There are seven apartments left at the Roosevelt, the 31-unit rental building that started leasing last October. And the development brokerage, Citi Habitats, is looking to fill those last apartments up: the firm is running a promotion until April 30th where new tenants pay no fee and receive two months free rent on a 14 month lease. Currently, a convertible two bedroom is asking $2,314 per month, four two-bedroom units are priced at $2,443 a month, and two penthouse units are $3,321. Apartments feature floor to ceiling windows, two full bathrooms and private outdoor space. There were also a number of affordable units at this development the city leased out at the beginning of the year.
Most of Whitney Avenue in Elmhurst runs from Broadway northeast to Roosevelt Avenue at 93rd Street, through a street grid that tilts northeast against the prevailing one. This was part of an early 20th century real estate development in which the streets were originally numbered and only later — by 1915 — were they given the names they still carry, Aske, Benham, Case, Denman, Elbertson, Forley, Gleane, Hampton, Ithaca, Judge, Ketcham, Layton, Macnish. By 1915, Roosevelt Avenue had been laid out and the el was under construction.
Whitney Avenue is relatively short but one house of worship after the other, from origins all over the planet, can be found along its length. Christian Testimony Church, across the street from Elmhurst Memorial Park, the triangle formed by Whitney Avenue(formerly Warner), 43rd (formerly Ludlow, then Kingsland Avenue) and Judge Street (formerly 3rd Street — most Queens streets have past lives) has a Chinese-dominated congregation though services are offered in English and Mandarin. The building was originally a synagogue, as the word Mizpah (Watchtower) formerly appeared above the front door.
One of the jewels of Elmhurst, a neighborhood blessed with its fair share of historic houses of worship, is the cobblestone-exterior Elmhurst Baptist Church at Whitney and Judge. The cornerstone was laid in 1902, with the church completed the following year. There are Myanmar (Burmese) Baptist and Indonesian Baptist services offered here.
Earlier this year construction workers uncovered graves at the former home of the Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, on Corona Avenue between 90th Street and 91st Place. The church sold the land to developers, who planned to build condos, a parking lot and commercial space. Once the developers uncovered the gravesite, thought to be those of slaves and their descendants, construction halted.
According to a letter obtained by Queens Crap, the church and the current site owners will meet tomorrow with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to determine the fate of the cemetery. The church, who hopes to preserve the cemetery, outlined three goals: “To leave the recently uncovered graves where they are and not to move or cremate the remains; To have this African American burial site declared a protected landmark; To hold the current owners/construction company responsible for the storage, memorial and re-burial costs of the Iron Coffin Lady as well as a memorial for the recently uncovered bodies as was initially agreed.” (The Iron Coffin lady is former female parishioner buried in an iron coffin uncovered by the construction crew.) The church also reached out to local pols, the state senator, congressman, and the mayor to petition their case.
The above photo of Borough President Katz comes from the opening of the new Women’s Pavilion at Elmhurst Hospital. The 17,370-square-foot outpatient healthcare facility debuted today, according to Queens Courier. The two-story facility holds 18 exam rooms, two reception areas and a space for childbirth, breastfeeding, nutrition and diabetes education classes — Elmhurst Hospital expects to accommodate 15 percent more patients here. The pavilion will offer health services like walk-in pregnancy testing, prenatal care, HIV counseling and testing, genetic counseling, high-risk pregnancy and postpartum services.
The space, located directly across from the main hospital building, should begin accepting patients on June 1st.
The Pan Am Hotel sold and shuttered this January, and now it has been reborn as a hotel/hostel hybrid. (The rumors of the building becoming a homeless shelter were apparently unfounded.) Queens Crap spotted the new website which offers, as you can see above, bunk bed dormitories as well as private rooms. There’s also a common area with couches, foosball, a kitchen, TV and a pingpong table. The website doesn’t reveal any details on pricing, but we reached out to the new owners to find out more details. Hopefully the hostel element will make this incarnation of the Pan Am Hotel more successful than the previous one.
The Pan Am was listed in early 2013 for $24,250,000, or for $40,350,000 as part of a larger assemblage that included the entire block. It’s unclear if the new owner purchased just the hotel, or the entire assemblage.
Plans to build three chain restaurants on a 100,000-square-foot parcel of land next door to the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst aren’t making everyone happy. DNAinfo reports that Council Member Daniel Dromm is speaking out against the project, dubbed Queens Way Plaza, due to the lack of involvement with community officials. Community Board Four also believes that the developers, The Mattone Group, handled the details “in secret.” The Mattone Group previously planned to build a large movie theater complex at this site but never found an operator. Plans for a restaurant row emerged two years ago and the Mattone Group expects to open an Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and a Joe’s Crab Shack here this summer. While the project did receive Community Board approval, it hasn’t received extensive community vetting.
According to DNAinfo, the Borough President’s office will hold a meeting for the developers, Council Member Dromm and the Community Board to address the Council Member’s concerns.
Over the weekend the New York Daily News ran a piece examining the growing desirability of Woodside, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. The story’s familiar: as housing prices rise just about everywhere, people are getting pushed deeper into Queens, in neighborhoods along the subway line. Rents in Woodside are 25 percent cheaper than in Long Island City, according to the News. And the price of land in Woodside comes in 50 to 60 percent cheaper than land in LIC and Astoria.
Many of the new buildings going up are stocked with amenities, driving prices and demand up. At the Icon 52, the new luxury rental in Woodside, a two bedroom is asking $2,350 a month and a studio’s asking $1,500. According to a recent renter at the Icon 52, “We wanted to be close to the city and I think you get the best value for your money in that area.”
The NYC Department of Housing and Preservation is leasing six affordable apartments at 40-07 73rd Street, the condo-turned-rental building now known as The Roosevelt. Citi Habitats listed market rate rentals in October with convertible two bedrooms starting at $2,400 a month and three bedrooms starting at $3,600. The city’s now offering one and two bedrooms priced between $860 and $1,171 a month. You can enter the lottery at the NYC Housing Connect website no later than February 25th, 2014. Current and eligible residents of Queens Community Board 4 receive preference for 50 percent of the units. We’ve heard from a Citi Habitats broker that the leasing of market rate rentals is going well.
DNAinfo reports that the Pan American Hotel, on the market for awhile now, closed down on Queens Boulevard January 7th. Despite reports that the seven-story, 216-room hotel was closing for renovations, the hotel actually sold to a new owner. The listing for the property is still online — it was listed in early 2013 for $24,250,000, or for $40,350,000 as part of a larger assemblage that included the entire block.
DNAinfo hasn’t heard what’s in the future for the hotel. We have heard unconfirmed rumors that the site may become a homeless shelter. Know any details? Hit up the tipline.