10/20/14 4:00pm

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If the 7 train stunk for you this past weekend, well — you’ve got four more weekends of that ahead. Court Square Blog reported late last week that 7 train suspensions were in store for five weekends this fall, starting October 18th through the 20th. There will be no service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza due to construction, but the MTA will offer free shuttle buses at the affected stations to go out to Queensboro Plaza. The MTA adds that “the Long Island Railroad will also cross-honor MetroCards in both directions between Penn Station and Woodside.”

Here are those weekends of shutdowns to come: October 25th through the 27th, November 8th through the 10th, November 15th through the 17th and November 22nd through the 24th.

The 7 Train will be Unavailable on Five Weekend This Fall [Court Square Blog]
All 7 Train coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Flickr

10/20/14 3:00pm

queens-boulevard-development-elmhurst

Behold, the new 69-unit, 11-story development slated for 70-32 Queens Boulevard, between 70th and 72nd Streets in Elmhurst. New York YIMBY snagged the rendering, which is designed by the architect Michael Kang. According to YIMBY, “It will include about 55,000 square feet of residential space, with all apartments around 800 square feet in size. In most of the city this would mean rentals, but these will simply be small condos, as is common in New York’s Chinese neighborhoods.”

The development will also include 5,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a very small community facility, and a parking garage. The dense development is due to a 2006 rezoning that allowed for taller apartment buildings with ground-floor retail on Queens Boulevard between 50th and 73rd Streets. Construction on this one should last about a year.

Revealed: 70-32 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst [New York YIMBY] GMAP

10/20/14 2:00pm

red-pipe-cafe-forest-hills

Forest Hills, you’re officially on the NYC hipster map! Edge of the City reports that the neighborhood’s got its first indie, organic coffee shop. It’s called Red Pipe Cafe and it’s located at 71-60 Austin Street, the former Stoa Jewelry store. The space is open from 7 am to 10 pm and serves coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts — everything is organic. There’s a decent amount of seating, and Edge of the City says the baristas make a mean cappuccino. Seems like a no brainer that a spot like this will do well along Austin Street.

Forest Hills Gets an Indie Coffee Shop [Edge of the City] GMAP

Photo via Red Pipe Cafe

10/20/14 1:00pm

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He can pretty much do it all: show tunes, country, blues, jazz, R&B, traditional pop, soul, disco, even Christmas music. And he pretty much has done it all. Since his first song, “Wonderful, Wonderful” in 1957,” Johnny Mathis has had at least one hit single in each following decade, while selling more than 350 million albums and receiving four Grammy nominations. This Sunday, he takes his act to the Colden Auditorium in Flushing for a night of romance, easy listening, and pop standards.

Details: Johnny Mathis in ConcertColden Auditorium at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 26th, 7 pm, $35-$115.

10/20/14 12:00pm

21612-48th-avenue

Calling old home lovers! We found this house in Bayside Hills through Old Homes Queens. It’s a single family with three beds and three baths that’s just oozing with potential. The interior’s decked out with lots of gorgeous wood detailing, fireplaces and exposed ceiling beams. But it’s still going to need some work; areas like the kitchen and bedrooms look downright outdated. This could be a real stunner with a little TLC. The asking price comes in at $888,000.

216-12 48th Avenue [Zillow] GMAP

10/20/14 11:00am

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Today we’re republishing one of Mitch’s older Q’Stoner posts, and it includes a Queens ghost story from 1884.

The father of modern Greenpoint was a Yankee engineer named Neziah Bliss. In addition to his efforts in Brooklyn, he set about the creation of a somewhat utopian laborers community in Queens with his partner, Eliaphet Nott of Union College. Eponymous, the village of Blissville didn’t quite end up being a utopia, instead it ended up hosting fat renderers, rail yards, and after 1848 — Calvary Cemetery.

Irish laborers followed the jobs here, and the reputation of Blissville suffered from the anti-Catholic and anti-Hibernian prejudices typically found in the society of 19th century New York City. This was before Tammany took over, when NYC was still very much an anglophile, Protestant town which did not subscribe to our modern notions of diversity and racial equality.

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Blissville’s natural extant is defined by the infamous Newtown Creek and that’s where today’s “Queensylvanian Ghost Story” comes from.

(more…)

10/20/14 10:00am

alma-realty-protest

This morning, City Council will hold a hearing for Alma Realty to propose the mega development known as Astoria Cove — the Queens development that gets more controversial by the day. The main point of contention, as previously reported, is affordable housing, but electeds and tenant organizers protested something new yesterday at City Hall: Alma Realty’s track record in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As the New York Times reports, Alma plans to de-regulate around 700 rental units it owns in the neighborhood. According to the Times, protesters “urged the City Council not to approve the Astoria Cove project unless Alma Realty rolls back the rent increases in Crown Heights and addresses concerns about its plans in Queens.” There were also charges of the developer’s history underpaying black and Hispanic construction workers, while labor leaders called for union labor to build out the development.

And here’s an interesting tidbit from the Times: “In a neighborhood [Crown Heights] where affordable housing fights usually center on longtime minority residents, many of the Jewish Hospital tenants are white professionals who moved into the neighborhood only recently — a sign of how Brooklyn’s rapidly accelerating gentrification is pushing out even the gentrifiers.”

It’s unclear what will happen today at the City Council hearing, but it’ll likely be packed with protesters. The Community Board and Borough President both denied the building plans, but the City Planning Commission approved it in September. As it stands, the 1,723-unit development will hold 20 percent affordable units.

Protesters Link a Queens Project to Brooklyn Rents [NY Times]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Build Up NYC’s Twitter

10/20/14 9:00am

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The quarterly tracking of the price per foot of all closed sales in LIC

Modern Spaces released its third quarter market report, which now tracks commercial real estate too. The numbers show that price per buildable square foot in Long Island City hit $300 this past quarter — “shattering records,” according to Modern Spaces. As the CEO Eric Benaim says, “The properties that are being acquired at those price points will most likely all be condos as they don’t make financial sense as a rental product with that high of a land base. But as condo prices rise in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, it’s naturally going to drive the buyer who is getting priced out of the areas to Long Island City or Queens as a whole.” The trend, however, is not expected to continue — Modern Spaces predicts land prices will level out around $225-$250 per buildable square foot.

Land prices in Astoria doubled over the past year, with some properties eclipsing $200 per buildable square food. The average is still under $200 but is expected to rise. Modern Spaces also checked the numbers on the now-desolate (but not for long) area of Hallets Cove, which is the future home of the Astoria Cove and Hallet’s Point developments. According to Benaim, “We have already seen numerous trades above $100 per buildable square foot and have recently signed a contract for a site worth just over $140 per buildable square foot, further evidence of the rising land costs in this market.”

As for already-built condos in LIC, the average just broke $1,000 per-square-foot and it’s expected to rise. Developers are starting to build out larger units for families, which means the neighborhood is commanding higher prices. Moving to Astoria, condos have reached up to $900-square-feet, but the lack of new development in the neighborhood keeps the average lower. As for rentals, the average price per foot of luxury rentals in LIC is $3,799; for a walk-up it’s $2,440. (The report shows that the LIC rental market is stabilizing due to many new projects on the market this year.) The average price per foot overall for an Astoria rental is $43 (a record for the area) with an average price of $2,572.

10/20/14 8:30am

monday

College Point Residents Protest Construction Companies’ Street Intrusion [NY1]
Battered Bulkheads and Seawall Spell Danger for Rockaway Residents [NY Daily News]
Woman Starts Coalition to Bring Artists Together in Ridgewood [Queens Courier]
Participatory Budgeting Spreads to Additional Council Districts [Times Ledger]
The Influx of Real Estate Firms Upsets the Long-Time Brokers [Astoria Post]
Sunnyside Restaurant Week Kicks off Monday [Sunnyside Post]
A High Line in Queens? No, Thanks, Some Say [NY City Lens]

10/17/14 4:00pm

cunningham-park

This Saturday, October 18th the Parks Department, City Parks Foundation, Partnerships for Parks and TD Bank is hosting a fall “It’s My Park!” event. It’s an opportunity for New Yorkers to volunteer at their local parks across the five boroughs — over 5,000 volunteers are anticipated to help clean, paint, weed and plant. Residents in Queens have plenty of opportunities to participate. Volunteer events are taking place at Cunningham Park (pictured), MacDonald Park, Russell Sage Playground, Juniper Valley Park, Travers Park, Queensbridge Park, Detective Keith L. Williams Park, Idlewild Park, Redfern Playground, Sherry Park and Hoover Playground. Just click on the link for more details. The day begins at 11 am.

Photo by NYC Parks