This Wednesday, the Food Bank For New York City visited the Rockaways to kick off its “Thankful to Give” campaign for the holiday season. The Food Bank, alongside the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, distributed Thanksgiving turkeys and other holiday trimmings to local residents still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Over 100 families came out and received food for the holiday. This event in the Rockaways is part of a larger effort of the Food Bank’s to distribute a total of 1,350 turkeys to those living in Sandy-affected areas.
The brokerage firm Modern Spaces is testing the price limit on Long Island City penthouse units, with a number of listings asking close to $3,000,000. Queens Courier notes a few in particular: the $2,500,000 duplex condo at new townhouse development FIVE Forty One (rendered above, check it out in person here), a three-bedroom condo at Arris Loft asking $2,990,000, and a three-bedroom condo at The View set to hit the market soon for $2,890,000. Just in case you’re wondering, the priciest LIC condo sale belongs to this penthouse at The View, which sold for $3,100,000. Another three-bedroom penthouse at The View recently sold for $2,450,000 after asking $2,500,000.
Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces, told the Courier this: “The luxury market is really starting to pick up as the prices in Manhattan are just skyrocketing.” The firm, without a doubt, is really the force behind the biggest sales happening right now in LIC.
The owners of Bareburger, the successful mini-chain that started in Astoria, have special plans in the works for the old Athens Cafe space at 32-07 30th Avenue. Athens Cafe closed earlier this month, with lots of rumors surrounding what would replace it. But this week, We Heart Astoria, Astoria Post and DNAinfo have all shared the exciting news that the Bareburger is planning an “exciting new concept” here. Here’s what they told WAH: “The Athens cafe location has been an iconic part of the Astoria community for years. Bareburger group saw an opportunity to inject some new life and an exciting new concept into a space abound with possibilities.”
There are no specific details yet, as they are very early in the planning process. All we know is that this will be a totally new venture for the Bareburger folks in Astoria. GMAP
Two comedians walk into a Sunnyside bar…and a stand-up series is born. Local humorists Colin Samuel (above) and Lindsay Goldwert (pictured after the jump) have recently committed to producing at least two shows a month and bringing New York City’s best up-and-coming talent to the neighborhood. Dubbed “Puttin’ on the Bliss,” these acts will take place every other week at The Dog and Duck Gastropub and once a month at Marlene Tavern, host of the next performance on Tuesday night. In addition to Goldwert and Samuel, joke purveyors will include May Wilkerson (The Stand Comedy Club), Oni Francis (The Creek and the Cave), McCarton Ackerman (Make Me Laugh Festival), Aalap Patel (MTV2), and Liz Barrett (Gotham Comedy Club, She-Devil Comedy Festival). Unless otherwise indicated, the shows will be free and they’ll feature prizes that encourage patrons to shop and eat in Sunnyside.
In 1928, much of Queens was still largely unpopulated and unbuilt-upon. Ridgewood, however, was an exception to the rule, due to its proximity to Brooklyn, and real estate developers hoped to capitalize on the cachet of the neighborhood. By then, Ridgewood was dominated by attached brick and brownstone houses, as well as blocks of handsome, yellow-bricked apartments constructed by developer Gustave X. Mathews. He built from materials created in the Staten Island kilns of Balthazar Kreischer.
In that year, the developers Realty Associates purchased 70 acres in a neighborhood then labeled as “North Ridgewood” but now a part of northern Maspeth roughly defined by Maurice Avenue, 64th Street, Grand Avenue and 74th Street. Builder John Aylmer set to work constructing two and six-family homes in the newly-named Ridgewood Plateau, so named for its location atop one of Queens’ higher hills.
To mark the one year anniversary of the whitewash of 5Pointz, the independent filmmaker P.J. Monsanto released an 18-minute documentary about the infamous graffiti warehouse. Titled “We Don’t Need More Rats Here,” it chronicles the artists’ efforts to save the building after the owner, Jerry Wolkoff, announced plans for a new residential development, and their reaction after all their work was painted over in the dead of night. There are also plenty of amazing shots of the building during its glory days, covered in artwork. Now, of course, the warehouse is under demolition.
A recent Daily News article profiles the “humble Queens nabe” of Elmhurst, which has recently seen an onslaught of new development. The News mainly focuses on the residential conversion of the St. Johns Hospital complex, located across from the Queens Center Mall. When construction wraps on Queens Pointe, as it’s called, there will be 150 luxury rental apartments, several stories of retail and a 250-car parking garage. According to the article, “The developers estimate that they will be able to achieve rents of more than $45 a foot per year for the units, meaning a one-bedroom pad would likely go for over $2,500 a month.” (Luxury rentals at Elm East, on Broadway, leased quickly with rents topping $40 a foot.)
There are more developments slated for the neighborhood: a 69-unit condo tower at 70-32 Queens Boulevard, between 70th and 72nd Streets, and a six-story, 130-unit development for the long-empty site across from East Elm, also off Broadway. To be called West Elm, it’ll boast a private health club, an outdoor roof deck and 24-hour doorman. (Check out an exterior rendering after the jump.) There’s also the recent massive sale of the parking lot behind the Queens Place Mall.
With all that development, sales and rental prices are unsurprisingly rising in the neighborhood, which is better known for its low-rise housing stock. The median price for an apartment comes in at $338,500 — that’s compared to $288,500 in 2011. And an average apartment rents for $1,877 a month, compared to $1,350 in 2011.
Today, both the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition and LIC Partnership announced upcoming tree lighting celebrations. The Central Astoria LDC will host its second annual tree lighting on Thursday, December 11th at the Astoria Park Great Lawn. The evening, which kicks off at 6:30 pm, also includes caroling, Chanukah and Kwanza celebrations.
LIC Partnership will host its seventh annual tree lighting on Wednesday, December 3rd at 6 pm. The Hunters Point Community Development Corporation, community members and local merchants will light the Christmas Tree and Chanukkah Menorah at Vernon Mall, Vernon Boulevard at 50th Avenue. Check out the details here.UPDATE: There’s another lighting celebration in LIC on Thursday, December 4th at 5 pm. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, LIC Partnership, JetBlue and LIC Business Women will be present for the 3rd Annual Snowflake Lighting at LIC Bar on Vernon Boulevard. Details here.