02/26/15 2:00pm

petco-jackson-heights

A giant Petco outpost is now open in the large outdoor shopping center in Jackson Heights, located along 31st Avenue and 77th Street. (Thanks to Jackson Heights Life for the photo.) One year ago, Petco signed a long-term lease for 13,500 square feet in a stand-alone building within the shopping center. The store opening was delayed a little; it was initially scheduled for late 2014.

Muss Development, who handled Petco’s lease, also planned a number of upgrades for the shopping center, which holds a total of 24 retail stores and nine offices. Renovations were slated for the property’s lobby entrances, signage, facade and landscaping.

Photo by Jackson Heights Life via Instagram

02/24/15 11:00am

princehouse.NBlvd1

The Prince family opened the first commercial plant nursery in the USA in 1735, specializing in fruit trees. Patriarch Robert Prince learned horticulture from the remaining Huguenots (French Protestants) in the Flushing area, and the business flourished during and after the Revolutionary period. In the early 1800s, Robert’s son William opened the first bridge over the Flushing River that allowed wagon and cart traffic to enter from western Queens. Competing plant nurseries of the Bloodgood and Parsons families also opened, and in the 1800s, Flushing was known around the Northeast for horticulture. Eventually, though, as Flushing gradually became more urban, the nurseries moved out or failed. Today, the only reminder of the plant shops is Flushing’ street plan, which bears plant names from A (Ash) to R (Rose), and Prince Street.

The Prince family home was constructed at Broadway and Lawrence Street (today Northern and College Point Boulevards) by the Embree family around 1750, and purchased by the Princes in 1800. It was torn down in the 1930s as the area became industrial.

A NYS historic marker here, now long gone, said:

Prince Homestead stands opposite. Built by E. Embree 1780. Washington stopped here to see the Prince Nurseries during his trip to Long Island 1789.

When Washington visited the Prince nursery he was unimpressed, but when Thomas Jefferson visited the following year he made several purchases that were planted at Monticello in Virginia.

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02/23/15 9:00am

julissa-state-of-the-district

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.

Willets Point
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.

Elmhurst Hospital
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.

the-queensboro-jackson-heights

A teaser site is up for The Queensboro, an American bistro planned for Jackson Heights. It will be located at 80-04 Northern Boulevard between 80th and 81st Streets. Unfortunately we have no details yet on the menu or the vibe of the place. It is safe to assume there will be typical bistro fare, which there is definitely demand for around Jackson Heights. (If you have any more details, leave them in the comment section or shoot us a tip.) It’s supposed to open early this year. Stay tuned for more details… GMAP

armondos-jackson-heights-open

On Valentines Day, Armondo’s Italian Restaurant reopened in Jackson Heights. The restaurant is now located at 73-16 Northern Boulevard, the old Trieste Restaurant space. They had to relocate after a five-alarm fire at the Bruson Building displaced the business last spring. A Jackson Heights life commenter offered a positive review of the new digs:

I was seated at a nice, white-clothed table along the wall, giving me a prime view of the well-appointed bar and the patrons coming in and out. My shrimp oreganata appetizer was succulent and flavorful; the veal parmesan that followed was incredible. The cheese and sauce actually had to compete for attention with the meat – so well-prepared. Two nice glasses of Montepulciano, with a complimentary third making an appearance to seal the deal. And the canoli dessert was perfect – needless to say, the pristine white tablecloth was no longer pristine nor white by the end of the proceedings.

All in all, it was a great dining experience with the food I grew up with only steps from my home. So happy they’re back. And to sweeten the deal, these fine folks are offering 20% off on Mondays through Thursdays! So go get reacquainted. They’re open and ready to satisfy the neighborhood craving I know I’ve had. Enjoy!

The menu looks similar to the one offered at the old location, and there’s also lunch and Sunday brunch service.

Post Fire, Armondo’s Italian Restaurant Plans Move to Northern Boulevard [Q'Stoner] GMAP

02/13/15 9:00am

84-23 37th Ave

The owner of a group of retail buildings in the Jackson Heights Historic District has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build on top of the existing structure according to DNAinfo. The buildings at 84-11 through 84-23 37th Avenue are owned by Charlie Patel according to the website. He applied to the commission for permission to add a rooftop extension as well as to replace to windows and doors on the 1946 commercial building.

Since the building is in an historic district the landmarks commission must approve any changes visible from the street. Owners of the businesses in his building have not been notified of any impending construction and no date has yet been set for a hearing on the proposal.

Landlord Plans Rooftop Addition in Jackson Heights Historic District [DNAinfo]

Photo: DNAinfo/Katie Honan

3520 Leverich St combo

This Jackson Heights condo has a lot going for it: three large bedrooms (the master bedroom has two exposures), a solid renovation and a large terrace, albeit one covered in Astroturf and bordered by a chain-link fence. The kitchen and bathrooms appear to have been redone recently. The building also has parking, a full-time doorman and an outdoor pool.

However, those amenities come with a price. Taxes are $650 a month and common charges are $1,240. What do you think of it for $550,000?

3520 Leverich St., #B222 [Q'Stoner] GMAP

02/09/15 1:00pm

carolina&andres3hor

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.

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02/04/15 4:00pm

transportation-alternatives-queens

This looks like a cool event coming up in February: Transportation Alternatives Queens is hosting a “social ride” on the subway for Sunday, February 15th. The trip begins at 10 am at the Roosevelt Avenue station, then will make stops in Coney Island, Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Beach. Transportation Alternatives activists will provide local history along the way, and there will be places to stop and eat. All you have to bring is your Metrocard! For all the details on this event, check out the Facebook page.

02/02/15 12:00pm

34-41-85th-street-jackson-heights

This one bedroom in the Carlton House, located at 34-41 85th Street in Jackson Heights, doesn’t look like most one-bedroom co-ops you’ll find in the neighborhood. That’s because it’s been completely gutted and reconfigured. It’s large, at 995 square feet, and the listing says there’s room for another bedroom. There’s also a private terrace, as well as a building courtyard. The broker has yet to post a floor plan but it looks like the unit has lost that open, natural floor plan we love in most Jackson Heights co-ops. (Also, what’s up with that kitchen?) We’re also curious if this unit could get close to its ask of $415,000 — it seems high to us. What do you guys think?

34-41 85th Street, #4P [Douglas Elliman] GMAP