12/12/14 10:00am

pulaski-bridge-bike-lane

Bad news for all Pulaski Bridge bikers and pedestrians: those bike lanes are going to take awhile. The Department of Transportation originally planned to finish the project, which will convert one southbound car lane on the bridge into a protected bike lane, by this year. Then it got pushed back to the spring of 2015. Now Streetsblog is reporting that the DOT may not finish construction until the end of 2015. There are two big reasons for the delays: the impending work on the Pulaski is tied to other bridge work in the city, and the drawbridge complicated the design. The cost of the redesign has also risen from $3,460,000 to $4,200,000.

Some good news is that the DOT signed a construction contract and finalized a design — check it out here. At the Queens entryway, there will be new markings and signage near the bike path entrance at Jackson Avenue, as well as more space for bicyclists to get onto and off the protected lane.

Pulaski Bridge Bike Path Now Scheduled to Open by End of 2015 [Streetsblog]
All Pulaski Bridge coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering via the DOT

12/12/14 9:00am

elm-west-elmhurst-queens

Here it is, Elm West, the new development slated for 85-15 Queens Boulevard right across the street from rental development East Elm. YIMBY first spotted the rendering for the proposed 130-unit apartment building. It’ll come with a whopping 50,000 square feet of retail space, with some extra community space. There’s no word on the construction timeline yet — the Department of Buildings hasn’t issued new building permits.

Elm West is by the same Flushing-based developer as East Elm, Pi Capital Partners. Pi saw quite a bit of demand at East Elm, which has 83 rental units, and our guess is that this development will also do well. The design, at the very least, looks very similar, with the exception of the corner balconies planned for Elm West. We guess that’ll afford a great view of Queens Boulevard…

Revealed: Elm West at 85-15 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst [YIMBY] GMAP

Rendering via Pi Capital Partners

12/11/14 11:00am

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The Loose Wiles “thousand windows” Bakery on Thomson Avenue, which serves modernity as Building C of the LaGuardia Community College campus, is about to receive a face lift. It’s an important structure, and not just because it was the largest factory building under one roof in the entire United States when it was built in 1913 as the centerpiece of the Degnon Terminal. The erection of the building at the start of the 20th century signaled the beginning of an age of large scale manufacturing in Western Queens, and when the Loose Wiles “Sunshine Biscuits” signage came down in the 1980′s – it heralded the end of that era. The IDCNY signage which replaced it in the 1980′s represents the moment when LIC began to transform into its current incarnation – carefully guided by Urban Planners – a process which saw the Citi building rise in the early 1990′s, followed by the residential towers which continue to propagate between the East River and Queens Plaza.

LaGuardia Community College is in the early stages of a facelift for the century old building, which will alter its appearance and once again change the signage adorning it. It’s the end of the fourth age of LIC, and the beginning of something new.

More after the jump… (more…)

12/10/14 9:00am

ridgewood-central-historic-district

Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the designation of the Central Ridgewood Historic District. The district spans 40 blocks of the neighborhood and covers 990 buildings — more than three times the total number of buildings in already-landmarked districts of Ridgewood. The district mostly consists of brick rowhouses built in the early 1900s, and includes the streetscapes of 69th Avenue, Madison Street, Catalpa Avenue (above), and the Meyerrose House at 66-75 Forest Avenue. Prominent architects featured in the area are Louis Berger (the architect of record for over 5,000 buildings in the Ridgewood-Bushwick area) and Paul Stier (who built about half of the houses in the Central Ridgewood Historic District). This district is, according to the LPC, “One of the most harmonious and architecturally-distinguished enclaves of working-class dwellings built in New York City during the early twentieth century.” Here are more details from the LPC:

The detailing of the buildings is mainly in the Renaissance Revival Style, often mixed with elements from other styles, such as Romanesque Revival and neo-Grec. Many of the buildings’ original brownstone stoops, cut-glass and wood doors, and iron fences, railings and gates remain intact, as do most of the pressed-metal cornices. Representing a cohesive collection of speculative urban architecture, the row houses in the Central Ridgewood Historic District retain a high level of architectural integrity and represent an important part of housing development in New York City.

This is the third historic district for Ridgewood, and the 11th for Queens. Check out two more photos of buildings in the district after the jump.

All Central Ridgewood Historic District coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photos via the LPC (more…)

12/09/14 2:00pm

end-of-the-century-bar-forest-hills

First an indie coffee shop, now a “tiki bar–cum–cocktail club” for Forest Hills. Edge of the City pointed us to this Time Out article published in late November about End of the Century Bar, now open at 104-08 Metropolitan Avenue between 71st Drive and 72nd Avenue. It is the work of bartenders who have done stints at Pegu Club, PKNY and Maison Premiere. Here, they came up with a menu of classic cocktails with some twists — scorpion bowls, moscow mules, a rum-absinthe-lime punch, and more. And the decor sounds cool, too: “Inspired by the trio’s own homes, the walls are dotted with Indonesian masks, maracas from Cuba, vintage Russian cameras and linens from Japan,” says Time Out.

Anybody checked this place out yet?

Tiki Bar–Cum–Cocktail Club End of the Century Bar Hits Forest Hills [Time Out] GMAP

Photo by Filip Wolak via Time Out

12/09/14 11:00am

Quiet, suburban Rosedale is clustered along the Queens-Nassau County border, between Laurelton in the west and Valley Stream and Woodmere in the east. When visiting the area a couple of years ago, I was struck not by its architecture, which is mostly 50s and 60s suburban sprawl; I was more impressed with its resemblance to neighboring Nassau. It seems to be a part of Queens only by political considerations.

Till 1898, when New York City expanded to five boroughs, Queens and Nassau were one (very) large county. As you move along the Queens-Nassau border, you can see places where they might as well have never separated.

It’s also a place where some of Long Island’s longest roads begin and end….

rosedale.map

(more…)

12/08/14 11:00am

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Urban planners call it “wayfinding.” Wayfinding is a bit of an art, by which pedestrians or vehicles can be intuitively guided through city streets or transportation hubs. A good example of bad wayfinding would be Manhattan’s Penn Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal, both of which assume that visitors will be familiar with their idiosyncratic floor plans. Pictured in today’s post are the street instructions governing bicycle and motor vehicle lanes at the corner of 39th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, found on the southern extent of the truss bridge that overflies the Sunnyside Yards.

As my grandmother might have said – “Oy Gevalt.”

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(more…)

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-closing

The neighborhood fixture Sunnyside Center Cinemas is shuttering on January 4th, reports Sunnyside Post. The owner, Broadway Stages, John Ciafone’s 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp., bought the property in 2012 for $6,650,000. Now their plan is to lease 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer to build out a residential development. According to Sunnyside Post, “The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights.” The ground-floor retail space would remain but would be completely refurbished. And next door, the bar PJ Horgan’s (also a tenant of 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp.) will stay open.

The Sunnyside Center Cinemas remained amazingly affordable throughout the years ($5 for children and senior tickets, $7.50 for adults) and the owner, Rudy Prashad, was negotiating a 20-year lease for the building before it sold. He told Sunnyside Post that “he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves.” What a bummer to say goodbye. UPDATE: The owner of the Sunnyside Center Cinemas is 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp., not Broadway Stages. The post has been updated.

Sunnyside’s Movie Theater to Close Next Month [Sunnyside Post]

Photo by Sunnyside Post

12/05/14 2:00pm

the-monk-ridgewood

Soon after the cocktail bar Onderdonk & Sons opened on Onderdonk Avenue, we got word of a Belgian beer bar slated to open on Fresh Pond Road. Called The Monk, the bar specializes primarily in Belgian beers and will have a strict “no TV” policy. According to Bedford and Bowery, “The name of the bar is an homage to the Trappist Monks who famously brew their own beer, considered among the best in the world.” There will be eight rotating beers on tap, a unique selection of bottled beers, and a backyard to drink in when the weather’s warm.

The grand opening is tomorrow, Saturday, from 5 pm to 2 am. Regular hours will be Monday through Thursday, 5 pm to midnight, Friday from 5 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 2 pm to 2 am, and Sunday from 2 pm to midnight. The Monk is located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Road, just north of Myrtle Avenue. GMAP

12/05/14 9:00am

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Great news to start your Friday: the Landmarks Preservation Commission withdrew its plan to “decalendar” 94 historic properties and two historic districts throughout New York City. Eight of those sites were in Queens, and included the Pepsi Cola sign in LIC, an extension to the Douglaston Historic District, the Old Calvary Cemetery Gatehouse, the Bowne Street Community Church in Flushing and the Spanish Towers and Fairway Apartments in Jackson Heights.

(Calendaring means that the LPC plans to take a designation vote on a structure or historic district; if something is calendared it usually means it’s on track to becoming a landmark.) The LPC wanted to clear its backlog of items on the calendar since 2010 or earlier, but the decision elicited lots of outrage and controversy for the lack of public input.

The New York Times spoke with LPC Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan on the matter: “In withdrawing the proposal, she said she wanted to provide more time for people to speak up for certain properties while making clear all would be dealt with sooner rather than later.”

Landmarks Panel Drops Proposal to Trim List [NY Times]
The LPC Looks to Decalendar Eight Queens Sites [Q'Stoner]