09/26/14 4:00pm


This is one of our all-time favorite buildings in Queens (see here, here and here) and if you haven’t seen it in person yet, you need to. Tabernacle of Prayer Church is offering a free tour this Saturday of its incredible Jamaica home, the former Loew’s Valencia Movie Palace. The theatre closed as a movie house in 1977, but the Tabernacle of Prayer has kept the building — and its extravagant interior — in immaculate condition. The tour begins at 11 am and is by appointment only. Call Sister Forbes at 718-657-4210 ext. 20 to sign up.

Then on Saturday, October 4th at 11:30 am, the Historic Districts Council is offering another tour of the theatre. This one is ticketed: $30 for Friends of HDC, $40 for the general public. For more info and to buy tickets, go here.

09/25/14 3:00pm


Yesterday morning, Habitat for Humanity held a groundbreaking for a renovation project in Jamaica, taking place at two homes located next door to one another on 224th Street. 120 Delta volunteer employees joined Habitat for Humanity to kick off the project, which will be a full restoration of the interiors and exteriors. The work should conclude this Saturday. Once finished, two homeowners are already lined up to move into the affordable single families.

Check out lots of construction shots from yesterday after the jump. GMAP

Photos by Vera Nieuwenhuis for Habitat for Humanity NYC (more…)

09/24/14 3:00pm


CPEX just listed three different development sites throughout Jamaica. The first, pictured above, includes the three homes at 89-01 and 89-09-15 148th Street, between 88th and 89th avenues. According to the listing, “The sites allow approximately 38,071 market rate buildable square feet… As of right, this property can be developed into multifamily buildings.” The ask for all three properties is $3,100,000.

The second is the building at 145-07 95th Avenue, between Sutphin Boulevard and Liverpool Street and just a block away from the Long Island Railroad station. It’s a 3,000-square-foot lot that could accommodate some major development. The property has a market-rate, residential FAR of 6.0, allowing for a total of 18,000 buildable square feet. As of right, the property could become a multifamily, office or mixed use development. It’s asking $1,000,000.

Finally, CPEX listed the building at 148-03 90th Avenue, between 148th Street and 149th Street, for $900,000. The site allows approximately 9,174 buildable square feet and
as of right, could be developed into a multifamily property. The parcel is a total of 2,659 square feet.

09/23/14 1:00pm


Dai Jian uses martial arts training and diverse world dance techniques to create improvisations, performance installations, and visual art. The CelloPointe Chamber Music & Dance Company specializes in salon-style concerts mixing contemporary ballet, choreography, and imaginative arrangements for string instruments. Meanwhile, 360° Dance Company, comprised of former principal dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company, presents modern dance masterpieces juxtaposed with original contemporary works in order to preserve and develop a post-modern dance lineage.

These troupes and others will exhibit their art this Saturday at the fifth annual Making Moves Dance Festival, a two-part showcase at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center featuring varied and original works that span the globe and dance genres. More info and photos on the jump page.


09/05/14 12:00pm

3Middle Village
62-39 81st Street
Broker: Tscherne Realty
Price: $643,900
Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

1East Elmhurst
23-43 95th Street
Broker: Exit Realty Genesis
Price: $559,000
Saturday, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

120-23 178th Street
Broker: Century 21
Price: $348,000
Saturday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

2Forest Hills
102-35 67th Road
Broker: Exit Kingdom Realty
Price: $218,000
Saturday, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

08/29/14 1:00pm


On September 17th, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by a majority of delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. One framer, Rufus King, had traveled to the Pennsylvania event from his family farm in Jamaica, Queens. The statesman’s career was only beginning at the time, and he went on to serve four terms as a U.S. Senator and seven years as an ambassador to Great Britain while also building a reputation as an ardent opponent of slavery. On September 17th of this year, the King Manor Museum, which is located on the grounds where Rufus once lived, will host a naturalization ceremony to welcome roughly 75 new citizens to their new country. These immigrants will take their oath in the shadow of a Founding Father’s home and swear to support the U.S. Constitution on the 227th anniversary of its signing. During a ceremony conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the new Americans will listen to the National Anthem, watch a color guard present Old Glory, and then proceed into King Manor to sign their names to a replica of the U.S. Constitution and take photos next to a life-size statue of Rufus King.


Details: Citizenship Day 2014, King Manor Museum, King Park, 150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, free, BY INVITATION ONLY, contact Kathy Forrestal at Education@kingmanor.org.


Photos: King Manor Museum

08/18/14 3:00pm


There’s an empty lot in Jamaica at 107th Avenue and 164th Street now being used as a basketball court by local kids. It’s severely rundown, and residents have tried to work with the city to turn it into a useable basketball court. The city’s response? There are plans to develop affordable housing on the lot in question (owned by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development), although there are no details or even a timeframe for construction. The city made no promises to upkeep the space in the meantime.

Now the land access organization 596 Acres is organizing around the lot. They released some details in a recent email newsletter: “Since this is land owned by HPD, in order for this crucial playspace to see an improvement, a local organization will need to become its steward and then get the resources to fix it up. We bet a grant from the NYC Citizens’ Committee would do it. Do you know a local organization that wants to do this?” 596 Acres started a conversation with HPD in regards to the proposal, but it’s going to need more of a push. If you’re interested in organizing around this potential public space, leave a comment for 546 Acres or contact paula@596acres.org.

HPD Plans Affordable Housing Development for Jamaica Corner [Q'Stoner]

08/15/14 1:00pm


History repeats itself in Queens this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the King Manor Museum — the former home of Rufus King, a signer of the United States Constitution, a senator from New York, and an ambassador to Great Britain – will host Craftsmen Days. With help from artisans dressed in time costumes, visitors will learn about 19th century crafts like broom-making, tin-smithing, and wood-turning, while also enjoying music featuring instruments such as a hammered dulcimer, fiddle, and banjo. On Sunday, the Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City, will open Picnic Days. Visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful architecture, gardens and picnic area, and take tours.

More information and three additional photos are on the jump page.


08/14/14 10:00am


Market-rate development is coming for Jamaica, in a neighborhood that has seen a lot of new affordable housing development. New York YIMBY snagged the above rendering of 190-11 Hillside Avenue, off of 191st Street. It’s a 21-unit, seven-story building developed by TCX, who are based in Great Neck. The architect is De Fonseca Architects. The design is interesting indeed, with both protruding and recessed balconies and a large column of windows. We don’t hate it!

Construction already started up last December and it’s expected to finish in early 2015. Once finished, the building will boast a total of 15,000 square feet. The development will hold one and two bedrooms, with a one bedroom renting for around $1,600 a month. The developer hopes the units will appeal to St. John’s University students nearby.

Revealed: 190-11 Hillside Avenue [New York YIMBY] GMAP

08/11/14 10:00am


Here’s what P.S./I.S. 314, the new school planned for Jamaica, is going to look like. The School Construction Authority is currently building the structure on the corner of 164th Street and Hillside Avenue and plans to open it for the September 2015 school year. Queens Courier reports that it’ll be four stories and approximately 113,092 square feet. It will hold more than 830 students from pre-K through the eighth-grade. The architect, Gruzen Samton, breaks down the layout of the L-shaped building at its website:

The school is organized into two main components. A four story Academic Wing will be constructed along the west edge of the site, encompassing instructional spaces, offices, Cafeteria and Library. A three story Public Assembly Wing will be located at the northeast corner of 164th Street and Hillside Avenue, comprising the Gymnasium and multi-use “Gymatorium”. A two story glass-enclosed Lobby/Gallery joins these two wings to provide for the school’s main entrance and connect the major internal public spaces to facilitate their use by the community after school hours.

Check out more renderings — including ones of the interior — after the jump.

Renderings Reveal Look of New P.S./I.S. 314 School in Jamaica [Queens Courier] (more…)