Tag Archives: jamaica

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]

 

 

 

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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Mother charged with murder of 4-year-old girl at Jamaica homeless shelter


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Updated  Monday, Oct. 27, 1:47p.m.

The mother of the child found dead at a Jamaica homeless shelter has been arrested and charged with murder, according to police.

The 4-year-old girl, Linayjah Meraldo, was found unresponsive and unconscious by police on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. at 80-20 134th St., authorities said. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.

The location has been identified by published reports as the Briarwood Family Residence, a women’s and children’s temporary shelter.

On Friday, 35-year-old Latoya Curry, Linayjah’s mother, was charged with second-degree murder in connection to her daughter’s death, police said. She was also arraigned on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Curry, who was living at the shelter with her five children, became angry Wednesday night when the toddler squirted hand cream on the kitchen floor. Curry then allegedly hit her daughter in the stomach and face “so hard that a tooth was dislodged.”

The 35-year-old then allegedly dragged the girl into the bedroom and threw her against a wall and onto the bed, striking her again in her face and stomach, Brown said.

The district attorney said the 4-year-old child then cried and complained about pain in her abdomen, but fell asleep. The following morning, Linayjah woke up with a slight fever and continued to complain about pain in her stomach.

Then between 10 and 11:45 a.m. on the same day, Linayjah took a nap, and when Curry checked on her, she was unresponsive.

According to the office of the Medical Examiner, who ruled the toddler’s death a homicide, Linayjah died from blunt force injuries to her torso.

An autopsy performed on Friday showed that the toddler had internal injuries including multiple recent and healed rib fractures, a torn small intestine, internal bleeding and extensive bruising, and the child also appeared malnourished.

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Real estate roundup: Eight-story residential tower planned for downtown Jamaica, Queens eyed for juvenile offenders facilities


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/ PropertyShark 

Eight stories in downtown Jamaica

“Applications have been filed to begin construction of an eight-story and 31-unit residential building of 22,728 square feet at the vacant lots of 87-65 – 87-69 171st Street, in Downtown Jamaica; the site’s two-story predecessor was demolished in 2003, and M. S. Savani is designing.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

Two Queens neighborhoods being eyed for ‘limited secure’ facilities for juvenile offenders

“The city is searching for sites in Queens to place a “limited secure” facility for juvenile offenders, the News has learned. Sources said locations in South Ozone Park and Jamaica are being studied.” Read more [New York Daily News]

Checking in on Tishman Speyer’s Long Island City project

“28-18 Jackson Avenue, which is part of Tishman Speyer’s plan to bring approximately 1,600 residential apartments to Long Island City, is completely covered in pipe scaffolding now.Construction crews put the pipe scaffolding up with in the last two weeks, and a permit filed on September 11 calls for the full mechanical demolition of the building.” Read more [The Court Square Blog]

 

Man shot dead after attacking cops with hatchet in Jamaica


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Updated 9:37 p.m.

A hatchet-wielding man was shot and killed in Jamaica Thursday afternoon after injuring two police officers, authorities said.

The incident occurred at about 2 p.m. near Jamaica Avenue and 162nd Street, according to police.


As four rookie cops assigned to the 103rd Precinct were posing for a picture for a freelance photographer, the man, unprovoked and not saying a word, charged at them with the hatchet, authorities said.

One of the officers, 24-year old Joseph Meeker, was struck in the arm, and a second, 25-year old Kenneth Healey, was struck in the head, police said.

Photo via Instagram/@jonie.b

Photo via Instagram/@jonie.b

The two other officers then shot at the man, identified in media reports as 32-year-old Zale Thompson. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Healey was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in critical but stable condition, according to authorities. Meeker is expected to be released from the hospital late Thursday, reports said.

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The weapon used in the attack was a metal hatchet, about 18 inches long. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

A bystander, a 29-year-old woman, was shot in the back during the gunfire and taken to the hospital, where she is reportedly listed in stable condition.

Though a motive for the attack wasn’t immediately clear, the NYPD is not ruling out terrorism, the Daily News said.

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Four-year-old girl found dead at Jamaica homeless shelter


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Updated 9:05 p.m.

A four-year-old girl was discovered dead Thursday afternoon at a Jamaica homeless shelter, police said.

The toddler, Linayjah Meraldo, was found at 12:50 p.m. inside 80-20 134th St., according to authorities.

The location has been identified by published reports as the Briarwood Family Residence, a women’s and children’s temporary shelter.

The girl was found with possible head trauma, reports said.

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Landmarked 116-year-old Jamaica Savings Bank building set for transformation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

A real estate firm investing in downtown Jamaica has plans to renovate and modify one of the area’s landmarked buildings.

The new owners of the 116-year-old Jamaica Savings Bank building at 161-02 Jamaica Ave. in the heart of the neighborhood’s downtown area has filed with the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission to modify the building.

The structure, a Beaux-Arts-style bank building designed by architecture firm Hough & Duell and built in 1898, was designated a landmark in 2008.

According to city records, the application seeks to “construct rear and side additions, replace doors, install awnings and infill window openings.”

The building was bought by the investment firm of the Laboz family, United American Land LLC, under the name 161-02 Jamaica LLC for $3.7 million, according to records filed with the city in January. Jason Laboz of the firm declined to speak with The Courier about the project.

The modification of the building could be part of a plan to add new retail tenants into the property as the company has planned with the adjacent buildings on the strip.

United American Land purchased the 10-story building next door at 160-16 Jamaica Ave. in January for $8.5 million. It filed permits to reduce the larger building down to four stories, matching the landmarked structure and the property at 160-08 Jamaica Ave., which the company owns as well.

The 160-08 Jamaica Ave. structure is still under construction for new retail tenants, according to plans posted on United American Land’s website.

The firm bought that building in 2012 for $14 million, according to city records, and an H&M was thought to be a potential anchor for that property, according to published reports.

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Real estate roundup: The Crossing in downtown Jamaica revealed, friends return to Sandy damaged house


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of BRP Companies

93-01 Sutphin Boulevard Revealed

“BRP Companies have released renderings of their 25- and 14-story mixed-use development project at 93-01 Sutphin Boulevard, in Downtown Jamaica. Dubbed The Crossing, the complex will contain 580 residential units and 100,000 square feet of retail space.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

After 50 years in business, Frankie’s Pizzeria has closed

“The operators of Frankie’s Pizza, which is located at 22-56 31st Street, left a note in the window that read: Dear Costumers! Thank you for your loyalty and support after 50 years of business– Frankie’s Pizza is closing!” Read more [Astoria Post]

Organic Coffee Shop with Vegetarian Menu Opens in Forest Hills

“A new coffee shop featuring organic and vegetarian menu opened this week in Forest Hills, a neighborhood that has been primarily served by coffee shop chains, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Rockaway Park Friends Return To Homes Damaged In Superstorm Sandy

“Nearly two years after Superstorm Sandy, two friends in a Queens neighborhood are finally back in their own homes.” Read more [CBS]

Suspect punches, sprays man with unknown substance at Jamaica subway stop: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a suspect who allegedly assaulted a man at a Queens J train station after he got into an altercation with the victim’s girlfriend.

The suspect and the victim’s girlfriend were on the platform of the Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue stop at about 10:20 a.m. on Sept. 14 when they bumped into each other, according to police.

After the victim got involved in the ensuing altercation, the suspect punched the victim and sprayed him with an unknown substance, authorities said.

The suspect then fled the Jamaica station on a southbound J train.

The victim, 23, was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Police said the suspect, who is in his 30s, was last seen wearing a blue jean jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Real estate roundup: Transformation of Jamaica, Brooklyn residents join Astoria Cove protests


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Luxury Residence Among Buildings Changing the Face of Jamaica

Jamaica, once an overlooked and crime-ridden area in Southeast Queens, has been undergoing a transformation into a vibrant neighborhood, with a slew of new upscale apartment buildings, hotels and stores.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Battered bulkheads and seawall spell danger for some Rockaway residents

“Jamaica Bay’s crumbling seawalls are putting some Queens residents in jeopardy of flooding. City Councilman Donovan Richards and other officials called on the city to repair Hurricane Sandy-damaged bulkheads in order to protect Arverne streets and homes from the bay’s deluge.” Read more [New York Daily News]

Protesters Link a Queens Project to Brooklyn Rents

“Negotiations over the fate of Astoria Cove, the first new city development to opt into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing program, have attracted no shortage of advocates and critics hoping to influence the process.” Read more [New York Times]

Borough Keeping Buildings Department Busy

“It seems that Queens continues to keep the city Department of Buildings very busy. That was the story Tuesday night at the Community Board 9 meeting as DOB officials detailed how active the borough is with complaints, inspections and penalties.” Read more [The Forum]

 

 

Massive downtown Jamaica development site sells for $22 million


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/ PropertyShark 

Downtown Jamaica’s development boom is expected by many sometime in the future, but one recent sale suggests developers may be springing into action already.

The nearly 90,000-square-foot building and parking garage site at 163-05 and 163-25 Archer Ave. in the heart of the downtown area traded hands for $22 million, according to property records filed Tuesday.

Gertz Plaza sold the site to Jamaica Tower, which has yet to file any building or demolition plans on the site, but it has tons of development potential, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services.

“This sale signifies the return of the residential development market in downtown Jamaica,” said Massey Knakal’s Brian Sarath, who handled the transaction. “It is the largest site to trade since the downturn and will be a catalyst for the Jamaica development market moving forward.”

The site currently has a one-story building with an accompanying seven-story parking garage. The building, which has 10 units, currently only uses 32,471 square feet of the site and some units are vacant, while the garage is 280,000 square feet.

It is a developer’s dream with 719,736 square feet of buildable space near a gigantic transportation hub of subways, LIRR, the AirTrain and dozens of buses.

“We received numerous bids in a short period of time from developers that were priced out of other areas in the city and see tremendous value in the downtown Jamaica market,” Sarath said.

Photo courtesy Massey Knakal

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal

Advocates and public officials have been trying to lure developers and business to Jamaica in recent years with incentives such as a 368-block rezoning of the downtown area and using York College as a tax-free haven for moving companies and start-ups.

York College, which is located across from the site, also hopes to help usher in development and new businesses as a START-UP NY site, and is offering new businesses about 3.5 acres of land on-campus.

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3.5 acres of on-campus land at York College will be home to new companies


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo and map courtesy of York College

Parts of Jamaica may look forlorn with many properties vacant or in need of repair, but its shopping district and its richness in transportation options could turn it into the next big thing for development.

Businesses from around the state and outside New York are vying to enter the neighborhood through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP NY tax-free program at York College, which school officials are touting as a potential catalyst for a development explosion in downtown Jamaica.

York representatives told The Courier that they are in negotiations with many businesses looking to partner with the school in exchange for no corporate, sales or property taxes for 10 years, and move to a property near the school or build on a portion of 3.5 acres of vacant, government-owned land on campus.

The vacant property, called Site 9, was identified in a plan that school administrators submitted to the governor’s office in July. The site is bounded by Guy Brewer Boulevard, Liberty Avenue, 165th Street and South Road. A parking lot and green space at the Brewer Boulevard side of the block are not part of the development site.

That plan was submitted by CUNY to the state Commissioner for Economic Development and was recently approved.

The plan details the types of businesses York is hoping to attract, based on the school’s academic and research programs.

Although school representatives said they weren’t allowed to discuss the specific businesses that they are considering, those fields include pharmaceutical, medical device research and manufacturing, water resource management and purification, logistics, aviation, wireless technology, solar power companies and food science research and manufacturing.


School administrators said the partnering businesses will benefit not only students but also the neighborhood, which should see increased employment as a diversifying local business landscape becomes a magnet to attract other firms to the area.

“[The program] is moving in the right direction and we are quite excited,” said Earl Simons, director of government and community relations at York. “It provides potential opportunities for our students in terms of internships as well as important opportunities for the surrounding community.”

S- York Map 2

Near York College, the downtown Jamaica area hosts a comprehensive transportation hub. The AirTrain transports passengers to John F. Kennedy Airport in about 10 minutes, while the LIRR takes thousands of people to Manhattan daily in about 20 minutes. There are about 49 bus lines running through and around the area, and the E, J, Z and F subway lines are nearby.

There have been several recent moves to leverage this resource.

A 368-block rezoning was completed in downtown Jamaica in 2007 to allow more developments with commercial and residential uses.

And earlier this year, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, a nonprofit that has been working to transform the neighborhood, announced the development of a $225 mixed-use, 29-story residential and commercial tower at the building it owns on 93-01 Sutphin Blvd. at Archer Avenue, just north of the LIRR/AirTrain complex.

Rendering courtesy Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

93-43 Sutphin Blvd. rendering courtesy of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

That followed the 2013 announcement of a 210-room, 24-story hotel on the south side of the LIRR complex at 93-43 Sutphin Blvd., a plot of land that is partly owned by the nonprofit.

The Development Corp is collaborating with York to help bring businesses to downtown Jamaica through the tax-free zone program, school officials said.

Businesses looking to set up shop in the tax-free zone need to appeal to several selection committees as well as school and state officials. While no immediate announcement of incoming companies is expected, York is confident in the program’s ability to be the push downtown Jamaica needs.

“It’s another tool to really spur development and economic opportunities and job creation,” Simons said. “It can only enhance all of the efforts that are taking place here.”

 

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Queens teen found shot to death in Long Island


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Suffolk County Police Department

A Queens teenager was discovered fatally shot in a Long Island park Friday afternoon, police said.

The body of Jonathan A. Graff, 17, was found by a man who was walking his dog in Spur Drive Park in Bay Shore at about 4:15 p.m., according to authorities.

He had been shot in the head, reports said.

Graff, who lived in Kew Gardens, was last seen Thursday in Jamaica near the Long Island Rail Road station, according to Newsday.

Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Graff’s body was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, and authorities are reportedly awaiting the results to determine how many times he was shot.

Anyone with information on the incident or who may have seen Graff before the shooting is asked to call Suffolk County Police detectives at 631-852-6392 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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Woman arrested following boyfriend’s stabbing in Jamaica: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

Updated 4:29 p.m.

A  Jamaica man is dead following an altercation with his girlfriend Wednesday night, cops said.

Police, responding to a 911 call of a man stabbed, arrived at the 155th Street home of the victim, 46-year-old Michael Harris, at about 9:50 p.m., cops said. Inside, they found him with several stab wounds to the torso.

Harris was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 33-year-old woman, identified by police as Harris’ girlfriend, Carmen Rodriguez, was taken into custody from the home the two shared, authorities said. The couple allegedly got into a physical altercation before the stabbing.

She was later charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to police.

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Suspect wanted in Jamaica slashing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Updated 3:05 p.m.

Police are looking for a man suspected of slashing a 26-year-old woman’s throat inside the lobby of a Jamaica building last week after she reportedly resisted his advances.

The suspect approached the victim in the lobby of a building on 171st Street near Jamaica Avenue at about 5:20 a.m., on Oct. 1, cops said. He started talking to the woman, but, not wanting to speak with him, she turned away. The man then grabbed her from behind and used a cutting instrument to slash her neck.

According to published reports, the suspect was trying to ask the woman on a date before attacking her.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where she was listed in critical but stable condition.

Police have released surveillance video of the suspect and describe him as black or Hispanic, about 20 years-old, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and short black hair. He was last seen wearing black sneakers and blue jeans.


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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