Tag Archives: Target

Facebook page aims to keep Barnes & Noble in Queens

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens book lovers are not ready to say goodbye to Barnes & Noble and want to make sure their voices are heard.

As a response to The Courier’s report on the closing of the Barnes & Noble Bayside location at The Bay Terrace shopping center — along with the location in Forest Hills, which will replaced by a Target — supporters of the bookstore have started a Facebook page called “Keep Barnes & Noble Open in Queens.”

According to the About section of the Facebook page, which had garnered 1,713 likes as of Wednesday morning, it has been set up as in an effort to save the book chain locations in Queens, specifically at the last remaining site in Bayside.

“Watching family locations shut down in Queens is unsettling. Barnes & Noble has operated as the largest book selection center in Queens for more than 15 years, and its closure in this area would cause great inconvenience to families, professionals and book lovers who regard this as their ‘go-to’ bookstore,” according to a description on the page. “At the request of the Bayside, Flushing and Queens communities, the Bay Terrace Barnes & Noble lease must be renewed to preserve this educational center. The Bay Terrace Shopping Center is already home to many wonderful fashion and food retail stores. Why eliminate the most convenient, enriching core of The Bay Terrace mall?”

According to a representative from the property owner Cord Meyer Development, a HomeGoods store will take over the Bayside Barnes & Noble. The representative said that the property owner made repeated attempts at securing a long-term contract with the bookstore, but that Barnes & Noble decided not to exercise the option to renew the lease.

“Cord Meyer has not closed the book on B&N, and would welcome the bookstore back as a tenant in Bay Terrace, once they develop a business plan that would work in our shopping center,” the representative said.

Supporters of the page commented on their outrage with the closing of the Bayside location – which many saw as their favorite spot to grab a book with friends or children or during lunchtime breaks – and the Forest Hills site.

The comments also echoed the frustration felt by shoppers and residents in Forest Hills last week upon hearing the news of the store shutting its doors.

This Facebook page joins other efforts by book lovers in attempts to save the book chain, such a petition that was started earlier this year to keep the doors of the Forest Hills location open.

Even as residents tried desperately to keep the store open, Target announced last week it would be opening up its first-ever flexible-format store at the location by July 2016.

A Barnes & Noble in Fresh Meadows, near St. John’s University, also closed at the beginning of this year after failing to negotiate a lease extension and a T.J. Maxx will take over.


All remaining Barnes & Noble locations closing in Queens

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

It’s the final chapter for Barnes & Noble in Queens, as the bookstore is shuttering its remaining location in The Bay Terrace shopping center in Bayside.

A representative from Barnes & Noble declined to reveal the official closing date or who is expected to take over the property but did admit that the property owner declined to renew the company’s lease.

“With Bayside, when our lease came back up for renewal the property owner notified us that they chose a tenant who was willing to pay rents far in excess of what we were willing to pay,” said David Deason, vice president of Barnes & Noble development. “The Queens community is extremely important to us and as a result we are aggressively looking at new locations and expect to have a new store there in the future.”

According to a representative from the property owner Cord Meyer Development, a HomeGoods store will take over the Barnes & Noble. The representative said that the property owner made repeated attempts at securing a long-term contract with the bookstore, but that Barnes & Noble decided not to exercise the option to renew the lease.

“Cord Meyer has not closed the book on B&N, and would welcome the bookstore back as a tenant in Bay Terrace, once they develop a business plan that would work in our shopping center,” the representative said.

This news comes days after it was announced that a Target would take over the Forest Hills location of Barnes & Noble. Forest Hills residents tried desperately to keep it open, starting a petition to vocalize the importance of the community’s only bookstore.

A Barnes & Noble in Fresh Meadows, near St. John’s University, also closed at the beginning of this year after failing to negotiate a lease extension.

Queens residents can hop over to Manhattan or Brooklyn if they want their Barnes & Noble fix.


Forest Hills expresses frustration, sadness over Barnes & Noble closing

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

Updated Monday, Aug. 31, 1:14 p.m.

They’re not ready to say goodbye.

After a long fight to try to keep the 20-year-old bookstore open in Forest Hills, residents and Barnes & Noble patrons are fuming over the thought of the property being turned into a Target.

Forest Hills resident Virginia, who was perusing the store and declined to give her last name, signed a petition started by local author and preservationist Michael Perlman to express her support.

“What a disaster,” Virginia said. “One of the great things about living around here is having access to a place like this. It’s a shame. It seems to be a thing in this neighborhood like other neighborhoods, if you walk along Austin Street a lot of the businesses that have been here for years have closed so I guess it’s the rents.”

The bookstore’s lease will expire in January 2016 when the Target will open in the space, joining Starbucks, Men’s Warehouse and T.G.I. Friday’s. Muss Development LLC and Barnes & Noble were not able to negotiate a lease renewal, which allowed Target to make an offer.

The Forest Hills Target store will be the company’s first flexible-format location in the city and is expected to open in July 2016. According to Target, the two-level, 21,000-square-foot space will be stocked “with a tailored assortment that caters to city dwellers, including home products perfect for single-family homes and condos.”

Rendering courtesy of Target

Rendering courtesy of Target

Nadereh Saiediaa and her daughter Orel had just finished school shopping at the bookstore and were upset to find out that in a few months, they will have to do their shopping elsewhere.

“We need it,” Saiediaa said. “Barnes & Noble is very useful. We just bought a book for school and we’re happy to have Barnes & Noble here.”

Perlman, in an email, said the loss of the beloved bookstore is a “travesty.”

“We are losing more than a bookstore, but a soulful part of our community which benefits many people’s daily lives,” he wrote. “Books grant a universal language and interacting with neighbors in an appealing and vibrant space while holding books and smelling the print cannot compare to reading a book behind closed doors that was retrieved on Amazon.”

Along with the closing of the Forest Hills site, Barnes & Noble will also be shuttering its store in Bayside, leaving no more locations in Queens for the bookstore chain.

Comments expressing residents’ disdain flooded The Courier’s Facebook page following the news of the Forest Hills store’s closing Wednesday, and many people were concerned with the lack of parking in the already congested street.

“Has anyone done a parking assessment or is everyone walking to Target and carrying their bulky purchases through the crowded streets of Forest Hills and hopping on equally crowded mass transit?” Dawn Rodriguez-Insanalli commented. “Strange location since there are many Targets already available with ample parking. Sad to see another bookstore disappear.”


Target to take over Forest Hills Barnes & Noble site

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

It’s a new chapter for the site of a beloved bookstore.

The Target Corporation has signed a 15-year, 20,795-square-foot lease at 70-00 Austin St. in Forest Hills to open its first flexible-format store location in New York City by mid-2016, according to Muss Development LLC.

The site is the current home of the Forest Hills Barnes & Noble, which community members have been fighting to save. The Target will occupy the bookstore’s space, after the lease expires at the end of January 2016.

The bookstore chose not to exercise its option to renew the lease for five more years because of an increase in rents.

Local author and preservationist Michael Perlman started a petition to save the bookstore on Change.org, which garnered 5,770 signatures, and the store even held a customer appreciation day to help gather more attention in its struggle to stay in Forest Hills. The fight began in May when word got that Barnes & Noble would shutter one of its two remaining locations in Queens if did not renew its lease.

“We are excited that Target chose Forest Hills for its first New York City location as part of its national flexible format store roll-out,” said Jason Muss, Muss Development principal. “Austin Street is a natural fit for this new retail concept. It is in the center of a high-traffic, residential area and Forest Hills is the quintessential Queens neighborhood. Target will be a great anchor store and tremendous addition to Austin Street, one of the most popular shopping corridors in Queens.”

The new Target is slated to take up the entire ground and second floors, and will join retailers such as Starbucks, Men’s Wearhouse and T.G.I. Friday’s.

Its flexible format is expected to make the store vary in size according to the location, compared to other local Targets, and look to adhere to the surrounding community that would shop at the location.

Muss said the developer of the site and Target signed the long-term agreement expecting the retailer to remain at the location even after the 15-year agreement comes to an end.

“Target is one of the most popular retailers in the country,” he said. “We are both in this for the long haul, and will constantly be looking toward the future to meet the needs of this ever-growing neighborhood.”


Curbside pickup app coming to College Point Target

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Stephen Vrattos

Updated Saturday, Aug. 8

A mobile phone application enabling shoppers to pre-order from nearby stores and pick up items is soon to be available at the Target in College Point.

Curbside, an iPhone and Android application that launched in San Francisco in 2014, allows consumers to create a shopping list of products available in partnering stores and pay for them electronically before arriving. The goods will be available for either in-store or curbside pickup depending on the location.

The free app will be available on Aug. 11 and does not charge any additional fees for the service or mark up prices for products sold. Curbside currently has a promotional deal in place that allows users to share a code with friends so both parties can save $10 off a $20 purchase.

Curbside founder Jaron Waldman is a former Apple executive who has previous experience with startup ventures. He sold his last company, an online mapping service dubbed Placebase, to the tech mega-giant in 2009.

While Curbside will so far only expand to the one Queens location at 135-05 20th Ave., the service will also be available at other Target stores in the city at Gateway Center Shopping Mall in Brooklyn’s East New York and in the Throggs Neck area of the Bronx. The startup is looking to expand its reach in the New York and New Jersey area and announced $25 million in new funding in June to fuel its growth.


College Point tattoo shop hopes to make an indelible mark in Bayside

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Benjamin Fang

A College Point tattoo shop is packing up, needles and ink in tow, and moving to Bayside to add a little color to Bell Boulevard.

Mean Street Tattoo first opened in 1999 and is owned by Tommy Murphy, who is also one of the store’s main tattoo artists.

But in recent years, “College Point is not what it used to be,” Murphy said. “We just wanted to go to a neighborhood that’s more upscale and local.”

Murphy, who is from Whitestone, cited the opening of corporate stores in recent years like the Target as a contributing factor to the decline in business for his tattoo shop.

“All the local stores are starting to feel the pressure,” he said.

Along with his partner and daughter, both of whom work as tattoo artists, Murphy plans on opening his new shop on Sept. 1, leaving behind their original location.

The new Bell Boulevard site used to belong to a gift shop, Top Drawer, before it closed down earlier this year, according to neighboring businesses and city records.

According to the Times Ledger, Top Drawer was in business for 35 years and owners Jeffrey and Karen Serin decided to close shop for good after their lease expired. Renovations have just started but Murphy is excited for the new business and being in Bayside.

“Bell Boulevard is an amazing thing and it has a really strong small business atmosphere and we’re looking forward to being part of that,” he said.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Generally cloudy. High 48. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy this evening. Fog developing late. Low 43. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The David Leonhardt Trio

The David Leonhardt Trio, an internationally acclaimed jazz group will have fingers snapping and toes tapping as they present a winter holiday concert of cool jazz and hot rhythms at Flushing Town Hall at 8 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

School bus company to shut down; NYC seeks alternative

While most parents should be relaxing during the Christmas break, many in New York City are now going to have to try and figure out how to get their kids to school. Read more: Fox New York

Super Bowl Monday possible if storm comes to Northeast: organizers

Super Bowl organizers say they’re prepared to deploy thousands of trucks and tons of salt to prevent snowy weather from interfering with the biggest football game of the year. Read more: NBC New York

MTA launches new apps for LIRR, Metro-North riders

Some new apps may help Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road customers avoid an extra long wait for the train. Read more: ABC New York

9/11 victims OK to sue Saudi government

Victims of the 9/11 attacks will have another chance to sue the Saudi Arabian government after a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the original dismissal of the case was an “error of law.” Read more: New York Post

Target data breach leaves customers angry, frustrated

Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target’s security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers. Read more: AP


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Thursday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 41. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Cloudy. Low 36. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: New Sounds of East and West

Set in a quaint, Gothic style church, Project Hansori’s concert will present new original music centered on Asian-infused jazz. Free, donation suggested. Starts at 7 p.m at All Saints Church in Sunnyside. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Melissa Mark-Viverito says she has support to become next City Council speaker

Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito is claiming she will have enough votes in the City Council to become its next speaker. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Immigrant population highest in a century

The percentage of immigrants in New York City’s population is the highest it’s been in a century. Read more: New York Post

Bloomberg’s meddling ways on unions don’t sit well with de Blasio

Michael Bloomberg has offered an unprecedented challenge to his successor to slash union benefits — for the good of the city — even if it means he doesn’t get re-elected. Read more: CBS New York 

DeBlasio picks ‘true progressive’ for budget director

Describing him as a “true progressive,” Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed a former top fiscal aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as the city’s next budget director. Read more: New York Post

Millions of Target customers’ credit, debit card accounts may be hit by data breach

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts used by Target customers may have been impacted by a major data breach, the retailer said Thursday. Read more: NBC News 


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.”

This Morning’s Headlines

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens Students Spend Whole Vacation With High-Stakes State Test Preps

School’s out this week, but it’s business as usual at P.S. 15 in Springfield Gardens, Queens. Almost all third through fifth grade students have been showing up each morning for class, and the subject is test prep. “I thought it would be important for them to stay on the regular schedule. Especially getting up in the morning, it’s very essential, and still doing the schoolwork, which would maintain the momentum,” said P.S. 15 Principal Antonio K’Tori. Read More: NY1



Cops warned of ‘Drano bomb’ threat

Cops in the Rockaways have been targeted for an attack with “Drano bombs,” the Daily News has learned. The NYPD issued a citywide alert Tuesday warning officers about “Drano bombs,” also known as “bottle bombs,” that “are exploded by readily mixing available household products in plastic containers.” Police sources said that while the alert went to every precinct, the greatest concern is in the Rockaways. Read More: Daily News

Kuroda faces tough test, worrisome trend in move from NL to AL

Orlando Hernandez, Jon Lieber and Shawn Chacon. You now know the only three starters acquired during general manager Brian Cashman’s tenure who have enjoyed Yankee success without having spent considerable time in the American League beforehand. It is not much of a list and El Duque is the only member who sustained a positive run with the Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees’ starter in today’s home opener, is trying to expand that small group. Read More: New York Post

Rangers Win Playoff Opener 4-1 Over Ottawa At MSG

Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves and Brian Boyle got the eventual game-winning goal as the New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators in their playoff opener Thursday night. The 4-2 win sent a happy crowd home from Madison Square Garden. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan opened the scoring for the Blueshirts midway through the first period, only to see the Senators take back the momentum in the second. But Rangers coach John Tortorella called a pivotal timeout, and his team responded with goals by Marian Gaborik, Boyle, and Brad Richards. Read More: NY1



‘Jamaica Bay Lives!’ documentary highlights problems affecting Queens estuary

Old saris, uncooked rice and flags featuring Hindu deities floating in Jamaica Bay would appear, to many people, as nothing more than litter. But for Indo-Caribbean immigrants, leaving the items on the Rockaway shore was once considered the only way to complete the sacred offering known as a Puja. Enter Kamini Doobay, a 23-year-old clinical researcher, trying to reconcile her religious beliefs with her concern for the environment. In 2009, Doobay began raising awareness of the problem and successfully convinced some of her fellow worshippers to reuse any non-biodegradable items, rather than leave them in the bay. Read More: Daily News

Queens co-ops $crewed: Liu

Queens co-op and condo owners who complained last year of wildly inflated property assessments were right on the mark, city Comptroller John Liu reported yesterday. Liu said his auditors determined that the market value of co-ops citywide went up 12 percent in the tentative 2011-12 property tax rolls — while Queens co-ops were hit with an average 32 percent hike. Liu also said a review of all 859 co-op complexes in Queens turned up 92 that were mistakenly “over-valued” by as much as 25 percent. Read More: New York Post

2-year-old girl forgotten aboard private schoolbus in Queens

A 2-year-old girl was forgotten aboard a private schoolbus after her driver parked the vehicle on a Queens street and went home, police said. The child was rescued after a passing Con-Ed worker spotted her inside the bus on Christie Avenue and 99th Street in Corona and called cops. The driver, Ana Garcia, 62, was arrested at her nearby 99th Street home and charged with failure to exercise control of a minor. Read More: New York Post

Life was simpler then

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

What “used to be” just does not exist any more.

One upon a time, our family shopped at “mom and pop” stores. The name was evidence that they were not the Costcos, Targets, Walmarts, BJ’s, etc. of today.

The owners knew us by name, and we purchased what we required with confidence that the products would

always be of a good quality on a daily basis. There was trust all around between the buyers and the owners.

Shopping at the very large markets in this world, still expanding all over, is a different “ball game.” Yes, there is definitely a larger variety of consumer goods, but we can not know with certainity about the quality of the foods we are buying.

Life appears to be a series of tradeoffs. However, I occasionally enjoy going back in time, to what I then considered a less stressful, and in many ways, more enjoyable environment.


Leonore Brooks