Today, a group of Queens pols — Catherine Nolan, Nydia Velazquez, Elizabeth Crowley, Michael Miller, Grace Meng, Antonio Reynoso, Joseph Addabbo and Michael Gianaris — released a letter sent to Governor Cuomo in regards to the upcoming construction at Ridgewood Reservoir. The Parks Department plans to undertake a $6,000,000 project cutting culverts into the reservoir to address the threat of future flooding. Parks is required under state regulations to address the flooding threat by August, or the city could start receiving fines. Still, the plan upsets local residents and park advocates who believe the project is unnecessary, a waste of money, and could potentially cause harm to the existing ecosystem.
The letter also raises serious concerns about the construction project. Pols are asking for a waiver to delay construction, so that the area can first receive a wetland designation. (An application to designate the area as a wetland was submitted in 2010, nothing has been done about it.) They also ask the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to consider how the project will harm the existing environment — the work requires building permanent access roads into the habitat, and cutting down at least 470 trees. The pols also believe the price tag of $6,000,000 is too high. As the letter states, “We believe that there are many other areas where the city can spend this money including building more schools, improving our infrastructure, upgrading our transportation system, and many other capital requests that our Community Boards have highlighted.”
The Hansel N’ Gretel manufacturing site, located along Cooper Avenue in Glendale, is now on the market. The deli meat producer, which opened back in 1872, moved to the neighborhood in 1970. The company ceased operations this past June, according to the Courier.
The real estate agency Avison Young will handle the property, which is more than two acres. It’s zoned for industrial use, but the brokerage will advertise it as a “multi-purpose” plot. Hansel N’ Gretel, who didn’t offer a reason for the closure, will begin auctioning off its equipment in September.
Get ready for some mujeres extraordinarias. Over six upcoming days, the Queens Theatre is going to present the 2014 Latino Culture Festival: Extraordinary Women, Illuminated, 11 diverse acts celebrating Spanish-speaking countries and the female portrayers of their cultures. This means tango, bolero, salsa, and mariachis, but it also means drama, a play reading and a Spanish version of Little Red Riding Hood.
The schedule with descriptions of each show and more photos are on the jump page.
This fine condo unit comes to us from the Ten 63 development at 10-63 Jackson Avenue, which is located right off the Pulaski Bridge in LIC. It’s a three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse unit with 1,847 interior square feet and 593 square feet outside. Big windows, high ceilings and an open kitchen certainly make the space feel airy and spacious. Due to some awesome staging (this is a sponsor unit), the listing makes it tempting enough to move in tomorrow. The asking price is $2,250,000. That number includes a parking spot and storage space, as well as building amenities like a doorman, cold storage, gym, community room and common roof deck.
Saturday last, I conducted a walking tour along the Brooklyn and Maspeth borders, and afterwards decided to enjoy the beautiful weather by walking back home to Astoria. My path carried me along the fence line of Mt. Zion cemetery (Maurice Avenue side) toward Tyler Avenue, where I made a left.
Just look at what was waiting for me to notice it when I turned onto Tyler – a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe, which I believe to be the P15 model.
State Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder (who represents Rockaway Beach) and Nily Rozic (representing Flushing) are holding a public hearing on August 7th to address the lack of public transportation in the northeastern and southern parts of Queens. Times Ledger spoke to Rozic, who said, “This is an opportunity for transit riders to share detailed information about the challenges they face due to limited bus and subway service. Queens has been a transit desert for far too long and it is time changes are made so that residents can be better served.” There isn’t a single subway station within Rozic’s district, and she wants to allocate funding toward research to bring more public transportation to the area.
The pols have worked on other efforts in increasing transit options: they are trying to restore bus service in Douglaston, they worked to allocate funds to study bus options in Bayside, and they criticized the city’s decision to end Rockaway Ferry service (pictured) in October. Goldfeder is also working with the Queens College Urban Studies Department on a study for reuse of the Rockaway Beach rail line. They will hold the August 7th meeting in Manhattan — details to come.
Last Thursday, the 82nd Street Partnership held two public hearings in regards to expanding the Jackson Heights – Corona BID, a proposal up for its final vote this summer. DNAinfo attended the evening meeting and reports that it was filled “overwhelmingly with the BID’s opponents.” Local organization Make The Road New York spoke against the plan for the first time in public, stating that the current BID proposal wouldn’t help or support business owners. A major concern of expansion is displacement of small, local business owners by rising commercial rents.
The expansion proposal includes the blocks from 82nd Street to 104th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, as well as Junction Boulevard to 35th Avenue. BID supporters argue that it will be used to fund events, assist small businesses and help with street maintenance, safety and cleanup. Business owners and landlords will pay a yearly fee, determined by a special assessment, to support it.
The New York Transit Museum just announced a nostalgia ride all the way from its Downtown Brooklyn location to the Rockaways. On Sunday, August 3rd, the Museum will send a fleet of postwar subway cars to Rockaway Beach — passengers will ride on a variety of cars introduced between the 1940s and 1960s. They include a rare Second Avenue Subway R11 prototype model labeled the “Million Dollar Car” when first introduced in 1949, as well as the R40, a futuristic model introduced in 1968. During the trip itself, the museum staff will display transit artifacts as part of a “hands-on history” activity. Once in the Rockaways, riders will be able to spend a day at the beach before heading back to the museum.
Tickets cost $50 for adults and $25 for children, with discounts for museum members. To purchase tickets online, go here.
This week we got some bad news regarding the New York State Pavilion, but today better news emerged. Governor Cuomo recently announced he is allocating a total of $5,000,000 to help repair 14 historically significant properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo awarded $127,000 for repairs to the New York State Pavilion, the single property selected in Queens. Here are details on the repairs to come:
$127,000 to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for a conditions assessment of damage to the NYS Pavilion cable roof structure to determine the impact of Sandy and develop cost estimates for stabilization; basic repairs may also be undertaken. The NYS Pavilion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with national significance as a landmark of American engineering and was one of most highly acclaimed structures at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.
These funds are in addition to the $5,806,000 allocated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers. As People for the Pavilion said of the recent news, “The continued support from elected officials for the preservation of the Pavilion is extremely encouraging. PFP will continue to work with our partners at the local, city, state, and national levels to develop a sustainable reuse plan for the Pavilion, and to encourage further support for the structure.”