Multiple publications are highlighting Miller Samuel’s report on NYC rental prices. According to the report, despite record numbers in Brooklyn, median rents in Queens have surpassed those of Brooklyn. Long Island City appears as the front-runner for Queens, driving up the numbers to bring Queens in the lead.
According to Jonathan Miller at Miller Samuel, “The drivers are a robust city economy with near-record employment, and tight credit. You’re still seeing many first-time buyers tipped back to the rental product.”
The demand for apartments in NYC and the boroughs has grown so strongly that the market basically drives itself. Luciane Serifovic at Elliman claims, “We don’t even have to advertise our apartments anymore. We have clients lined up waiting for vacancies.”
In Queens, the median rent high gained 14 percent since last year at $3,016 a month, while Brooklyn had a 4.1 percent gain at $2,968 a month. Manhattan’s rental prices grew 6 percent for a median price of $3,419 a month.
Aside from rental prices, Queens has taken the lead in development. Long Island City, Flushing and Jamaica, among other neighborhoods, are being rapidly developed. Specifically in Flushing, Sky View Parc is slated to begin the next phase of development for the third tower consisting of 235 units with balconies, as well as two more towers with a total of approximately 560 units following in the next few years.
Although not on the rental side, the existing units in the towers at Sky View Parc have sold for record numbers for Flushing upwards of $1,000 per square foot, as well as in the One Fulton Square project on Prince Street.
Residential sale and rental prices are both hitting record numbers in Queens and are expected to continue to increase as it does not seem that development in Queens is going to slow down anytime soon.
Stephen R. Preuss is an executive director in the Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield, where he focuses on investment sales for various Queens neighborhoods. He has transacted in over $1 billion of investment and commercial real estate over his 15-year career. During his tenure, he has sold over 125 properties to date with an aggregate value of over $650 million.
Reflecting a market gripped by high demand and low supply, real estate sales in Queens decreased slightly but yielded higher prices during the second quarter of 2015, according to a report from broker Cushman & Wakefield.
Approximately 230 properties across the “World’s Borough” changed hands between April and June of this year, a 7 percent drop from the number sold during the first quarter of 2015. Even so, the aggregate sales consideration this quarter — the volume of money exchanged in real estate transactions — reached $835 million, an 8 percent increase from the first quarter.
Cushman & Wakefield described the first six months of 2015 as the second-highest dollar volume the Queens real estate market has seen within the first half of any year, with $1.6 billion in real estate sales generated.
“[At $313 million], development sites accounted for 20 percent of all dollar volume,” the report indicated, “followed by retail properties, with $259 million accounting for 16 percent of the total dollar volume.”
The average price for all types of real estate sold in Queens was $3.4 million, an 18 percent jump from the first half of 2014.
Queens’ strong real estate numbers were evident of a continued upward trend in New York City’s real estate market. According to the report, $37.8 billion in sales activity took place through June, and the city is “on pace to exceed the previous cycle’s high established in 2007.”
“The first half of 2015 will go down as one of the best six-month periods in the city’s history,” said Adrian Mercado, Cushman & Wakefield managing director of research. “All submarkets and property types are firing on all cylinders with market activity outpacing our year-end forecasts.”
Cushman & Wakefield catalogued 141 sales in Queens in which properties were sold for $1 million or more during the second quarter of 2015, accounting for 61.3 percent of real estate transactions during the period.
Among the most lucrative deals were the $71 million sale of an office building at 33-00 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City; a $4.35 million sale of a 23-unit lot of apartment buildings at 1705-1725 Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood; a $72.25 million sale of a 144-unit apartment building at 11-15 Broadway/30-50 21st St. in Astoria; and a $8.8 million sale of a 43,800-square-foot industrial building at 72-42 60th Lane in Glendale.
“As someone who’s been writing about food in Queens for years, it’s always been a dream of mine to do a food festival,” DiStefano explained. “In early 2015, I met Ellen Kodadek, the executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, and she told me that they wanted to do more culinary programming. For months beforehand, I’d been having all sorts of wonderful meals made with Catskills-sourced ingredients—grass-feed beef, farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken, locally foraged mushrooms—at my business partner David Noeth’s house.”
“At some point the idea hit us: Why don’t we go into business together and help showcase all these wonderful products, help the farmers and expose the people of Queens to some great food?” DiStefano added.
Chef Nate Felder’s Berkshire pork belly with red pepper marmalade.
The Catskills Comes to Queens featured a delectable array of mountain-fresh fare from some of the borough’s best chefs. Chef David Noeth’s beef heart tartare was accompanied by cheese from Vulto Creamery in Noeth’s native Walton, New York.
The Food Network’s 2010 “Chopped” champion and New World Home Cooking Co. Chef Ric Orlando.
Smokehouse favorites were popular throughout the festival. Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro in Woodside featured succulent short ribs braised in an intoxicating blend of fruit chutney and Madeira wine served atop a briny bed of homemade pickled carrots and cabbage.
Chef Danny Brown’s torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl.
Bravo’s “Top Chef” season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs.
Smokey fare ruled the outdoor courtyard of Flushing Town Hall as well, where Chef Tyson Ho’s whole barbecued hog from Arrogant Swine took center stage, its head displayed on the table, presiding over the festivities. Guests were delighted by bite-sized treats, such as the lamb sliders from Chef Harry Hawk of Schnack and the Eagle Hollow Farms barbecue chicken sliders from Chef Lou Elrose of the soon-to-be-opened Charred smokehouse and bar in Middle Village.
Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.
Adventurous eaters enjoyed the warm, earthy smoked beef tongue sliders topped with birch bark-infused mayo and pickled heirloom tomatoes from Chef Will Horowitz of Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., while M. Wells Steakhouse Chef Hugue Dufour’s lamb tagine provided a flavorful feast for the senses.
Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine.
Silk Cakes bakery’s Pandan cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream and white chocolate truffle nearly vanished in an instant. Delicate pastries by Rudolf Merlin at Creme French bakery and Leske’s Bakery’s peanut butter and Cotton Hill goat cheese donuts provided a sweet finish.
“We like to think that we’re bringing the best products in New York State to the New York’s best chefs at New York City’s best venue,” DiStefano added. “And what better place to do it than Flushing, which was once itself farmland.”
The garden was created earlier in the year as a way to breathe life into the 2,250-square-foot tract of derelict land beneath the M train line at Woodward Avenue and Woodbine Street. Supporters of the garden worked to clear and renovate the land, remediate the soil and install milk crate planters and planting beds for vegetables, herbs and flowers. The garden recently yielded small crops of cherry tomatoes, dill, peppers and zucchini sprouts.
“From the beginning, the Ridgewood Community Garden was conceived as a simple experiment in neighborhood resilience,” explained Ridgewood Community Garden representative Clark Fitzgerald. “After living through the experience of Hurricane Sandy, and seeing what New Yorkers became capable of when they got organized together, my friends and I discovered and settled in this beautiful neighborhood, whose spirit and culture exemplify resilience and autonomy. Since moving to Ridgewood, never have I felt so at home in New York — and I grew up in the city.”
The group envisioned the garden as a community hub where Ridgewood residents could gather to enjoy the much-needed green space while also experiencing urban farming firsthand. Back in June, however, the MTA issued a vacate order to the garden and its volunteers, followed by padlocking the gates surrounding the land to prohibit garden access.
In the past two months, Community Board 5 and local elected officials such as Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and City Councilman Antonio Reynoso have tried to intervene on behalf of the garden. Despite the groundswell of community support, several attempts to reach an amicable agreement with the MTA to keep the garden have failed.
“This summer we gathered here, as farmers, families, fitness enthusiasts, mycologists, doctors, teachers, carpenters, artists, friends and neighbors, and bore witness to what we are capable of when we put our minds to it,” Fitzgerald said. “We cleaned up a toxic waste dump, built raised beds, ran a compost hub, designed a rain catchment and irrigation system, remediated literally tons of polluted soil and turned a legendary eyesore into a gathering place and community sanctuary, only to have it taken from us for no reason.”
On Aug. 3, the MTA granted supporters access to the garden for one final farewell. Neighborhood volunteers, including local children and their parents, worked to rescue the bulk of the remediated soil from large troughs and planting beds. The children, unaware of the garden’s fate, continued to water the plants and flowers as the sound of the M train shuffled by overhead. Garden volunteers and supporters were treated to a special barbecue, complete with hotdogs, grilled vegetables and refreshments from Topos Bookstore, as well as cups of locally made IPA from Finback Brewery.
As for the possibility of finding a new location for the Ridgewood Community Garden, the group and its members remain optimistic.
“We are probably not going to pursue legal action, though it is well within our rights to do so,” Fitzgerald said. “We are going to keep moving forward. Despite tonight’s eviction, this vision of a resilient Ridgewood can and must be tended to, in newer, perhaps greener pastures, and for far longer than just one summer. As we celebrate tonight, let’s start thinking about our future together.”
Eight purported street gang members from Queens have been charged after peddling guns and drugs during undercover buys, prosecutors announced.
“Illegal firearms that flood our streets pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety and the distribution of illegal drugs is a plague on our society. For those arrested, the message could not be clearer: law enforcement has no tolerance for those involved in the weapons and drug trade,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, seven of those arrested were alleged members of the Trinitarios, “a violent New York-based Dominican street gang,” and the eighth defendant is a reputed member of MS-13, another “violent street gang primarily composed of Central Americans.”
The buys, which took place in Queens between November 2012 and June 2014, included a total of 14 guns, with ammunition in some cases, and cocaine, MDPV and marijuana, according to the district attorney’s office. During that time, the members were unknowingly selling to NYPD operatives.
In one case, Lucas Singh, 30, of College Point, allegedly sold an undercover agent a defaced cut-down rifle along with 50 rounds of ammunition on July 30, 2013, for $850. He is also accused of selling another undercover operative a defaced .357 magnum revolver and a .32-caliber semi-automatic Kel-Tec pistol with ammunition for $1,200 on June 4. A week later, Singh sold the same operative a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, and a .380 semi-automatic Kel-Tec pistol with 12 rounds of ammunition for $1,200.
The remaining defendants were identified as Eddie Cruz, 28 and Clase Wellington, 26, both of Glendale; Marcello Esquival, 26, of Jackson Heights; Francisco Gil, 25, Carlos Rosario-Mejia, 30, and Reginald Rosa, 25, all of Jamaica; and Angel Sanchez, 23, of Woodhaven.
They are variously charged with criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of marijuana.
Queens residents can enjoy fun activities while also supporting their local police during National Night Out Against Crime events scheduled to take place across the borough on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Each precinct will host public gatherings featuring activities, such as free games and rides for children, free food and refreshments, music, award ceremonies, health information, crime prevention tips, and the opportunity for residents to meet with the officers who patrol their streets.
Observed across the U.S. and Canada, National Night Out Against Crime aims to promote safe communities and a strong bond between local law enforcement and the people it serves.
The events, scheduled to take place rain or shine, are as follows:
100th Precinct, Rockaway Beach
5 to 8 p.m.
Across from precinct stationhouse
92-24 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
101st Precinct, Far Rockaway
3 to 9 p.m.
Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard
102nd Precinct, Richmond Hill
6 to 9 p.m.
Buddy Memorial at Forest Park
Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South
103rd Precinct, Jamaica
5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Rufus King Park
Jamaica Avenue between 150th and 153rd streets
104th Precinct, Middle Village
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Juniper Valley Park
80th Street and Juniper Boulevard North
105th Precinct, Cambria Heights
5 to 9 p.m.
Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st Avenue
106th Precinct, South Ozone Park
6 to 9 p.m.
P.O. Edward Byrne Park
North Conduit Avenue between 131st and 134th streets
107th Precinct, Fresh Meadows
7 to 9 p.m.
Electchester Shopping Center
70-63 Parsons Blvd.
108th Precinct, Woodside
5 to 8 p.m.
Windmuller Park/Virgilio Playground
52nd Street and 39th Avenue
109th Precinct, Flushing
5 to 8 p.m.
Union Street and Barclay Avenue
110th Precinct, Corona
5 to 8 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
111th Street between 54th and 55th avenues
111th Precinct, Douglaston
6 to 9 p.m.
Douglaston Shopping Mall
61st Avenue and 242nd Street
112th Precinct, Forest Hills
4 to 6 p.m.
Queens and Yellowstone boulevards
113th Precinct, Springfield Gardens
6 to 9 p.m.
Baisley Pond Park
155th Street and Baisley Boulevard
114th Precinct, Astoria
5 to 8 p.m.
Astoria Park Great Lawn
Shore and Ditmars boulevards
115th Precinct, Jackson Heights
5 to 8 p.m.
Northern Boulevard between 93rd and 94th streets
The hot dog has long held the honor of being one of America’s favorite summertime treats, taking center stage at cookouts, campfires and ballparks throughout the summer months. To celebrate this iconic food, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council designated July as Hot Dog Month, with Thursday, July 23, as National Hot Dog Day.
Whether you prefer your dogs boiled, grilled, barbecued or topped with everything from classic relish to more exotic fare like pineapples and sriracha, indulge in this summertime staple at some of the best hot dog spots in Queens.
96-40 Queens Blvd., Rego Park
Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso
This gourmet kosher delicatessen has been a neighborhood staple, serving up classic deli fare such as mile-high hot pastrami on rye, kreplach and cabbage rolls for nearly 70 years. Their Empire National brand natural casing frankfurters are grilled to perfection.
Ben’s franks are served with choice of mustard, ketchup, relish and sauerkraut ($4.50), or topped with red onions, coleslaw, chili and even potato salad for just a dollar more. A can of Dr. Brown’s root beer or Cel-Ray celery soda makes the perfect pairing to this flavorful summertime feast.
Established in 1995, La Perrada boasts the largest selection of authentic gourmet Colombian hot dogs in the city. The Iraqui ($4.15) is a unique salty and sweet mix of potato chips, eggs, pineapple, sauces and cheese. For tropical flavor, try the Al Gusto ($5) topped with Hawaiian pineapple, bacon, shrimp and eggs. The flavorful Criollo ($4.15) blends cabbage salad with pineapples, cheese, sauces and crushed chips for a crunchy treat.
Hungry patrons can go all out with the Showy ($4.15) topped with mortadella, onions, pineapple, cheeses and chips.
A quick trip to nearby Astoria will land you in the dog house — the New York Dog House that is. This popular eatery is home to a diverse menu of uniquely named signature hot dogs, sausages and bratwurst.
The California Dog ($8) features a Weisswurst sausage topped with avocado, lettuce, red onion and herbs. For a tasty experience, ride the Pineapple Express ($8), a mix of fresh pineapple, pickled onion and cilantro pesto on a hearty bratwurst sausage. For Wild West flavor, try The Cowboy ($9) a cheddar bratwurst topped with caramelized onions, crispy chipotle, bacon and homemade BBQ sauce.
Travel from the west to the Far East ($9), and enjoy a savory Num Pang sausage topped with homemade sesame chili paste, pickled daikon, scallions and roasted peanuts.
As the name suggests, this purveyor of delectable organic, grass-fed cuts of meat promises a savory experience for diners. Their sausage, peppers and onions ($11.99), with your choice of Butcher Bar’s homemade grilled hot, sweet or Filipino-style sausage, is a hearty alternative to the classic hot dog.
Head back to Rego Park and make a pit stop at Dominick’s. This bright blue truck has long been a local favorite, serving up classic steamed Sabrett hot dogs topped with their homemade sautéed onions or sauerkraut ($3) and chili cheese dogs ($3.25).
Wash down all this savory goodness with a can of classic White Rock cream, orange or black cherry soda ($1.25) or chocolate Yoo-hoo ($1.50).
Batten down the hatches and grab some bites at one of several Queens locations holding special screenings of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” tonight.
The third installment in the tongue-in-cheek, B-movie franchise, premiering at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Syfy channel, finds the entire Eastern Seaboard battered by killer sharks propelled onto land by another epic storm. It’s up to the aptly named chainsaw-wielding hero Fin Shepard, played by Ian Ziering of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ fame, and his wife April, played by actress Tara Reid, to do battle with the sharks and save the East Coast.
The franchise is known for its numerous celebrity cameos, with David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek appearing in this sequel as Fin’s parents. Local celebrity appearances include Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, along with the cast of the “Today Show.” Former Queens Congressman and 2013 mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner also appears as the movie’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration director.
The kitschy “Sharknado” trilogy has become an annual event, with many throwing shark-themed viewing parties to both celebrate and jeer at the over-the-top events and deliberately bad dialogue the movies have to offer. Here are a few ways to prepare for “Sharknado 3” in Queens.
Shark is on the menu at this Astoria eatery in the form of savory Venezuelan arepas. The cazon arepa ($6.50) features shredded baby school shark, a form of white fish, served inside a gluten-free corn flatbread with onions, tomato, cilantro and peppers. The Pabellon Margariteno ($13) includes shredded baby school shark with white rice and black beans topped with grated white cheese and fried sweet plantains.
While the fate of many of Sharknado’s protagonists may hang in the balance, rejoice in being on dry land as you sip on Sek’end Sun’s cocktail ship of fools [on a cruel sea] ($10), a dark mix of strawberry-infused bourbon, balsamic vinegar, vanilla and lemon bitters.
For shark served with Mediterranean flare, Okeanos also features grilled or pan-seared baby shark ($13.50) with a side of garlic potato dip. Pair it with the taramosalata caviar spread ($5) or octopus with onions, peppers and capers ($15.95) for a luxurious taste of the sea.
Fans of Sharknado’s gory action scenes may want to kick off their evenings at this Kaufman Astoria Studio’s cocktail bar and try the aptly named Blood and Sand ($12) which blends Buffalo Trace bourbon and Cherry Heering with Cocchi vermouth and freshly squeezed orange juice. Movie fans will marvel at The Astor Room’s cinematic history, as it once served as a commissary for Hollywood legends like Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and W.C. Fields while they filmed at the studios.
Head over to Forest Hills and sip on this iconic eatery’s signature cocktail, The Shark Attack ($10), a potent blend of vodka, Blue Curacao, grenadine, 7-Up and lemon/lime. As a bonus, this specialty cocktail is often served with a small toy shark, usually bearing the grenadine.
As the Sharknado approaches, take cover inside this quaint pub located on the outskirts of Forest Hills Gardens and try the Dark and Stormy ($10), a spicy mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger beer and lime.
This Ridgewood bar is hosting a special viewing party for the premiere of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” The festivities begin at 7 p.m., when the bar will air last year’s “Sharknado 2: The Other One,” which was set in Queens and Manhattan. Then, stay tuned for the main event when “Sharknado 3” airs on every TV in the bar at 9 p.m. Cozy Corner also will be serving up Sharknado-inspired drinks, and shark-themed costumes and attire are encouraged.
One Long Island City resident has decided to share her love for her neighborhood and borough through a new tour company aimed at giving participants a real Queens experience.
Connie Murray, the woman behind the Twitter account @fuelgrannie, has launched her own business called QueensStomp, which offers tours of LIC to locals and tourists.
Murray led her first tour in April as a Hunters Point bar crawl but now wants to incorporate her love for photography, walking and local architecture in areas such as Hunters Point, Court Square, Queens Plaza and Dutch Kills into future tours.
Her new tours will look to take participants throughout the western Queens neighborhood and experience it in a way locals do.
“It’s not just bars, not just food, it’s having a real Queens experience because it’s such a sweet and nice and cute area,” Murray said.
The idea for the tour company came after a friend suggested Murray get into the business and while she thought about the idea, travel guidebook company Lonely Planet named Queens as the best place to visit in the U.S. in 2015, and she knew the universe had aligned for her.
Currently, Murray is working on her brand and networking with other locals who offer tours — such as Joe DiStefano and Jeff Orlick — to create a tour model.
She added that she wants to incorporate her love for the city’s industrial architecture, sunsets off the East River and her taste for Queens-produced craft beer to create the perfect Queens experience to bring tourists back again and again.
“I think a lot of people are now coming specifically to Queens. They’re not just staying in the hotel hub in Long Island City,” Murray said. “They are actually coming to hang out in Queens.”
Although she grew up in Manhattan, Murray has been living in Long Island City for the past 17 years and said she fell in love the moment she made the move into Queens.
“I absolutely love it. I’m a New York gal, but I fell in love with New York hard when I moved into Queens,” Murray said. “Queens has so much to offer. It’s an extraordinary borough and I think it’s such an unsung hero in our city.”
At the moment — as she gets her feet wet — Murray said she is offering her tours for free as a way to get feedback and also get a better understanding of what she can expect once she starts charging for the tours.
In the future, Murray also said she hopes to get to know other Queens neighborhoods better so she can expand her tours deeper into the borough.
“I’m just really excited to see what is happening with my borough and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Murray said. “If I ever won the lottery, if I had a billion dollars I would not move back to Manhattan. I just love it here. I’m just so happy to be here.”
Murray plans to officially launch her tours by the end of July or early August and tours will take place seven days a week. For more information and updates, visit queensstomp.com or @queensstomp on Twitter.