Tag Archives: waterfront

Second LIC HENGE brings thousands to waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Mark Christie

As the sun set on Sunday, thousands in Long Island City were ready with their phones and cameras to capture the moment.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC) hosted its second LIC HENGE on July 12, where visitors standing along the LIC waterfront were able to catch the sun setting as it aligned itself down 42nd Street in Manhattan.

HPPC held its first LIC HENGE event in May and after a positive response, decided to set up another night filled with fun and getting together with the community.

About 300 people showed up to the Sunday event, which took place at the LIC Landing, located at 52-10 Center Blvd.

Over 1,000 other people also lined up along the waterfront, according to Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

Henge 4

“It was another wonderful night on the waterfront and the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy was grateful that many, so many members of the community were able to attend and enjoy the best waterfront parks anywhere,” Basch said.

Afterward, people took to Instagram to post their photos using the hashtag #lichenge.

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Where to celebrate the Fourth of July on the LIC waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office

With the Fourth of July just two weeks away, here is some information that will make that day even brighter with your family and friends.

As the light show makes its return to Queens, a few local venues in Long Island City are holding events and specials for the big day including:

1) LIC Flea & Food will run a Night Market extending its hours from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. where visitors will be able to hang out at the LIC Flea Beer Garden and purchased food from over 80 vendors.

2) Penthouse 808, 8-08 Queens Plaza South
4th of July ROOFTOP Bash, festivities begin at 2 p.m.
Dress code: upscale/casual
General admission: Standing room only and includes a gourmet barbecue fare by executive chef Seth Levine, music and entertainment by special guest DJs
For more info call 718-289-6118 or visit www.ph808.com.

3) Riverview Restaurant/Lounge, 2-01 50th Ave.
4th of July fireworks spectacular: Four star buffet including oyster and shrimps
$170 per person plus tax and tip., top shelf open bar from 6 to 10 p.m.
For more info call 718-392-5000

4) Z NYC Hotel: 11-01 43rd Ave.
“Red, White and View” Package and Rooftop Tickets

Views from the roof top of The Z Hotel (Photo by ©Jennifer S. Altman)

Views from the roof top of The Z Hotel (Photo by ©Jennifer S. Altman)

Rates start at $925 for a 2-night stay excluding tax and service charge.
Package includes two-night accommodations in a guest room overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Fourth of July picnic featuring American Fare on the Z Roof (from 4:00 – 8:00), complimentary access to Z Roof during the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular, two complimentary Fourth of July-themed cocktails, and daily breakfast.
Package available to book now through July 3 www.zhotelny.com and use code ZFIR or call 212-319-7000 and mention Red, White and View.
For rooftop access only tickets are $175 per person plus tax and service and includes rooftop access, rooftop picnic and two cocktails.
Children between the ages of 13 to 20 are welcome at $75/child and under 12 is complimentary. Roof opens at 3:00.

5) Cruise 2015 aboard the Starstream sails from the World’s Fair Marina
125-00 Northern Boulevard, off the Grand Central Parkway, Flushing Bay
$125 per person, for tickets call 516-623-5823.

6) Vista Sky Lounge and Rooftop Bar, 27-05 39th Ave.
4th of July Rooftop BBQ
Doors open at 8 p.m., $65 includes entrance fee and food, $20 for children under 12.

Vista Sky Lounge

Vista Sky Lounge and Rooftop Bar view

With the LIC waterfront being a prime location to catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, there are also parking restrictions and an increase in security expected for the holiday.

According to Captain John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct, residents with vehicles who live from 44th Drive to 54th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard to the East River are highly suggest to relocate their vehicles in advance to July 4.

In preparation to the event, police will be towing vehicles within the zone after 12:01 a.m. and the parking restriction will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. on July 5.

It is also suggested that people should avoiding using vehicles in the LIC area on July 4 and police are expecting to be at capacity at all points west of 11th Street by 6 p.m. Latecomers and last minute arrivals should avoid anything west of 11th Street.

Travaglia also added that any residents within those boundaries who are expecting guests for the Fourth of July should encourage them to arrive before 3 p.m. and suggest they carry any party invitations with an address and contact info of the person hosting the part, allowing police ensure people get where they need to go.

In regards to where to view the fireworks on the waterfront, Hunters Point South Park will not be open to the public as it is being used as Macy’s private viewing and NBC’s broadcast compound.

However, Gantry Plaza State Park will be opened and people are encouraged to arrive there no later than 3 p.m. Entry points to the park and Center Boulevard include 48th to 46th avenue from Vernon Boulevard. There will be no access from 49th Ave to Borden Ave on Vernon Blvd. The New York State Park Police will be monitoring the volume of people on the piers in Gantry State Park and when the maximum occupancy is reached the piers will be closed. The same will be done for the remaining areas of the park

Those entering the waterfront from 44th Drive to 49th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard to the East River should expect to have their bags and personal items checked and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Gantry Plaza State Park.

“Being center stage for this event is a huge honor for Long Island City. But with this honor comes monstrous responsibility and concerns. Safety and security are paramount,” Travaglia said. “I can not thank the Long Island City community enough for their cooperation up until this point and their future cooperation. The community is a co-producer with the police in the safety and success of this event.”

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City cuts ribbon on $6.65M Queensbridge Park project, seawall reconstruction


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The Long Island City waterfront has just received a much needed facelift.

Officials cut the ribbon on Tuesday on the $6.65 million project in Queensbridge Park which included the restoration and improvement of the seawall, and the creation of a six-foot-wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

“The completion of the Queensbridge Park Seawall restores access to the waterfront, access that has been denied for far too long,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “No longer do Queensbridge residents need to look at the seawall as it crumbles into the East River. Instead, residents will be able to enjoy a park and waterfront just as lovely as any in New York City.”

The seawall protects the park from high tides and covers some of the mechanisms and underwater cables that keep a number of subway lines in order. It was previously blocked off by a chain-link fence due to decades of deterioration.

This project, managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, included the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, was used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves and also decreasing the effects of erosion.

“New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline is one of its greatest assets, and we are proud to continue reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterfront,” said Dmitri Konon, NYCEDC executive vice president for capital programs.

 

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TF Cornerstone celebrates sixth building opening on LIC waterfront


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Marino Organization

SALVATORE LICATA

TF Cornerstone kicked off the opening of its final project in the six-building Center Boulevard complex on the Long Island City waterfront last week.

The real estate company celebrated on June 12 the opening of the luxury apartment tower 4610 Center Boulevard, a 26-story building which curves around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign by the East River.

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, 4610 Center Boulevard is made up of 584 units including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

The final project also marks a decade of the company helping pioneer the western Queens waterfront.

TF Cornerstone’s six-buildings encompass 2.6 million square feet and include 2,800 rental units, 184 condominiums, 35,000 square feet of retail space, and acres of parkland and open space.

“When TF Cornerstone purchased this property in Long Island City, more than 10 years ago, our vision for the neighborhood went beyond just developing beautiful buildings,” said Jon McMillan, director of planning for TF Cornerstone. “We sought to create an entire new waterfront community for our residents.”

The Center Boulevard development is a four-minute subway ride away from Midtown Manhattan on the 7 train, and accessible by the G, E and M trains.

 

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New outdoor cafe begins to bring local menu to LIC waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Wade Zimmerman


Passengers on the East River Ferry will be welcomed with a tasteful Queens experience once they dock into Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South Park.

The owners of COFFEED, a café located at 37-18 Northern Blvd., have opened a brand-new 160-seat outdoor café called LIC Landing by COFFEED right on the Long Island City waterfront under the pavilion at the park.

The site features a walk-up window where customers can order, table service available for dinner and on weekends, and a dedicated 2,000-square-foot event space.

Although a grand opening is expected in the next two weeks, starting May 21 customers have been able to stop by the location and try items off the menu, which LIC Landing owners are slowly rolling out.

“We’re super excited to be here,” CEO and founder Frank “Turtle” Raffaele said. “This is a spectacular park and certainly puts Queens on a bigger map. It’s one of the best views of New York City and people come to Queens and want to have a great experience. We want [visitors] to have a very solid Queens experience.”

Once the full menu is available café patrons will be able to enjoy full menu items including sandwiches, salads, pastries, COFFEED’s specialty coffees and teas, craft beer and wine, while enjoying a view of the Manhattan skyline.

All the food sold at LIC Landing is made from local ingredients and continues COFFEED’s partnership with Long Island City’s rooftop farm Brooklyn Grange. The names of the menu items are all also inspired by the borough’s streets, subway lines and famous residents.

“Everything is very Queens-focused. The ingredients are from Queens, flavors from Queens, the vibe is Queens,” Raffaele said.

The event space is available to host occasions for community organizations and private events, such as weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers and much more.

Keeping with COFFEED’s continuous contribution to local charities and groups, 3 percent of LIC Landing’s revenue will be donated to the nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

“We want to add a little more to the park. We want it to be for Queens people and for everybody, and give them all an experience of Queens they’ve never had before,” Raffaele said.

LIC Landing will be open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekdays table service is available from 5 to 10 p.m., and on weekends from 12 to 10 p.m.

 

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Weekend bus trial to expand service along Vernon Boulevard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The western Queens waterfront will soon get a taste of extended bus service.

The Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City via Vernon Boulevard, will begin offering service to riders on weekends starting in June, according to the MTA.

The weekend schedule will serve as a trial program for the transit agency to receive comments from the community at an MTA public hearing to be scheduled at a later date. After the public hearing, a decision will be made to keep the service or not, the MTA said. It was not determined how long the trial program would run.

“At long last, weekend service on the Q103 bus line is in sight,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been calling for the extra service on the bus line since 2011. “The need for more public transportation in our area will only continue to grow, especially on weekends, as more people flock to our waterfront to visit our restaurants, parks and cultural institutions.”

The weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, in addition, the Q103 will also extend its weekday service hours until 9 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. The travel path and bus stops will not be affected, according to the MTA.

“The expansion of service will not only benefit the increasing amount of riders but it will also give our growing cultural institutions that ability to generate more traffic to their venues,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Local leaders and business owners see the need to expand the Q103’s service as crucial to the growing neighborhoods, with the increase of new residential towers coming into the areas bringing more people.

According to officials, the Q103 ridership has been increasing in the past years, rising from 558 riders per day in 2011 to about 790 in 2014.

“The Q103 service is a vital link for the cultural organizations of western Queens,” said Jenny Dixon, director of The Noguchi Museum. “It enables visitors to go from The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park in the north to SculptureCenter, MoMA PS1, Dorsky Gallery and the Chocolate Factory to the south.”

 

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Waterfront tower that hugs LIC Pepsi sign begins leasing


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Marino Organization

The Long Island City waterfront is welcoming new residents.

The luxury apartment tower 4610 Center Boulevard, a 26-story building which curves around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign by the East River, has begun leasing apartments. This project is real estate company TF Cornerstone Inc.’s sixth and final building on the waterfront.

“Following on the heels of 4545 Center Boulevard, which leased up in record time, 4610 Center Boulevard will accommodate the continued influx of new residents to the vibrant and bustling neighborhood,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president for TF Cornerstone. “The opening of this building is a significant milestone in the history of the New York City waterfront and is a true sign of the area’s immense residential transformation since its day as an industrial hub.”

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, 4610 Center Boulevard is made up of 584 units including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The residences feature stainless steel appliances, custom closets, wood strip floors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Residents will be able to enjoy amenities, designed by design firm Yabu Pushelberg, such as a spacious lobby with a Wi-Fi lounge, private garden, modern fitness center and a resident club which opens to a landscaped terrace.

The luxury waterfront tower is accessible by the 7, E, G and M trains, the East River Ferry and is just minutes away from Manhattan.

For more information on 4610 Center Boulevard call 718-606-9440 or email 4610leasing@tfc.com.

 

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TF Cornerstone selected to develop Phase II of Hunters Point South


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of ODA

TF Cornerstone, a real estate developer that has built several residential buildings along the Long Island City waterfront, has been selected to build the second phase of the city’s Hunter’s Point South project.

TF Cornerstone is part of a team with Selfhelp Community Services that will develop a total of 1,193 new apartments in two high-rise buildings at the Long Island City site, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) said Friday.

Of those units, which will be a mix of with studio, one- , two- ,and three-bedroom, 796 apartments will be affordable, with 100 reserved for low-income senior citizens, according to HPD.

“When TF Cornerstone broke ground on our LIC Waterfront project more than ten years ago, we envisioned the creation of a multi-faceted, family-friendly community with diverse retail options, top-of-the-line schools and expansive park space. [This] designation by HPD enables us to continue our pursuit of these goals in what is now an already-thriving LIC waterfront, while creating greatly needed affordable housing,” said K. Thomas Elghanayan, chairman and co-founder of TF Cornerstone.

The buildings will feature a fitness facility, rooftop gardens and decks, children’s playroom, an on-site senior recreational center and other amenities, said the HPD.

There are also preliminary plans for a pre-kindergarten, a medical facility, a rock climbing gym, and new restaurants at the site’s 20,000-gross-square-feet of commercial space. It also has 10,000-gross-square-feet of new community space that will be “programmed with local arts-based community groups.” Additionally, the site design incorporates numerous community green spaces, according to HPD.

Designed by ODA, the buildings will also have impressive features.

Their design “enhances the Queens skyline” with “stepped terraces that echo the Art Deco skyscrapers of Manhattan.”

 

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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.