Tag Archives: TF Cornerstone

TF Cornerstone ‘tops off’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

TF Cornerstone, in celebration of its newest LIC milestone – 46-10 Center Boulevard — hosted a “Topping Out Block Party” on Friday, July 12.

Residents were treated to food, fun and treats galore.

Leonardo, Sr.; four-year-old Leonardo, Jr. and mom, Michelle Garcia

Sarah Rinaldi of Citibabes paints pink flowers on the arm of three-year-old Ava Austad

 

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LIC building opens with 50,000-square-foot terrace of outdoor amenities


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of the Marino Organization

The luxury real estate market in Long Island City is getting a little bigger. A 41-story waterfront tower at 45-45 Center Boulevard is taking applications for new residents.

“Our newest tower has reinvented residential living along Long Island City’s waterfront,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice-president of property owners TF Cornerstone. “45-45 Center Boulevard is a perfect match for residents looking for a healthy and spacious neighborhood with the excitement and convenience of city living.”

The seventh floor features more than 50,000 square feet of landscaped terrace. Amenities include a volleyball court with beach sand, two tennis courts, a reflecting pool, dog run, a lawn and sun deck with barbecue grills, lounge chairs and benches. Other services will include club rooms, an indoor parking garage, a 24-hour concierge and valet and a fitness center.

“With the most impressive amenity package in all of Long Island City, a location that boasts panoramic views, and 12 acres of parkland, 45-45 is in a league of its own,” said Estevez.

The building, designed by Arquitectonica, offers 820 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that feature hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens and floor to ceiling windows providing residents with views of the East River and Manhattan.

Along with these amenities, the waterfront tower provides family-friendly features including a children’s playroom designed in partnership with Apple Seeds, an award-winning children’s play space in Manhattan. The playroom will have an infant crawling area, Lego tables and interactive exhibits.

45-45 Center Boulevard is TF Cornerstone’s fifth and largest building in Long Island City, with a sixth property expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

 

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Operator, contractor cited in Long Island City crane collapse


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued 12 violations to several parties involved in the Long Island City crane collapse that injured seven workers earlier this month.

According to the DOB, combined, these violations have a minimum penalty of $132,800, and $64,000 of that amount was issued to the crane’s operator, Paul Geer.

“Cranes are complex pieces of equipment that serve as the driving force of any major construction project. They must be properly operated and maintained, and when that fails to occur, there can be serious consequences. In this case, neither the crane operator nor his supervisors made sure the operation was being performed according to approved plans,” said DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

A preliminary investigation by the DOB found that Geer tried to lift 23,900 pounds of lumber at the 46-10 Center Boulevard site, more than double the crane’s weight capacity. The DOB also said that that Geer couldn’t see what he was picking up and was lifting the materials outside the approved loading zone.

Geer and the contractor, Cross Country Construction, LLC, received five violations for operating a crane in an unsafe manner, failure to inspect equipment prior to operation, work that does not conform to approved construction documents, failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations, and failure to post proper load chart for crane.

The site safety manager, Arthur Covelli, and the property owner, TF Cornerstone, were also each issued a violation for failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations.

 

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License of operator in Long Island City crane collapse suspended


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The man operating the crane that collapsed at a Long Island City construction site Wednesday, injuring seven, has had his license suspended by the city, said the Department of Buildings (DOB).

A preliminary investigation by the DOB found that operator Paul Geer tried to lift 23,900 pounds of lumber at the 46-10 Center Boulevard site, more than double the crane’s weight capacity.

The DOB also said that that Geer couldn’t see what he was picking up and was lifting the materials outside the approved loading zone. A Stop Work Order for crane operations remains in effect while the DOB’s investigation continues.

The crane’s owner, New York Crane, was also involved in a deadly collapse on the Upper East Side. James Lomma, who owns the company, was tried for manslaughter, but acquitted last April.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed that the crane’s operator tried to lift too much weight and that Lomma used a cheap, unqualified Chinese company to do repairs.

A representative from New York Crane declined to answer questions, stating that they “had been advised not to speak at this time.”

The building where the accident took place is being developed by TF Cornerstone, the same company that has overseen several towers built as part of the revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront.

“Site safety is always our first priority as it relates to construction, and we are cooperating fully with all relevant authorities to try and determine what caused this occurrence,” read a statement from the developer.
Work at the site was subcontracted to Cross Country Construction, according to a TF Cornerstone spokesperson.

According to a spokesperson for Elmhurst Hospital, the seven injured workers, most of whom were in their 40s and 50s, were all treated and released by the end of last week.


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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Urinetown: The Musical

Winner of three Tony awards and one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Performances start Thursday, January 10 and continue through Saturday, January 26 at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Seastreak Wall Street Ferry saw other problems before crash

The Seastreak Wall Street ferry that crashed in Lower Manhattan Wednesday has had a few minor incidents in recent years. Read more: CBS New York

Cheating teacher the answer man: probe

A Queens elementary- school teacher brazenly helped fourth-graders cheat on the state’s high-stakes English exams, even though there was a second proctor in the room, investigators found. Read more: New York Post

Breezy Point couple surprised with newly renovated home after it was destroyed by Sandy

An octogenarian Queens couple whose house was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy received a surprise gift on Wednesday — a brand new home. Read more: New York Daily News

Report: Queens Native Will Likely Head Up Treasury Dept.

President Barack Obama is reportedly set to tap a native New Yorker to serve as the new head of the United States Treasury Department. Read more: NY1

NYC firm hit hard on 9/11 gives $10M in Sandy aid

The New York City brokerage firm that lost 658 employees in the Sept. 11 terror attacks announced that it will “adopt” 19 schools in communities hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and will give each family in those schools $1,000 to spend as they see fit. Read more: AP

Crane collapses in Long Island City, injuring seven


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Seven workers suffered minor injuries when a crane collapsed at a Long Island City building site.

Around 2:20 p.m. today,  firefighters responded to the incident at Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue, where they discovered three workers trapped beneath the fallen crane. According to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ferran, the trapped individuals were extricated from the scene and taken to an area hospital, along with four other workers who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. No civilians were injured in the crash.

Several dozen workers were at the scene when the crane fell.

According to Ferran, the cause of the crane collapse is under investigation by Department of Buildings (DOB) engineers.

Diana Sanchez saw the crane collapse from her apartment in the building across the street. She said the crane shook as it attempted to lift loads of metal she believed to be too heavy for the device. She grew nervous as she watched the beleaguered apparatus. Then, it snapped.

“Everyone was screaming and running,” she said.

Sanchez said that following the recent collapse of a crane in Manhattan and the increase in construction jobs in Long Island City, she has been concerned about one collapsing nearby for some time.

The Maspeth-based company that manufactures the crane, New York Crane, declined to comment.

The same company was involved in a deadly 2008 crane collapse on the Upper East Side.

Its owner, James Lomma, was charged with manslaughter, but was found not guilty.

The crane from today’s accident was last approved for use by the DOB in October, according to the Daily News.

“Such accidents are avoidable, and I am hopeful a comprehensive investigation will be conducted to discover why today’s frightening incident occurred,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

Officials from TF Cornerstone, the building’s developer, were on scene but denied comment on the incident. The building is one of several built by TF Cornerstone as part of the revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront.

Photo Twitter/@UnSweetTee

 

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola 

 

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Three-bedrooms in demand as more families come to LIC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy TF Cornerstone

Strollers are becoming a more familiar sight along the Long Island City waterfront. But they are not the only sign that more families are moving to the area.

Increased demand for three-bedroom apartments, especially in the new residential buildings along the LIC waterfront, also reflects the changing demographic.

“We are definitely seeing more people looking for larger apartments,” said Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces NYC, a real estate firm located in Long Island City.

Three-bedroom apartments used to be hard to sell or rent. Now, they are difficult to come by as more families are attracted to the area’s increasing kid-friendly features, such as parks and schools, he said.

Also, couples that have already been living in Long Island City are starting to expand their families and want larger apartments, added Benaim.

With no apartments larger than three bedrooms and so few of those available, people are even combining units.

Initially, though, TF Cornerstone, the leading residential developer of Long Island City’s waterfront, put very few three bedrooms in its six buildings. “Historically, we haven’t had demand for three bedrooms,” said Sofia Estevez, an executive vice president at TF Cornerstone. “When we were planning we thought we were doing too many.”

But now, the demand for three bedrooms is so high that the developer is even letting renters combine units as long as it’s easy to take down a wall and put it back up when they leave.

Just completed 45-40 Center Boulevard, as well as 46-15 Center Boulevard, have no three bedrooms. But TF Cornerstone’s three other rental buildings and condo development, The View, do have them.

At four percent, 45-45 Center Boulevard, which was just topped and opens in April, has the largest percentage of three bedrooms of any of TF Cornerstone’s residential buildings in Long Island City.

Most of the inquiries this building’s leasing office receives are about when three-bedroom floor plans will be available, said Estevez.

It is also the first of TF Cornerstone’s LIC buildings to feature an outdoor area specifically for children. It will also have an indoor children’s playroom.

At 47-20 Center Boulevard, a retail space that already had a tenant is being converted into a children’s playroom.

Estevez, who has been noticing more strollers and pregnant women around the neighborhood, expects to see even more of them by next summer when TF Cornerstone completes its final residential building in the area, 46-10 Center Boulevard.

Queens priciest condo hits the market


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Queens’ priciest condo hit the market last week, delighting real estate experts and business buffs alike, as they anticipate an increase in luxury living spaces will bring notoriety to the already burgeoning neighborhood of Long Island City.

The costly condo, perched atop The View on Center Boulevard, is priced at $3.25 million – the steepest price of an apartment currently on the market in Queens.

Silvette Julian, the broker handling the sale for Nest Seekers, said the duplex in the sky boasts three bedrooms, four bathrooms, elevated ceilings, gorgeous fixtures and a view of the Manhattan skyline.

“It’s quite possibly the most stunning property in the building,” said Julian, who previously sold several of The View’s other units.

The condominium was built in 2009 by local developer TF Cornerstone. According to Julian, ritzy real estate in Long Island City is swiftly following in the footsteps of the Manhattan market.

“[This property going on the market] is very positive,” said Julian. “It will increase property value and give the neighborhood the recognition it deserves. Long Island City has been a well-kept secret but unfortunately it’s no longer a secret.”

According to Property Shark, a Hunters Point pad sold in 2008 for $3.05 million holds the record for the borough’s most expensive condo.

According to a mid-year report released by Modern Spaces, the average two-bedroom apartment in Long Island City sells for around $900,000, while spaces over 1,500- square-feet go for about $1.3 million. The study said of current inventory, 94 percent is sold and 6 percent is available – showing a divide between the high demand for LIC living spaces and properties available.

Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership, said a listing such as this is indicative of current market trends in the neighborhood.

“It certainly is a very positive explanation for what’s happening in Long Island City right now,” said Baron. “When you have an expensive apartment of that nature, you attract other buyers.”

Baron claimed an increase in demand for luxury homes provides critical mass for local businesses, driving retail and restaurants that cater to high-end clientele.

“With these prospective buyers brings more businesses to the neighborhood as well, [businesses] who might not have considered the neighborhood before.”

Rents, development grow along Long Island City’s waterfront


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

47-20 center blvdw

Watch out Williamsburg— Long Island City is quickly becoming the in-demand waterfront neighborhood.

More renters are coming to the western Queens area for the short commute to midtown Manhattan — and for Long Island City’s growing amenities. The number of rental buildings is also rapidly developing in the neighborhood. Leading the way is TF Cornerstone, which opened two new rental buildings this spring on Long Island City’s waterfront, and has already started building two more.

Demand for the real estate developer’s buildings is high. Most units are already occupied and rents have gone up since TF Cornerstone opened its first building in Long Island City about five years ago. Though these increases are on par with rising rents across the city, it’s likely demand will become even greater as Long Island City keeps developing.

“Long Island City in particular is becoming more of a desirable area to live,” said Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces NYC, a real estate firm located in Long Island City.

“We pretty much have everything we need right now, he added, speaking about neighborhood amenities such as restaurants, supermarkets, parks and good public schools.

But that wasn’t the case when TF Cornerstone constructed its first rental building in Long Island City in 2007.

Between when 47-20 Center Boulevard opened and now, more people started to discover the neighborhood. But when the economic downturn hit, real estate development slowed and rents stopped rising across the city.

Rents are now coming back to pre-recession levels, demand is high and development is starting up again.

When 47-20 Center Boulevard first opened, studios were about $1,700 to $1,800, but today are in the low $2,000s, and the 498-unit building is currently fully occupied, said Scott Walsh, director of market research for TF Cornerstone.

In March, TF Cornerstone opened 46-15 Center Boulevard, a 42-story, 367-unit building that is just over 80 percent rented. This month 45-40 Center Boulevard, a 32-story glass tower with 345 units, opened.

An 820-unit building, 45-45 Center Boulevard, is currently under construction. It will be full of amenities, including tennis and volleyball courts, a children’s play area and a dog run. Also, TF Cornerstone just broke ground on 46-10 Center Boulevard, a luxury building with 585-units. Both will open around late 2013.

People who are filling these buildings are coming from all parts of the city and a range of ages, said Walsh.

“We have a great ability to retain people,” he said.