08/11/14 4:00pm

CMPool

Last one in is a rotten egg! The Courtyard New York LaGuardia Airport by Marriott has just revamped its backyard patio, and now the East Elmhurst hotel is going to celebrate with a pool party. There’s just one rule: all are invited. (more…)

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Community opposition rages on in regards to homeless shelters opening around Queens, despite the fact that Queens does not have that many homeless shelters. First off, Queens Courier reports that 200 residents showed up to a public hearing regarding the homeless shelter at the former Westway Motel on Astoria Boulevard. During the two hour meeting, according to the Courier, residents “raised concerns over community safety, overcrowding of schools, increase in property taxes, environmental studies of the area and crime.” They also expressed outrage that the Department of Homeless Services did not inform them about opening the shelter ahead of time. A member of the United Committee Civic Association stated, “It was a deliberate, furtive and covert operation reeking of disrespect of our local elected officials, community leaders and the community at large.” Reps at the DHS countered that they entered crisis mode in June due to a lack of capacity and a growing need for shelter, forcing them to find last-minute housing.

Another homeless shelter proposed for the Rockaways has residents up in arms. The Wave posted on its Facebook account a letter from the DHS outlining a “7-Day Community Notification Protocol for Emergency Shelter Siting.” The letter essentially outlines the plan for moving homeless families into the building. One elected official told The Wave, “This administration is going to do what it wants to do, whenever it wants to do it, and the people be damned.”

westway-motor-inn-homless-shelter

The borough of Queens has seen its share of homeless shelter controversies as of late. Now here’s another. On Monday, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Councilman Costa Constantinides, New York State Senator Jose Peralta, and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas wrote to the commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services concerning recent developments at the Westway Motor Inn at 71-11 Astoria Boulevard, on the border of Astoria and East Elmhurst. Earlier this month, the DHS approved the conversion of the Westway Motor Inn into a permanent shelter for over 100 homeless families, effective immediately. The shelter is now operated by the social services provider Woman In Need. Local pols and residents are most upset that no one in the community was notified or consulted beforehand by DHS. (Picking up on a trend here?) As the letter to DHS stated, “While we appreciate that DHS is legally required to provide shelter for the homeless, the agency’s failure to provide any notification to the people currently living in the area who are impacted by its implementation is unacceptable.”

This isn’t the first time DHS proposed a homeless shelter for this location. Back in 2012, the Daily News published a story on community opposition to opening a full-time shelter here. (At the time, the hotel housed homeless families in need of emergency housing overnight.) The DHS shelved the plan after overwhelming community opposition.

Photo via Google Maps

06/13/14 4:00pm

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This Saturday, you’re going to wish you were still a kid — it’s the annual Flushing Meadows Soap Box Derby. Kids ages 7 to 17 will compete, and all the cars were assembled by the kids and their parents in the weeks leading up to the race. According to the Times Ledger, “Most competitors use the fiberglass car bodies and components owned by the soap box derby group, although a few buy and build kits of their own.” Each race, held at 23rd Avenue and 94th Street in East Elmhurst, will have two heats in which two cars race for the best time. Races last from 10 am to 5pm. The final winners will represent NYC in the National All-American Race in Akron, Ohio next month.

Kids rev up for Flushing Meadows Soap Box Derby [Times Ledger]

Photo via Facebook

06/06/14 10:00am

112-12 ASTORIA BOULEVARD

A sale just hit public records for three parcels — from 112-12 to 112-24 Astoria Boulevard — on the corner of 112th Place. The location is just south of Grand Central Parkway, and west of Citi Field and Willets Point. The lots sold to “LGA Hospitality,” a company based in Flushing, for $5,610,000.

This Department of Buildings application shows that the previous owners wanted to build a huge hotel at the site — 48,423 square feet, six stories and 126 units. The DOB disapproved those hotel plans in January of 2013, but it seems like the new owners are trying again. The DOB issued a permit to the new owners to install a construction fence in conjunction with the new hotel building plans. However, the DOB has yet to issue new building permits for the hotel so don’t expect construction just yet. According to PropertyShark, all three lots ecompass 16,527 square feet. GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

87-10-Northern-Boulevard-rendering

The commercial structure now under construction on Northern Boulevard between 87th and 88th Streets is getting a Denny’s, alongside other chain restaurants. Queens Courier reports that this’ll be the third Denny’s Restaurant in NYC and the very first in Queens. (The first Denny’s chain will open in downtown Manhattan later this summer.) Other tenants slated to move into the 40,000-square-foot space include Red Mango, Dunkin’ Donuts, a Children of America Day Care and medical offices.

It’s unclear when construction will actually finish and the tenants will start moving in. Here’s what the construction site looked like the other week — there’s still a ways to go.

First Queens Denny’s Opening in Jackson Heights [Queens Courier]
Construction Progress Spotted at Commercial Development on Northern Boulevard [Q'Stoner] GMAP

87-10 Northern Boulevard-retail

There were construction workers out at 87-10 Northern Boulevard, the hulking construction project between 87th and 88th Streets. According to this website, this will someday be “The Shops at Northern Boulevard,” a 40,000-square-foot retail space with underground parking. It’s not designed for a single tenant; rather, it will hold a variety of smaller retail spaces. No word on when construction will wrap. A sign on the construction fence says work was scheduled to finish in the spring of 2013, so it’s been incredibly delayed.

Click through for one more construction shot, as well as a rendering of the final product. GMAP

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05/09/14 10:00am

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Earlier this week the owners of Addictive Boutique Winery, located at 32-62 87th Street East Elmhurst, showed us around their newly expanded shop. Owners Francisco Diaz and Patrick Duong decided to expand into the clothing boutique next door — which they also owned — after the success of the wine shop with nearby Jackson Heights residents. So they nearly doubled their space, and added to their collection of wine from about 130 to 400 bottles. (Wines come from all around the world and are priced between $8.99 and $260.) The new space will allow them to bring in larger crowds for wine tastings, which they host every Friday and Saturday.

The grand opening party for the expanded store is Saturday, May 17th at 6 pm. Expect wine samples, snacks and live music. Click through for tons of photos of the store, as well as more details on the renovation. GMAP

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02/27/14 2:00pm

Cannelle Patisserie-expanding-long-island-city

Jackson Heights Herald posted the above photo to its Twitter account — the very popular Cannelle Patisserie, located at 75-59 31st Avenue in East Elmhurst, is expanding to LIC! The new location, as you can see above, is 5-11 47th Avenue, which is the ground floor of the Maximilian rental building off of 5th Street. The opening date is slated for late spring.

The New York Times profiled the French bakery and its diverse clientele back in 2012. The spot sells pastries, cakes, tarts, quiches, sandwiches and breakfast options to rave reviews.

Photo via Twitter