Tag Archives: queens center

New video shows Queens mall sex abuse suspect  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Videos courtesy of NYPD

Police are hoping a newly released video will help catch a man suspected of sexually abusing two women inside of Queens Center.

The man allegedly groped a store employee inside the Elmhurst mall on the afternoon of Sept. 4 before sexually abusing another woman five minutes later.


The suspect entered a clothing store at about 3 p.m. and approached one of the employees, a 25-year-old woman, then placed his hand along the victim’s legs, grabbed her genital area over her clothing and fled, cops said.

About five minutes later, also inside the same 90-15 Queens Blvd. shopping center, the suspect came up to a 34-year-old woman, according to authorities. He put his arms around her waist and started rubbing his groin area on her buttocks, over the clothing, before fleeing.

Cops describe the suspect as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and 200 to 230 pounds, with dark hair. He was wearing a blue varsity jacket with red sleeves, black sunglasses, dark jeans, white sneakers, a black baseball hat, a white scarf and was carrying a briefcase.

The newly released footage is the second video authorities have released of the suspect.


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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Man sexually abused two women at Queens mall: cops  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who allegedly groped a store employee inside Queens Center Thursday afternoon before sexually abusing another woman five minutes later.

The suspect entered a clothing store inside the Elmhurst mall at about 3 p.m. and approached one of the employees, a 25-year-old woman, according to authorities. He then placed his hand along the victim’s legs and grabbed her genital area over her clothing before fleeing, police said.

About five minutes later, also inside the same 90-15 Queens Blvd. shopping center, the suspect came up to a 34-year-old woman, put his arms around her waist and started rubbing his groin area on her buttocks, over the clothing, cops said. He then fled.

Police have released surveillance video of the suspect and describe him as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and 200 to 230 pounds, with dark hair. He was wearing a blue varsity jacket with red sleeves, black sunglasses, dark jeans, white sneakers, a black baseball hat, a white scarf and was carrying a briefcase.


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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Backpacks donated to children of Pan American Hotel homeless shelter


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Daniel Dromm’s office

School-aged children living at the Boulevard Family Center in the former Pan American Hotel are all set for their first day of school.

Councilman Daniel Dromm, Queens Center and the Department of Homeless Services came together on Aug. 19 to distribute 200 backpacks, notebooks and water bottles to the children living at the homeless shelter located at 7900 Queens Blvd.

“The homeless children that moved into the former Pan Am Hotel in June are some of our newest neighbors and they need our support,” said Dromm, who believes it is appropriate to donate these backpacks to his “newest constituents.” “As a former teacher of 25 years, I know firsthand how important it is for students to come to school prepared to learn. These backpacks will help the children start the school year right.”

DHS and nonprofit Samaritan Village turned the Pan American Hotel into a homeless shelter for families in June. Since then the surrounding community has protested and rallied against the move, which happened without residents and elected officials being given prior notice.

Community members have voiced their concerns over community safety, increased in property taxes and crime, and overcrowding of nearby schools.

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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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Former international soccer player to host meet and greet at Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy Verizon Wireless

With the FIFA World Cup about only a month away, soccer fans will be able to get a taste of the sport at Queens Center this weekend.

In preparation for the big games being held from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil, Verizon is hosting five shopping mall “Estadio Verizon” (Verizon Stadium) events for fans. The events will feature interactive soccer games, a customized stadium scoreboard, trivia games and a soccer-themed Plinko board to win prizes.

This Saturday, former Colombian national team captain and Major League Soccer player Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama will be at Queens Center doing a meet and greet with fans from 4 to 6 p.m.

Between noon and 6 p.m. this weekend, visitors at the Elmhurst mall will be able to learn about Verizon’s video offerings including its “La Connexion” and Spanish Language Packages that offer customized content for Hispanics and others who seek more Spanish-language programming.

Also, throughout the weekend and in honor of Mother’s Day, visitors at Queens Center will be able to make a free international call to their moms, using the latest Verizon Wireless mobile devices.

 

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$24M asking price for Elmhurst lot near Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

An Elmhurst lot, located across the street from the Queens Place mall, has been put up for sale for $24 million, according to real estate company Massey Knakal.

The 47,365-square-foot lot, located at 88-18 Justice Ave., is one block off of Queens Boulevard and adjacent to the Georgia Diner.

According to the listing provided by Massey Knakal, there is a Restrictive Declaration on the property allowing it to be developed “per existing approved plans,” though these could not be confirmed. The lot can also be used for residential and/or community facility development, but would require termination of the Restrictive Declaration. The property has 227,352-square-feet of development rights.

The lot is located close to Queens Center mall and a block from the M and R train lines at Grand Avenue. It is also near all the major highways.

 

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Man busted for fires at Queens malls ordered to undergo psych evaluation


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Jamaica man, who has been charged for setting a series of fires at multiple Queens shopping centers, has been held without bail and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, District Attorney Richard Brown said Wednesday.

“The defendant is charged with setting fires that were responsible for causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to many businesses, as well as endangering the lives of shoppers, store employees and responding firefighters,” Brown said. “These incidents should not be viewed as a prank. Arson is a serious crime that will be dealt with accordingly.”

Dereck Sumair, 23, was arraigned Wednesday on various charges of arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in connection to the mall fires, according to the district attorney. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

According to police, Sumair was apprehended after allegedly setting a fire at a Burlington Coat Factory at the Rego Center mall, just before 4 p.m. Monday.

Earlier that afternoon, merchandise was set on fire at an Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sears at the same 96-05 Queens Blvd. shopping center, the NYPD said.

On Monday, another blaze occurred at Macy’s at the nearby Queens Center mall at about 2:45 p.m., within about an hour of the other fires. Two more blazes were also set that afternoon at a Best Buy and Target at Queens Place, a block away, officials said.

Fires were also lit at a Toys”R”Us, Staples and T.J.Maxx at the Rego Center mall as well as a J.C. Penney at Queens Center Sunday evening, officials said.

On Thursday, Sumair allegedly set a blaze at the same Rego Center Sears from Monday.

No one was injured in any of the fires, but Sumair is accused of destroying clothing, towels, and other merchandise in the blazes, according to officials.

Surveillance photos from the Staples fire helped authorities identify the suspect as he was exiting the Burlington Coat Factory, police said.

When Sumair, was caught at the store, an officer allegedly found a lighter in his pocket, according to prosecutors. Afterwards, he allegedly admitted setting the mall fires.

Sumair was also charged with criminal mischief for breaking numerous windows with rocks at the Long Island Consultation Center in Rego Park on Dec. 19, 20 and 26. He allegedly told cops he “broke the windows for fun and to watch the police respond,” Brown said.

 

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Man charged after series of Queens mall fires: police


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10:15 a.m.

A man has been arrested following a rash of store fires at three Queens malls, police said.

The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Dereck Sumair, of Jamaica, was apprehended after allegedly setting a fire at a Burlington Coat Factory at the Rego Center mall, just before 4 p.m. Monday, the NYPD said.

Earlier that afternoon, merchandise was set on fire at an Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sears at the same 96-05 Queens Blvd. shopping center, according to police.

On Monday, another blaze occurred at Macy’s at the nearby Queens Center mall at about 3 p.m., within 30 minutes of the other fires. Two more blazes were set about an hour earlier, at a Best Buy and Target at Queens Place, a block away, cops said.

On Friday, fires were also lit at the same Rego Center Sears as well as a Toys”R”Us, Staples and T.J.Maxx at the shopping center, police said.

No one was injured in any of the blazes, cops said.

Surveillance photos from the Staples fire helped authorities identify the suspect as he was exiting the Burlington Coat Factory, the NYPD said.

Sumair has been charged with 12 counts of arson, 11 counts of reckless endangerment and 18 counts of criminal mischief, according to police, who did not make clear which fires Sumair is charged with starting.

 

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Queens Library space to open in Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Shoppers will soon be able to take a break in between stores and visit the library.

Queens Center, located at 90-15 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, has invited the Queens Library to open up a library space within the mall. It will be located adjacent to the food court and is expected to open in late spring.

“We are excited about bringing Queens Library to the Queens Center mall. It is an opportunity to reach even more people and familiarize them with everything Queens Library can do to enrich their lives,” said Queens Library’s Chief Operating Officer Bridget Quinn-Carey. “The library space at Queens Center mall will have books and reading material to engage people at the mall, or they can borrow and take books home. We will be hosting special programs as well.”

The library space, which will be Wi-Fi enabled, will include comfortable seating and offer a collection of popular books which people can sit down and read or borrow with their library cards. Laptops will be available to rent for use within the space and tablets may also be offered.

Free library card sign-up will be available at the location and there will be a schedule of promotional events in collaboration with other mall tenants  and programs, such as speakers, arts and crafts, kids’ educational entertainment and more. 

The space will also feature computer terminals to look up and request materials, order books  and research things to do in their neighborhoods. Full reference and referral services will be available by phone. 

 

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Development will bring new eateries, jobs near Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photo

Shoppers at Queens Center will soon be able to dine on endless breadsticks, 12 ounce steaks and buckets of crab, just by crossing the street.

According to city officials, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack will be opening at the 26,000-square-foot restaurant development on a current vacant lot at the corner of 92nd Street and 59th Avenue in Elmhurst. The development will also feature a parking lot on the remaining space.

The location has been owned and developed by the College Point and Whitestone based Mattone Group since 2001. The Mattone Group originally planned to open up a movie theatre at the location but had trouble lining up a tenant, said city officials. The Economic Development Corporation filed a lawsuit against the owners because of their failure to use the lot after acquiring it. After reaching an approximately $3 million settlement earlier this year and creating a deed modification for the location, the Mattone Group found the three chain restaurants as new tenants.

The development is expected to break ground later this year and the new restaurants are expected to be completed by 2016, said city officials. The new eateries will also create close to 225 permanent jobs.

 

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New Year’s Eve fashion on a budget


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

fashion

Skirt (Papaya): $10.99

Sequin top (Papaya ): $15.99

Fur Vest (Papaya):  $19.99

Booties (Afaze): $38.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacket (H&M):  $79.95

Slacks (H&M): $34.99

Shirt (J.C. Penney): $20

Bow Tie (J.C. Penney): $20

Shoes (J.C. Penney): $50

 

 

 

 

 

Dress (H&M): $14.95

Booties (Afaze): $38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacket (H&M): $79.50

Vest (H&M): $29.95

Shirt (J.C. Penney): $45

Slacks (H&M): $34.95

Tie (J.C. Penney): $20

Shoes (J.C. Penney): $80

Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Queens Center Provides Over 1,000 Back Packs for Borough-wide Distribution


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The pencils are sharpened, the chalkboards are clean, now it’s time to get students off to a successful school year.

Queens Center provided over 1,000 backbacks to elected officials to help local children in need. The back packs were distributed to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Senator Jose Peralta, Council Member Julissa Ferreras and Council Member Daniel Dromm and were filled with school supplies.

Starting the school year off right helps minimize academic stress, lessen anxieties and empowers youth with a strong sense of self-worth. Knowing this, Queens Center is doing its part by helping economically disadvantaged school aged children get prepared for the upcoming school year by providing essential Back to School supplies.

 

Back-to-school sales and deals


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

school buses3

School is about to start and for parents that means buying new clothes, school supplies and more. Here’s a list of some local back-to-school deals that you can shop for around Queens or online.

CLOTHING / SHOES 

Carter’s Children’s Wear
(Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Bell Blvd. & 26th Ave., Bayside)
Now through Aug. 29

  • Save up to 50% off on back-to-school favorites, such as dresses, tunics, leggings, polos, hoodies and more in stores and online.

Modell Sporting Goods
(various locations in Queens)
Now through Aug. 30

  • Men’s Polo’s 4 for $20
  • 40% off Men’s Classic Jersey Pants, Fleece, or Cargo Pants
  • 50% off Vortex Backpacks
  • Women’s Russell Fleece Separates Buy 1, get 1 free
  • 20% off Entire Stock of Moret Ultra Separates
  • Fila Workout Capris or Leggings $15
  • Boys’ Tricot or Soft Poly Windpants $10
  • 40% off classic fleece pant or Pullover Hood MSRP $35 Now $21

Old Navy
(various locations in Queens)

Now through Aug. 29

  • All jeans on sale for the entire family.

Now through Sept. 5

  • All uniforms on sale.
Shoe Village
(45-22 162nd St., Flushing)
Now through Sept. 8
  • Buy one pair and get one 50% off. (Located at

Stride Rite
(Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst)
Now through Sept. 4

  • BOGO: Buy one pair and get another for 50% off.

The Children’s Place
(various locations in Queens)
Now through Sept. 10

  • For every $40 spent of merchandise (excluding Gift Cards) on a single order, before taxes, shipping fees and after any discounts, you will earn one (1) $20 PLACE cash coupon redeemable on your next in store or online purchase off $40 or more between September 11, 2012 and September 23, 2012.

 

SCHOOL SUPPLIES / ELECTRONICS

Apple Store
(various locations in Long Island & Manhattan)
Now through  Sept. 21

  • Buy the new iPad for college through September 21 and receive a $50 Back to School gift card to use on apps, books, music, and movies. Or buy a Mac and get $100 Back to School Gift Card. And if you choose a Mac, save even more with Apple Education Pricing.

Best Buy
(various locations in Queens)
Ongoing

  • Power up for college with savings in every department.

Staples
(various locations in Queens)
Now through Sept. 15

  • Buy a Back to School Savings Pass for $10 and save on hundreds of school supplies. For more back to school deals at Staples, click here.

 

DEPARTMENT STORES

JCPenney
(Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst)
Now through Aug. 31

  • Free haircuts for kids in K-6th grade.
  • Kid’s Eyeglasses Sale: Children 16 and under can get a complete pair of glasses, including frames (valued at up to $120), polycarbonate lens and an eyeglass protection plan for only $25 throughout the month of August.

Kohl’s
188th St., Fresh Meadows; 61-35 Junction Blvd., Elmhurst)
Now through Sept. 1

  • 30%-50% off All Collections, Dressy Skirts, Dresses & Dressy Bottoms
  • 30-40% off All Tops For Juniors
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Half off On All Socks For Her
  • Buy 1, Get 1 half Off All Basics for Men * Packaged Socks & Underwear for Boys 4-20
  • 40% off All Urban Pipeline Apparel
  • All chaps School Uniforms Buy 1, Get One for $1
  • 25-30% off All Fashion Jewelry
  • 30-40% off Handbags

Target
(13505 20th Ave. College Point; 8801 Queens Blvd. Elmhurst)
Now through Sept. 29

  • Sale on select backpacks. For more back to school savings, click here.

 

MISC

Christie & Co. Salon Spa
(2364 Bell Blvd., Bayside)
Now through Sept. 14

  • Students and teachers with ID can get a BTS Mini Makeover or BTS Mini Spa for $99, or a BTS Hi-Lites Makeover for $150.

Pearle Vision
(various locations in Queens)

  • 50% off kids’ lenses with frame purchase
  • Buy one get one free
  • Save up to $100 on daily disposable contact lenses

Triboro Pharmacy
(37-20 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria)
Now through August 31

  • $5.00 off any purchase over $25 with coupon – available in the Queens Courier.

Forever 21 may be coming to Atlas Park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

DSC_0929s

The Shops at Atlas Park is still suffering a year-and-a-half after it was bought at a foreclosure auction. But a new tenant, Forever 21, could help the Glendale open-air shopping center turn a financial corner.

Though its owner, Macerich, could not “confirm details of any retailers at this time,” a Forever 21 spokesperson confirmed to the Daily News that a 15,000-square-foot store will open there in early 2013.

Forever 21 is a modestly priced chain that sells trendy clothes and accessories for women, men and kids, but is particularly popular among females in their teens and early 20s. It has several stores in Manhattan and Long Island, but only one store in the borough, at the nearby Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, which Macerich also owns.

Unlike the booming Queens Center, Atlas Park has had difficulty attracting shoppers, who complain about its paid parking and store offerings.

“There’s nothing there to buy. You’re paying parking for no place to shop,” said Glendale Civic Association president Kathy Masi. She is happy about any store that can pay the rent, especially one that is geared towards the young people who frequent the mall on the weekend.

In addition to retail shops, the 377,924-square-foot shopping center has restaurants, offices and a movie theater, and hosts concerts.

“We do a lot better during nights and weekends because people come here for movies and the restaurants,” said Peggy Zhu, an employee at clothing and accessory store Momo.

One restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, says that business for them has been fine.

But since Atlas Park opened in 2006, business hasn’t been fine. Three years after purchasing it, its original owners defaulted on a $128 million loan. In January 2011, Macerich bought the center for $54 million at a foreclosure auction.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company seems to recognize that Atlas Park is still struggling, and is considering renaming the shopping center and making other changes.

“Whenever we redevelop, there is a whole list of possibilities, and a name change is one of them,” Tim Steffan, senior vice president of property management at Macerich told The Queens Courier earlier this year. He also said that any mall needs an anchor or destination to attract customers—and local residents agree.

“The stores are too expensive here. They need more stores like the ones in Queens Center that are cheaper,” said Glendale mother Jackie Jenna, 51.

“There’s a bunch of shoe stores but not a lot of cheap places for young people to shop,” said 18-year-old Michelle Ricciardi of Middle Village. “I think Forever 21 will bring a lot of people to the mall.”

Additional reporting by Phil Hertling