10/15/14 3:00pm


A 90,000-square-foot building and parking garage, situated at 163-05 and 163-25 Archer Avenue in Downtown Jamaica, just sold for a whopping $22,000,000. Queens Courier reports that the former owner, Gertz Plaza, sold the site — which is prime for development — to buyers Jamaica Tower. The new owners have yet to file any building or demolition plans with the DOB, but it looks like this may go residential. The developers can build up to 719,736 square feet here.

A rep from Massey Knakal who handled the sale told the Courier, “It is the largest site to trade since the downturn and will be a catalyst for the Jamaica development market moving forward… We received numerous bids in a short period of time from developers that were priced out of other areas in the city and see tremendous value in the downtown Jamaica market.”

Massive Downtown Jamaica Development Site Sells for $22 Million [Queens Courier]

Photo via Property Shark

10/14/14 1:00pm


It’s huge. With about 18,000 acres of wetland estuary, it’s larger than Central Park, Prospect Park and Van Cortland Park combined. It’s beautiful. Numerous islands and a labyrinth of waterways, meadowlands and freshwater ponds host more than 330 species of birds, 60 species of butterflies, and one of the largest horseshoe crab populations in the Northeast. It’s historic. Over the past two centuries, the area has been used for fish-oil and horse-rendering factories, landfills, sewage treatment plants, harvesting oysters, and of course, various forms of recreation.

And now Jamaica Bay is on display at Resorts World Casino New York City. More information and photos informing on Hidden in Plain Sight: The Wonders of Jamaica Bay, a multi-media exhibition that was unveiled this morning, appear on the jump page.


10/14/14 12:00pm


This lovely Victorian home, at 86-27 111th Street, is on the market for $749,000. It’s a total of 1,679 square feet with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Although it looks like the exterior has been altered (what’s up with those upper windows?) it still appears to be in good shape and boasts an envy-inducing, wraparound front porch. The interior is charming as well, with stained glass, wood floors, and renovations in the kitchen and bathrooms. How do you like this one?

86-27 111th Street [Zillow] GMAP

10/10/14 11:00am


In the late 19th and early 20th century, a trolley line connected Flushing and Jamaica, running originally through the farms and fields of Fresh Meadows. The above image was captured at 164th Street and 77th Avenue in 1936, just a few months before service ended in 1937. In short order, the tracks were pulled up, the weeds paved over, a center median added, and 164th Street became the fast and furious stretch we know it as today between Flushing Cemetery and the Grand Central Parkway. More images of this ilk can be found in the book I wrote in association with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, Forgotten Queens. 



10/08/14 1:00pm


Would you like to see how the Bowne House Restoration is proceeding? Or how about checking out the Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, which is also known as the Hindu Temple Society of North America or the Bowne Street Temple? What about the TWA Flight Center, Smiling HogsHead Ranch, LIC Community BoathouseLouis Armstrong House Museum, Noguchi, and the newly renovated SculptureCenter?

The 12th annual Open House New York Weekend will take place this Saturday and Sunday, and there are 36 listed nook and crannies to explore in Queens (although tours are starting to sell out…so hurry!)


10/07/14 1:00pm


Jamaica has been a jazz mecca for about 100 years. Count Basie, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne are among the legends who have lived in the Southern Queens area. This tradition will be live and direct for the next seven weeks, as performers of this American genre will jam at the Jamaica AirTrain station’s concourse level every Thursday until November 20th. Greg Mays from A Better Jamaica, a cultural nonprofit that is organizing the promotion with the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District, said that he hopes to create similar experiences to those in Caribbean countries, where musicians greet travelers in airports.

The Eric Lemon Trio (above) opened the series last Thursday. The remaining schedule is as follows: Bayo Fayemi Group, October 9th; Mambo Negro, October 16th; Freddy Dugard’s Hit Squad, October 23rd; Sage All Women’s Jazz Ensemble, October 30th; The Bill Jacobs Ensemble; November 6th; The Bartlett Jazz Ensemble, November 13th; and Michelle Marie, November 20th.

Details: The AirTrain Jazz Festival, Jamaica AirTrain Station’s concourse level (near the Air Bar  at 93-40 Sutphin Boulevard), every Thursday through November 20th, 6 pm to 8 pm (two sets with a break in between), free.

Photo: Sutphin Boulevard BID

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.