A piece of the condo-retail project Sky View Parc, located in Flushing, is up for sale. Today the New York Post reports that Muss Development will list the development rights for the unbuilt second phase of the project with Massey Knackal. (Onex Real Estate Partners, who are partnered with Muss, seemed not to know about these plans and were planning to begin construction on Phase Two in November.) According to the Post, “Industry sources speculated it could bring up to $150 million based on the sell-out success of the first three towers mainly to Chinese and Asian-American buyers.”
The project broke ground in 2005 and struggled through the recession. Due to an influx of Chinese buyers after the recession, it became the #1 condo-sale site in New York for 2013. Word is that Onex Real Estate Partners offered to buy out Muss’s Phase Two share, but Muss wanted more money — hence the development rights going to market.
$4,000,000 in improvements are coming for the Queens Botanical Garden, and it couldn’t come any sooner. The Queens Courier reports that the money is going toward a new irrigation system and redone walkways throughout the 39-acre site. The Queens Botanical Garden has not had the walkways repaved in 50 years, and they are cracked and sinking in many areas.
The project will happen in three different phases. The first phase is almost done, and includes the replacement of sidewalks around the water fountain. The second phase covers the repaving of the College Point Boulevard entrance, pictured to the left. And the third phase includes new pathways around the meadow and in the middle of the garden. There will also be a brand new sprinkler system — for now, workers carry hoses across the garden to water the plants. Susan Lacerte, the execute director of the QBC, tells the Courier that if the garden can secure more funding, she’d like to replace the temporary office trailers that are now used as staff office space.
It’s kind of a battle of the bands, but if traffic is light and one group starts late, music lovers can catch them all. On August 16th, three fantastic concerts will take place in Queens. At 2 pm, Gordon Au & The Grand Street Stompers (above) will perform at the Louis Armstrong House Museum as part of the historic site’s Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert Series. Though based in New York City, this jazz band revives the New Orleans-style music of the 1920s and onward. At 3 pm, Choban Elektrik will give a free concert at the Ridgewood Branch Library. This electric dance band draws from the folk music of Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Romany people. Beyond singing in various languages and a powerful rhythm sections, attendees can expect traditional line dancing. Then at 6:15 pm, the party continues with The Ebony Hillbillies at the Queens Botanical Garden. New York City’s only African American string band plays all-American jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock and roll and country.
More information is on jump page.
On Friday, the Department of Buildings issued a Stop Work Order at the Flushing Commons megadevelopment, only a month and a half after the site groundbreaking. The Daily News writes that “a baseball-sized boulder flew across 39th Avenue, shattering the window of a bank and injuring a security guard.” Yikes! Construction workers were breaking down rocks as part of the excavation process. The dislodged rock actually flew over the eight-foot construction wall before hitting the bank. The security guard went to the hospital, but the injuries aren’t life threatening.
The DOB has stated that the Stop Work Order will stay in place until the developers secure the “means and method” for protecting the construction site. This initial phase of construction includes 150,000 square feet of office space, 56,000 square feet of retail, 150,000 square feet of residential condos and a 982 space parking garage. It should be finished in the spring of 2017, while the second phase won’t wrap until the early 2020s.
Work Halted at Major Flushing Development Site After Stone Injures a Worker Nearby [NY Daily News]
All Flushing Commons coverage [Q'Stoner]
Between 164th and 165th Streets across from Flushing Cemetery on 46th Avenue, a clump of green marks a very unusual smaller cemetery. For decades this was a public park with a playground fronted by a concrete sitting area with park benches called Martin’s Field. The area had been a park since 1914, and was named for conservationist Evertt P. Martin in 1931. The playground was built in 1936 under the auspices of the Works Progress Adminstration.
Queens’ very first Nordstrom Rack is gearing to open at the SkyView Center in Flushing on Wednesday, September 10th. The clothing retailer first announced its arrival to Queens this January. Racked posted the above photo, taken by a tipster, now up at the shopping center. According to Racked, “Nordstrom Rack usually goes all out to celebrate the opening of a new store. At the opening of their latest NYC location in Downtown Brooklyn, first-day shoppers had a chance to win gift cards valued at up to $1,000.” No word yet on what’s planned for this opening.
Once open, the store will be a grand total of 39,000 square feet, spread out over a two-level space.
Queens, Your Nordstrom Rack Will Arrive on September 10th [Racked]
All Nordstrom Rack coverage [Q'Stoner]
World War I was brewing, Babe Ruth was pitching for the Boston Red Sox, and the Panama Canal was welcoming its first steamboats when George Winfield Schwagerl joined Troop 17 of the Boy Scouts of America in 1914. The 39-year-old letter carrier was the first scoutmaster of the newly founded Elmhurst branch, and he wrote on the application that working with boys was therapeutic because he had lost a son. Fast-forward to 2014 and there are roughly 1,000 Troop 17 alumni scattered throughout the United States, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. This Saturday, the Queens Botanical Garden will host a special scouting expo as part of Troop 17′s 100th anniversary celebration. Plans include demonstrations related to backpacking, camping, canoeing, compass skills, fishing, orienteering, rafting, rock climbing, and wilderness survival. Plus, there will be an extensive indoor display of Troop 17’s scouting artifacts, slides, and videos. And of course, all uniformed scouts who participate will receive an event patch regardless of their troop affiliation.
Details and photos after the jump. (more…)
Flushing residents and local leaders are hoping to rezone an area of the neighborhood to protect the low-density row houses constructed in the 1930s. Their efforts, according to Queens Courier, are inspired by a developer purchasing a single-family home on 56th Road with plans to expand it into a multi-family residence. The developer is working within the current zoning laws.
Community Board 7 and the President of the Queens Civic Congress sent letters to the Department of City Planning inquiring over new zoning restrictions. The DCP seems open to discussions. Here’s a portion of the DCP’s letter: “An examination of zoning uses pertaining to single-family row houses raises citywide policy concerns, and to date no consensus has been reached regarding the specific nature and locational appropriateness of such a potential new designation. We would certainly be open to discussing this issue with you in the future.” Councilman Peter Koo requested a meeting with the DCP later in August to discuss a plan to save the row houses.
Leaders Pushing to Save Flushing Row Houses [Queens Courier]
Photo by Liam La Guerre for Queens Courier