Tag Archives: Queens real estate

Mexican restaurant Tacuba opens in Astoria

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Tacuba

Mexican-style restaurant Tacuba Cantina Mexicana, opened Tuesday in Astoria—just in time for Mexico’s Independence Day.

The restaurant, located at 35-01 36th St., is the seventh eatery for chef Julian Medina and partners Louis Skibar and Brian Sobhan, and their first outside of Manhattan.

Tacuba, named for a section in Mexico City, is a cantina-style restaurant that features a 3,400-square-foot dining room with custom-made Mexican lanterns, reclaimed wood, lights strung overhead, spacious booths and a bar.

The restaurant’s menu includes Mexican favorites such as tacos with homemade corn tortillas, various flavors of empanadas, guacamole and peruano, to name a few dishes. Take a look at more of the menu at We Heart Astoria.

Since cantina-style restaurants are known for having a lively bar scene, Tacuba offers an abundance of tequilas, mezcals, margaritas and cocktails.


Longtime Murray Hill pizzeria closes, reopening under new owners

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Marino Bros. pizzeria, a staple on 29th Avenue in Murray Hill for about two decades, is under new management and will celebrate its grand re-opening on Wednesday.

The restaurant, sold by former owner Peter Marino in May, according to city records, was known for its pairing with the Marino Bros. Supermarket, which has been located in the community for nearly three decades.

The new owners of the restaurant have changed the name to Alfredo’s Pizzeria, after one member of the two new proprietors, and they began renovating the eatery last week.

The sale counter was shifted back and the interior has been repainted. A new counter for making pizza is also planned.

A sign in the front of the store says the grand opening is set for Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Marino could not be reached for comment.



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.


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.



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.



See it: Jamaica Estates’ Villa Joy listed at nearly $3.5M

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty 

Just looking at Villa Joy in Jamaica Estates could bring a smile to someone’s face.

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, which recently opened its first Queens office, is listing the more than 6,500-square-foot, 12-room house for $3,488,000.

The residence at 184-15 Hovendon Rd. has five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms scattered through three levels. It also has a finished basement.

Luxury swells from the spacious rooms in this European Villa-style home, which was built in 2012 on a third of an acre of land.

A marble-floored foyer and high ceilings are just some of the features in the house.

Click here for more information on Villa Joy.



See it: Forest Hills Tudor home sells for $1.47M

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Terrace Sotheby's International Realty

A four-bedroom 1920s Tudor house in Forest Hills was recently picked up for $1.47 million.

The house features three floors with two-and-a-half bathrooms and it was renovated inside and out before the sale on Aug. 18, according to Terrace Sotheby’s International Realty which listed the residence.

The 2,163-square-foot house, located at 97-11 70th Ave., has a two-car garage and an open living room with fireplace. The home is also located just a couple of blocks away from the Forest Hills LIRR station and the E, F, M, R train subway station on 71st Avenue.

The house’s kitchen has custom cherry cabinets with granite countertops, and the basement has a large finished family room with a half-bath, laundry room and  storage room.



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.


Rendering reveals seven-story apartment building coming to Jamaica

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy TCX Development

Development in Jamaica is about to pick up and bring big changes to the New York City real estate scene, according to a firm building new apartments in the area.

TCX Development, a Great Neck-based firm, is working on a seven-story, 21-unit apartment building on Hillside Avenue near 191st Street. TCX officials believe they are ahead of the wave of development they feel is coming to the neighborhood because of its zoning, extensive public transportation network and massive downtown shopping district.

“We really believe in this area. We’ve done a lot of research and we are sure that this area is due for a lot of development soon,” said Joshua Asherian of TCX Development. “The zoning is already there and the retail is already there, It’s only a matter of time.”

TCX released renderings for the project last week, as New York YIMBY revealed, and the building is expected to be completed in 2015.

The exterior of the 15,000-square-foot building will be designed with black brick and metal siding with large windows. The interior will have a modern finish with key card access. There will also be 11 enclosed parking spots.

The building will mostly be comprised of one-bedroom apartments for $1,600 a month, which Asherian said will be attractive compared to Brooklyn and Manhattan prices for comparable rooms. There will also be one three-bedroom penthouse.



Fresh Meadows two-story mall to open soon

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Work on a two-story mall in Fresh Meadows on 164th Street is weeks away from completion, according to the owner J&H Management Corp.

About four years ago, former Councilman James Gennaro assisted in changing the zoning of the lot to commercial to clear the way for the shopping center. 

J&H, which filed to demolish the auto repair shop on the lot in 2012, started construction last year and was expecting the shopping center to be completed in the spring. The more than 13,000 square-foot retail mall will have 13 tenants and 38 parking spots. 

“It’s about bringing retail in to an area which it really needs it, and bringing parking to Queens,” said Joel Fischer, president of J&H Management Corp.  

The new mall will share the block with a pizzeria near the 69th Avenue, and is close to a Key Food supermarket on the next block.

Some shops are already confirmed as tenants, but the owner wants to hold off on announcing them at this time.



Queens rental market sees record increase

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Queens has become the place to be.

According to brokers and realtors, the borough’s rental market prices have seen a record increase in the past year as more people are making the decision to move out of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“Many people are being priced out of Brooklyn,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants. “One of the byproducts is the shifting demand to the other boroughs – with Queens being a key beneficiary.”

According to Zillow, a home and real estate online marketplace, the median rental price in Manhattan is $2,800 and Brooklyn in $2,150, while in Queens it is $1,700.

Miller said the push to the outer boroughs comes from three key drivers. For one, it has become harder to qualify for the type of credit for taking out a mortgage. Further, rising employment in the city has seen almost immediate responses from the rental market. Lastly, there is the never-ending search for affordability.

With new apartment buildings going up on the waterfront, Astoria and Long Island City have become the most expensive areas in the borough. According to Zumper, an apartment rental online source, prices in those two areas range from $1,550 for a one-bedroom near the Grand Central Parkway to $4,295 for a two-bedroom by the waterfront.

According to Chris Georgakopoulos, a realtor for Beaudoin Realty Group, the high prices in Astoria and Long Island City have some renters traveling deeper into Queens.

“People are being priced out of Brooklyn and they try to come into Long Island City but the prices are high there and they sort of backtrack into the parts outside of Long Island City,” she said.

Georgakopoulos added there are high demands for larger units of two- to three-bedrooms, but there are not enough of them to feed demand. She still believes the area is relatively affordable, pointing out it is just a 20-minute train ride from Midtown to boot. According to Zumper, prices in Jackson Heights and Corona range from $1,200 to $1,495.

Other popular areas in the borough are Bayside and Flushing, where prices range from $1,300 for a studio to $2,150 for a two bedroom.

“If you compare the prices that you pay in Manhattan to what you pay in northeastern Queens, it is worth the travel. It’s an extra 10 minutes and you are saving 50 percent on your rent,” said Anthony Carollo, broker and owner of Carollo Real Estate. “You get the amenities of a suburb and the [same] travel capacity as living in the city.”

According to the realtors and brokers, the rental market trend does not look like it will be going down anytime soon, with prices in Queens staying elevated — and even with some room for growth.

“This general trend has been in the last two years, but has become more apparent in the last year,” said Miller. “It doesn’t appear that we are trending away from this.”


Real estate spotlight: Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park offer a wide range of housing opportunities with price ranges from under $500,000 to over $3 million. Information and photos listed are courtesy of www.mlsli.com.

240 Greenway North in Forest Hills
There’s plenty of space to roam in this stately Tudor home, which features three bedrooms, two and a half baths, two patios, a private terrace, a sun room and a garage. The detached single-family house was built by Grosvenor Atterbury as a model story book home with its four fireplaces, a basement spa equipped with a Jacuzzi steam shower and a sauna. The property also has a separate carriage house. It is selling for $1,649,000.

20 Norden Road in Forest Hills
If you are looking for a spacious abode in a prestigious, private community, check out this roomy single-family grand Tudor home. There are six bedrooms, four full and two half baths, a stone fireplace, a sundrenched solarium, two garages, a private driveway and over 3,000 square feet of living space. With four flours, including a huge basement with storage rooms and a stand-in attic, this home costs $1,849,500.

191 Ascan Avenue in Forest Hills
This brick colonial home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. Located on a corner lot, it is being sold as-is and needs work. The single-family home features beautiful hardwood floors and a new heating system. Only cash offers are currently being considered. It is selling for $1,499,000.

118-02 84th Avenue in Kew Gardens
Beautifully renovated and landscaped, this stucco finished two-family home boasts four bedrooms, three new bathrooms, two new kitchens, a two car private driveway with a garage and two fireplaces. The colonial home also features hardwood floors, high-end appliances and cabinets and a finished entertainment basement. The listing price is $949,000.

85-26 125th Street in Kew Gardens
This charming colonial three-family house has a backyard deck surrounded by beautiful flowers and greenery. There are four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an attached one-car garage in a private driveway. The main apartment is in pristine condition and is nicely decorated, and there are two vacant rental apartments in move-in condition. Buy this brick home for $679,000.

68-33 Alderton Street in Rego Park
Located in the middle of a quiet block, this single-family colonial home has three bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, a back porch and a detached garage. The brick home is close to shopping areas and public transportation. It is selling for $598,500.

65-33 Cromwell Crescent in Rego Park
This cape house has four bedrooms, two and a half baths, a nice backyard and a balcony on the second floor. With a washer, dryer, dishwasher and a formal dining room, this brick home is selling for $876,000.

67-17 Alderton Street in Rego Park
This single-family ranch home boasts two bedrooms, one full bath, a private driveway with a garage, a front porch and a location close to shopping, restaurants and transportation. The listing price is $548,000.

Southwest Queens real estate

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


-Courtesy of MLSLI

70-19 71st Street
This perfect starter home in great condition boasts three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, a formal dining room and an oversized living room. The yard is nicely sized with an above ground pool. Total taxes for this home are $2,129 and the listed price is $449,000. The lot size of this home is 16.5X100. This home is brought to you by Campione Realty, 71-05 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village, NY 11379. 718-326-3003.

76-01 Myrtle Avenue
This huge property features a full basement, two large home offices and four bedrooms. Total taxes for this home are $7,506 and the listed price is $549,000. The lot size of this home is 25X84. This home is brought to you by Bridge Realty Servicing Group, 60-43 Maspeth Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378. 718-416-1111.

59-19 59th Road
This place is a must-see! With six bedrooms, a home office and a formal dining room, a place like this doesn’t come along every day! Total taxes for this home are $3,000 and the listed price is $429,000. The lot size of this home is 24X124.42. This home is brought to you by O Kane Realty, 72-01 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378. 718-779-1111.

73-35 53rd Avenue
Located close to shopping and transportation, this great single-family brick home has a finished basement and a one-car garage. Total taxes for this home are $3,480 and the listed price is $499,000. The lot size of this home is 22X90. This home is brought to you by O Kane Realty, 72-01 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378. 718-779-1111.

52-80 62nd Street
This beautifully updated single-family home in the heart of Maspeth has been redone from top to bottom, The home has three bedrooms, a finished basement and enough parking for three cars. Total taxes for this home are $4,200 and the listed price is $589,000. The lot size of this home is 20X100. This home is brought to you by RE/MAX Associates, 51-47 69th Street, Woodside, NY 11377. 718-672-2100.

61-03 59th Drive
This gorgeous two-story detached home on a quiet tree line street has four bedrooms, a private driveway, a garage and a newly renovated kitchen and bathrooms. Total taxes for this home are $2,417 and the listed price is $590,000. The lot size of this home is 22X100. This home is brought to you by Exit Kingdom Realty, 68-56 Groton Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375. 718-268-8868.

69-19 66th Road
Middle Village
This semi-detached single-family home offers a large living room, formal dining room and eat-in kitchen. Total taxes for this home are $4,185 and the listed price is $449,000. The lot size of this home is 20X100. This home is brought to you by Christopher Tscherne & Assoc.,
80-14 Eliot Avenue, Middle Village, NY 11379. 718-672-7400.

66-45 75th Street
Middle Village
This charming home sits on one of the nicest blocks in Middle Village. The home features a two-car garage, new kitchen and a fully finished basement with a separate entrance. Total taxes for this home are $3,479 and the listed price is $518,000. The lot size of this home is 20X100. This home is brought to you by RE/MAX Team, 71-15 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, NY 11372. 718-429-4400.

64-56 82nd Place
Middle Village
This classy yet affordable Colonial-style home has three bedrooms, hard wood floors and a formal dining room. Total taxes for this home are $4,131 and the listed price is $619,000. The lot size of this home is 20X100. This home is brought to you by Real Living Eliot Hill Realty, 61-07 80th Street, Middle Village, NY 11379. 718-672-4444.

71-14 Juniper Valley Road
Middle Village
This mint condition four-bedroom home is the perfect retreat for a large family. The house has all been recently renovated, with lots of charm throughout. Total taxes for this home are $4,620 and the listed price is $749,000. The lot size of this home is 28X94. This home is brought to you by NY Metro Realty Group Ltd, 88-03 69th Avenue Suite 1, Forest Hills, NY 11375. 718-544-2883.

59-19 Summerfield Street
This lovely single-family home is walking distance to shopping and transportation locations. The home has three-bedrooms, hard wood floors and a skylight. Total taxes for this home are $3,517 and the listed price is $429,000. The lot size of this home is 21X100. This home is brought to you by Sparrow REALTORS LLC, 69-31 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village, NY 11379. 718-894-6900.

862 Onderdonk Avenue
This charming three-bedroom abode has hard wood floors, a formal dining room and a fully finished basement. Total taxes for this home are $3,103 and the listed price is $469,000. The lot size of this home is 18X81. This home is brought to you by TMT Realty Group LLC, 33-11 36th Avenue Astoria, NY 11106, 718-392-6900.