If you ride the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington line as I have every day for the past couple of decades, no doubt you have noticed the four-story brick factory on the south side of the tracks the train roars past on 94th Street, about midway between the Woodside and Shea Stadium (now Mets Willets Point) stations. Well, I did, anyway, because I had noted the long-unused train siding, one of the last remaining vestiges of a time when the LIRR was used to move freight. I’m happy to report that the old factory has, instead of being razed for more “Fedders specials,” has been reinvented for the 21st Century as a building housing three high schools.
This month, 79 renovated studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments hit the market at the Elmhurst co-op development The Continental Park, which has 153 total units. The re-development of the building is the work of Myles Horn (behind the re-development of The Printing House in the West Village), ABC Properties and Fisher Associates. The available units feature oak flooring, white stone countertops, imported Italian cabinetry, custom bathtubs and plenty of fancy new fixtures. Many units also have large private outdoor spaces and washer/dryer hook-ups. Common spaces were renovated as well, with the addition of a children’s playground, fitness center and resident lounge.
Prices on the new units are as follows: 500-square-foot studios start from $185,000; one bedrooms ranging from 600 to 900 square feet start from $229,500; two-bedrooms ranging from 830 to 1,050 square feet start at $347,500; and finally three-bedrooms sized around 1,200 square feet begin at $509,500. Seems like there’s quite a bit of demand, too. The first weekend its sales center opened, around 1,000 people came to tour the units.
Check out some apartment renderings after the jump. GMAP
Behold, the new 69-unit, 11-story development slated for 70-32 Queens Boulevard, between 70th and 72nd Streets in Elmhurst. New York YIMBY snagged the rendering, which is designed by the architect Michael Kang. According to YIMBY, “It will include about 55,000 square feet of residential space, with all apartments around 800 square feet in size. In most of the city this would mean rentals, but these will simply be small condos, as is common in New York’s Chinese neighborhoods.”
The development will also include 5,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a very small community facility, and a parking garage. The dense development is due to a 2006 rezoning that allowed for taller apartment buildings with ground-floor retail on Queens Boulevard between 50th and 73rd Streets. Construction on this one should last about a year.
It’s no secret that delicious bounty abounds in the borough. In fact, just last week QNS Brownstoner informed on two Restaurant Weeks that are set to take place this month: an entire Queens one and a Sunnyside promotion. Well, now it appears that the cup is overflowing as two additional cuisine celebrations were recently scheduled for next week: a Taiwanese vegetarian fest and a Thai pop-up gig. More info on jump page.
The restaurants at Elmhurst’s new “Restaurant Row,” a formerly vacant lot next door to the Queens Center Mall, plan to open in October. DNAinfo writes that an Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack are all hiring workers, then the Olive Garden is scheduled to open October 27th and the Longhorn Steakhouse will open October 11th. There’s no set date for Joe’s Crab Shack yet.
The Mattone Group started construction on the new development earlier this year. (Their original plans called for a movie theater here, but it fell through.) The “restaurant row” plans caused controversy with local pols, who believed the developers weren’t upfront about the development to the community. There was also concern about increased traffic in the area.
Unfortunately, the Elmhurst branch of the Queens Library isn’t opening anytime soon — the completion date has been pushed back to the spring of 2015. Queens Chronicle notes that when the building broke ground in 2011, the aim was to open it in 2013. Last year, the date was pushed back to 2014. Now, here’s the word from Queens Library spokeswoman Jennifer Manley: “Construction is moving along and good progress has been made. The exterior envelope and major infrastructure [has been] completed. The target for construction to be substantially complete is spring 2015.” The delays come from the need to reconfigure and update the building code. The work to come includes adding heating, ventilation and sprinkler systems, fire alarms, elevators, doors, interior walls and light fixtures. The facade should be finished by this November.
Once open, the library will be a total of 30,000 square feet, roughly double the size of the old library. The new four-story building will feature separate library areas for adults, children and teens, a 32-computer Cyber Center, an Adult Learning Center, an interior reading atrium, and front and rear community gardens. While construction continues, the city is operating a temporary library at 85-08 51st Avenue, off Broadway.
The developers of the St. John’s Hospital conversion, happening at 90-02 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, just secured a $32,000,000 construction loan for the final stage of development. The Real Deal reports that the developers, an Asia-based group led by Steven Wu, expect to begin leasing the massive 266,322-square-foot property soon as the hospital needed no major renovations. Construction work began early this year.
The building, which Wu purchased for $55,000,000 in 2013, will offer 144 studio- one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse rentals, and include 118,213 square feet of commercial and community space. (There will be eight total penthouses, with 15-foot ceilings and private terraces.) The developer is also building out a 89,601-square-foot parking garage across the street. Given the lack of new rental buildings in the neighborhood, the expectation is for leasing to move quickly.
The large green property at 57th Avenue, just east of 80th Street in Elmhurst, is no more. Queens Crap posted a rendering for seven four-family, three-story homes slated for the site. The blog also offers an update on the lot: “The entire property has been denuded of trees and is in the process of crappification.” Queens Crap laments the fact that this space couldn’t be a park or community garden — the property previously belonged to the city before it sold to a developer.
There is something about the exclusivity, mysteriousness and the whole “secret society” element of fraternal groups that really appeals to many people. Today, many more of us are too busy with other aspects of busy city life to join such groups, but throughout the last couple of centuries, groups like the Masons, Shriners, Knights of Columbus, Elks, and all sorts of long forgotten societies were very popular, and in many cases, very important to people’s lives.
All of these groups were started to help their members; financially, socially, and in society at large. The Freemasons began as a guild of medieval builders. Since Catholics were forbidden to join the Masons, the Knights of Columbus were founded as a Catholic fraternal order. The Elks – well, their origins were a lot less important, although much more fun. The Benevolent Society of Elks began as a drinking club for a bunch of expatriate British actors in New York City. (more…)
Not too long ago, I answered my wife’s query of “Where are you going today?” with the simple answer of “Newtown, the center of Newtown.” She’s used to puzzling archaisms at this stage of the game, so she asked “Elmhurst?” and I said, “Yes, Elmhurst.”
Off I went and before long — one arrived at the navel, as it were, of ancient Queens.
From “Historic Churches of America” by Nellie Urner Wallington, courtesy Google Books:
Of the Dutch Reformed families in early New York many removed from time to time beyond the limits of New Amsterdam securing for themselves broader sections of land for tillage and among them a number of such families settled in Long Island where they formed the hamlet of Newtown. Unable to support a minister and to maintain a church building of their own they joined hands with others of the same faith at Flushing and for a number of years worshipped there until December 2 1731 when a meeting of the resident members in Newtown was called to form plans for the establishment of a church organisation of their own and to devise means for the erection of a house of worship upon land contributed by Peter Berrien.