping Center in Flushing, Kalmon and Neil Dolgin, co-presidents of KDA announced.

“The Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates team worked closely with the owner to negotiate the best possible terms for the lease renewal of Duane Reade at the property,” said Neil Dolgin. “The prime location of the Cross Path Shopping Center offers tenants excellent visibility, and the close proximity of Francis Lewis Boulevard and I-495 provides customers convenient access to all that the center has to offer.”

Neil and Grant Dolgin of Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates represented the owner in the deal, while Winick Realty Group, LLC negotiated on behalf of the tenant.

In addition to Duane Reade, the 44,877-square-foot, one-story Cross Path Shopping Center features tenants such as Waldbaums grocery store, N&S Wines, a nail salon, pet groomer, T-Mobile and the Blue Bay Diner.



Bayside man arrested after taking his girlfriend hostage

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Vic Nicastro / New York Daily News

Police arrested a Bayside man early Sunday morning after he took his girlfriend hostage in his home and refused to surrender to cops for hours.

Witnesses saw Athanasios Kakouras armed with a gun arguing with his girlfriend last night near his home on 42nd Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard, cops said. Police responded to the scene around 10 p.m. on Saturday after reports of a man with a gun in the area and saw Kakouras pushing the woman into the house.

Kakouras held his girlfriend captive for sometime, but eventually released her after hostage negotiators talked to him, authorities said.

Kakouras refused to surrender himself until 1:50 a.m., police said. And cops charged him with assault and resisting arrest.




Cambria Heights residents demand action after cars crash into accident-prone home

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

For residents of one Cambria Heights block, it was nothing new.

In the early morning hours of Friday, May 3, two cars reportedly collided and then careened into a home near the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 133rd Avenue. According to residents, traffic conditions create a high number of accidents in the area.

“This is something that’s been happening for a while,” said Roxanne Depeiza, who lives next door to the damaged home.

Depeiza said the home’s resident, Pat Austin, frequently deals with her property being damaged, with cars regularly knocking down her fence. Friday’s accident was the second time her stairs have been destroyed, according to Depeiza.

“Those stairs are her entrance and exit to the house,” she said. “What does she do now?”

Austin could not be reached for comment.

Depeiza said last month, two cars got into an accident on the block and slid into her own parked van, “totaling” it completely.

Along Francis Lewis Boulevard, one traffic light is at 133rd Avenue, with another a short distance away at Merrick Boulevard. Residents said that cars speed down the road to make green lights.

“Once that first light changes, you don’t have much time to make the second,” said David Varick, who lives on the block.

Depeiza said she has asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install speed bumps in the area, but to no avail.

The DOT said it has not received any requests, but will review the location for the applicability of safety enhancements.

The department added there have been no fatalities, pedestrian injuries or serious driver injuries at the intersection between 2007 and 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

“Somebody needs to do something about this before someone dies,” said Depeiza. “It’s getting worse every year. I could go on and on about how many accidents we see here.”




Teen arrested for burglarizing church

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

An 18-year-old man was arrested for a string of three burglaries – including a church – on January 17.

According to a police source, Maksim Kriton was taken into custody by officers of the 109th Precinct for allegedly burglarizing a residence at 157th  Street and 17th Avenue on December 12, followed by a location on Francis Lewis Boulevard on January 13 and St. Luke’s Church shortly thereafter.