Yesterday, the artist Geoff Rawling started painting a mural along Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways. The mural will be right along the intersection of Newport Avenue. Work will last through the weekend, and should be finished by the middle of next week. According to the Beach 116th Street Partnership, Geoff Rawling has designed many murals in the Rockaway and has a relative amount of freedom to improvise with his design. For now, he’s planning a welcoming mural that will show a beach scene and silhouettes of beach goers that will look like people waiting at a bus stop — there is a bus stop right in front of the wall. Stay tuned for the final product!
The Commercial Observer posted this shiny new rendering for 42-15 Crescent Street, an office building that’s going residential in LIC. Plans for the conversion first emerged one year ago, but the design has changed since then. Also, word was that the building was going rental, but Commercial Observer reports that there will be condo units with ground-floor retail instead. The developer, Meadow Partners, remains the same. They purchased this building in December 2012 for $19,000,000.
The development will be 11 stories and hold 124 units; construction should wrap early next year. Meadow Partners is also building a 13-story, 24-unit rental development across the street at 42-14 Crescent Street. That should be ready by the end of 2015.
Demolition is coming for six small businesses along Woodhaven Boulevard, making way for a residential build. One of those businesses is the Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, which shuttered earlier this year. Other businesses include, according to Queens Chronicle, a family-owned dog grooming shop, Classic Designers salon, a balloon shop and a spa. The only biz still open is Community Physical Therapy, at 62-84 Woodhaven Boulevard.
The Criterion Group paid $9,000,000 for the entire block and will replace everything with a seven-story, 120-unit residential development. The DOB has not yet issued demolition permits, but a Criterion rep expects it to happen within the next two month. Construction on the development will last around two years.
He played the leader of a militant Sikh sect in the 1996 Indian film Maachis. He portrayed a Pakistani immigrant in England who struggles with his westernized children in the 1999 British flick East is East. And he even had roles in Hollywood productions with Patrick Swazey (City of Joy, 1992), Jack Nicholson (Wolf, 1994), and Val Kilmer (The Ghosts and the Darkness, 1996). Now, he’s coming to the Museum of the Moving Image. This Sunday, Om Puri (seated, above) will watch clips of his finest acting moments and chat about his roughly 50-year career with Indian actress and food expert Madhur Jaffrey. Then the museum will host a special preview screening of his newest work, The Hundred-Foot Journey (below), a Steven Spielberg-Oprah Winfrey production that also stars Helen Mirren. In this adaptation of a book by Richard C. Morais, Puri is the patriarch of proud family that opens an Indian restaurant next to a famous Michelin-starred eatery in the south of France. An all-out war ensues.
I was slowly and steadily making my way down 29th Street in Long Island City recently from 38th Avenue to Queens Plaza. As with a previous post on 37th Street, I was fascinated by Astoria’s varied and eclectic housing stock. Nowhere else in the borough, and certainly not west of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, have buildings of every era and every architectural design been thrown together as if in a blender and tossed as if at random onto a streetscape, and nowhere else is hand-drawn signage of the early 20th century counterbalanced against ultramodern Babylonian towers thrown against the sky. 29th Street has all of these and more.
Flushing residents and local leaders are hoping to rezone an area of the neighborhood to protect the low-density row houses constructed in the 1930s. Their efforts, according to Queens Courier, are inspired by a developer purchasing a single-family home on 56th Road with plans to expand it into a multi-family residence. The developer is working within the current zoning laws.
Community Board 7 and the President of the Queens Civic Congress sent letters to the Department of City Planning inquiring over new zoning restrictions. The DCP seems open to discussions. Here’s a portion of the DCP’s letter: “An examination of zoning uses pertaining to single-family row houses raises citywide policy concerns, and to date no consensus has been reached regarding the specific nature and locational appropriateness of such a potential new designation. We would certainly be open to discussing this issue with you in the future.” Councilman Peter Koo requested a meeting with the DCP later in August to discuss a plan to save the row houses.
Man, Astoria Cove is moving swiftly through its public review process! Next Wednesday, developers Alma Realty will present to the City Planning Commission (here’s a PDF of the upcoming agenda). That’s the second to last step of the ULRUP process; City Council is the final hurdle. The CPC will hold a public hearing on the matter and must approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the application within a certain timeframe. It’s very rare that the City Council’s final vote goes against the City Planning Commission’s initial vote, so the decision next week will be telling. In June, Community Board 1 denied the housing proposal on the grounds that the developers were not offering enough affordable housing. This Wednesday, Borough President Katz also denied the plans, due to inadequate public transportation in the area as well as not enough affordable housing.
Indeed, the major question still lingering about the Astoria Cove development is affordable housing. Alma Realty bumped the number of affordable units, previously 295, to 345. That’s roughly 20 percent of the total 1,698 apartments, but housing advocates want to see as much as 50 percent affordable. If approved, this will be the first major rezoning effort under Mayor de Blasio, who has made a point of increasing affordable housing in New York. So far, he hasn’t chimed in on the matter of Astoria Cove.
Read the developer’s full application to the City Planning Commission after the jump… (more…)
On August 1st in 1994, the arts non profit Flux Factory came to be. They moved to Long Island City in 2002, first at a space on 43rd Street and then to their present location on 29th Street. Now this Friday, August 1st, the organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary. They are holding a big exhibition called Homecoming, a display of 20 years of artwork, inventions and archives. The exhibition will be free and open to the public from 6 to 9 pm this Friday, then there’s a ticketed banquet on Saturday, August 2nd. The banquet includes a five-course vegetarian meal followed by rooftop drinks and a dance party. According to Flux, “The evening will raise funds towards the next 20 years of incredible collaboration and experimentation.” (Tickets are $50 for dinner and dancing, $15 for just dancing.)
Check out all the details here, and purchase tickets to the banquet here.