Tag Archives: Long Island City

$2 parking at the LIC Flea this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Visitors to the LIC Flea & Food this weekend won’t have to worry about finding parking.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will hold a special this Saturday and Sunday giving guests the chance to park for $2 at a local garage just two blocks away.

All you have to do is spend $20 at the LIC Flea in order to park at Little Man Parking, located at 4-76 47th Ave.  on the corner of 47th Avenue and Fifth Street.

With the temperatures staying in the 90s this weekend, visitors can cool off at the Flea either at the LIC Flea Beer Garden – the only venue exclusively serving beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback and SingleCut – or with other vendors.

Photo via Instagram/@licflea

Photo via Instagram/@licflea

Some vendors to cool off with include Lizzmonade serving icy fruit concoctions, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream with unbelievable toppings, Rita’s Water Ice NYC, Panda Café with its bubble teas, and Woops! with its ice-cream-filled macarons.

Once refreshed, visitors can also check out vintage items from vendors such as Counter Clockwise Antiques and Antique Daughter; and clothing from Runaway Truck, Dutch Kills Klotheing and Schizophrenic NYC tees. They can also find jewelry from Vivian Jewelry, kids’ items from Roobrics, and gifts for your furry friends from Spoiled B*tch.

This weekend the LIC Flea will also feature live music from Gracie Terzian & Friends on Saturday, and DJ Johnny Seriuss will be spinning tunes on Sunday.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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Woodside resident to seek Assembly seat and ‘fight for the middle class’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Brian Barnwell

Brian Barnwell is looking to be the voice of a district he has called home all his life and one he says needs a big change and new leadership.

The 29-year-old Woodside resident and lawyer has announced that he will run next year for the seat in the state Assembly representing District 30, which covers the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village and parts of Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.

The seat is currently held by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, who was first elected in 1998.

“I just feel like it’s time for a change. I feel like we need some new energy where people are going to go out and engage the community and bring the community voices into the conversation,” Barnwell said. “Everyone is getting pushed out. The teachers are being thrown under the bus. The students are being thrown under the bus. The middle class is just being destroyed and we can’t take it for granted anymore. So I want to be the voice of the middle class, because I am in the middle class.”

Barnwell’s desire to run for office was fueled recently when he began working as the director of special events for Councilman Costa Constantinides, and experienced many residents coming into the district office complaining about various issues – including affordable housing.

This made him realize that there needed to be a change and he would be that change.

The platform of his campaign will strongly focus on helping individuals in the middle class and those vying to move into the middle class. With being a member of the middle class himself, along with his family, Barnwell said he has personal experience with the issues constituents face.

“The middle class is what made this country great. It’s what makes any country great. If you don’t have a middle class, you’re in trouble,” Barnwell said.

Barnwell’s platform – focusing on taxes, education and affordable housing – includes issues such as lowering personal income and corporate taxes; helping raise minimum wage; empowering teachers, parents and administrators in local schools and creating new curriculum based on districts; building more schools; and increasing the amount of affordable housing in the developing area.

For now, Barnwell will stay at Constantinides’ office until September, then he will hit the streets and reach out to the communities to see what issues the residents are facing.

“I want people to tell me what’s wrong with this district,” Barnwell said. “You’ve got to lead. You’ve got to be a leader. This why we elect these people to be leaders, not followers, and I want to be a leader. I don’t want to be a follower.”

Barnwell will hold his first fundraiser on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at The Brewery NYC, located at 49-18 30th Ave. in Woodside.

For more information visit Barnwell’s Facebook page or follow @Barnwell2016 on Twitter.

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$3M more invested into Hunters Point Community Library


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Long Island City community has fought for over a decade to get a library, and now its dream has started to become a reality — all with a little help from its friends.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer joined Queens Library Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey, other library representatives and local leaders on the LIC waterfront Tuesday afternoon to announce he had secured an additional $3 million toward the construction of the Hunters Point Community Library.

From the additional $3 million, $1 million comes from Van Bramer’s discretionary funds in this year’s budget and the other $2 million came over from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“No one ever gave up on this project because we knew how important it was,” said Van Bramer, who has been working on getting the library built for the past 15 years and whose office has allocated a total of $6 million in funds. “This was my number one priority when I ran for office. It was my number one priority in my first year as a City Council member when we allocated those previous $3 million with the help of our previous speaker, and once again we come back to this project which I have never given up on and it’s one of my most proud moments.”

The state-of-the-art library, expected to be completed by the fall of 2017, will be the first neighborhood branch built in Queens in more than 20 years and was designed by architect Steven Holl. Its main interior circulation route will be cut into the west façade, opening up views to the East River and Manhattan skyline.

During Tuesday’s announcement, the Queens Library also presented a model of the new $33 million branch, which broke ground in May and will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue.

“It is an exciting day to see this rising and to know that this community will have a library. A public library is the heart of a community, heart of a neighborhood and this is such a thriving, robust, wonderful community that has wanted a library for so long,” Quinn-Carey said.

The 21,500-square-foot facility will feature a reading garden, a rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, a performance space and a children’s area. Van Bramer also said inside the library there will be a tribute to LIC resident Fausta Ippolito, who passed away four years ago, but for years actively fought for the library to be brought to the community.

Along with the construction of the library, the project will also include the construction of the permanent 1,260-square-foot ranger station at Gantry Plaza State Park. The building will include a reception area, a park manager’s office and bathrooms for the public.

“This building, this library, which some folks thought it would never happen, is rising. It is actually happening and I’m so enormously happy,” Van Bramer said. “This library is going to be one of the most beautiful, one of the most architecturally significant libraries not only in Queens but in the city, if not the nation, and we’re going to be so proud to call that library the Hunters Point Community Library.”

Construction is underway at the future site of the Hunters Point Community Library.

Construction is underway at the future site of the Hunters Point Community Library.

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Crook steals bags from sleeping woman in Queens Plaza station


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who swiped valuables from a 61-year-old woman who fell asleep on a bench inside the Queens Plaza subway station earlier this month.

The theft occurred at 6:15 a.m. on July 7 in on the mezzanine level above the E train tracks at the station located below Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Long Island City.

According to authorities, the perpetrator — described as a black man between 30 and 35 years of age, standing 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds — walked up to the victim after she nodded off and removed her bags, which contained her cellphone, jewelry and papers.

The crook was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a navy V-neck sweater and light-colored pants.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

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Citi Bike rolling into LIC this August


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

The blue bikes will finally be making their way into the “World’s Borough.”

Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike, and the Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Citi Bike expansion, which was announced last October, will begin in early August with new stations being installed in various neighborhoods, including Long Island City.

The first wave of stations is part of a larger expansion plan that is expected to double the size of the bike share network from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes throughout the city over the next two years.

“With over 19 million trips, it is clear that New Yorkers love Citi Bike and we are excited to see the network double in size, expanding to Queens, more of Brooklyn, and upper Manhattan,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

There will be 91 new stations installed during this first phase of the expansion throughout Long Island City, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Long Island City will get a total of 12 stations, including one by the Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av subway station, another in front of MoMa PS1, one next to the LIC Flea & Food and another right by Queensboro Plaza.

Map via citibikenyc.com

Map via citibikenyc.com

“The long-awaited arrival of Citi Bike in Long Island City is great news. Bike share will allow the people to enjoy our neighborhood in a healthy, fun way and facilitate easier travel around western Queens, an area in dire need of better mass transit,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said.

Long Island City was supposed to be part of the Citi Bike’s initial phase, which debuted in 2013, but was pushed back after equipment damage from Superstorm Sandy caused a delay.

Astoria is another Queens neighborhood slated for docking stations; however, those bikes will arrive at a later time.

“For years I have fought to bring Citi Bike to Queens and I’m proud to say that the blue bikes will be here soon,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “Cycling in western Queens has become extremely popular and the addition of 12 new Citi Bike docking stations add a much-needed alternative mode of transportation to an area of the borough that is growing and vibrant, and in need of more transportation options.”

Along with the expansion, Motivate has also replaced the software that powers Citi Bike, replaced software and hardware at all exiting stations and docking points, and added 1,000 new and upgraded bikes to its fleet. An additional 1,400 bikes will be added this summer to stock up the new stations.

The bikes, which were developed in partnership with Olympic bike designer Ben Serotta, have new features, including higher-quality parts and upgraded seats.

Motivate is also working to provide discounted Citi Bike memberships to residents of affordable housing developments, and free access for group rides to community-based organizations.

For more information on the Citi Bike expansion, visit www.citibikenyc.com/expansion.

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Co-working company to open space in Astoria: report


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy PropertyShark/Ed Fahoury

A co-working company that has locations throughout the nation and around the world has set its eye on Queens for its next home, according to a published report.

WeWork, which provides individuals and groups with work space, community and services, has leased a 60,000-square-foot space at 35-37 36th St. in Astoria, the Commercial Observer reported.

The space, which has been reportedly leased for 15 years and is expected to open by early 2016, is located at Studio Square, which is also home to the Studio Square beer garden and Miami Ad School.

The six-story building is owned by the Vanbarton Group, which bought it last June for $29.2 million.

WeWork is also reportedly looking to lease locations in Long Island City.

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Long Island City apartment building sells for nearly $2.5M


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

Long Island City has yet another multi-million dollar real estate deal.

The building located at 34-27 37th St. has sold for nearly $2.5 million, according to commercial real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap.

Investment specialists Matthew Fotis, Zachary Golub and Lazarus Apostolidis were responsible for arranging the sale of the eight-unit apartment property on behalf of a private investor, as well as securing and representing the buyer, also a private investor.

“The building shows increased interest in the western Queens residential market. As the rental market increases, investors project more aggressive future rents,” Fotis said.

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An inside look at LIC’s latest condo building The Corner


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Modern Spaces

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

With renters looking to put down roots, the demand for condominiums in Long Island City has skyrocketed. Hunters Point newcomer The Corner, located at 47-28 11th St., aims to answer the call. The newly constructed, seven-story building features 22 high-end one- and two-bedroom units selling in the mid-$600,000 range.

The project was spearheaded by Kora Developers LLC in partnership with BK Developers. The firm saw unlimited potential at the site of the former auto body shop when it first purchased the property two years ago.

Photo courtesy of Property Shark / Scott Binter

Photo courtesy of Property Shark / Scott Binter

The Corner, designed by Brooklyn-based architectural firm Zproekt, features 22 apartments, each outfitted with the latest amenities. The kitchens include Bosch appliances with Caeserstone countertops and backsplashes. Bathrooms boast Kohler tubs and Grohe finishes.

Select units have private terraces, while all feature hardwood oak flooring throughout. Other building amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a residents’ lounge, a bike room, private storage and a common sundeck. The Corner will also utilize Butterfly MX, a virtual doorman system operated via smartphone.

Long Island City-based real estate firm Modern Spaces, 47-42 Vernon Blvd., is overseeing the marketing and sales of units at The Corner. Units are currently available for viewing, with a move-in date for potential buyers slated for early 2016. For more information, click here.


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Alleged drunk driver from Whitestone has run-in with sanitation truck


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

There wasn’t a clean getaway for a Whitestone man charged with reckless endangerment and DWI after driving the wrong way on the Long Island Expressway and slamming into a sanitation truck, prosecutors announced.

Salvatore Ferrara, 34, reportedly claimed he did not realize he was driving on the wrong side of the road when his 2009 Mercedes-Benz collided head-on with a city Department of Sanitation truck at around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on the Greenpoint Avenue exit ramp of the Long Island Expressway in Long Island City.

Police on the scene allegedly observed Ferrara standing unsteadily on his feet near his totaled vehicle with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

According to the criminal complaint, Ferrara allegedly told officers that he had been driving his car from the city, and that he had had two mixed drinks, a couple of beers and two bumps of cocaine several hours before the accident occurred.

Both Ferrara and the sanitation driver were injured in the crash. The truck driver suffered pain to his arm, while Ferrara was hospitalized for chest pain and rib injuries.

Ferrara faces charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an infraction of vehicle traffic laws. If convicted, he could serve up to seven years in prison, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

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Rural Route Film Festival returns to Museum of the Moving Image


| rmackay@queensny.org

Image courtesy of the Rural Route Film Festival

With only about 2,500 members, the Moken people form one of the smallest ethnic groups in Asia. These nomadic, seafaring people use nets and spears to fish, and they barter for material goods at markets where they live on the coasts of Burma and Thailand. For about eight months of the year, they live in temporary thatch huts, spending the rest of time in small, hand-crafted wooden boats.

A documentary on the Moken, “Sailing a Sinking Sea,” will help launch the Rural Route Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image on Friday with director Olivia Owens Wyatt in person. This eleventh annual, three-day event focuses on life in isolated areas with 19 films from 16 different countries.

This year’s theme is strong, independent women (behind and in front of the camera). In the Argentine movie “Dog Lady,” a nameless woman lives in a shack outside Buenos Aires. Without speaking or spending money, she cares for a pack of dogs, scavenges for food and water, and experiences a sexual encounter.

The production “Edén” is based on director Elise DuRant’s childhood in the 1980s. A nine-year-old girl is forced to leave Mexico with her artifact-smuggling father. Years later, her father dies, and she returns home to confront the man responsible for their emigration while realizing her new cultural identity. DuRant will attend this screening on Sunday, and the all-female band Mariachi Flor de Toloache will perform.

There’s also an emphasis on music this year. Barbara Oldham, a founding member of the Jackson Heights-based Quintet of the Americas, will play the alphorn during the opening night party atop Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in Long Island City on Friday. The next day, the Main Squeeze Orchestra, an all-female accordion troupe, will perform before Funny Bunny, a comedy about a love triangle involving a farm activist.

Also, on Saturday, the festival will debut the world premiere of “Down Down the Deep River,” an experimental narrative about growing up in New Hampshire by Will Sheff of indie band Okkervil River. Sheff will perform before the motion picture and participate in a Q&A afterward.

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Cops seek man who slashed woman at Queensbridge Houses


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police released on Thursday morning images of a man wanted for slashing a 19-year-old woman during a dispute inside the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City earlier this month.

Authorities said the assault occurred at 8:20 p.m. on July 7 inside an apartment house on 10th Street, south of 41st Avenue.

According to police, the victim and suspect — both of whom are known to each other — became embroiled in an argument, during which the suspect displayed a knife and slashed the victim in the ankle. He fled the scene following the attack.

Officers from the 114th Precinct and EMS units responded to the location. Paramedics transported the victim to Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, where she was treated and released.

Police describe the suspect as a white man believed to be 20 years of age, standing 6 feet tall and weighing 230 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair in a long pony tail. He has a scar on his right cheek and tattoos on his forearms; the left tattoo features the word “Brooklyn” and the right has the word “Karlene.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Vote for your favorites at LIC Flea’s Second Annual Food Vendor Awards


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Over 40 food, dessert and drink vendors will descend upon the Long Island City waterfront this Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26, for the Second Annual Food Vendor Awards at the LIC Flea & Food market.

A panel of food judges and the general public will be given ballots to vote for their favorite food, dessert and beverage vendors. Those with the most votes will be crowned best in each of their categories.

“Queens is known for the best food in New York City, if not the world, and we are thrilled to be hosting this great event,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea president. “Come hungry and prepared to find a unique offering of delicious items from local chefs you can’t find anywhere else.”

The event is located one block behind the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign at 5-25 46th Ave. in Long Island City from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Vendors at the market will provide a wide variety of tasty offerings including empanadas, Japanese vegetable pancakes, Ecuadorian pulled pork sandwiches, wood-smoked barbecue brisket, Korean pancakes, Taiwanese spring rolls, Asian fusion sandwiches, New England lobster rolls and crab cakes, Mexican seafood tacos, “Pigz Wings,” Indian rolls, Latin cakes and French fries.

Dessert items include cookies, ice cream (fried and un-fried), ices, tres leches cake, doughnuts, cupcakes and much more.

Drinks include Lizzmonade’s lemonades combined with choices of fresh fruit, as well as bubble teas, iced teas and various blends of coffee.

The market also has an All-Queens Beer Garden overlooking midtown Manhattan that carries the largest selection of beers from local Queens breweries including Queens Brewery, Big Alice Brewery, SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewery, Bridge & Tunnel Brewery and Finback Brewery.

Each weekend the market operates as both a flea and food market with over 80 vendors in total. Flea market vendors sell a unique mix of everything including furniture, art, jewelry, vintage and collectible items, fashion and more. It is a great way to discover, support and interact with local makers.

The market leads into Gantry and Hunters Point South parks, which offer breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. The market has other activities for the entire family from live music and DJs to games including mega-chess, ping-pong and Jenga.

LIC Flea & Food is a short walk from the 7 train Vernon Blvd. stop, the E/M/G trains to Court Square, the East River Ferry Long Island City terminal and a big parking garage located across the street.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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108th Precinct sees large crime decrease after new anti-crime team created


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

Crime in the 108th Precinct — which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Maspeth — has seen a large decrease after a new team of seasoned officers hit the streets, according to the precinct’s top cop.

Captain John Travaglia, who took over the precinct last November, told The Courier that he has seen a 23 percent decrease in crime in the 28-day period ending on July 19 and a 30 percent decrease in the year to date.

Burglaries, which are the main issue the neighborhoods face, have been down 61 percent in the 28-day period and 26 percent in the year to date.

The police captain credits the decrease in crime to the creation of a second anti-crime team at the precinct which is made up of five seasoned officers.

“I inherited a precinct from Captain Brian Hennessy that I thought was working very, very well. The one thing that I noticed was we were missing an anti-crime team. Most precincts function with two anti-crime teams and we only had one,” Travaglia said.

Travaglia added that after going over the personnel background folders for each of the officers in the new team, he noticed they were being underutilized at the precinct and wanted “to get them back in the game.”

Since being formed in March, the team has worked to solve crimes that have been under the radar as well as more prominent crimes, and has helped take down ongoing crimes in the neighborhoods.

“We have put together, to me, one of the best anti-crime teams in the city of New York,” he said. “They’re just very sharp individuals. And I always say that if I was a criminal in this region right now, I’d be very scared of these men.”

Along with helping bring the crime numbers down, Travaglia said the men who make up the team are humble and are always accepting information from other officers and members of the precinct.

He added that they also train other officers around them and many other officers want to emulate these seasoned cops.

“They’re not giants among men. They’re police officers on a team. They don’t take credit for anything. The team takes credit. They’re phenomenal officers and they’re a big component of our crime reduction,” Travaglia said.

The precinct has seen a slight issue concerning Long Island City’s nightlife. Travaglia said that there have been issues, for example felony assaults, that occur late at night surrounding these establishments.

In order to tackle this issue and stop problems from occurring, Travaglia is looking to get together with the owners and managers of local bars, restaurants and clubs during a nightlife best practices meeting.

“We need cooperation because you don’t want to meet me after the situation has happened. You worked hard to get your liquor license, you’ve worked hard to license your establishment, to build your reputation up,” he said. “I want people to be successful here. People are coming to Long Island City to patronize these establishments at night, to visit here, so I want everyone to have a safe experience and pleasant experience.”

The precinct hopes to hold the first nightlife meeting in August or September at the precinct house, located at 5-47 50th Ave.

In regards to traffic enforcement, Travaglia said that since he took the post at the 108th Precinct there have been no traffic fatalities in the neighborhoods and he helped engineer a team of officers to follow traffic trends.

He added that although he has gotten some backlash on enforcement on bicyclists, he said he hopes the 364 summonses given out in the 28-day period, compared to the 17 in the same period last year, will control the other thousands on the road.

In regards to vehicles, he said there have been 7,000 moving summonses and 2,500 parking summonses given year to date.

“Someone has to make sure everyone is adhering to the rules of the road,” Travaglia said. “It’s something that I found needed to be addressed. We’re here to make sure the roadways are safe for all.”

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LIC business community: BID expansion ‘a necessity’ for neighborhood growth


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Members of the Long Island City business community say the proposed plan to expand the existing business improvement district is a necessity in helping the area become more inviting and attractive.

The LIC BID, which was created in 2005 and is managed by the LIC Partnership, announced its plan Tuesday to create a new sub-district expanding the services of the BID to the corridors of Vernon Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive.

The expansion would provide services – such as street sanitation and beautification – that look to better support local businesses and promote a higher quality of life for the LIC neighborhood.

“Maintenance, beautification, sanitation – these things don’t just spontaneously happen. There needs to be an agent, an entity that supervises and guides this through,” said Dr. Angelo Ippolito, co-chair of the LIC BID Expansion Steering Committee and owner of L.I.C. Chiropractic. “We here in Long Island City think we are right up there with all the progressive neighborhoods, therefore we need a BID.”

The BID currently covers the Queens Plaza/Court Square sub-district made up of Queens Plaza North and South between 21st Street and Jackson Avenue/Northern Boulevard, and along Jackson Avenue to 45th Avenue.

Creating the sub-district will allow services to be tailored specifically to the new area while also benefiting from administrative cost savings from joint activities like marketing, business services, increased sanitation, beautification and daily management.

“It’s ideal for the businesses and we look forward to it. This is a great solution for something that needed to be done long ago,” said Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, co-chair of the LIC BID Expansion Steering Committee and owner of Manducatis Rustica.

LIC BID Expansion Steering Committee Co-Chairs Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, Dr. Angelo Ippolito and Paula Kirby.

LIC BID Expansion Steering Committee Co-Chairs Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, Dr. Angelo Ippolito and Paula Kirby.

According to local business owners, the expansion of the BID will also help increase foot traffic in areas that have not been seeing too much business and also bring in a variety of new businesses.

“I think having the BID here will help people realize that it is a place to come and do business,” said Donna Drimer, owner of Matted LIC. “Without it I’m not really sure how much small business can survive here. We’re caught. There’s a real disconnect between going to work in Manhattan, shopping in Manhattan, and coming home and not supporting the neighborhood.”

The BID expansion is expected to bring services such as street sanitation; retail attraction and real estate support; targeted community events; street beautification; advocacy for improved city services such as enhanced street and sidewalk lighting; and the creation and distribution of neighborhood marketing and promotional materials.

With being part of the BID, about 50 percent of the properties in the sub-district would be charged less than $660 annually and 75 percent will be charged less than $2,000 annually.

“I’m a huge supporter of the BID and big supporter of the expansion of the BID because this is going to give voice to so many small business owners. It’s going to empower more small business owners. It’s going to allow them to do so much more as a group of business owners,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

The members of the LIC BID Expansion Steering Committee say that local business owners and stakeholders have voiced support for the BID expansion and they plan to continue reaching out to the community through surveys and one-on-one discussions.

The LIC BID will be holding two public meetings on July 29 – one at Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st St., at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m. at the New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue.

After collecting ballots of support, the expansion will then enter a process taking between nine to 12 months and must go through the City Planning Commission, Community Board 2, the Queens borough president, City Council, the mayor and the state comptroller.

“This is the most necessary thing we need at the moment. Everybody talks about beautification, everyone talks about so many other things but what we need right now is for this to happen for this neighborhood in order for it to continue to flourish in a positive way,” Cerbone-Teoli said.

For more information, visit licpartnership.org/bidexpansion.

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Stop & Shop to buy out Pathmark, Waldbaum’s supermarkets in Queens


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated, July 21, 2 p.m.

Stop & Shop is looking to grab six Queens supermarkets off the clearance rack.

The company announced Monday it is acquiring local Pathmark and Waldbaum’s supermarkets from the struggling Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which filed for bankruptcy. In all, Stop & Shop is purchasing 25 Pathmark, Waldbaum’s and A&P locations in the tri-state area from the grocery giant for $146 million. The deal is subject to court approval, but is expected to be finalized before the end of this calendar year.

On Sunday, A&P announced it was filing for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, its second such filing in five years, according to The Wall Street Journal. A&P reportedly racked up $2.3 billion in debts versus $1.6 billion in assets, according to its bankruptcy filing. Reportedly, the company lost $300 million between February 2014 and February 2015.

A Stop & Shop spokesperson said the acquired locations will remain open and become integrated into the national supermarket chain, and all of its employees would be retained.

“Stop & Shop is always looking for convenient locations to better serve our customers,” said Don Sussman, president of the company’s New York Metro Division. “We are very happy to have the opportunity to expand our presence in greater New York and serve new customers.”

Stop & Shop currently has five locations in Queens, including on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale; on Union Turnpike on the Glendale/Forest Hills border; on Northern Boulevard in Little Neck; and on 48th Street in Long Island City.

The chain will more than double its presence in the “World’s Borough” with the addition of three Waldbaum’s stores on 26th Avenue in Bayside, Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor and Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach, as well as three Pathmark locations on Farrington Street in Flushing, Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park and Springfield Boulevard in Springfield Gardens.

The 19 other Waldbaum’s and Pathmark locations that Stop & Shop purchased are in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx and New Jersey.

The 25 stores Stop & Shop acquired represent about 10 percent of A&P’s 296 stores nationwide. As part of the bankruptcy filing, A&P put up 120 supermarkets for sale at a combined $600 million, which will be tested at an upcoming auction. The company is closing 25 other locations immediately; none of those stores are in Queens.

Stop & Shop has 395 stores from New Jersey to Massachusetts employing over 59,000 workers.

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