Tag Archives: Long Island City

TF Cornerstone fully leases final LIC waterfront building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of TF Cornerstone

TF Cornerstone’s sixth and final building overlooking the waterfront along Center Boulevard in Long Island City is fully leased, just five months after it began welcoming residents.

The real estate firm announced Monday that the 26-story luxury tower 4610 Center Boulevard, known for curving around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign, filled its 584 units, which range from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

More than 6,000 people now call the TF Cornerstone buildings on the LIC waterfront (comprising 2,615 rental units and 184 condominiums on Center Boulevard) home, according to the company.

“We’ve spent the last 12 years not only building and leasing buildings along the LIC waterfront, but also immersing ourselves in the community and growing to love the neighborhood just as much as our residents do,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president for TF Cornerstone. “The lease-up of this building is a true testament to the vibrancy of this area, and we look forward to our next chapter of development in LIC.”

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

where

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Pier 1 at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island CIty

DSC_0441-624x473

Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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Report: Queens rental prices drop in August


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate 

The fluctuating Queens rental market saw a decrease in prices in August, after increases in July, according to the “Queens Rental Market Report” by MNS Real Estate.

Average rents throughout the borough dropped 3.74 percent from $2,113 in July to $2,034 in August, the report stated.

The report focused on several neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Rego Park, Forest Hills and Jackson Heights.

The biggest changes occurred in studio apartments in Ridgewood, where prices dropped 43.5 percent — about $848 — to $1,100, the least expensive rental price for any type of apartment in the borough. The average price of a studio in the borough is $1,550, according to the report.

Studios page

Also, two-bedroom units in Jackson Heights dipped 26.12 percent to $1,841 from $2,494 in July, a decrease of $653.

“Smaller neighborhoods in Queens are seeing slower progression, however more new developments are scheduled to open their doors in the coming months offering high-end amenities and exceptional convenience,” the report said. “As is evident from the overall decrease in prices this month Queens is expected to have up and down monthly fluctuations, but long-term projections have prices increasing steadily.”

Flushing had the largest decrease in overall average rents with 7.47 percent. Two-bedroom units in Flushing experienced a fall of 17.8 percent from $2,599 in July to $2,136 in August.

The biggest increase was in Ridgewood, where prices for one-bedroom apartments rose 15.3 percent or $260 to $1,960.

Prices in Astoria and Long Island City remained fairly stable, although dropped slightly, according to the report.

Click here to view the full report.

 

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Former Community Board 2 district manager Dolores Rizzotto passes away


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rizzotto family

Dolores Rizzotto, former district manager of Community Board 2 for more than 15 years, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to CB2 chair Joseph Conley.

Rizzotto, who chaired CB2 for more than 15 years, was 70.

“Dolores served the City of New York in many capacities but none so important as her role in our community as district manager,” Conley said. “Dolores worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for so many. Dolores will be sorely missed for her wisdom, compassion, sense of humor and leadership. Dolores was a true friend to all and an expert in helping so many.”

Rizzotto, a lifelong Corona resident who recently moved to Florida, retired in 2006 from CB2, which serves Long Island City, Woodside and Sunnyside. Rizzotto would travel back and forth between Queens and Florida visiting family and friends.

She is survived by her two sons, Michael and Robert, and two grandchildren, Anthony and Thomas.

A wake will be held at Edward Guida Funeral Home, located at 47-20 104th St. in Corona. Visitations hours will be Sept. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sept. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral mass will be on Sept. 20 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 104-05 49th Ave. Rizzotto will be buried at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Flushing.

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Mixed-use manufacturing and residential building planned for LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Plans for a new five-story, mixed-use residential and manufacturing building were filed for 40-05 Crescent St. in Long Island City.

The structure will house 32 apartments in 25,018 square feet of residential space, according to records with the Department of Buildings.

The building will also include 11,415 square feet of manufacturing space.

Crescent Owners LLC, which owns the one-story manufacturing building currently on the lot, also filed for 48 enclosed parking spaces.

T.F. Cusanelli and Filletti Architects are designing the building.

 

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Stavisky, Markey, Sanders win primary


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photos

Three incumbent Queens elected officials have easily taken the win in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was first elected to the state Senate in 1999 and is the only female member of the state Senate from Queens, won the race with 4,981 votes, holding onto 57.3 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

The Forest Hills resident ran against S.J. Jung, a Flushing resident, activist and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey also won the primary with 1,880 votes and 75.2 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. She has represented the 30th Assembly District, comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside, since 1998.

In the race for the 10th District, state Sen. James Sanders Jr., who was elected in 2012, took the win with 5,898 votes and 74.5 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

In other statewide elections, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated his two competitors at 61.7 percent with 93.2 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, also took the win with 59.7 percent of the votes. 

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Beer garden coming to LIC Flea & Food


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Visitors will now be able to raise a glass at the LIC Flea & Food.

This Saturday, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will debut the LIC Flea Beer Garden with outdoor seating set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline.

rockaway

Only artisanal beer made by Queens breweries will be served, along with wine. The breweries include SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, which is located just across the street from the LIC Flea.

FINBACK_logo_A2“We are really excited to showcase all that Queens has to offer from amazing vendors to now breweries that are making top-quality beer right here in the borough,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “This fits in with our mission to attract people to Long Island City and Queens.”

QUEENS BREWERY 3

The LIC Flea Beer Garden will be opened every Saturday and Sunday during the hours of the flea market. Astoria Flea & Food has moved to Long Island City through the end of the year.

For beer enthusiasts, owners of the local breweries featured will be on hand to talk about the beer-making process. 

SINGLECUT

This weekend, Sept. 13 and 14, beer will be $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m., while supplies last. 

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.

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

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LIC Flea returns Saturdays and Sundays with Fashion Weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

The LIC Flea & Food is celebrating in style this weekend.

In the spirit of New York Fashion Week, the popular Long Island City flea market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will be hosting the LIC Flea Fashion Weekend.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the market will be showcasing fashion, jewelry and accessories including vintage, hand-crafted, curated items and fashion trucks. The items come from vendors such as Zachary Alexander, Jewel Dripped, The Nomad Truck, Baazar à GoGo, Crimson Boudoir Burlesque Boutique, Dr3am3r, Gypsy a GoGo, Queens 88, Vivian Jewelry, Destin 2 Wear, Imran Jewels, Vallnez Mozelli, Green Pink LTD and Paradox Thrift.

Awards will be given to winners chosen by a panel of judges and visitors.

Even though the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios came to an end last Sunday, some of the great vendors from the market will be making the move to Long Island City to continue offering their products.

LIC Flea & Food, which has only been open Saturdays after the Astoria Flea opened in May, will now be open every Saturday and Sunday once again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of October.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

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LIC’s Secret Theatre to stay open after surpassing fundraising goal


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

The show will go on at one Long Island City theatre thanks to a successful online fundraising campaign.

Last month Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., started an Indiegogo campaign looking to raise enough money to help keep the doors of the theatre open.

The fundraising site came after Mazda said the theatre had to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012 after the Department of Buildings (DOB) found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date.

The goal of the Indiegogo campaign, which ends Sept. 4 at 11:59 p.m., was set at $10,000, and as of Thursday afternoon $10,860 had been raised.

“I feel really good about it,” Mazda said about seeing the overwhelming amount of support. “Coming out and saying we’re in trouble was not easy. I feel very luck that so many people did rush to help.”

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, produced in-house shows and co-produced productions.

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said the funds will go toward renovations such as putting a restroom inside the Little Theatre, which had to be moved to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building after violations were found by the DOB.

He also hopes to turn the theatre into a nonprofit organization.

Mazda said he plans to start the Queens Theatre Fund, a small organization which brings together the Queens theatre community to create funding for “exceptional and emergency circumstances,” such as the one in which the Secret Theatre found itself.

“I tried to be very transparent and sincere and a lot of people have said to me that what I was saying to them hit home. They understood from the way that I communicated the message,” Mazda said about the overall fundraising experience. “I think they realized the Secret Theatre is a resource for the community.”

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Riders happy but cautious as G train service returns between LIC and Brooklyn


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Commuters breathed sighs of relief as the G train began rolling into Long Island City once again.

For five consecutive weeks this summer, the subway line was not running between the Court Square station in Long Island City and the Nassau Avenue stop in Brooklyn due to repairs being made to damaged tubes flooded during Hurricane Sandy, according to the MTA.

“The dedication of transit personnel in rebuilding the Greenpoint Tubes and ensuring safe, reliable G train service for our customers is part of our continuing efforts to reinforce the system’s infrastructure and safeguard the most vulnerable areas of our subway system for decades to come,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.

Regular weekday service on the G train resumed between the stops on Tuesday, making many train riders happy to use the line once again.

Jackson Heights resident Elizabeth Gutierrez was excited to be able to once again ride the G train, which she uses to get to her job in Brooklyn. However, she says she is slightly worried the line will be suspended once again in the future.

“It’s really nice to have something back that I depend on for work so much, but I just hope this whole thing was for something,” Gutierrez said. “I’m just afraid in a few months it’ll happen again.”

Sam Lancet, a Long Island City resident, said he was happy the line was back and running but is also concerned about other subway lines being suspended.
“I’m really happy that now I can just hop back on the G, but you never know what other train will go out of service next,” Lancet said.

During the G train suspensions, which began on July 25, the MTA provided shuttle buses for riders between Long Island City and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

“To be honest I enjoyed the buses more; they were on time mostly,” said Long Island City resident Gerry Hughes. “But I am still happy the G is back, finally. That summer was too long.”

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Report: Queens rental prices increase


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate

Rental prices are continuing to rise in the borough, according to the Queens Rental Market Report by MNS Real Estate.

Rents in Queens jumped about 1.76 percent from approximately $2,077 in June to $2,113 in July, according to the report, which targeted several Queens neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Rego Park.

The largest percentage increase in rent prices was seen in studios in Jackson Heights, which saw a 21 percent jump over a month. Studios in the neighborhood shot up from $1,238 in June to about $1,500 in July.

Two-bedrooms in Flushing also experienced a huge surge as prices soared more than 15 percent—an increase of $345 from $2,254 in June to $2,599 in July.

web Market report Jax Hts

The most expensive neighborhood was Long Island City. Although prices fell 0.65 percent for the month because of “a maturing luxury rental market,” according to the report, the average rent prices ranged from $2,410 for a studio to $3,908 for a two-bedroom apartment.

“The rental market throughout Queens is still following the patterns of recent months as the borough continues to see major growth, particularly in Long Island City and Astoria,” the report points out. “With new developments and conversions hitting the market recently, renters have flocked to these areas seeking more options and value for their money.”

Market report page 2 beds web

Studios in Forest Hills had the largest percentage decrease. Prices for a studio in the neighborhood dropped 27 percent ($501) from $1,851 in June to $1,350 in July.

To see the full report, click here.

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Children’s Room renovations coming to Queens Library’s Broadway branch


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Starting Monday, Sept. 8, the Children’s Room at the Queens Library’s Broadway branch in Long Island City will remain closed for four months as it undergoes renovations. An alternate children’s room will open on Sept. 15, but it will offer limited services.

The renovated Children’s Room will include more computers for children to use, brand new furniture, more space for librarians to attend to customers and a self-checkout station. The room will also feature a model train set that will circulate in the front of the room, suspended from overhead tracks.

While the Children’s Room remains closed, the rest of the Broadway library will stay open during the renovations.

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Flea in full swing


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Ping Pong Winners

Just days before the US Open kicked off, the competition was in full swing at the LIC Flea & Food.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, held its 2nd Annual LIC Flea & Food Ping Pong Open Tournament on Aug. 23.

Many contestants competed throughout the day and the overall winner was Japanese high-ranking table tennis player Kazuyuki Yokoyama, who also goes by Kaz. The runner-up of the tournament was Wolfgang Busch, who co-founded the Pink Pong Foundation New York Chapter in 2002 in Brooklyn to promote table tennis, fitness and health in the LGBT community.

The winners were given Flea Bucks to use at the market and also took home bragging rights.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be back on Sundays starting the following weekend and run through the end of October.This Sunday, Aug. 31, in Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will be celebrating its final day of the summer at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

Visitors to the Astoria Flea will enjoy a beach theme Sunday with kiddie pools and games spread throughout the market.

Since May, the flea market has offered the best in food, drinks, antiques, clothing, art, accessories and much more. Initially the Astoria Flea was expected to run for only eight consecutive Sundays.

The market will be open this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.For more information visit www.licflea.com.

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11-story condominium building planned for LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Fogarty Finger Architects

New condos are coming to the Hunter’s Point section of Long Island City.

Local companies Charney Construction & Development and Ascent Development are working on an 11-story mixed-use residential and commercial building, which will have 56 apartments, according to New York YIMBY.

The building will be located on 11-51 47th Avenue, blocks from 5Pointzwhich is being torn down for massive apartment towers— and near MoMA PS1.

Designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, the proposed 125-foot structure will be comprised of 52,728 square feet of residential space and an additional 1,280 square feet of commercial space, according to filings with the Department of Buildings.

The building will also have 23 enclosed parking spots, and will also come complete with various amenities, including a kids room, a gym and a lounge. There is also a terrace that allows views of Manhattan.

An architect on the project said the condos, which will have lots of two and three-bedroom apartments, indicate a change in Long Island City of families moving into the neighborhood .

“Because you can’t buy anything in Manhattan, people are looking at these neighborhoods and realizing how great they are,” Chris Fogarty of Fogarty Finger said. “These are people looking to stay a while.”

 

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