10/31/14 3:00pm


The developers GDC Properties are planning a townhouse development at 11-22 45th Road (between 11th and 21st Streets), now an industrial warehouse they just purchased for $37,000,000. Demolition permits are already in place, and Commercial Observer reports that the new development should take 18 months to complete. No details on the design, number of townhouses, or potential prices. We’re actually very curious to see the asking price for a new townhouse in LIC, given that older townhouses can go for more than $1,000,000.

GDC is known for this large-scale conversion of a Dumbo warehouse some years ago.

GDC Properties Plans Townhouses for LIC Industrial Sites [Commercial Observer]
Demolition, Likely Development for 45th Road Site in Long Island City [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

10/30/14 3:00pm

41-25 23RD STREET

41-25 23rd Street, the dinky three-family property pictured above, just hit public records for $1,875,000. Yes, $1.875M. The reason? For one, it’s located right off of Queens Plaza North and the Queensboro Plaza subway station. And according to PropertyShark, zoning allows for a building five times the current size. The new owners have not filed any permits with the Department of Building yet, but this modest house will probably get torn down in no time. GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

10/30/14 10:00am


When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.

It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.

More after the jump… (more…)

10/30/14 9:00am


In honor of the upcoming New York City Marathon, Streeteasy put together this fun infographic on the fastest- and slowest-selling neighborhoods along the marathon route. Long Island City won, with condo, co-op, townhouse and single-family properties spending a median of 19 days on the market. (That’s it??) The median sales price in LIC is $607,500. The other neighborhoods making up the top five are all in Brooklyn, landing a median of 35 days on the market or less: Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Clinton Hill and Williamsburg. One slow-selling neighborhood in Queens noted by Streeteasy is Hunters Point, where properties spend a median of 75 days on the market.

Here’s a note from Streeteasy regarding the methodology: “StreetEasy tracked median sale prices for properties within two blocks of each side of the New York City Marathon route that were sold in 2014 (through Oct. 21) and median days on market for properties that entered into contract in 2014 (through Oct. 21).” They refer to LIC as the “dark-horse winner.”


Very popular East Elmhurst bakery Cannelle Patisserie is now serving in Long Island City. Chopsticks + Marrow writes that the LIC outpost opened late last week at 5-11 47th Avenue, between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard — the bakery owners actually live right across the street. They tell Chopsticks + Marrow that the items for sale will be a little more seasonal than the selection in East Elmhurst. (Hello, pumpkin pie!) Of course, you can still expect croissants, the praline cream-filled Paris-Brest, cakes, tarts, quiches, sandwiches and an excellent coffee selection.

The bakery announced its plans of expansion back in February.

Cannelle Patisserie Now Open in Long Island City [Chopsticks + Marrow]
East Elmhurst’s Cannelle Patisserie is Expanding to Long Island City [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo by Chopsticks + Marrow

10/28/14 1:30pm


This just in: the Department of Transportation announced a Citi Bike expansion to Long Island City, Queensbridge and Astoria by the end of 2015. (Other neighborhoods include Bed Stuy, Greenpoint, Crown Heights and Park Slope.) The announcement isn’t a total surprise, but the timeline is new. It’s also too bad that Sunnyside was left out, as the neighborhood was expected to be included in the initial Queens rollout. No word yet on the number of stations or where they will be located, but feel free to start suggesting locations. Stay tuned for more details… UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the program will expand to 12,000 bikes at more than 700 stations. Prices for an annual membership will rise almost 60 percent from $95 to $149.

Photo via the DOT’s Instagram


NY1 filed a video report on how rising commercial rents are changing the landscape of Long Island City. Communitea (pictured above), located in the neighborhood for ten years, recently closed after the owners and landlord couldn’t negotiate a lease. New City Kitchen Express is moving out after seven years in business after the landlord raised the rent by $3,000 a month. (The business is not sure if it will be able to afford relocation.) NY1 speaks with Modern Spaces’ Eric Benaim, who says the housing boom is contributing to the rising commercial rents — no shock there. According to him, commercial leases have nearly doubled in the past 10 years.

Small Businesses Face Rising Rents in LIC [NY1]

Photo via Facebook

10/28/14 9:00am

Two Long Island City residents have proposed landmarking the Long Island City Clocktower, located at 29-27 Queens Plaza North. DNAinfo reports that Matthew Chrislip and Michael Hall recently presented to Community Board 1 seeking support of a possible designation and the board voted to support the campaign. They also sent a building evaluation request to the Landmarks Preservation Commission last spring, and the LPC has begun the reviewing process. Now, Chrislip and Hall are encouraging others to send in letters of support to the LPC. Architect Morrell Smith designed the Clock Tower; he is also responsible for the landmarked Beaux Arts Jamaica Savings Bank.

It truly seems like a no brainer to designate the Clock Tower a landmark — it’s iconic, of architectural merit, and located in a neighborhood where rapid development threatens older buildings. The LPC has been known to ignore landmark-worthy buildings in Queens before; we sincerely hope that’s not the case this time around. The Criterion Group is the current owner of the building after purchasing it for $15,000,000 in May. The owners have not said what they plan for the structure.

Locals Look to Landmark Clock Tower Building in Queens Plaza [DNAinfo]
All LIC Clock Tower coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Clock Tower LIC

10/27/14 11:00am


Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the roof deck at the Pearson LIC, some 16 stories above Court Square here in Long Island City. The views from this spot are unparalleled, as it’s location next to the Sunnyside Yards allows for a seamless view of the horizon in any direction. I’ve gotten high in Long Island City before, by the way, last time it was with Melinda Katz.

As is my habit when presented with such vistas, I decided to shoot “stitched panorama” components. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a “photoshop thing” which allows one to combine multiple images into singular wide angle ones. The odd shape of the frames in these shots is caused by me twisting about while trying to maintain the horizon level. Clicking on any of the shots in today’s post will take you out to my Flickr page, where progressively larger iterations of them can be accessed, all the way up to the originals, which might be as large as two to three feet across.

Center frame in this one is the mouth of Newtown Creek and the Freedom tower.

More after the jump… (more…)


Two weeks after the city released applications for the 924 affordable apartment units at Hunters Point South, approximately 25,000 people already applied. The New York Observer spoke with Council Member Van Bramer, who expects close to 100,000 applications in by December 15th, when the application window closes.

Being an article about the obvious need for affordable housing, there’s also a mention of the affordable housing battle now happening at Astoria Cove. The City Council is working with developers Alma Realty to boost their proposal of 20 percent affordable units. Currently, an “affordable” one bedroom at Astoria Cove could cost up to $2,700 — at Hunters Point South prices for a studio to three bedroom range from $1,561 to $4,346 for the moderate income bracket and $494 to $959 for the low income bracket.

Hunter’s Point Affordable Housing Lottery Draws 25,000+ Applications In First Week [Observer]
All Hunters Point South coverage [Q'Stoner]