Tag Archives: Long Island Expressway

All-cash, multi-million deal for Rego Park commercial building


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

One month was all one real estate broker needed to sell a Rego Park commercial building described as prime for development.

Cushman & Wakefield announced it sold 97-19/29 64th Rd., a 14,000-square-foot site off 98th Street and 64th Road, for $11.5 million in an all-cash transaction. The location currently has a two-story retail/office building that’s ripe for development, according to the agency.

“Within 30 days, we were able to generate a tremendous amount of interest and create a competitive bidding environment for our client,” said Thomas A. Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield. “A contract was negotiated and signed in one week, and a closing took place three months later at $11.5 million, which equates to approximately $554 per square foot on the existing building and $171 per buildable square foot.”

A spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield indicated the plans for the site remain unknown, but the location’s zoning could allow for significant expansion. The site has 140 feet of frontage on 64th Road and another 100 feet of frontage on 98th Street and is located within a C4-2 commercial district.

The zoning code allows the new owners to build up to 47,600 square feet on the site, more than twice the size of the existing 20,771-square-foot building at the location. The new owners could add another 18,400 additional square feet of as-of-right development should community space be provided within the building space.

The location is two blocks away from the 63rd Drive subway station and within walking distance of the Rego Center mall, the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.

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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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64-year-old man dies in LIE car crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x4161

A 64-year-old man was killed on the Long Island Expressway Thursday afternoon when his car slammed into an exit ramp divider before crashing into another vehicle, police said.

The incident happened just after 1 p.m. on the eastbound side of the roadway at the exit for the Douglaston Parkway near Oakland Gardens.

As the driver approached the exit, his Hyundai Sonata veered to the right and struck a barrier, authorities said. His car then veered back onto the expressway where it hit a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

EMS took the Hyundai’s driver, who wasn’t immediately identified by police, to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Jeep was uninjured.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Astoria man charged as serial tagger for graffiti acts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens district attorney's office

An Astoria man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly tagging trees, traffic control boxes and more in the past year, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Michael Mestric was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on 19 counts of criminal mischief and 19 counts of making graffiti.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the 30-year-old “found a canvas for his tag at nearly every turn.”

Between May 2013 and April of this year, Mestric’s tag “AOE” was found spray painted on highway walls along the Grand Central Parkway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway, Brown said. Mestric is also being charged for tagging control boxes, a fence, tree, and a historic observation deck at Astoria Park.

“Graffiti is not art – nor is it a victimless crime. Tagging encourages lawlessness. It leads to decreased property values and is expensive to remove,” Brown said.

The damage and cost of removing the graffiti allegedly exceeded $12,500, with the observation deck at Astoria Park alone costing more than $2,500 to repair.

If convicted, Mestric faces up to seven years in prison.

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Stolen Yorkshire Terrier reunited with Bayside owners


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Police reunited Nutty the Yorkshire Terrier with his Bayside owners after the dog was stolen along with the owners’ car.

“We’re so relieved to have him back with us,” said Danny Morales, the dog’s owner. “I just can’t believe that he was returned to us totally unharmed, too.”

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He left Nutty in the car with the engine on while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

When he returned, the car, along with Nutty, was gone.

“It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it,” Morales said on Friday.

Morales and his girlfriend Diana Oh spread flyers with a $1,000 reward, and even created a Facebook page to alert people in the neighborhood.

But the search ended on Saturday when police reunited the owners with their dog at the 113th Precinct. The Bayside couple discovered that Nutty had been on a crime adventure over the last few days.

Morales said he received a phone called at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning from a woman claiming to be the dognapper’s mother.

“This woman called me and you could tell she was in tears and she said that her son had taken Nutty,” Morales said. “She kept apologizing and said her son was troubled.”

The mother told Morales that her son, a 19-year-old, had stolen several cars recently.

Police couldn’t be reached for comment, but Morales said that the dog was found in the driver’s seat of another stolen car. The driver, the 19-year-old son, was arrested along with his alleged girlfriend. Authorities found Morales’ identification card and credit cards in the girlfriend’s wallet.

“That’s when the cops realized that Nutty wasn’t just some dog,” he said. “It turns out that he took Nutty with him on all these car thefts.”

Morales and Oh celebrated on Saturday with family and friends. They took the dog to the veterinarian, who found nothing wrong with Nutty.

“He’s acting a little weird but then again, he’s always been an oddball,” Morales said.

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Bayside residents searching for missing dog taken in car theft


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Two Bayside residents are scrambling to find their beloved Yorkie after a thief stole their car with Nutty the dog inside of it.

“I don’t care about the car. We’re just hoping that he didn’t just abandon the car with the dog stuck in it or something,” said Danny Morales, Nutty’s owner. “I just want my dog back. That’s it. We don’t care about anything else. No questions asked.”

Morales is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who returns Nutty, a brown Yorkshire Terrier. Anyone with information can call Morales at (917) 942-0121 or (646) 201-3882.

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He decided to leave Nutty in the car with the engine on for just a second while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

“And when I went outside my car wasn’t there,” Morales recalled. “It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it.”

Nutty_2

Danny Morales’ stolen Honda Accord.

Morales, along with his girlfriend Diana Oh,  have spent the past few days spreading flyers in the Bayside area and even Little Neck and Douglaston.

They’ve created a Facebook page Bring Nutty Home so that friends can spread the word. The incident was reported to the police but Morales believes that distributing fliers and using social media will be the fastest way to be reunited with Nutty.

“He’s so small and innocent, it sucks,” Morales said. “I’ve lived here for 30 years and everyone knows me here, so I can’t believe this happened.”

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Pedestrian struck and killed while walking on LIE


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

police car

A 38-year-old man was fatally hit by a vehicle early Wednesday morning as he was walking in the middle lane of the Long Island Expressway, cops said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was struck at about 3:15 a.m. on the westbound side of the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway near Corona, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle, a green Ford, remained at the site of the collision and the investigation is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear what the pedestrian was doing on the expressway.

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Overturned cement truck makes mess on LIE


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TrafficAdvisory

BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7:02 a.m.

Commuters going westbound on the Long Island Expressway Monday afternoon faced a messy situation as an overturned cement truck spilled debris on the road.

The incident, which happened at about 12:28 p.m., occurred at Maurice Avenue near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, according to the FDNY. The driver was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, officials and reports said.

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

The accident caused delays on the LIE for several hours, and all westbound traffic had to be detoured at Maurice Avenue to the lower LIE level. Eastbound traffic also experienced delays.

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Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

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Two killed in Long Island Expressway collision


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image


Two men lost their lives on the Long Island Expressway Saturday when their car struck a guardrail at the exit for the Grand Central Parkway, police said.

The vehicle, a Subaru Impreza, was traveling westbound on the roadway at about 12:35 a.m. when the driver tried to get onto the parkway exit and failed to properly navigate the turn, cops said. The car then struck a guardrail before hitting a metal overpass structure and overturning on its side.

The driver, a 30-year-old man, and his passenger, a 31-year-old man, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where they were dead, according to authorities.

Both victims have yet to be identified by police.

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New retail space coming to Rego Park


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering Courtesy of Winick Realty Group

New retail opportunities are coming to Rego Park just blocks from three major Queens malls.

Leasing has begun on 8,095 square feet of ground retail space at 92-77 Queens Blvd., which is currently under construction, Winick Realty Group announced. The site is expected to be move-in ready by 2015.

“We truly believe that this is an unparalleled opportunity for any retailer to position themselves in front of three major malls, Queens Boulevard, the Long Island Expressway, two subway lines and 10 bus lines,” said Winick Realty Group real estate broker Robert Heicklen.

Located adjacent to Rego Center and blocks away from Queens Center and Queens Place malls, 92-77 offers retailers 35 feet of all-glass frontage on 93rd Street and front- and rear-facing backlit signage.

Deals including one for a 16,000-square foot fitness center and another for a “well-known national coffee brand” are pending for two of the three spaces on the property, according to Winick Realty Group. The overall site features a 400-square-foot loading dock and on-site parking.

According to a Winick Realty Group online flyer, Retro Fitness and Starbucks are expected soon.

“Winick Realty Group is excited to represent this type of high-profile, high-visibility exclusive as we continue to expand our leasing efforts in the borough of Queens,” said Winick Realty Group President Steven Baker.

 

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Long Island Expressway crash kills one


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 22-year-old man died after his car struck a wall as he was exiting the Long Island Expressway early Thursday morning, cops said.

The victim, Aaron Jung Hay Wu, of Oakland Gardens, was attempting to merge onto the Clearview Expressway, at Exit 27, about 3:50 a.m. when the accident occurred, officials said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

 

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Rep. Meng works to bring family members of teen crash victims to US


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Vic Nicastro

Family members of the two teens killed last month in a tragic car crash are working with Congressmember Grace Meng to fly from China to Queens to grieve.

Meng is trying to secure visas for Jiahao Liang’s mother and sister and Jennifer Gao’s grandmother and aunt.

The two died Feb. 18, when their car swerved off the Long Island Expressway, near Kissena Boulevard, and wrapped around a tree.

Their relatives await a March 11 interview from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. Meng said she intervened with the American Consulate in China after a friend of both families reached out to her for help.

“The death of these two teenagers is a terrible and horrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to their family and friends,” she said. “We will assist them with whatever needs they may have during this difficult time.”

Liang, 19, of Flushing, who drove the car and his passenger Gao, 16, of Oakland Gardens, were cremated about two weeks ago, Meng said.

 

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Oakland Gardens teen IDed as LIE crash victim


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Vic Nicastro

Updated 4:35 p.m. 

Two people, including a Queens high school student, were killed after their vehicle hit a tree off of the Long Island Expressway Tuesday.

Jennifer Gao, 16, of Oakland Gardens lost her life in the crash. Police identified the driver, who also died in the accident, as 19-year-old Jiahao Liang of Middletown, N.Y.

Teary-eyed family members declined to comment on Gao or the accident.

The accident happened just before 1 .a.m. Tuesday near Utopia Parkway and Kissena Boulevard, between exits 24 and 25, cops said.

An Audi sedan was driving westbound down the expressway when the car went off the roadway, turned on its side and crashed into a tree, police said.

The driver and Gao were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the NYPD.

A preliminary investigation found that speed was likely a factor in the accident, police said.

 

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Hercules: Aftermath of the storm


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated at 12:59 p.m.

Queens residents woke up to more than half a foot of snow Friday morning as they prepared to deal with the aftermath of the winter storm.

Snowfall in parts of the borough was reportedly as high as 11.5 inches.

Mayor Bill de Blasio updated the city at about 10:30 a.m. and urged residents to stay off the roadways and be aware of how “deceptively cold” the weather remains. Although the “snow has tapered,” wind conditions have stayed substantial.

There will be a high of 18 degrees on Friday, and a low of zero coming into Friday night, he said.

“This has been and remains a dangerous storm. It is going to be bitter cold today, and New Yorkers need to be extremely careful going outdoors,” de Blasio said. “The best things people can do are to stay off the roads so we can clear them as fast as possible, and to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors who might need help this morning.”

Nearly 2,500 plows are working through the 6,200 miles of roadways as of “early this morning,” de Blasio said. PlowNYC is activated for borough residents to track real-time progress of snow clearance. Residents are additionally asked not to shovel snow into the street, which could delay snow clearance.

Despite multiple accounts of drivers’ vehicles getting stuck in the snow, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John Doherty said the agency was “able to keep the city moving no matter the situation.”

As the snow fell throughout Thursday night and early Friday morning, sanitation department members plowed “primary streets,” highways, multiple times to continue to remove snow brought back onto the roads by wind, Doherty said. They then addressed local roads and side streets.

Garbage and recycling pick-up has been suspended until snow removal is complete. All city hospitals and emergency rooms remain open, and additional ambulances have been added.

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday and MTA subways are running with service changes. The LIRR is operating on its weekend schedule. Buses are “delayed but still moving,” and the Rockaway Ferry is not running.

John F. Kennedy International Airport closed Thursday night but Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officials are aiming to reopen at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, although the FAA ultimately makes that decision, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

Runways are continually being cleared of snow but the wind is working against them, pushing the wintery mix back to where it started.

At LaGuardia Airport, travelers formed long lines waiting to hear about their outgoing flights.

“This is just crazy. The only good thing is I rather be in here than out there in the cold,” said Jeff P., from Woodside who was traveling to Portland,Ore. for work. “I just hope I make my flight. I got here with four hours in advance.”

Catherine Hidalgo, 27, also made sure to leave her hotel a few hours in advance to make it back home to California.

“I just want to make it to my family safe,” said Hidalgo. “It is crazy waiting but I rather be safe than sorry.”

City schools are closed after newly-appointed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña made the call Friday morning at about 4 a.m. After-school programs and PSAL are suspended and CUNY classes are canceled as well.

Major highways including the Long Island Expressway reopened at 8 a.m. but city officials continue to urge New Yorkers to stay out of the driver’s seat and off the roads.

 

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One killed, three injured in LIE crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

An accident on the Long Island Expressway Wednesday left one man dead and three others injured after their car struck a median and overturned, police said.

A 2001 Nissan Xterra was traveling eastbound on the roadway near Parsons Boulevard about 2:15 a.m. when it hit the median, traveled across three traffic lanes, then struck the curb adjacent to the shoulder, before overturning and coming to a rest on its roof, against a tree, cops said.

The front seat passenger, a 26-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver, a 31-year-old man, was taken to New York Hospital Queens in critical condition with injuries to the head and body, cops said. Two rear seat passengers were also taken to New York Hospital Queens in stable condition, with minor injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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