Tag Archives: Queens real estate

Queens Village rallies against plan to open juvenile jail in former school


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Nearly two dozen Queens Village residents and local leaders came together Wednesday to rally against the Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) plan to put a facility for juvenile offenders in a former school.

Through the Close to Home initiative, which was signed into law in 2012, ACS is seeking to convert the building at 207-01 Jamaica Ave. into a “limited secure placement facility” for about 18 youngsters from New York City who committed crimes before turning 16. The building once housed the Merrick Academy, a public charter school.

Normally, these offenders would be held in institutions upstate, but the law seeks to bring the children closer to family members and lawyers in the city, while giving them education and counselling services.

However, the protesters argued that the community has not received enough information about the plan and they fear with just limited security the delinquent offenders could escape and cause harm to the surrounding community, which has a school and single-family detached homes.

“By approving a correctional center in a residential neighborhood, it will increase the devaluation of our homes, crime and the stigmatization that has historically reduced the quality of life in southeast Queens,” said community activist Mohamed Hack. “While I support the mission of the ‘Close to Home’ initiative, I understand that there are more fitting locations for ACS to use to meet their goals.”

An ACS spokesman said a public hearing was held in Queens two years ago about the facility. Also, agency officials met with Community Board 13 on May 11.

To protect the community, security at the facility would include a secured driveway for vehicles transporting youngsters, locked doors and windows, and a control room with security cameras and television monitoring by employees 24 hours, seven days a week.

Nevertheless, protesters are still hoping to get ACS to reconsider putting the facility in the building, and once again using it as a school.

“When our schools are overcrowded and underfunded, instead of placing a juvenile detention center in a building that was intended to be a school, let us support projects that protect the safety and quality of life in our communities while at the same time foster economic growth and community development,” said Celia Dosamantes, who is mulling a run for Councilman Mark Weprin’s seat when he leaves office.

Another rally is set for Saturday at noon in front of the building.

Rally 2

The building at 207-01 Jamaica Ave.

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Rooftop beekeeping, skyline views: Peek inside Hunters Point South affordable units


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THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

When the lottery opened last year for apartments in the Hunters Point South Living developments, a two-building complex with 925 affordable housing apartments on the waterfront of Long Island City, it was a madhouse.

More than 93,000 people applied to get an apartment in the buildings, which promised astonishingly low rents in the 32-story Hunters Point South Crossing and 37-story Hunters Point South Commons.

It was a fight to get a unit, but some lucky chosen residents were first to move into the smaller building on May 15, and when more come this summer they’ll find luxury amenities and views of the Manhattan skyline at rates hard to beat throughout the city.

The buildings also feature a variety of common spaces, including a 2,300-square-foot rooftop farm on the 13th floor terrace of the 37-floor building, which has a beehive with 13,000 honeybees.

The rooftop farm contains a 13-bed garden that grows a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, beans and herbs, such as tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, basil, blueberries, red peppers and strawberries, which residents will be able to eat.

Related Companies partnered with experts at GrowNYC to start the garden and instruct residents for three years. Residents can expect garden harvest days, beekeeping instruction, cooking demonstrations and planting workshops throughout the year from the experts.

“The honeybees, the garden and the partnership with GrowNYC as a whole are the essence of our vision for Hunters Point South,” said Frank Monterisi, senior vice president of Related Companies, which is co-developing the project with Phipps Houses and Monadnock Development. “We wanted to create a welcoming, friendly living environment that will not only improve residents’ quality of life, but their health and have a positive environmental impact as well.”

Other amenities in the complex include a waterfront park across the street, fitness club, Internet café, party rooms, a children’s playroom and rooftop decks with barbecuing pits.

There are a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in the Hunter’s Point South complex. Each unit comes with a dishwasher, and two- and three-bedrooms have washers and dryers.

Rental rates in the building are based on area median income, and there are many units available to people earning less than $30,000 a year.

Monthly rents start at $494 for a studio to $743 for a three-bedroom for low-income earners that make about $19,000 to approximately $49,000 annually. Rents for middle- and moderate-income units range from $1,561 to $4,346 per month for household incomes of $55,200 to $224,020 annually.

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Deals in Astoria for homebuyers


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Photo courtesy StreetEasy, Bouklis Group and MLSLI

Demand for homes in Astoria is high as more buyers are pushed away from skyrocketing prices in nearby Long Island City, and attracted by easy access to transportation, established commercial strips, and diverse restaurants and entertainment venues.

Residents can enjoy Astoria Park’s waterfront view, visit the Museum of the Moving Image or grab a drink at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, to name a few popular activities.

But the surging demand to live in Astoria has caused land values to spike there as well, resulting in rising rents and home prices.

However, prospective Astoria renters and homebuyers need not fear; the neighborhood still has some deals to be found. Recently, Astoria was named one of the top areas for recent college graduates looking to rent in the city, according to a report by real estate website StreetEasy.

StreetEasy has also put together a list of deals to beat the heated Astoria market, and indicated that there are more below market price homes waiting to be purchased.

22-60 79th St. #3B

Price: $295,000
Size: One bedroom, one bathroom
Type: Condo
Broker: Laura Copersino, Douglas Elliman

What StreetEasy said: “Astoria is known for its bucolic complexes of small apartment buildings and gardens. This one-bedroom is in one of these complexes and offers lots of closet space, a renovated kitchen and a washer-dryer.”

21-37 33rd St. #05H

Price: $475,000
Size: Three bedrooms, one bathroom
Type: Co-op
Broker: Frank Bouklis, Bouklis Group

What StreetEasy said: “Proximity to transportation is everything in Astoria. This three-bedroom is three blocks from the Ditmars N/Q stop in one of Astoria’s most residential and family-oriented pockets. Plus it’s got a new kitchen and bath.”

30-10 48th St.

Price: $849,000
Size: Five bedrooms, two bathrooms
Type: Townhouse
Broker: Nancy Suric, Laffey Fine Homes

What StreetEasy said: “The townhouse market in other parts of the city is very tiny and very pricey, but single-family homes dominate the housing stock in Astoria. This one just got a gut renovation and has its own garage.”

 

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Mixed-use Bayside buildings sell for record value due to rising demand


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield  

Filled with bars, shops and a wide variety of restaurants, Bell Boulevard is the main commercial strip in Bayside.

The thoroughfare is serviced by buses and the Bayside LIRR station on the boulevard, which brings high foot traffic to the area.

For these reasons, and partly because of a spillover from nearby Flushing due to lack of inventory, rising demand for real estate on the Bayside commercial strip is leading to sale prices well above past averages.

In fact, the two attached mixed-use buildings at 39-32 and 39-34 Bell Blvd. recently sold for $3.8 million, which equates to about $731 per square foot and is a record for a residential and commercial mixed-use building sold in Bayside, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield.

“The package provides great upside for the investor in an area that is continuing to see an abundance of attention in the real estate world,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Stephen Preuss, who handled the transaction for the seller.

In 2012, commercial real estate was selling for an average of $550 per square foot on Bell Boulevard and as much as $600 for top properties. Last year, the average rose to $615 per square foot, according to Preuss.

The two buildings at 39-32 and 39-34 Bell Blvd. have 5,200 square feet of space, in which there are four residential units and two ground-floor retail spaces.

As a side note, one of the retail tenants, Il Vesuvio Pizzeria, is moving a few doors down to the location of the former Okinawa restaurant and expanding to include a bar, restaurant and pizzeria.

Il Vesuvio is also changing its name to Il Borgo and is expected to open in the coming weeks.

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BP Katz approves zoning amendment to speed up post-Sandy recovery


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THE COURIER/File photo

More help is on the way for Queens residents affected by Hurricane Sandy trying to rebuild their homes.

Borough President Melinda Katz recently approved amendments to citywide zoning codes, which will allow more Sandy-affected homeowners to rebuild their homes faster and to return them to how they were before the storm instead of having to alter them to fit current regulations.

The zoning change is a result of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s overhaul of the city’s Build it Back program, which has started construction on 412 homes in Queens to date, and completed construction on 222.

“This is a vital text amendment that will finally relieve the red tape that had burdened entire neighborhoods and prevented thousands of homes from fully rebuilding since Hurricane Sandy,” Katz said. “Thanks to joint inter-agency collaboration, home and property owners will soon be able to rebuild their homes to their original form prior to the storm, with improved flood resiliency elements.”

The amendment was also approved by Sandy-impacted community boards 10, 13 and 14. It would allow, among other things, more residents to rebuilt their homes faster by waiving document requirements.

Under current laws, before reconstruction can begin on residences, homeowners are supposed to provide documents to show changes made to homes since 1961, which is difficult for most people since their homes probably traded hands since then or documents were destroyed in the storm.

Also, some homes could be required to be constructed much taller than others in the neighborhood because of current zoning. The amendment will create zoning pockets, which will allow homeowners to build shorter and wider homes, which are prevalent in surrounding neighborhoods.

Now with support from Katz, the amendment must be approved next by the Department of City Planning and then the City Council before it can go into effect.

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Jackson Heights rents jump in April, borough sees overall decline: report


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Photo courtesy StreetEasy/ Charts courtesy MNS Real Estate

Many Queens renters probably didn’t realize it, but average rents in the borough fell in most neighborhoods, according to the April MNS Real Estate Queens Rental Market Report.

Renters were likely to pay an average of $2,074.17 per month in April, which was down .41 percent from March, the report found. However, while most neighborhoods saw decreases, overall rents in Jackson Heights saw an average rental price increase of 7.45 percent from March to April.

Jackson Heights two-bedroom apartment prices saw the borough’s largest increase of 17.44 percent over the month, or $356 more, to $2,395 per month. The report indicated that the price jump is a result of very low inventory in Jackson Heights, which had just six two-bedroom rental apartments in April.

To compare, Astoria had the most available two-bedroom units in the borough in April with 115 apartments, according to the report.

Astoria was the only other neighborhood in the survey that saw an increase in average rents, although it was just .2 percent more. The increase was due to rising prices in one- and two-bedroom apartments in the neighborhood caused by high demand.

But despite the overall increase, studio rents in Astoria actually dropped nearly six percent to an average of $1,748 per month.

To view the full report, click here.


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Forest Hills residents fighting to keep local Barnes & Noble open


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THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Support to save the Barnes & Noble in Forest Hills is growing.

Local preservationist Michael Perlman started a petition to save the bookstore on Change.org on May 15, the same day the news broke that the Barnes & Noble may not renew its lease at 70-00 Austin St., which expires in January.

The petition has already attracted more than 2,850 signatures as of the writing of this article. It hopes to attract 5,000 signatures, which will be sent to elected officials, Barnes & Noble and Muss Development, the landlord of the building.

The troubled bookstore has already closed its Fresh Meadows branch near St. John’s University, and if the Forest Hills location is shuttered, the only Barnes & Noble in Queens will be the one in Bayside. Perlman emphasized the need to keep the Forest Hills branch open to the community in the petition.

“At the request of the community, [Barnes & Noble’s] lease needs to be renewed to the benefit of current and future generations,” Perlman said in the petition description. “This is a store where multi-generational patrons have the opportunity to explore various genres under one roof, feel as if they are traveling around the world and through time, and interact with the physical nature of books in a welcoming and friendly environment.”

Currently Muss Development and Barnes & Noble are still negotiating the lease renewal for the 22,000-square-foot space, where the bookstore has been for more than 20 years.

The problem began after the bookseller declined to extend its lease five more years. Barnes & Noble wants to remain at the location but “at rates very close to what we are currently paying,” said David Deason, vice president of development at the bookseller.

Muss Development agrees that they are hoping to find a solution, but COO Jeff Kay said he has not heard an alternate pitch from the bookstore after they declined the five-year extension, and they have been collecting interest for the space.

“We would like to retain Barnes & Noble as a long-term tenant. If they are interested, we will work with them to come up with a reasonable solution,” Kay said. “Every major national retailer in the U.S. is attending the ICSC meeting in Las Vegas right now. We are there, meeting with several of them who are interested in leasing the space.”

To sign the petition, click here.

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Whitestone neighbors rally against overdevelopment


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos by Rob Trombley and Liam La Guerre/Renderings courtesy of JLS Designs

About 125 residents, politicians and activists assembled in front of the 18-acre Whitestone Waterpointe site on Sunday to protest overdevelopment in the neighborhood, venting years of frustration over developers’ plans.

The We Love Whitestone Civic Association-organized rally reflected the unity of neighbors, who have fought against overdevelopment plans on the site at 151-45 Sixth Rd. for nearly a decade, to stay strong and hold current developer Edgestone Group to a community-supported plan for 52 single-family homes instead of one for 107 townhouses.

“We want to make sure what they say stays,” said Alfredo Centola, president of the civic group. “How do we know that they are not going to turn around and pull a fast one by trying to appease the community for now?”

Last month, Edgestone unveiled a plan for 107 townhouses with a total of 203 units — quadruple the original 52-home plan, which was decided years prior. The developer switched back to the original plan after facing community pressure.

Opponents said the larger proposal would harm the community, because the population increase could put a burden on public services and institutions, such as sewers and schools. Additionally, they want to protect the contextual character of the neighborhood.

“I was born and grew up in Whitestone. It’s a beautiful town and they would destroy it with all this construction,” said resident Donna McCutchen. “This whole area has one-family homes. That’s what we want to keep it like here.”

The 52 single-family residences could retail for about $2 million each, according to the architect Joe Sultana. About 40 will be between 2,000 to 3,000 square feet with private yards and garages. The remaining 12 will be bigger, more luxurious homes, closer to the waterfront.

An environmental cleanup of the site will begin later this year. After the site has been cleaned, Edgestone will reapply to update the original special permit to construct the 52 homes.

That special permit, which expired a few years ago, symbolizes the community’s opposition to overdevelopment of more than just the Waterpointe site.

“The one great thing about this plan when it was approved is it was a template for future development,” state Sen. Tony Avella said. “We’re not going to let that template be destroyed and all of a sudden a new developer comes in and they say, ‘Well they were allowed to do more.’ The line in the sand is here.”

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See it: Fully renovated English Tudor in Forest Hills Gardens for nearly $2.8M


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Photos courtesy Terrace Sotheby’s International Realty

Tucked away a few blocks from the 75th Avenue Queens Boulevard subway station, and within walking distance of the bustling Austin Street commercial strip in Forest Hills, homebuyers will find a fully renovated English Tudor.

Although the residence, located at 44 Seasongood Rd. in Forest Hills Gardens, is close to a variety of retailers, restaurants and transportation, the house provides a quiet and private atmosphere similar to the suburbs. This best-of-both-worlds home is priced at $2.79 million and listed with Terrace Sotheby’s International Realty.

Completely renovated with all new windows, hardwood floors, cabinetry and fixtures, the residence reflects a modern charm although it was built in 1925.

It features a large kitchen and spacious living room, and there are five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. There is also a private rear garden for parties and family gatherings.

There will be an open house for the Tudor home on Sunday, May 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


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Developer to break ground on 45-home Whitestone project this summer


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Renderings courtesy Frank Petruso Architect PC

The new owner of the former Cresthaven Country Club site in Whitestone is hoping to break ground on a massive development project of 45-single family detached homes by the end of the summer.

Most of the homes on the six-acre site will have approximately 2,500 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and four full bathrooms, according to Tim O’Sullivan of Fulcrum Real Estate Advisors, which purchased the site in a foreclosure auction last month for $13.6 million.

Great Neck-based architect Frank Petruso is designing the project. The current plans could change, but the 45 homes in O’Sullivan’s plans would sit on 4,000- to 6,000-square-foot lots, so each could have space for driveways and private yards. And based on the renderings, homes would have garages and basements. They could sell for $1.5 to $2 million each.

Although original plans were for 50 homes, they were shrunk to 45 so each home will have more space.

However, as smart investors do all the time, O’Sullivan is testing the real estate market to see the possible value for the site and has listed it with brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. He is taking offers for the site, but said a potential buyer would have to offer a price that “hit it out of the park” to get him to sell the site.

“Very few people get a chance to make their mark with 45 properties in an area,” said O’Sullivan, who grew up in Whitestone. “Our intention is we are in the ground in the summer. That’s the reason we bought the property.”

He added, “After we got it on auction, I had people coming to me offering me ‘X’ dollars. What we decided to do is put it out there and test the market. But we are continuing with our development plans.”

Stephen Preuss of Cushman & Wakefield, who is handling marketing for the site, said he doubts any potential buyer of the site would try to divert from the plan.

“For them to be in the ground in the next few months, they would have to follow those plans,” Preuss said. “I don’t think any developer would change those plans. It’s been well received by the community.”

Cresthaven Development Site

Cresthaven site

While residents and politicos in the area have approved O’Sullivan’s plan, they are starting to warm up to another developer’s plan for the nearby 18-acre Waterpointe site.

After negotiations with Councilman Paul Vallone, Edgestone Group, which owns the much larger site, turned away from a plan with 107 townhouses to one with 52 community-supported, single-family residences with a waterfront park, promenade, marina and other amenities.

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New Astoria rental building The Grove to open and start leasing this fall


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

Developer Tsilo Group is hoping to open and begin leasing in its new 62-unit Astoria rental building called The Grove this fall, according to representatives of Modern Spaces, which was chosen to exclusively handle marketing in the building.

The seven-story building at 30-40 21st St. will offer a mix of studios, one- and two-bedrooms apartments. The units will feature washers and dryers, maple hardwood floors, and kitchens with Italian cabinets and Caesarstone countertops. Amenities in the building include a gym, and a landscaped rooftop with lounges and sunbathing area.

Rental prices in the building have not been released yet, but average rental rates in the neighborhood are $2,395 per month for a studio, $2,588 for a one-bedroom and $3,393 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to data from Modern Spaces.

Those rates are much higher than those in most areas in the borough, but reflects the demand in the neighborhood due to its access to transportation, established commercial strips, diverse restaurants and entertainment venues, such as the Museum of the Moving Image and the Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall. Modern Spaces believes these community amenities will attract residents to The Grove.

“Astoria is a culturally diverse and established neighborhood with a true sense of community,” said Modern Spaces’ Greg Kyroglou, who will lead the marketing effort of the building. “The Grove will not only provide well-crafted homes to potential renters but also give them a chance to experience all that makes this area so special.”

A ton of new projects are planned for Astoria, including massive waterfront developments such as the Astoria Cove and Hallets Point plans.

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Facing strong opposition, developer to build just 52 homes on Whitestone Waterpointe site


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52-home plan

Whitestone can breathe again.

Following unyielding pressure by residents and politicians, including the announcement of a planned protest, developers of the 18-acre Waterpointe site are returning to the original proposal of 52 single-family detached homes instead of one that would have had quadruple the number of units.

Officials from Edgestone Group, which purchased the land at 151-45 Sixth Rd. for $11.3 million in 2012, decided to change course after negotiating with Councilman Paul Vallone. Both parties confirmed exclusively to The Courier that the developer will return to the original proposal the community supported years ago instead of the recently unveiled 107 townhouses — possibly avoiding a war in Whitestone.

“So much has been talked about this site, and now you’ve got a community fearing the worst,” Vallone said. “I’m proud to work with [the architect] Joe Sultana and the owners to get their commitment to go back to the original agreement, because that’s really what everyone has always wanted.”

Also, the developer will keep plans for community amenities, including a much-needed two-acre waterfront park, promenade, a 60-boat marina, and potentially an “eco-dock” from which residents can fish and go kayaking.

In a Community Board 7 (CB 7) committee meeting last month, Edgestone unveiled its updated plan for the property, which included 97 two-family townhouses and nine additional single-family townhouses, for a total of 203 units.

Whitestone Waterpointe piece

The backlash by residents and politicians was strong. They complained that it would dramatically impact the community and put a burden on schools, roads, sewers and other public systems. Also, they said the townhouses would ruin the contextual character of the neighborhood, which has mostly single-family detached residences.

“[The developer] is doing the right thing for the community,” said Joe Sweeney, a member of the CB 7 Zoning Committee. “He’s basically responding by meeting community wishes and not disrespecting the community. That plan would have had a tremendous effect.”

Edgestone initially turned away from the 52 large single-family homes because they would each have to retail for $2 million, a price tag the group figured would take longer to sell.

However, the developer agreed to the old plan because they’ll be able to begin working faster on the long-stalled development site.

“What it’s come down to is the developer wants to start working on this,” Sultana said. “If we go to the 200 units or anything else but the 52 [homes], we’d have to refile and go through city approval all over again and that’s probably going to take a year and a fight. So the developer is eager to get started. ”

Sultana couldn’t yet give many details about the homes, but said 40 of them will be between 2,000 to 3,000 square feet with private yards and garages. The remaining 12 will be bigger, more luxurious homes, closer to the waterfront.

An environmental cleanup of the site will begin later this year. After the site has been cleaned, the developer will reapply for the original special permit for 52 homes, which has since expired.

Despite this news, residents are still planning to hold Sunday’s rally hosted by the We Love Whitestone Civic Association at 1 p.m. in front the site.

“Absolutely,” said Alfredo Centola, president of the civic group. “How do we know this is not just a ploy to get us to back away, and as soon as we turn away they change again?”

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Map: Where recent college grads can afford rent in Queens


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Photo courtesy Minas Styponias

For recent college graduates, living in New York City while juggling student loans and living expenses can seem almost impossible.

Add in the need for fun and entertainment, and most won’t have a dime remaining from their paychecks.

However, a new study released Wednesday by real estate website StreetEasy shows, through an interactive map, in what neighborhoods recent graduates will be able to find affordable apartments as they begin a life of independence in the Big Apple. Some areas in the “World’s Borough” have been pointed out as leading contenders.

“One of our top tips for recent grads moving to NYC is to look outside of Manhattan, and our study shows that several neighborhoods in Queens are especially ‘grad-friendly,’” a StreetEasy representative said.

Astoria and Ridgewood top the list of those Queens neighborhoods, but affordable apartments can be found in many neighborhoods throughout the borough including Kew Gardens, Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Rego Park and Flushing.

The map (below) reveals the availability of affordable apartments in city based on three variables. It uses the average entry-level salaries for the top 10 majors of recent grads moving to the NYC, including business, social sciences, education and engineering, the percent of income one is willing to pay toward rent and the possibility of roommates.

The study found what many have known for decades —  paying NYC rents is actually possible when roommates are included. However, the report also notes, it is possible to fly solo in the city and spend only 30 percent of income, but graduates will have to do serious apartment hunting.

It would also help, if only slightly, not to be an education major.

Zero percent of studio and one-bedroom listings are affordable to solo education majors, according to the study, whereas only 2.7 percent and 5.1 percent were available for social science and business majors respectively.

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Five smallest condos in Queens for sale  


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Photos courtesy StreetEasy and Modern Spaces

Condos are becoming more popular in western Queens neighborhoods, such as Long Island City and Astoria, as developers seek to maximize profits in a market with increasing land values and high construction costs.

In an effort to keep homes prices lower, developers are building smaller condos in buildings with more amenities and common spaces.

Studio condos are naturally smaller apartments and although these homes typically don’t offer enough space for families, it could be right for individuals or first-time homebuyers.

Here is a list of the five smallest condos on the market in Queens now, which was provided by the data team at StreetEasy.com. Not surprisingly, they are all studios in western Queens, and building amenities play a big role in the prices.

1. 14-43 28th Ave., #4B, Astoria

For: $329,000
Size: 400 square feet
Broker: Azure Realty NY LLC

This studio unit in The Astorian, a five-story, 10-year-old building with 38 units, comes with a private balcony, stainless steel appliances and — here’s the best part — a fold-up Murphy bed. It is a short walk away from the N and Q train station on 30th Avenue, which is approximately a 15-minute ride to Manhattan. The building also has a rooftop common space for events and barbecues with views of the neighborhood.


2. 25-40 Shore Blvd., #7, Astoria

For: $475,000
Size: 475 square feet
Broker: Markou Living LLC

Another studio in Astoria takes second place, but this apartment is in Shore Towers — a 23-floor, 407-unit amenity-laden building near the waterfront with views of Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The building comes with a fitness room, indoor pool, free parking, tennis courts, a 24-hour doorman, and a free shuttle bus to and from the Astoria Blvd. N and Q train station — making for a 20-minute commute to Manhattan. Not to mention, it is also close to Astoria Park. Not far away from the building, the Durst Organization is set to revitalize the area for its mega Hallets Point development, which could increase prices in the neighborhood as demand increases.


3. 11-25 45th Ave., #2H, Long Island City

For: $619,000
Size: 479 square feet
Broker: Modern Spaces

Although listed as having just 479 square feet, as a disclaimer, the actual size of this studio unit in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, is 946 square feet when including its massive balcony. The exterior space is the key to this home’s value. The owner of this unit will have the space to host get-togethers on this large private outdoor deck. The unit is in a six-story building called One Murray Park, which has 45 units. It is located across from Murray Playground and features a fitness center, a common roof deck, a library and bike storage. There is a variety of public transit lines nearby, including the G, E, M and 7 train lines at the Court Square subway station.


4. 44-27 Purves St., #6E, Long Island City

For: $519,000
Size: 484 square feet
Broker: Blu Realty Group

There are a few buildings under construction or planned for Purves Street, a dead-end strip off Jackson Avenue, such as a 35-story, eco-friendly rental with commercial space on the ground floor. But 44-27, a 14-story building with 64 units, was built nearly a decade ago on Purves Street before Long Island City became as hot as it is now. In 2006 the 6E unit was listed for about $262,000. In a telltale sign of how hot the neighborhood is, today it’s about double the price. The unit features a 50-square-foot balcony with large windows and has a washer and dryer hook-up. The building offers a range of amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, a gym, a sauna, a children’s playroom, a bike room and a roof deck. It is near the G, E, M and 7 train lines at the Court Square subway station.


5. 5-27 51st Ave., #4H, Long Island City

For: $605,000
Size: 490 square feet
Broker: Nest Seekers

The final condo on this list comes from the newest building. Five27, a five-story, 27-unit building in Long Island City, was completed in 2012. The unit features oak wood flooring and large windows for lots of natural light, and comes with a dishwasher and washer and dryer. Building amenities include a doorman, an outdoor common terrace, bike storage, a fitness center and a lounge for relaxing or hosting parties. Living in this unit would also put the owner close to Manhattan, which is one stop away on the 7 train.

 

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Construction to transform the old LIC zipper factory is underway


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy Emmes Asset Management

It’s in raw condition now, but owners of the former Waldes zipper factory in Long Island City are planning to unzip its potential as a retail and office hub.

Renovation of the four-story industrial building at 47-16 Austell Pl. has begun after Emmes Asset Management bought it earlier this year for $13.5 million. By the end of summer it will have a finished lobby with cobblestone flooring to match the cobblestone streetscape of Austell Place.

The facade of the 56,500-square-foot building is being modernized, and local artists will have the opportunity to decorate the exterior. The elevator is being upgraded and another one will be added in the structure, which is being called Offices at Austell.

New windows are being installed throughout the building and concrete floors will be polished. An official completion date wasn’t given yet for the entire building. JRT Realty and Cushman & Wakefield are handling marketing.

The ground floor will have 10,000 square feet available for a mix of retail, such as a potential brewery, restaurant or coffee shop. Owners hope to attract students from nearby LaGuardia Community College, and commuters from the Hunters Point Avenue LIRR and 7 subway train stations with the retail options, in addition to employees in the building.

The three remaining floors each have 15,500 square feet of space with 13- to 15-foot-high ceilings and open floor plans. There is also a large rooftop space with views of the Manhattan skyline, but the company doesn’t have any specific plans for the outdoor space yet.

About $35 per square feet is the asking price for space in Offices at Austell, according to a representative for the owner, which is about the same in similarly converted The Factory and Falchi buildings a short distance away.

The building on Austell Place isn’t the only one that Emmes is converting in Queens.

Last year, the Manhattan-based firm paid about $30 million to buy Astoria events hall Studio Square from S Hospitality Group and converted it to Offices at the Square, a mixed-use office and commercial space.

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