Tag Archives: Long Island City

Astoria Cove criticizers hosting another City Hall rally ahead of Council meeting


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

Opposition to the Astoria Cove development isn’t going down without a fight as a City Council meeting for the project draws near.

Build Up NYC, which advocates for building service workers union 32BJ, is hosting a rally against the development outside City Hall on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Hundreds of construction and building maintenance workers and Astoria residents are expected to turn out, hoping to urge the Council to vote against the land-use application for the project as it currently stands.

The Council is set to hold a review session on the project on Monday, Oct. 20, in the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

The advocacy organization believes the plan does not offer enough affordable housing and is also fighting for more jobs for unionized workers. The project calls for 345 units or 20 percent of the 1,723 dwellings to be affordable housing.

Despite Community Board 2 and Borough President Melinda Katz also opposing the project because of the lack of affordable housing, the City Planning Commission gave the project the green light last month with a majority vote.

Councilman Costa Constantinides reportedly agrees the project needs more affordable housing and that some of the low-income apartments are too expensive.

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Real estate roundup: Destruction of Waldheim, Jackson Heights Food Court shut down for mice


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

Destruction of what’s left of Waldheim continues

“Another Waldheim gem is quickly disappearing. According to the city’s website, 143-01 Cherry Avenue dates back to 1910.” Read more [Queens Crap]

Jackson Heights Food Court Closed for Mice, Roaches

“The Jackson Heights Food Court, which sells buffet-style food and an array of grocery items, has been shuttered by the Department of Health for operating without a permit and for having mice, roaches and fruit flies, according to the city.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Work moving forward at 27-07 43rd Avenue despite new permits

“Originally filed as a nine-story residential build, the new permits in September called for 108 hotel rooms and nearly 50,000 square feet commercial space. While ‘no decision’ has been made on what the final product will be, that hasn’t stopped construction on the lot. Crews seem to be wrapping up excavation and have moved on to laying the foundation, as seen below.” Read more [The Court Square Blog] 

Hunter’s Point South buildings now accepting affordable income housing applications


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos and charts courtesy of Related

Starting Wednesday, people who want to live in the affordable housing apartments at the Hunter’s Point South developments can start applying through NYC Housing Connect or by mail.

There will be a 60-day period during which people can apply, after which a lottery will be held and prospective residents will be notified in early 2015. Residents are expected to start being placed by next year.

Hundreds of people packed informational meetings in recent weeks to learn about the buildings, which are being developed by Related Companies, Phipps Houses and Monadnock Development, and designed by SHoP Architects. 

“The interest was overwhelmingly positive and the amount of interest was really off the charts,” said Frank Monterisi, a senior vice president at the Related Companies, about the forums. 

Of the more than 900 units that will be available in the developments — 32-story Hunter’s Point South Crossing and 37-story Hunter’s Point South Commons — 186 units, or about 20 percent, will be low-income housing, and 738 apartments will be moderate- and middle-income housing.

Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will be available for all of those income levels. Low-income rental prices start from $494 for a studio and max out at $959 per month for a three-bedroom, while eligible incomes range from about $19,000 to approximately $49,000 annually. Rents for middle- and moderate-income units range from $1,561 to $4,346 per month for household incomes of $55,200 to $224,020 annually.

HUNTERS POINT RENTS

Most apartments will be reserved for residents already in the neighborhood, city workers or people with disabilities. The buildings will reserve 50 percent of the apartments for people living within Community Board 2, 7 percent for those with mobility or hearing disabilities or those who are visually impaired, and 5 percent for city employees.

Although the apartments cater to low and moderate income families, the buildings feature views of the Manhattan skyline and many amenities, including a 24-hour attended lobby, on-site manager and staff, a party room, an outdoor terrace, a fitness center, a playroom, a bike room and an outdoor community garden.

“We basically look to build the same quality of amenities in our other housing projects,” Monterisi said. “Those are things people want.”

There will also be 250 parking spaces on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional fee.

HUNTERS POINT STEPS

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Real estate roundup: Hallets Point holdout, subway cell phone service expanding to Queens stations


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Durst Organization

Hallets Point holdout throws wrinkle in $1.5B Durst project

“A real estate investor that owns the last of three pieces that the Durst Organization needs to develop a $1.5 billion project in Astoria known as Hallets Point is holding out beyond the original September closing date, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the megaproject.” Read more [The Real Deal]

New York Subway Cell Service to Grow

“New York City subway riders will be able to use their phones and other devices for the first time in that outer borough along with more underground stations in Manhattan, under a rollout of additional wireless Internet and cellular service expected to be unveiled on Thursday.” Read more [The Wall Street Journal]

Planned Parenthood will break ground on its first Queens health center

“Planned Parenthood will break ground on its first Queens outpost Thursday, officials said. The 14,000-square-foot facility in Long Island City will offer testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as pregnancy tests and abortions.” Read more [The New York Daily News]

Real estate roundup: Tour of TWA Flight Center before transformation, two new Korean eateries coming to Astoria


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Evan P. Cordes

Touring Saarinen’s Iconic TWA Terminal Before Redevelopment

“Crowds brave enough to make their way to JFK Airport on Saturday were transported back to the 1960s. The TWA Flight Center opened its doors as part of this year’s Open House New York weekend, and some visitors were even decked out in their vintage TWA attire.” Read more [Curbed]

New French bakery just days away from opening

“A new French bakery is about to open in Hunters Point. Cannelle Patisserie, a popular French bakery that opened in Jackson Heights more than six years ago, will be opening in the next week to 10 days.” Read more [LIC Post]

Two Korean restaurants to open in Astoria

Astoria is about to get a big taste of Korea. Two new Korean restaurants are expected to open in the next month, with one located on Broadway and the other on 30th Avenue.” Read more [Astoria Post]

Douglas Elliman announced The Pearson Court Square is fully leased in just four months

“Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, is pleased to announce The Pearson Court Square, a 14-story 197-unit rental building in the increasingly popular Court Square neighborhood of Long Island City, has been fully leased in just under four months.” Read more [The Court Square Blog]

Vacant lots of prime buildable land in LIC sell for $44M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of Google Maps

Three vacant lots in Long Island City near Queens Plaza that have potential for major development sold for $44 million, according to city records filed Thursday.

The seller is 42-26 28th St. LLC and the buyer is Eastern Star Development, city filings show.

No new plans or permits to build have been filed as yet for the lots, which are located on 42nd Road between 28th and 27th streets, but the property is surrounded by several tall buildings, such as the 22-story commercial glass building across the street at 42-01 28th St. and the 27-story residential tower adjacent to the lots at 42-25 27th St.

Also, directly north of the vacant lots, Heatherwood Communities is building a 58-story skyscraper at 42-12 28th St., which will become the tallest residential tower in the borough.

Excavation has mostly finished on that job, according to The Court Square Blog, and foundation work is beginning.  

The lots are zoned for mixed use so new developments could be a mixture of residential and commercial use.

The combined size of the property is 13,500 square feet. And a five-story building on the property was demolished in 2007, according to building records.

5-story development

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/ PropertyShark

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Brews and tunes at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

QNE_p038.pdf - Adobe Acrobat

Visitors will be dancing into the LIC Flea & Food this weekend for more Oktoberfest fun.

The popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue with its fall celebrations featuring a pumpkin patch with pumpkins straight from the farm.

This weekend will be Brews & Tunes with vendors selling vinyl records and vinyl record art.

There will be guest DJs spinning tunes as visitors shop.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden, which is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating, will have a 2-for-1 beer and wine special from 4 to 4:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Beer selections come from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company.

Some LIC Flea vendors will also be featuring special Oktoberfest menu items just in time for the fall festivities.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year. The LIC Flea Beer Garden is open during the hours of operation of the flea market.

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

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Pair robbed in LIC park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for two suspects who robbed a man and a woman at gunpoint in a Long Island City park.

The victims, both 22, were at Murray Playground, located on 45th Avenue and 21st Street, at about 2:10 a.m. on Sept. 15 when the robbery occurred, authorities said.

The two male suspects approached the victims, pulled out a gun and demanded money from them, police said. They then took a Samsung Galaxy cell phone, a debit card and $5 in cash from the man, and an iPhone and debit card from the woman.

Police have released a photo of one of the suspects using the male victim’s debit card at a Bank of America ATM at 2680 Broadway in Manhattan.

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: 5Pointz demolition progress


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

5Pointz Falling

“You can see the destruction as you roll past on the 7 Train, looking down into rubble. And get a closer look on the ground, through a grimy plastic window in the plywood demolition fence.” Read more [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]

5Pointz Demo

Queens’ ‘Forgotten River’ Looks Ahead to Cleanup and Change

“The 12th hole of the Pitch ‘N Putt Golf Course in Flushing Meadows Park might seem like an odd place to contemplate the future of New York City’s coastline. But if you stand there long enough, you might begin to see things.” Read more [Curbed]

New Ozone Park Public School Set to Open in Sept. 2017

“The city School Construction Authority indicated last week that the new public school designated to be built on an empty lot in Ozone Park is approximately 60 percent of the way through the design phase.” Read more [The Forum] 

Report: Long Island City, Astoria rental prices fall, borough prices jump slightly


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate 

Prices are cooling off in the hot Long Island City rental market as values for studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments have dropped considerably since May, according to the September Queens Rental Market Report by MNS Real Estate.

Studio prices in the neighborhood have fallen for four consecutive months, from an average of $2,602 in May to $2,293 in September, the report found, while one-bedroom apartments dropped an average of $90 since May. Two-bedrooms in the neighborhood increased slightly in September, but still remain more than $235 less than May’s prices.

The decrease in prices in the neighborhood are due to “a result of a maturing luxury rental market,” according to the report, which also pointed out that Long Island City still accounts for the highest average rents in the borough in all categories.

Overall rent prices in Queens increased slightly at 0.63 percent to $2,047 in September from $2,034 in August, while apartment inventory also jumped seven percent to 631 units.

However, Astoria, much like its neighbor on the waterfront, saw overall rent prices drop despite trending up in recent months. The overall average rents decreased 5.35 percent in the neighborhood during the month, the biggest decrease in Queens.

Studios saw a notable drop in Astoria, falling 11.04 percent or $205 during the month from $1,860 in August to $1,655 in September.

ASTORIA

A surprising increase came to Rego Park, as studios in the neighborhood stopped months of falling and dramatically increased 17.67 percent to $1,559 in September. The increase, which was exclusive to studios in the neighborhood, is a result of new luxury developments, the study found.

“A notable growth spurt continues to take place in Rego Park,” the report said. “This is the result of newly available units in high-end new developments and conversions led by The Contour at 97-45 Queens Blvd. and, more recently, The Rego Modern at 99-39 66th Ave.”

STUDIO REPORT

The neighborhood with the largest decrease of the month is Flushing, where one-bedroom apartments saw a stark drop of 12.88 percent or more than $220 from $1,762 in August to $1,535 in September.

Click here to see the full report.

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Real estate roundup: Councilman Van Bramer against Sunnyside Yards development, converted factories prosper in LIC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks.” Read more [LIC Post]

Transformed Factories Prosper in LIC’s Development Boom

“The renowned Scalamandre Silks company once dyed silks for the Kennedy White House and the Hearst Castle where Scott Kushner and his 10 employees now produce videos and reality shows. At the start of this year, after working out of Manhattan for 20 years, Mr. Kushner moved MediaPlace into a section of the bottom floor of the industrial warehouse developer Time Equities has fashioned into today’s Silks Building in Long Island City.” Read more [Commercial Observer]

Far Rockaway Job Fair Brings Sandy Rebuilding Work to Area

“A job fair will look to connect residents with Hurricane Sandy-related rebuilding and resiliency work. The Oct. 15 fair in Far Rockaway is organized by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Recovery Operations, Workforce1 and other city agencies to help get residents hired on rebuilding projects.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Serial Queens bank robber strikes again: cops


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect wanted in eight bank robberies and two attempted heists around Queens over the past two years.

The latest incident occurred on Saturday at approximately 2:50 p.m. at a Chase Bank on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, cops said. During the robbery, the suspect passed a demand note while displaying a firearm. The suspect left with $5,170.

A previous incident happened on Aug. 30 at 12:40 p.m. when the suspect entered The Dimes Savings Bank, located at 77-23 27th Ave. in Flushing, while similarly passing a demand note to a bank teller and displaying a firearm. He walked away with $1,300.

The other robberies, which date back to July 2012, took place in the Kew GardensLong Island CityAstoriaEast Elmhurst and Middle Village areas of the borough, officials said. In the suspect’s most successful theft, on Dec. 12, 2012 at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave., he fled with $12,400, cops said.

Police describe the suspect as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds.

Authorities have released a photo of the suspect from the July 22 attempted robbery and a June 7 robbery at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave.

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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Another luxury Long Island City building 100 percent leased


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of MNS Real Estate

One more residential building in Long Island City has sold out.

MNS Real Estate announced Tuesday that in just five months the property on 46-09 11 St. has been fully leased.

The six-story Ekstein Development building has 59 luxury apartments designed by GF55 Partners. Prices start at $1,823 per month for a studio, $2,515 for a one-bedroom apartment and $3,646 for a two-bedroom.

The building features panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, a common courtyard for residents, on-site parking, a fitness center and rooftop terrace.

About three weeks ago, TF Cornerstone announced it had completed leasing for 46-10 Center Boulevard, the firm’s sixth and final waterfront building, which also took about five months to fill up.

And MNS also completed 50 percent leasing for 26-14 Jackson Ave. about a week ago.

Take a look at more pictures of 46-09 11 St. in the gallery below.

 

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Q&A: Modern Spaces VP explains Long Island City commercial market


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Evan Daniel

Evan Daniel joined Modern Spaces in August as the executive vice president of the firm’s new commercial property division. Before landing at the Long Island City-based real estate company, Daniel worked with Massey Knakal since 2006, covering Long Island City and Astoria. Daniel, who has been married for almost a decade and has two children, also enjoys coaching basketball to seventh- and eighth-grade children at Yeshiva of Central Queens.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Daniel explained the current status of the commercial market in Long Island City and the problems it faces. 

Courier: What is the status of the commercial market in Long Island City?

Daniel: “White-hot and crazy. It doesn’t make sense. We are seeing land values that have literally tripled in a year. We shot passed $200 [per buildable square foot] earlier this year and in the best parts of Long Island City you’re seeing $225, $230, $250, and quite frankly people look at it as a bargain. Some people just look at Long Island City as a comparison to Williamsburg and they say ‘Well, in Williamsburg we’re paying $300 or $400 a buildable square foot.’ In Manhattan it’s over a $1,000. So in Long Island City, it looks cheap.”

Courier: Who is investing into the market?

Daniel: “The money coming into Long Island City is mostly foreign capital right now. I’m on the phone almost every night with investors from Shanghai, and they’re 12 hours ahead so you know what, they start their day 8:30 a.m. in the morning, that’s when I’m finishing my day, 8:30 p.m.”

Courier: How are these foreign investments affecting the market?

Daniel: “It keeps prices arbitrarily high. I can tell you the numbers today are much higher than what they should be and there is a lot of product coming on the market and I think right now a lot of speculation. I think there is going to be some sort of correction in the market where these numbers will come back to Earth a little. They probably already would have, if not for the influx of foreign capital.”

Courier: What would you tell someone that owns property in Long Island City now?

Daniel: “I don’t think we are going to $300 a buildable foot. My advice to sellers or owners if you have a development site is to build up when you have financing available, find a partner to build with you or sell it to somebody who is going to build.”

Courier: Now that more people are living in Long Island City, do you see more office and retail developments coming?

Daniel: “If you moved into this market with the first wave of developments six or seven years ago, it was dead at night and weekends. You’re starting to see more influx of retail. We need to see more big-box retail. Retail definitely will come and it should be able to come, because now you have so many people here and you have tremendous amount of jobs, and employees are here during the day, so now you can sustain retail.

“Office is difficult to say. Because it’s needed and it should happen and we are going to get a tremendous amount of demand we hope in the next couple of years as Roosevelt Island continues to build the Cornell Tech campus and that is going to create a lot of tech jobs and more creative jobs instead of more intensive labor jobs. The question is where are they going to go? Because there is no new construction of new office space and there is no incentive for developers to build new office space, because new office space is not as valuable as residential. So if I have a residential zoned area and I am a developer and I now have to pay $200 a buildable square foot, I can’t justify doing an office building. I will make less money on my office building than I would on my rental building.”

Courier: What must happen to get developers building more office space?

Daniel: “The city needs to figure out some sort of incentive to developers, whatever it may be, for somebody to build new offices. If [Long Island City] had these offices it will keep people here and it’ll give people incentive to stay here or come here, which will help the overall market. You will have your office market, you will have your retail market, and you will have your residential market, and they’ll all be in one mini-city in LIC.”

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New Yorkers brave rain for LIC Instagram meetup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via @jnsilva/Instagram

Even through the downpour, Instagrammers flocked to Long Island City for an early morning celebration this weekend.

Just two days before Instagram’s four-year anniversary, members of the photo-sharing app met up in different cities around the world on Saturday to snap mobile photos and share stories for the 10th Worldwide Instameet using the hashtag #WWIM10.

According to organizers, about 70 Instagrammers from the tri-state area put on their rain boots, got out their umbrellas and met up bright and early Saturday at the Pepsi Sign in Gantry Plaza State Park.

Photographers David Krugman and Jose Silva captured the moment on their separate Instagram profiles. Both accounts also feature short videos of the day.

“Torrential rain couldn’t hold us down,” wrote Silva in one photo showing the group of Instagrammers standing in the rain at Hunter’s Point South Park, right next to Gantry Plaza.

For more photos check out Krugman and Silva on Instagram.

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