Next Thursday, Janurary 15th, the Department of Homeless Services is holding a public hearing in regards to making the Westway Motor Inn a permanent homeless shelter for 121 families. Over the summer, the DHS received a six-month contract to use the hotel as a shelter, angering pols and residents who were not previously notified or consulted about the decision. Now, Astoria Post reports, the city needs to “approve the Westway ‘contract’ before it becomes a permanent facility,” meaning that a public hearing is in order.
The shelter is located at 71-11 Astoria Boulevard, on the border of Astoria and East Elmhurst. The public hearing will actually be held in Manhattan, at 125 Worth Street at 10 am. (Following the hearing, the Comptroller will review the contract and make a final decision.) A public hearing back in July raised concerns over community safety, school overcrowding, increase in property taxes and crime.
Photo via Google Maps
There’s a little parcel of a neighborhood east of Astoria and north of Jackson Heights, east of the bail bonds offices of Hazen Street, north of the whizzing Grand Central Parkway and west of LaGuardia Airport’s expanse, containing a couple of surprising artifacts. Stop for lunch at the chrome-plated Airline Diner, built in 1952, at Astoria Boulevard and 70th Street where a scene from Goodfellas was filmed, make your way up Hazen, where buses enroute to Rikers Island roll past, detour a little down 77th Street; east on 19th Road brings you to one of Queens’ oldest homes.
This brick Colonial caught our eye, not just because of its stately presence but also for its asking price. The home is located at 105-05 Ditmars Boulevard, in East Elmhurst way out by LaGuardia Airport. While we do love the exterior, there are no photos of the interior, or even details on what kind of shape the property is in. All we know is that it’s an 8,800-square-foot lot and the price tag is $1,699,999. That seems crazy, crazy high to us, even if the interior is in good shape. The zoning doesn’t allow for dense development here, so it’s not an investment property either. Who knows what the brokers were thinking.
Tomorrow, the Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead will open up for public tours. Dutch settler Abraham Riker built the home in 1665, at 78-03 19th Road in East Elmhurst. The current owners began restoring the property in 1980, and started offering the occasional tour of what is the oldest private residence in the borough. (The title of the oldest home in Queens actually belongs to the Bowne House in Flushing.)
DNAinfo reports that the tour will offer a rare glimpse of the Riker burial ground in the backyard — it houses the remains of 132 family descendants of the property. Guests will also see restorations inside the home and the surrounding gardens. (Check out photos of the property at the official website.) The tour begins at 3 pm, and RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org are encouraged. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the door.
Photo via the Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead