10/31/14 4:00pm


Tomorrow, the Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead will open up for public tours. Dutch settler Abraham Riker built the home in 1665, at 78-03 19th Road in East Elmhurst. The current owners began restoring the property in 1980, and started offering the occasional tour of what is the oldest private residence in the borough. (The title of the oldest home in Queens actually belongs to the Bowne House in Flushing.)

DNAinfo reports that the tour will offer a rare glimpse of the Riker burial ground in the backyard — it houses the remains of 132 family descendants of the property. Guests will also see restorations inside the home and the surrounding gardens. (Check out photos of the property at the official website.) The tour begins at 3 pm, and RSVPs to info@rikerhome.com are encouraged. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the door.

Get a Rare Look Inside 350-Year-Old Queens Home and Backyard Cemetery [DNAinfo]

Photo via the Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead

10/31/14 3:00pm


The developers GDC Properties are planning a townhouse development at 11-22 45th Road (between 11th and 21st Streets), now an industrial warehouse they just purchased for $37,000,000. Demolition permits are already in place, and Commercial Observer reports that the new development should take 18 months to complete. No details on the design, number of townhouses, or potential prices. We’re actually very curious to see the asking price for a new townhouse in LIC, given that older townhouses can go for more than $1,000,000.

GDC is known for this large-scale conversion of a Dumbo warehouse some years ago.

GDC Properties Plans Townhouses for LIC Industrial Sites [Commercial Observer]
Demolition, Likely Development for 45th Road Site in Long Island City [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

10/31/14 1:00pm


It’s probably the best production house you’ve never heard of…with prices you’ve never seen. The Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group has staged large musicals every May and November for the past 35 years with the goal of providing high-quality, low-cost entertainment, especially for children, nursing home residents, and the disabled. For five days this November, these mensches will produce Thoroughly Modern Millie with Music Theatre International, which works directly with composers, lyricists, and writers and grants groups the rights to perform Broadway musicals. Thoroughly Modern tells the story of Millie Dillmount, who moves to NYC from Kansas in 1922 with the singular goal of getting a job as the secretary for a rich man and then marrying him. Of course her plan goes awry, but Millie gets really into the Jazz Age with her flapper attire and bobbed hair. Then she realizes that the owner of dingy hotel where she lives is a white slave trafficker who sells young ladies to Asian lords. Hilarity and tap dancing ensue.

Details: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Free Synagogue of Flushing, enter at 41-60 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, November 8th and 15th at 8 pm, November 2nd, 9th, and 16th at 3 pm, $18/$15 seniors over 64 and children under 13.

Photo: Free Synagogue of Flushing Community Theatre Group

10/31/14 12:00pm

54-51 65th Place
Broker: Premium Properties
Price: $615,000
Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

109-62 196th Street
Broker: Victory Express Realty Court
Price: $579,000
Saturday, 12:00 – 2:00 pm

77-03 62nd Street
Broker: Coldwell Banker Phillips
Price: $459,000
Sunday, 12:00 – 2:00 pm

4Jackson Heights
35-06 88th Street
Broker: MPC Properties
Price: $295,000
Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

10/31/14 11:00am


I am a milestone maven, eagerly seeking out the mile markers placed in the colonial and postcolonial eras along major roads. In early 2013 I found out about the Post Road 12-mile marker embedded in the stone fence at Isham Park, I found the three and five mile markers along Ocean Parkway, and even did a page on mile markers along the Long Island Rail Road.


I was surprised to see the 5th mile marker of what is now Northern Boulevard beside the front driveway of Kingsland Homestead on 138th Street, the home of the Queens Historical Society.


10/31/14 10:00am


Yes, more drama surrounding the affordable housing at Astoria Cove! Crain’s reports that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development made a map-reading error when calculating the affordable housing requirements at Astoria Cove. Initially, Alma proposed to allocate 20 percent of the units to households making no more than 80 percent of the area median income ($68,700 for a family of four). Many local pols and housing advocates argued those numbers aren’t good enough, and this new revelation by the city will change the requirements somewhat. Outdated maps indicated that Alma Realty was not required to include affordable housing to get a state property tax abatement. But updated maps show that Alma is required to provide 20 percent affordable housing, but it must be no more than 60 percent (down from 80 percent) of the area median income.

The City Council plans to work this into their plan with Alma before the council takes its final vote on the matter in November. According to Crain’s, “The revelation may give the council more ammunition to ask for more affordable units, something it appeared bent on doing after a recent hearing.”

City Admits Error on Astoria Cove’s Affordable Housing [Crain's]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering by Studio V Architecture

10/31/14 9:00am


Yesterday the HPD, New York State Homes & Community Renewal and the Bluestone Organization cut the ribbon at new affordable housing development Norman Towers, at 90-14 161st Street in Jamaica. The nine-story, two-building development holds 100 apartments — seven studios, 72 one-bedroom units and 21 two-bedroom units, as well as a two bedroom for the super. There’s also 5,773 square feet of commercial space, 4,063 square feet of retail space and 51 parking spots. (The Bluestone Group is moving their head offices into the building.) Bluestone also designed Norman Towers to be energy efficient, with a cogeneration system that will use a natural gas-fueled engine to generate electricity distributed throughout the building. The excess heat by-product of the electricity generation will be captured and reused to heat the building’s water heaters and boilers. There are also solar panels on the roof of the two buildings, as well as a roof garden that retains water on-site, Energy Star appliances and lighting, low-emission windows, and a fancy, energy efficient climate control system.

According to the HPD, the affordable development took $32,200,000 to build. The Bluestone Group purchased the site back in 2008 from the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation for $1,600,000.

Check out more pictures of the interior and the energy efficient features after the jump.

All Norman Towers coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photos by Kevin Joseph Laccone (more…)

10/31/14 8:30am


New Digs in Long Island City [NY Times]
City Docks Rockaway Ferry, Residents and Electeds Fight Back [NY1]
City Scraps Plan for Homeless Shelter in Rockaway [Capital]
Giant Drill Bit Narrowly Misses Packed F Train [PIX 11]
Ridgewood Resident Starts Beer Society in Neighborhood [Queens Courier]
Instagram Account Focuses on Trash Problem in Astoria [Queens Courier]
See 5Pointz’s Iconic Tags Literally Crumble to the Ground [Curbed]
Van Bramer Takes de Blasio at His Word Nothing Is Imminent With Sunnyside Yards [Sunnyside Post]

10/30/14 4:00pm


Tonight, Council Member Van Bramer is holding his third neighborhood assembly to discuss Participatory Budgeting in the 26th District. The meeting is for all residents of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside who have ideas on how $1,000,000 of taxpayer money should be spent within the district. Over the next several months, community members are invited to develop ideas, vote and finally decide how to allocate the funds toward capital improvements.

If you’re interested in attending, the meeting is tonight, 7 pm, at the PS/IS 78 Middle School Cafeteria, 46-08 5th Street.

10/30/14 3:00pm

41-25 23RD STREET

41-25 23rd Street, the dinky three-family property pictured above, just hit public records for $1,875,000. Yes, $1.875M. The reason? For one, it’s located right off of Queens Plaza North and the Queensboro Plaza subway station. And according to PropertyShark, zoning allows for a building five times the current size. The new owners have not filed any permits with the Department of Building yet, but this modest house will probably get torn down in no time. GMAP

Photo via Google Maps