Tag Archives: Long Island City

LIC Partnership annual luncheon focuses on the future


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre 

The Long Island City Partnership’s 27th annual trade show and luncheon on Thursday highlighted the answer to the question on everyone’s mind — what now?

While the event celebrated the growth of the burgeoning neighborhood, keynote speaker Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development (ESD), emphasized state initiatives to help advance the area further, including a possible $100,000 state grant for a planning study of LIC.

The LIC Partnership has applied for the grant, and the state is currently reviewing about 2,600 projects for funds. The applications that win state funding will be announced in December, but the LIC planning study has been upgraded to a priority plan, Adams said, because members of the Regional Economic Development Council from the five boroughs support it.

“The study is necessary, because we have to make sure that there is the opportunity for small businesses to survive in this market because the cost of property has dramatically escalated and the cost of rents are following,” said Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley, who received the William D. Modell Community Service Award at the event. “There needs to be this study to say what is the unintended consequences so far of development and zoning and how do we look forward to maintain that good balance of live, work and play.”

Adams said Long Island City and Astoria will also be affected by the incoming students, faculty, and researchers coming to the future Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, and that the ESD has provided funding to work on a tech incubator for the area with the advocacy group Coalition for Queens.

The Room 2

Turning to past achievements, the LIC Partnership honored TF Cornerstone founders K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan for their investments in the neighborhood.

Recently, the firm completed its 10-year, $1.4 billion Center Boulevard project, which includes six residential towers on the Long Island City waterfront for a community of more than 6,000 people.

TF Cornerstone was also selected to develop two residential towers for the second phase of the city’s Hunter’s Point South mega affordable housing project.

The buildings will have 1,193 new apartments, 796 of which will be affordable, and the towers will also feature a gym, rooftop gardens and decks, and an on-site senior recreational center.

“It gives me great pleasure to come out to our Long Island City site and to see people pushing carriages around and riding bicycles. It’s like a small city,” Frederick said. “I think other [investors] are going to continue to come in, because it’s established now.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Urban Market opens in Long Island City


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Supermarket chain Key Food will open its first Long Island City “Urban Market” on Friday, the company posted on Facebook and its website.

The new 8,000-square-foot supermarket will be located at 50-01 2nd St. near the waterfront.

There will be a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on Friday, and Borough President Melinda Katz will be in attendance, according to Key Food.

Hours for the new supermarket will be 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Video captures suspect who broke into Tequila Sunrise


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A man smashed the front door of a Long Island City Mexican restaurant before taking off with hundreds in cash, police said.

The suspect made his way into the eatery, Tequila Sunrise, at 40-01 Northern Blvd., about 3:15 a.m. on Oct. 24 after breaking the glass front door with an unspecified object, authorities said.

Once inside, he took about $350 from a cash register before fleeing.

Police have released video surveillance footage of the suspect taken inside the restaurant.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Report: Queens rent prices increase in October


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Chart courtesy of  MNS Real Estate.

Prepare to pay higher rents if you want to live in Queens.

An influx of new luxury buildings in Rego Park and the continued popularity of Astoria contributed to the average price for an apartment rising to $2,097 in October, according to the Queens Rental Market Report released by MNS Real Estate.

The prices for studios, one and two-bedroom apartments represents a slight jump from September, with notable changes in rents coming from Rego Park and Astoria.

In Rego Park, the average price increased because of new luxury buildings, according to the report.

“A notable growth spurt continues to take place in Rego Park as prices bounced back after a slight downturn last month,” the report said. “Developments such as The Contour at 97-45 Queens Blvd. and more recently, The Rego Modern at 99-39 66th Ave. are leading this progression.”

Renters in Astoria paid 5.3 percent more in October than September, the report showed. Studio prices in the neighborhood jump 7.05 percent to an average of $1,772.

See the full report here.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New precinct captain will start ‘Neighborhood Friday’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Captain Brian Hennessy feels like he is back home, and he’s ready to bring the tools that helped him succeed in the 108th Precinct to his new command.

Hennessy is now the commanding officer of the 115th Precinct, which covers East Elmhurst, north Corona and Jackson Heights. He made the move from the 108th Precinct on Nov. 6, replacing Deputy Inspector Michael Cody, who since transferred to the narcotics bureau.

“The 108 was my first command and the community there was outstanding. To have that as my first command I was very lucky and I was very grateful,” Hennessy said about the precinct, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and parts of Maspeth. “The community [at the 115] is very involved. It’s going to be good.”

The move for Hennessy is like a return back home, because before becoming the commanding officer of the 108th Precinct in May 2013, he was the second in command at the 115th Precinct for about two years.

“Inspector Cody taught me a lot,” Hennessy said. “He left me in good hands. The community here, just like the 108, is very supportive, very involved. So I enjoyed working here and I’m ecstatic to be back.”

Cody placed an emphasis on community, and Hennessy plans to continue that focus. He hopes to build on relationships with community members and bring in new programs to help strengthen the ties.

One of the big programs he hopes to start up soon is what he calls Community Fridays, which he started at his previous post. Every Friday, volunteers from the precinct and community would address quality-of-life issues such as graffiti and abandoned cars left on the streets. Another issue is homelessness, which Hennessy works closely with the Department of Homeless Services to address.

“Whatever was brought up in a community meeting or a blog or anywhere that we did see a complaint on something that needed to be fixed, we went out and took all the volunteers and did one section a week,” he said. “I’m a big proponent of community first. The relationship between the community and police has to be there in order for us to be successful.”

He also plans to bring in a conditions team to the community in which officers are assigned to different neighborhood and build “personal connections and interaction” with residents.

“They can follow up with any issues. It gives a personal face to the command,” Hennessy said.

Hennessy also hopes to work on the bigger issues in the surrounding neighborhoods such as prostitution and illegally vending on Roosevelt Avenue, gang violence and disturbances that come from the local bars and their patrons.

Working on what he began in the 108th Precinct, Hennessy also plans to start a Twitter account for the 115th Precinct because he said there were positive responses from residents at his previous post.

The next community council meeting for the 115th Precinct, which Hennessy will attend, will be held on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the precinct, 92-15 Northern Blvd.

“You know when you come to the meeting and you give me a complaint, I’m going to personally address it,” Hennessy said. “I’m excited to be back, and I can’t wait to get out there and work with the community and help in any way we can.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

LIC filmmaker uses neighborhood as backdrop for fashion-themed movie


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Troy Benson

BY ALAN CAPPER

Long Island City residents are used to film and television cameras on the street. Usually they are for network or TV companies who have now discovered LIC.

How exciting, therefore, for one of its own residents to be writing, producing and directing an independent feature film, much of which is being filmed in Long Island City.

Roberto Mitrotti, a television and film producer, has been a resident of LIC for well over a decade. For some years, he has produced and directed a number of travel films, including “The Compulsive Traveler” for CBS Television. His company probably has one of the largest libraries of travel footage held by a private company, RPM Media. His previous feature film involvement was in writing the script for “The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud” distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Stealing Chanel” is a contemporary story about the coming of age of Giorgio, a young designer, set in the world of New York fashion brands and stores. Born poor and raised in Queens, he believes that fashion can improve people’s lives and wearing the right clothing is the only way to rise above his condition. So he shoplifts as a way to get close and live the magic of fashion.

RX5A8823

When arrested, he has to go through a brutal rehabilitation program with Chanel, an arrogant Park Avenue therapist who is a badly dressed heiress with class issues. As they struggle for control and reluctantly fall for each other, she helps him acknowledge his true talents as a designer and break into the professional fashion world. At the same time he uncovers the softer woman beneath the armor.

Mitrotti has wanted to film in Long Island City since he first moved there from Manhattan.
“When I first saw Long Island City, it made a huge impression on me and I thought it was one of the most photogenic locations in New York—even more now with all the recent developments.”

He has chosen locations like the court in Court Square, the spectacular waterfront, several charming side streets and even factory complexes near the canal.

Mitrotti was invited by designer Dennis Basso to film behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in September.

“It adds an insider dimension of fashion to the background of the film which is all about the fashion world,” he said.

Mitrotti has been fortunate in bringing together a high-profile cast in the key roles. This includes supermodel Carol Alt, a Long Island native who began her career in modeling, appearing on the cover of over 500 magazines in the 80s including Harpers Bazaar and Sports Illustrated.

RX5A8946

In the film, Carol Alt’s character drives around in a spectacular yellow vintage Porsche convertible which was loaned by another LIC city resident, Robert Rogal, owner of auction house RoGallery.

Acting alongside Alt is Adam LaVorgna in the role of Giorgio, best known for his work in “7th Heaven” and “Outside Providence,” supermodel Lydia Hearst in the role of Chanel, Margaret Colin from “Independence Day” and “Gossip Girl,” and John Rothman from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

The film will be released in the fall of 2015.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Real estate roundup: 1,789-unit, three-tower project planned for LIC, Astoria Cove developers to hire union labor


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner

1,789-Unit, Three-Tower Tishman Speyer Project in Long Island City

“Now, permits have been filed for the mega-development, and it’s gotten a bit bigger: 1,789 apartments will now be included across the complex, which takes up two blocks bounded by Jackson Avenue, Orchard Street, Sunnyside Yards, and Queens Boulevard.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

Astoria Cove developers agree to hire union labor

The City Council and the developers of Astoria Cove have reached a tentative agreement to hire union workers for the construction phase of the Queens waterfront residential and commercial redevelopment project.” Read more [Capital]

Progress stalled at 27-05 41st Avenue

“When we stopped by last week, we noticed that little to nothing had changed since QBS’ last visit. ETA on the “six-story, 44-unit mixed-use building with 30,041 square feet of residential space and 6,970 square feet of commercial space” was originally at the end of this year, but obviously the developers won’t reach that goal.” Read more [The Court Square Blog]

George Xu aims to bring another hotel to Flushing

“The owners of the Century Development Group Corporation applied for permits to construct a 214,000-square-foot mixed use building at 137-45 Northern Boulevard, the location of a Great Wall Supermarket.” Read more [The Real Deal] 

Real estate roundup: Hunter’s Point South affordable housing developers throwing a party


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Related Companies

Party at the Site Where $500-a-Month Apartments Are Rising in Hunters Point

Residents interested in applying for one of the hundreds of affordable apartments in the first phase of Hunters Point South can check out the neighborhood next week at a party being thrown by the developers.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Near $4 million Douglaston mansion most expensive listing in Queens

A nine-bedroom mansion on 234th Street was the priciest Queens home put on the market last month. [The Real Deal]

Forest Hills residents think their beloved Bonelle Pastry Shop is worth fighting for  

“Queens cookie fans are crumbling at the news that a beloved borough bakery is closing at the end of the year — possibly due to an incoming Dunkin Donuts. Bonelle Pastry Shop in Forest Hills will lose its lease at the end of December after serving up its specialty cakes and almond croissants for more than 20 years, shop owner Rahita Ravel said.” Read more [The New York Daily News]

City Living: Rego park is as Queens as it gets

“The neighborhood is characterized by its main arteries of Queens Boulevard, Junction Boulevard, 63rd Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard – pulsing with retail and culinary activity — juxtaposed with quiet residential streets featuring picturesque Tudor homes.” Read more [amNewYork]

 

Indoor fun at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


The fun continues in Long Island City as the LIC Flea & Food has made its move indoors for its annual holiday market.

Since last weekend, the LIC Flea Holiday Market has been now located at the warehouse connected to the original outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

Every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 21, the indoor holiday market will include a mix of LIC Flea favorite vendors with new faces offering local, handmade and uniquely curated items. Vendors will also be selling delicious treats and drinks. Shoppers will be able to find something for everyone on their list.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden also remains open, offering selections from local breweries SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company. Drink specials including $2 beer and $3 wine is available from 4 to 5 p.m.

There will be great events in the weekends to come such as Lego building, cupcake making, pictures with Santa Claus and much more.

Shoppers can also enter the LIC Flea Black Friday challenge by stopping at the market and getting all their holiday shopping done before Dec. 1. Those who show $100 or more worth of receipts from the LIC Flea from November will have a chance to win $100 in Flea Bucks to be spent in the month of December. See www.facebook.com/licflea for how to enter.

The LIC Flea Holiday Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Blind LIC woman completes 10th NYC Marathon, fundraises for blind Afghanis


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jack D’Isidoro

BY JACK D’ISIDORO

A row of gleaming medals, suspended by colorful ribbons, hangs along a wall in Nooria Nodrat’s Long Island City kitchen.

“There’s a lot,” Nodrat said, laughing.

Each medal represents a race she’s completed, despite being blind and suffering from severe asthma. The most recent award is from the 2014 New York City Marathon — her 10th.

“I don’t have superpowers, I’m just persistent,” said the 53-year-old grandmother, who finished the 26.2-mile course in 8 hours, 26 minutes and 49 seconds.

But for Nodrat, the race isn’t over yet. The Afghanistan Blind Women and Children (ABWC) Foundation, a charity she started in 2009 to help the visually impaired in her native country, will be holding a fundraiser on Nov. 11 to celebrate its fifth anniversary. She hopes to raise $10,000 to buy educational supplies for five blind Afghan girls determined to attend college.

“The need of educating blind people is very severe in Afghanistan. I’m hoping we’re able to do something in their lives,” Nodrat said.

Nodrat has always run for charity, but ABWC is much more personal. Besides her own impairment, both her late husband and brother were blind. Some 400,000 Afghanis, or 2 percent of the population, are blind, according to the World Health Organization.

“I’m a New Yorker,” said Nodrat, who came to the city as a political refugee in 1991.

Six years later, she was attacked by a deranged woman while waiting on the subway platform. Nodrat’s head injuries were so severe that she eventually went blind. The perpetrator was never caught.

“When I lost my sight, I don’t want to say I was a good person,” Nodrat said. “But adaptation is very crucial. You have to accept who you are and that’s it.”

Nodrat started running in 2003 when a friend suggested she attend one of the weekly workouts that Achilles International, an organization that assists disabled athletes, sponsors in Central Park. Shortly after meeting Nicole Meyer, a volunteer guide, the two decided they’d run the marathon together.

Nodrat prepares in the two months leading up to the marathon by holding onto a tether — or sometimes even a dishrag — shared with different volunteers while they jog the park’s loops.

“She’s tough and doesn’t complain,” said Robert Cremin, an Achilles volunteer who guided Nodrat through Sunday’s race. “She really thinks with her heart, does what it takes to make her foundation a success, and gets up and does it again.”

Nodrat’s dream is to eventually establish schools for the blind in Afghanistan. There is currently only one in the entire country: a 200-student school in Kabul.

“I’m not a millionaire lady, but I have my physical strength and I try to use it,” said Nodrat. “I want to offer my support to people who really need it.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

Offices at the Square begins marketing space above popular LIC beer garden


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The new owner of events hall Studio Square in Long Island City is converting it into an office building, and has begun marketing space as Offices at the Square.

The building, which is located at 35-37 36th St., was constructed in 1930 and originally used as a factory, according to city records.

Emmes Asset Management bought the structure in June for nearly $30 million from S Hospitality Group, which opened Studio Square in 2009. S Hospitality paid $13.7 million for the property in 2008, city records show.

The popular beer garden, The Garden at Studio Square, on the ground floor of the building, will stay put, but Emmes is looking for new office tenants to fill the second to sixth floors —approximately 63,000 square feet — as S Hospitality Group moves out by July 2015.

Emmes is willing to separate the floors for a mix of companies or lease the full available space to one tenant, according to a representative of JRT Realty Group, which is handling leasing in the building.

As the land prices in Long Island City continue to rise, developers are turning to residential buildings to maximize profits, experts said, but Offices at the Square provides an opportunity for much needed office space for companies looking to expand or move into the area.


“Offices at the Square is no doubt an attractive alternative for office tenants, including high growth, emerging tech or creative firms getting priced out of the city,” said George Karnoupakis, asset manager of Emmes’ NYC Interborough Fund.

Each level in the building has been modernized within the past few years with polished concrete floors, and the fifth and sixth floors feature floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, according to JRT Realty. But the former factory building retains its tall, exposed ceilings, and open spaces.


The roof features more views of the Queens landscape and city skyline as well as functions as a meeting space for companies.

The R, N, Q, and M subway lines are nearby Offices at the Square, and eateries such as a Dunkin’ Donuts, S Prime Steakhouse and the newly opened Mexican restaurant Tacuba are on the same block.

Visit the Offices at the Square website for more information.

Floor plan courtesy of Emmes Asset Management.

Floor plan courtesy of Emmes Asset Management.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Real estate roundup: Residential support for Astoria Cove, Saving murals for Cornell’s Roosevelt Island tech campus


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

NYCHA residents wants Astoria Cove

“There has been a lot of debate about this 1.7 million square-foot waterfront development. We’ve heard opinions coming from The Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan — but take it from neighbors who live down the street in the NYCHA Astoria Houses, one for the past 61 years and the other for 60 years: This project can help move our community in the right direction.” Read more [The New York Post]

At Future Cornell Campus, the First Step in Restoring Murals Is Finding Them

“Cornell University and its conservators faced a lot of challenges rescuing three rare 7-by-50-foot murals from the Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island. The first challenge was finding two of them.” Read more [New York Times]

Douglas Durst Talks Queens, Midtown and WTC

“While the Durst Organization was known for developing Manhattan commercial spaces — Seymour Durst once said he “would never buy anything he couldn’t walk to” from his Manhattan office — Mr. Durst has become a residential developer of late, with two Manhattan rental projects nearing completion and negotiations underway to build a massive mixed-use project in Hallets Point, Queens.” Read more [Commercial Observer]

Radiology Center Opens in Long-Vacant Northern Boulevard Building

“Main Street Radiology at 72-06 Northern Blvd. opened with limited services on Oct. 6, but has since expanded its offerings — modern ultrasounds, mammograms and stress tests, according to assistant director Todd DiLeonardo.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Developer TF Cornerstone to be honored for role in transforming LIC  


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of TF Cornerstone

TF Cornerstone has been one of the main faces in the real estate development boom currently occurring in Long Island City.

Recently, the real estate firm completed its 10-year, $1.4 billion Center Boulevard project, which includes six residential towers on the LIC waterfront with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline that provide a high-quality living space for a community of more than 6,000 people.

TF Cornerstone was also selected to develop two residential towers for the second phase of the city’s Hunter’s Point South affordable housing project, further bringing more residential opportunity to the neighborhood. The buildings will have 1,193 apartments, 796 of which will be affordable. The towers will also feature a gym, rooftop gardens and decks, and an on-site senior recreational center.

Because of these investments in the neighborhood, the Long Island City Partnership, an organization that focuses on fostering economic growth in the community, will honor the founding brothers of TF Cornerstone, K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan, at its 27th annual luncheon on Nov 13.

“We’ve come to love this community as we’ve watched it grow and, for that reason, receiving this award is truly special,” the Elghanayan brothers said. “We’d like to thank the Long Island City Partnership for this honor, and we’re looking forward to many more years of partnerships with groups and individuals in LIC as we begin our next chapter of development in Hunter’s Point South.”

Aside from constructing towers, TF Cornerstone has played a major role in building the community aspects of LIC through supporting local events and institutions, such as the LIC Flea, LIC Arts Open and P.S. 78 and developing Gantry Plaza State Park.

“They’ve been part of that revolutionary vision of what LIC can be as a residential neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “People who were attracted to the dollar value now want to stay here for the community value, and that is a testament to the Elghanayans and TF Cornerstone.”

Hundreds of attendees are expected to attend the luncheon, which will be held at Astoria World Manor.

Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development, will give the keynote speech and Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley will receive the William D. Modell Community Service Award.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Real estate roundup: New homeless shelters here to stay, huge development planned over LIC family cemetery


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Pan Am and Westway Set to Become Permanent Homeless Shelters, City Says

“At least two emergency homeless shelters that opened this year in Queens, including the controversial site at the former Pan Am Hotel, will become permanent facilities, officials said.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Long in Repose, Last Remnants of a Founding Family Will Leave Long Island City

“More people are buried in Queens than are living there now. This is a story of some of the departed. Precisely how many will not be known, though, until a bulldozer breaks ground early next year for a 42-story apartment tower in Long Island City, on the site of what was once a cemetery, owned by a family that settled there 350 years ago.” Read more [The New York Times]

The Sandwich Bar is spreading out onto 33rd Street– adding 24 seats

“The Sandwich Bar is likely to be getting a whole lot bigger. Alex Valavanis, owner of the 33-01 Ditmars Blvd establishment, recently went before Community Board 1 and was approved for an enclosed sidewalk café.” Read more [Astoria Post]

 

Townhouses planned for recently sold LIC sites


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark.

GDC Properties is hoping to construct townhouse developments at two connecting sites in Long Island City that it recently purchased, according to a published report.

The townhouses will be on 11-22 45th Rd. and 45-35 11th St., the Commercial Observer reported.

The developer snatched up the sites for a combined $44 million. Eunhasu Corporation sold a one-story warehouse at 45th Road to GDC for $37 million and Kyu Heung Park sold a factory on 11th Street to the firm for $7 million, according to city records.

According to the Observer, GDC expects the townhouses to be complete in 18 months.

Demolition permits have already been filed with the Department of Buildings for the existing structures on both sites.

RECOMMENDED STORIES