12/22/14 3:00pm


Recently we checked out the Flushing development site at 36-18 Main Street, off of Northern Boulevard. Rendered above is a 14-story residential tower, which will be part of a larger development that should also include lots hotel and office space. (Or at least, that’s what the developer sought a variance for earlier this year.) But looking at the most recent rendering posted on the construction fence, and the rendering previously released, it seems the plans may have changed up a bit. The DOB issued building permits for this residential tower over the summer.

Needless to say, not much has gone down construction wise — after the jump, check out a picture of the site. The anticipated completion date is the spring of 2018.

Variance Approved for Hotel and Office Tower in Downtown Flushing [Q'Stoner] GMAP


12/22/14 9:00am

rko exterior small

Flushing’s RKO Keith’s Theater, a movie palace that opened in 1928, is now known for its long and troubled history. Notably, the Flushing developer Thomas Huang was found guilty of partially gutting the landmarked interior and dumping 10,000 gallons of oil in the basement during redevelopment. The building then moved on to a few different owners and has pretty much sat vacant for more than 20 years. The most recent news, announced this summer, was that new developers — JF Equities — were moving forward to build condos at the site, while preserving the landmarked theater lobby and ticket booth. We got an update from Jonathan Karlik at JF Equities, who offers some more details on the development to come: “In terms of a final product, generally speaking, we plan for approximately 270 condominium units, a 300 car parking garage, and approx. 43,000 SF of commercial/retail space (including a community facility approx. 17,000 SF). Of course, none of these numbers are finalized yet. We plan to complete the project sometime in 2017.”

A Q’Stoner tipster was able to get into the construction site and see what’s gone down as of late. And here is their report:

The old RKO Keith’s is a beautiful wreck. The seats are long gone, and most of the stage is demolished, leaving a muddy, graffiti-covered hole. But plenty of intricate wooden details around the stage have survived, like carved scrolls, twisting columns and cherubs. As you go further into the building, most of the details have been stripped, salvaged or demolished.

Little remains of the upper lobby except for a few arched doorways and some urinals, and a damaged but elegant balcony is the only interesting piece left in the rear mezzanine. Unfortunately, the landmarked part of the lobby was locked, so you can’t see what it looks like now.

It looks like more of the interior has been demolished since Matt Lambros, the author of After the Final Curtain, took photos in 2011. But Jonathan Karlik assured us that none of the landmarked portion has been touched: “We have a landmark preservation consultant on board with us and we have spent significant time and money to ensure this. There has been no demolition to the landmark space whatsoever. Any work that has been done was done with a LPC approved soft demo permit to clean up and protect the area. We plan to restore the landmarked area to its original condition. We have over 100 crates of salvaged material in storage and plan to implement pieces into our final product.”

rko stage left small (1)

After the jump, see the incredible interior photos for yourself…

All RKO Theater coverage [Q'Stoner]


12/19/14 12:00pm

144-04 29th Avenue
Broker: Re/Max
Price: $959,000
Saturday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

196-06 110th Avenue
Broker: Winzone Realty
Price: $569,000
Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

3East Elmhurst
25-40 98th Street
Broker: Exit Kingdom
Price: $499,999
Saturday, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

4Queens Village
99-35 211th Place
Broker: Exit Realty First Choice
Price: $475,000
Saturday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

12/18/14 9:00am


This glassy, 11-story building is slated for Northern Boulevard and Leavitt Street in Flushing, and the neighbors don’t like it one bit. “This thing looks like it’s something out of Miami Vice,” a resident told Queens Courier. “You can kiss goodbye any sense of history this neighborhood still had.” The development, which will replace the former Great Wall Supermarket, is located right next to the historic Flushing Town Hall — and many residents criticized the sleek design for clashing with its neighbor.

However, Community Board 7 passed a zoning change to allow for the developer to build. And Flushing Town Hall expressed its support of the development, saying that it will use the community space in the new building for events. This mixed-use development will hold both hotel and residential units, with hotel units on the third floor up to the eighth. The top three floors will hold 43 apartment units. And the ground floor will have 1,000 square feet of commercial space, which the developers hope to lease to coffee shops and restaurants.

Flushing Community Criticizes Modern Look of Planned Building [Queens Courier]

Rendering by Raymond Architecture via Queens Courier

12/17/14 4:00pm


2014 brought plenty of shutdowns for the 7 train, and apparently the MTA isn’t wasting any time as we head into the new year. They released the schedule for the first five months of 2015 and, as LIC Post first reported, “The No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends.” Three other weekends will bring service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street. The MTA — who scheduled the shutdowns to install a new signal system, replace elevated tracks and reconstruct the Steinway Tubes between Queens and Manhattan — will replace subway service with shuttles and the East River Ferry.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer isn’t happy about the announcement, saying that the closures are frustrating considering the poor, delayed 7 train service over the past few months. “The MTA still isn’t engaging the community or responding to the community in a meaningful way… I am very disappointed,” he stated.

See the full schedule of closures, which span from January 2nd to May 25th, after the jump. (more…)

12/17/14 1:00pm
The legend lives on, but it won’t be pigeonholed. Trumpeter Theo Croker is both a bold newcomer on the jazz-soul scene and the grandson of arch-traditionalist trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, whose seven-decade, award-filled career ended on his death in 1997. Still in his twenties, Croker is deeply immersed in jazz , but he also writes and produces R&B, hip-hop, rap, and film scores, along with contemporary classical music. In addition to his grandfather, this 2006 Presser Music Foundation Award recipient lists Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Outkast among his influences. On Friday, Croker and his DVRK Funk outfit take their act to Flushing Town Hall. Expect some swinging jazz with trumpet, saxophone, drums, bass, piano…and general impunity. More details on jump page. (more…)
12/17/14 12:00pm


This freestanding Tudor at 45-16 194th Street in Flushing is charming from the outside but a little underwhelming inside. The interior looks well kept and fairly standard, with some details like ceiling beams in the living room. There are five total bedrooms (we wouldn’t have guessed this house could fit that many!) as well as a finished basement, paved backyard and garage. It’s located on a beautiful and leafy block, with many other similar Tudor homes, but isn’t all that close to any public transportation. The asking price? $938,000.

45-16 194th Street [Tony + William RE] GMAP

12/16/14 4:00pm


New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote an excellent guide for Korean food in Queens, which can be found beyond the last stop on the 7 train “in Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside and beyond, serving famous Korean dishes and obscure ones.” Here’s a taste of what’s there: “Beef barbecue and blood sausage; wheat noodles in deep steaming bowls and arrowroot noodles in broth chilled with ice crystals; tofu casseroles and live octopus; Korean-Chinese restaurants and Korean-French bakeries; beery pubs and studious espresso bars; chicken fried in a shattering crust of rice flour and chicken boiled whole with ginseng.” Wells believes that the so-called “Queens kimchi belt” is one of the least explored and celebrated ethnic food districts in the city.

He lists 12 of his favorite spots, many of which are located in Murray Hill and Auburndale. And he offers some dining tips, as well: “I followed the lead of the locals. Rather than taking the full measure of a menu, as a restaurant critic normally would, I zeroed in on one or two specialties. I compared them with other competing versions nearby. I would taste all the claimants on the same day when I could, although I had to break my fried-chicken safari into two trips.”

In Queens, Kimchi Is Just the Start [NY Times]

Google Map via the NY Times

12/16/14 10:00am


The Senate just passed a bill for the National Park Service to study the John Bowne House and Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing for possible incorporation as National Park Service sites. Representative Grace Meng introduced the bill earlier this year and it has made steady progress — Queens Courier reports that it will now be sent to President Obama for his signature. If the bill does pass, the National Park Service will examine if the sites can be incorporated as a National Historic Park or a National Historic Site. If incorporated, the John Bowne House and Old Quaker Meeting House will receive federal upkeep.

The John Bowne House dates back to 1661 and played an important role in establishing religious freedom in America. (Read more about its history here.) As Representative Meng told the Courier, “It’s time for more people across the country to know about the Flushing Remonstrance, and putting these sites on a national stage is a sure way to accomplish that.”

Local Pol Fights to Gain National Recognition of Flushing’s Ties to Religious Freedom [Queens Courier]
All Bowne House coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

12/10/14 1:00pm


The next chance to root for the Mets is during spring training in Florida. But the next chance to have a blast at Citi Field is this Saturday at the inaugural Winter Fest. Family-friendly fun is the focus with the mandatory meet-and-greet with Santa, as well as arts & crafts provided by Oriental Trading, appearances by Mr. and Mrs. Met, cookie decorating, winter-themed games, holiday décor, caroling, and specialty eggnog. There’s also a charitable aspect to the festivities, as the hosts, Metropolitan Hospitality, will raise funds for Toys for Tots, a nonprofit that collects new, unwrapped presents to distribute as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. An array of New York legends put their creative imprint on official Major League baseballs. These decorated and autographed balls will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Toys for Tots.

Details: Winter Fest, Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Corona/Flushing, December 13th, 1 pm to 5 pm, $10/$7 for children, free parking in Lot G for ticket-holders (enter at Hodges VIP Entrance).

Bonus detail: Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped donations to Toys for Tots.


Photos: Citi Field/Metropolitan Hospitality