Bacon…beer…baseball…be there! After taking rookie-of-the-year honors in 2014, the second annual Bacon and Beer Classic returns to Citi Field on April 25. Part of a traveling show hosted at Major League stadiums across the country (when the home team is away, of course), this Flushing feast will feature bacon-infused products from about 50 local restaurants and suds from local breweries, along with interactive games, cooking demos, and music. More details and a photo demonstrating the beauty of beer are on the jump page.
In the colonial era, mile markers were often placed along the main road to inform the traveler of how many miles there were to go to the nearest big town, or how far away you were from it. In NYC, the now-defunct Post Road in Manhattan, Kingsbridge Road in upper Manhattan (now a part of Broadway), Kings Highway in the town of New Utrecht (now Bensonhurst, Brooklyn), Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, and Ocean Parkway, built in the 1850s, all had such mile markers. Ocean Parkway, in fact, had half-mile markers, only one of which, the 3rd mile marker, is still in place.
Railroads, too, have mile markers. I have been riding the Port Washington Branch of the Long Island Rail Road regularly since 1992 and have noticed the occasional mile marker along the route. Recently, though, I nailed down where most of them were, though most are in spots to inaccessible to photograph without getting killed by a train or risking arrest. (more…)
Last month, Council Member Julissa Ferreras announced that an agreement was close to being reached to establish a Business Improvement District from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Roosevelt Avenue; now DNAinfo reports that an agreement was reached to allow more community input. Both Council Member Ferreras and the 82nd Street Partnership came up with a proposal that will better represent the small business owners who initially opposed the BID. A minimum of eight commercial and residential tenants will serve on the 25-member board, with representatives for both street vendors and the LGBTQ community. There will also be one youth board member. (Previously, only property owners were required to serve on the board.) Any BID decision will require the approval of 18 members.
There is, however, a group called Queens Neighborhoods United that still opposes the BID — last week the group delivered a petition with 200 signatures to City Hall. The BID isn’t officially established yet, as a final vote by property owners still needs to be taken.
Right on the heels of this rendering release for the new LaGuardia Convention Center, developers have announced that, well, they’re not building a convention center. Times Ledger reports that Fleet Financial Group has significantly scaled back its plans — it will no longer be a convention center, but rather a conference hotel. (The original plans called for 106,000 square feet that included a 25-story hotel, apartments and retail.) As one of the developers told the Ledger, “The reason we scaled down is because we are trying to take more consideration about the existing traffic conditions in the area.”
Fleet has not yet finalized the details or design of the hotel, which will be called The Eastern Emerald Hotel. The developers are now doing an environmental cleanup of the site and will then move on through a land use process. Guess we’ve got to say goodbye to those flashy renderings!
Last week, Council Member Julissa Ferreras delivered her State of the District address — the Council Member represents District 21 which covers Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights. There were a few major announcements, including the fate of the controversial Jackson Heights Business Improvement District, Willets Point updates, and a health care institution slated for Corona. We’ve broken down the biggies for you.
The last of the Willets Point auto shops are being relocated. Ferraras said that The Sunrise Auto Coop and Economic Development Corporation are now working towards finalizing a $5.8 million agreement to relocate Willets Points auto shops to a new work and business space in the Bronx.
And as part of the Willets Point deal Council Member Ferreras helped negotiated in 2013, there’s a new affordable housing development slated for Corona. The 67-unit rental building will be located 54-25 101st Street and will house low-income seniors. Amenities include a garden, community area and medical referral services, and there will be an early childhood development center on the ground floor. Construction should begin at the end of 2015 and is expected to last 18 months.
Jackson Heights BID
It looks like the controversial battle over establishing a Business Improvement District along 82nd Street is coming to an end. According to Ferreras, “Members of the community and the 82nd Street Partnership are near to reaching an agreement that will expand the Partnership from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Roosevelt Avenue.”
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The push to establish a Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance is also making headway. According to the Council Member, she “plans to hold the Mayor’s Office to its promise of establishing [the alliance] by spring.” An alliance would serve to protect the park’s historical significance and green space and establish more community programming.
Higher Education and Health Care Institution for Corona
The Councilwoman also spoke on a $10 million project with Queensborough Community College and Urban Health Plan to establish a 19,000-square-foot higher education and health care institution in Corona. The facility will provide space for training and clinical rotations, as well as affordable primary and specialty health care for the community.
Ferreras plans to fight for funding to upgrade the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital — right now there is a $11.1 million gap in the city’s budget to do so. Her goal is to secure funding for 10,000 square feet of new space for the hospital, which would double the number of treatment bays and include five additional isolation rooms.
It’s the most diverse county in the world and the best tourism destination in the United States, so it’s no surprise that Queens is overflowing with wonderful Valentine’s Day activities and bargains. In fact, local chances for romance and fun related to this international holiday are so numerous that they run for more than two weeks and include everything from live music to a “love run,” hotel getaways, and even a blood drive for the do-gooders. Another photo and many more details are on the jump page.
The long, vacant lot at 43-16 111th Street, on the corner of 45th Avenue, has sat empty for more than 20 years. Corona residents and the 596 Acres organization are trying to change that. 596 Acres reports that the Department of Transportation is willing to consider a request to transform the lot into community space. There will be a meeting on how to move forward next Tuesday, February 10th, 6:30 pm at Immigrant Movement International, 108-59 Roosevelt Avenue. (The meeting will be in both Spanish and English.) The goal is to have the space open to the community by the spring. GMAP
Man, we feel bad for this Corona townhouse at 98-12 38th Avenue. For whatever reason, it still stands although much of the surrounding area is now dominated by newer development. It could be charming, but right now it’s just wrecked. The exterior needs work, the interior is a pit, the lot is overgrown — it is just a sad sight all around. It looks like there may be some interior details worth salvaging but we wouldn’t be surprised if a new buyer just decided to tear it down. How great would it look if it was restored, though? The ask comes in at $599,000.
Today the paper of record profiled Corona, one of the largest Latin American immigrant communities in the borough, for its “Living In” column. City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras tell the Times that overdevelopment is a challenge in this area, with two-family homes replaced with multifamily developments. She is concerned about less parking, more traffic, and strained community services. But the neighborhood, once heavily Italian American, remains a stronghold for Latin food and culture.
As for real estate, demand for housing here is going up, and so are prices. Two-family homes roughly range from $700,000 to $800,000, with larger condos and co-ops starting in the mid-$300,000s. Buildings with three or more units can range anywhere up to $1,500,000. As for available rentals, prices range from $1,250 for a studio up to $2,395 for a three bedroom in LeFrak City.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, badly damaged in a fire this month, is gearing up to rebuild. The director of the Plaza del Sol Family Health Center started this fundraiser to help with the cost of construction. The goal is to raise a total of $10,000, so far around $3,000 has come in with 39 days left.
The fire, caused by faulty wiring, took more than 100 firefighters to put out. It ripped a massive hole through the church’s roof, caused interior damage and wrecked some of the stained glass. The petition does not clarify the extent of rebuilding required. Our Lady of Sorrows was established in Corona back in 1898 and has become a hub for local immigrants. The church offers offers English classes, childcare, after school programs, free immigration support, marriage counseling and prayer groups.