03/30/15 4:00pm

workshops-select-bus-service

The Department of Transportation already selected an ambitious plan to install Select Bus Service along Woodhaven Boulevard, but that doesn’t mean the work is finished. Community meetings are coming up for residents to give feedback on block-by-block street designs and proposed Q52 and Q53 bus stops. As you can see in the notice above, specific workshops cater to specific areas of the 14-mile thoroughfare.

Workshops take place on April 16th, 23rd, 29th and 30th. See a PDF of the full notice right here.

Final Design Unveiled for the Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service [Q'Stoner]

03/30/15 3:00pm

31-14-38TH AVENUE

Apparently if you’ve got a modest home in Astoria with development potential, now is the time to sell. The house at 31-14 38th Avenue, between 31st and 32nd Streets, recently hit public records for $2.32 million. The two-family home sits on a large lot, with 4,473 square feet. It’s currently built up to a FAR of .41 but there is a potential FAR of 3 — meaning that a development more than three times the size of the current structure could be built here.

No clues from Department of Buildings permits when demolition will happen, but our guess is soon. The site is located just a few blocks from both the 39th Avenue N/Q and the 36th Street M/R. GMAP

Photo by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark

03/30/15 2:00pm

Sophocles, front, #2162, Athens Square Park, 3.26.15, photo by S. Drago

This Saturday, the Parks Department, Borough President Katz, local elected officials and elected officials from Greece unveiled the newly finished Sophocles sculpture in Athens Square. According to Parks, the sculpture of the Greek dramatist is the last of four sculptures to be installed at the park, which wraps up a longterm plan for Athens Square established in the late 1980s. (Socrates, Athena, and Aristotle are already on display here.)

Sophocles was fully funded as a gift to the city by the Athens Square Committee in Astoria. The artist, Astoria-based sculptor Chris Vilardi, designed a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall bronze full-standing figure which was cast at the Modern Art Foundry. It’s pedestal is made of Mountain Green granite quarried in Jay, New York.

Here are more details on the design from the Parks Department: “The artist has taken a “modern stylistic approach” that pays homage to the past, and represents Sophocles in ancient attire typical for a man of his stature. In his left hand he holds the mask of tragedy, a prop of Greek theater. Inscribed in classic Greek font on the base are details of his life, as well as signature quotations from his plays.”

NYC Parks Queens Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski stated that “This beautiful park feels complete with the installation of its fourth and final sculpture, Sophocles. The sculpture represents years of dedication and hard work and we give our sincere thanks to the Athens Square Committee for their partnership and support. This project would not have been possible without them and its installation is such a wonderful way to honor Greek Independence Day this year.”

Check out a photo of the dedication after the jump.

Photo by S. Drago (more…)

03/30/15 1:00pm

wizard_of_oz_WB_Classics1-detail-main

Who says Queens isn’t a great Spring Break destination? The Museum of the Moving Image will screen daily matinees of a remastered, 3-D version of The Wizard of Oz from April 3rd through April 12th, when the New York City schools are on spring recess. Considered a childhood rite of passage, this classic 1939 tale about Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow was nominated for six Academy Awards, including one for best picture, and won Oscars for original score and song. The museum will enhance the experience by offering a daily character design remix workshop during this period. (More information and another photo are on the jump page.)

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This semi-detached home is up for sale at 33-12 75th Street, in Jackson Heights. It’s got 1,820 square feet and three bedrooms. We’re not completely drooling over the interior but our guess is that this property will get a good deal of attention — everything looks to be in good shape, there’s a nice big yard, patio and a garage, and it’s priced at $800,000. It’s also in a nice location right by Travers Park. Readers, what do you think of this one?

Check out interior photos after the jump.

33-12 75th Street [Keller Williams] GMAP

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03/30/15 11:00am

bsQ_033015_qboro_001

On March 30th, 1909, the Queensboro Bridge opened to traffic. Long Island City, and the rest of Queens, would never be the same. For the first time, vehicle traffic from eastern Long Island and Manhattan could move easily across the East River on Gustav Lindenthal’s new cantilever bridge, and the formerly independent Cities, Towns, and Villages of Western Long Island became suburbs. I know it’s difficult to conceive of Jackson Heights or Astoria as “suburbs,” but in the context of the early 20th century that’s what they were.

The Queensboro Bridge changed all of that, and Queens has never been the same since “The Great Machine” opened.

More after the jump… (more…)

03/30/15 9:00am

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.24.40 AM

Well, the LIC Clock Tower is not going to be demolished. The buyers of the historic structure, as well as nearby parcels, told the New York Times that they plan to incorporate it into their proposed 915-foot skyscraper, which will someday be the city’s tallest outside Manhattan. (The rendering above gives you an idea of just how massive this tower will be. The clock tower — which will likely be landmarked anyway — comes in at 14 stories.)

The developers Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization are using air rights from both nearby MTA land — which cost them $56 million — as well as air rights from the clock tower to build. They told the Times that this development will be at a “Manhattan caliber.” The clock tower will remain an office building for tech firms, and there are also plans to build out a 1.25 acre park at the site.

The developers are in a race to break ground by this summer to qualify for tax breaks without having to include affordable housing. Just to make that clear, that will be 930 new units in Long Island City, none of them affordable. They aren’t the only LIC developers taking advantage of this, either. Court Square Blog just reported that Tishman Speyer began working on its massive Long Island City project which will include 1,789 apartments, none of them affordable.

New Queens Plaza Skyscraper Gets Help From Historic Clock Tower Next Door [NY Times]
All 29-37 41st Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/30/15 8:30am

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Business Owners Who Fought to Stay In Willets Point Reach Deal to Leave as Group [NY1]
As LIC Booms, Tech Industry Tries to Keep Up [Queens Chronicle]
Illegal Conversions Persist in Woodhaven [Queens Chronicle]
Proposal Helps Flood Problem, Nature, in Jamaica Bay [Times Ledger]
In New York’s Multinational Astoria, Diversity Is Key To Harmony [NPR]
Woodhaven Select Bus Service May Get Physical Separation in Some Locations [Streetsblog]
Headed for Demo-ville in Broadway Flushing? [Queens Crap]
Astoria Arrivals- Tea and Milk Is Open on 34th Avenue [We Heart Astoria]

03/27/15 4:00pm

sunnyside-plaza

Both the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and ReCreate Queens just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring cultural programming to Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza this summer. The plaza, which opened up last year, is located right under the 7 at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The goal of the campaign is to raise just over $5,000 by mid-April to kick off the performance series “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza.” The performance, planned to run between June and October, will provide residents with free concerts from different musicians and performers.

The performance series got its initial funding from Queens Council on the Arts, but additional funding is needed to carry the program through the summer. According to the Sunnyside BID, the first $1,000 of donations will be matched by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. As Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, says, “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

If you’d like to donate, do so here.

Photo by Michael Rapp

03/27/15 3:00pm

34-continental-avenue-forest-hills-gardens

We love tracking the sales of Forest Hills Gardens homes, and typically we see properties spend a few months on the market before selling just under ask. This attached, fieldstone townhouse at 34 Continental Avenue is definitely the exception. The property lasted one week on the market and sold over its ask of $1,685,000 for $1,750,000, according to Terrace Sotheby’s. The home, built in 1910, has 2,714 square feet and four bedrooms. According to the listing, there’s a “large windowed entry solarium and lots of light, French doors opening to spacious living room with hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace and built in bar. Custom designed kitchen with eat-in area and door to private rear patio.”

The interior is very lovely indeed. You can see photos after the jump. (more…)