03/05/15 3:00pm


Today Ariel Property Advisors announced the sale of two properties in Astoria and Jamaica for a total of $4.8 million. Let’s start with Astoria first, since the neighborhood has quite a lot of development to keep track of. The property in question is located at 14-23 Broadway, between 14th Street and 21st Street. The 25 by 136-foot vacant lot sold for $1.95 million, and Ariel reports that the buyer plans to build residential. Going over old DOB documents, it looks like they are trying to work off of old plans to build an eight-story, 15-unit development that previously fell through.

Moving on to Jamaica, 175-42 Hillside Avenue between Edgerton Boulevard and 175th Street sold for $2.85 million. A massive development could rise at this site, which now holds a 2,054-square-foot KFC outpost. The 100 by 100-foot lot offers a grand total of 40,000 buildable square feet.

03/05/15 9:00am


Almost two years after Uncle George’s Greek Tavern closed in Astoria after it was unable to pay its back rent, a new building is rising in its place. Queens Gazette published the above rendering of a mixed-use building with 1,910 square feet of commercial space and five apartments above. (There will be a penthouse unit on the fourth floor.) The architect is Gerald Caliendo. According to Queens Beans demolition at the site started up in late February. Construction should last a year.

Queens Gazette also has big news on the Astoria C-Town at 29-10 Broadway. The grocery store will be closing so the owners can build out a five-story, 60,000-square-foot development with 64 apartments, two ground floor retail spaces and underground parking. Six of the apartment units will include outdoor spaces. According to the Gazette, “Real estate sources said a brand new, expanded C-Town Supermarket would close its doors during construction and will reopen at the site as soon as possible.” There’s no timeline yet on those closure dates.

03/04/15 3:00pm


The large parcel at 8-25 Astoria Boulevard has sold, according to Queens Courier. The site isn’t in prime Astoria — actually, it’s not far from the Astoria Houses and the Astoria Cove and Hallets Point mega developments. The buyers, who paid $4.8 million, are likely looking at the sale as a very nice investment. Modern Spaces negotiated the sale of the site, representing both the seller and the buyer.

The lot allows for 33,751 buildable square feet and the Courier is reporting that this will be a residential building. (No more clues offered by the Department of Buildings, sadly.) No word on when construction is expected to kick off, either.

Astoria Boulevard Development Site Sold, Will Become New Residential Building [Queens Courier] GMAP

Map via Modern Spaces

03/04/15 2:00pm


Astoria pizza lovers, time to get excited. Popular NYC pizza joint Artichoke Basille is officially opening tomorrow at 22-56 31st Street, between 23rd and Ditmars avenues. We Heart Astoria reported that a soft opening was held yesterday before the big day.

Artichoke, which is known for its humongous, gooey and delicious artichoke slice, will be open seven days a week from 11 am to 2 am.

Astoria Arrivals – Artichoke Basille Opens Today! [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

Photo via Instagram


Crain’s published an article highlighting the residents of the Astoria Houses — located right next door to both the Astoria Cove and Hallets Point mega developments — and their hope that these two projects will provide jobs. As the President of the Astoria Houses Residents Association (who approved both developments) told Crain’s, “The main issue [for us] is basically employment opportunities.”

In the public approval process for Hallets Point, there were no agreements made about jobs. Astoria Cove developers, however, set a goal to fill half the jobs with people in the local community district. Their goal is to hire local residents for 30 percent of the construction jobs, but a lengthy apprenticeship through the union is required before hiring. As Crain’s puts it: “That means that any resident hoping to join up and work on Astoria Cove will have to try to enter the unions through the usual channels, and thus will face competition from around the city for one of the coveted spots, which could be on one of many construction sites.”

There’s also doubt if Alma Realty is actually going to go through with developing Astoria Cove, or if they’d try to sell the development for a nice profit. In that case, their written agreements concerning hiring would not carry over to the buyer. Alma, however, is still planning to break ground this year.

Towers Are Coming to Astoria, Queens, But Will Jobs? [Crain's]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]
All Hallets Point coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/02/15 4:00pm


We Heart Astoria is kicking off its annual “Best of” awards for 2015, and they are now seeking reader nominations. So head right this way to submit your nominations for favorite restaurant, brunch, bar, Greek, bakery, gym, burger, pizzeria, boutique and more. There are 20 categories in total. We Heart Astoria will keep the list open until Monday, March 9th.

The finalists will be announced on Friday, March 13th, and then there will be a celebration for the winner at the blog’s Best of Astoria 2015 Anniversary Bash.

Nominate the Best of Astoria 2015 [We Heart Astoria]

03/02/15 11:00am


Yesterday’s storm was officially the moment at which I, for one, have had it with this never ending winter. As my ennui is tantamount to becoming that proverbial monkey shaking a fist at the moon, the only reaction I can offer is that I need to see some bright, saturated color right now or I just might bury myself in the snow and disappear. Accordingly, in today’s post, “Scenes from Queens,” all of which were captured during warmer times.

More after the jump… (more…)

02/27/15 2:00pm


The large, detached single family at 25-39 41st Street (between 25th and 28th avenues) just sold for its asking price: $1.7 million. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home comes on a 6,000-square-foot lot. Although the house looks to be in good shape, we can’t say we’re bowled over by the interior. The listing also promises a “big yard with plenty of parking space: 3 indoor & 4 outdoor.” Man, who needs that many places to park your car?

This Douglas Elliman listing shows the ask at $1.7 million, Streeteasy shows that the property first hit the market roughly four months ago for $1,850,000. The new owner has already put the entire property up for rent — it’s asking $8,500 a month. GMAP

02/27/15 10:00am


This Monday, Queens Community Board 1′s Transportation Committee voted to support safety improvements proposed for two miles of 21st Street between the Queensboro Bridge and Triboro Bridge. But many local pols and Astoria residents don’t think the plan measures up, according to Streetsblog. The current proposal includes LED lights to increase nighttime visibility, 12 painted curb extensions, new, high-visibility zebra markings to existing crosswalks as well as a new stripe along the curbside parking lane that should reduce speeding. There will also be a new traffic signal at 29th Avenue. At 10 intersections, the DOT has already increased the pedestrian countdown clock, giving peds a seven-second head start.

Pols think this makes for a good start, but that the changes aren’t significant enough for this dangerous thoroughfare. Councilmember Constantinides has previously called for Select Bus Service along 21st Street, and others are calling for a more comprehensive road diet. According to Streetsblog, “DOT says it studied a road diet but did not pursue it because of high traffic volumes, including during off-peak hours.”

DOT’s Safety Plan for 21st Street in Astoria Leaves Everyone Wanting More [Streetsblog]

02/26/15 11:00am


Back in 2013, I wrote a Q’Stoner post about Hallets Cove that offered “Two aboriginal realtors named Shawestcont and Erramorhar (as witnessed by their cohorts Warchan and Kethcanaparan) sold much of what we know as Astoria (but which they called Sintsinck) to William Hallett (who was similarly accompanied by a company of witnesses and countrymen) on August 1, 1664.”

The East River frontage — back then it was called the Sound River — which Hallet purchased had a huge waterbody intersecting with the shoreline from upland properties in what we would now call Ravenswood, and it was called Sunswick Creek.

According to the Greater Astoria Historical Society the name of the waterway can be explained as “A drained marsh near the foot of Broadway. Scholars believe it may come from an Indian word ‘Sunkisq’ meaning perhaps ‘Woman Chief’ or ‘Sachem’s Wife.’” For close to 250 years, Sunswick Creek was practically synonymous with this area of Queens, but what happened to it?

More after the jump… (more…)