03/02/15 3:00pm


Do you remember Penthouse A in the LIC condo development The View? It hit the market last April asking $5.388 million, making it the most expensive condo on the market in Queens. It never sold, and eventually the price dropped on this three bedroom, three bathroom unit to $4.998 million.

Now Curbed reports that the apartment is back on the market after disappearing about a month ago. And the new ask, at $5.398 million, is looking to set records. As Curbed points out, there’s nothing different about the listing from when it was asking $10,000 less. So let’s see if the second time around is a charm.

Queens’ Most Expensive Apartment Is Back, Pricier Than Ever [Curbed]
All View coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

03/02/15 11:00am


Yesterday’s storm was officially the moment at which I, for one, have had it with this never ending winter. As my ennui is tantamount to becoming that proverbial monkey shaking a fist at the moon, the only reaction I can offer is that I need to see some bright, saturated color right now or I just might bury myself in the snow and disappear. Accordingly, in today’s post, “Scenes from Queens,” all of which were captured during warmer times.

More after the jump… (more…)

02/25/15 2:00pm


Court Square Blog spotted construction fence renderings for Tishman Speyer’s massive $875 million Gotham Center development and man, it really gives you a scope of the project size. As you can see above, the project includes three towers: 28-34 Jackson Avenue, holding 658 units and 6,000 square feet of retail space, 28-10 Jackson Avenue, with 683 units and 3,000 square feet of retail space, and 30-02 Queens Boulevard, with 448 apartments and 6,500 square feet of retail. (1,789 apartments and 1.2 million square feet of new development in total!)

Tishman Speyer filed permits in November, and construction will last through the summer of 2018. At 42 stories with 658 units, 28-34 Jackson Avenue will be the first to rise.

Renderings up at Tishman Speyer’s Long Island City Project [Court Square Blog]
All Tishman Speyer coverage [Q'Stoner]


FreshDirect, which operates out of a Long Island City facility at 23-30 Borden Avenue, is packing up and moving to the South Bronx. And according to Queens Courier, the online grocery company has put its gigantic, 203,236-square-foot plot of land on the market. No word on what the property is asking, but it’s strictly zoned for manufacturing — meaning that it will get less than a parcel zoned for residential development. There’s still, however, lots of demand for manufacturing and storage use in the market. Any buyer would be able to build up to 406,552 square feet at the site, which fronts Newtown Creek.

The Courier says that the company is “hoping to sell and then lease back the property from the new owners for about a year while it begins to wind down operations in Queens.” FreshDirect bought the warehouse back in 1999, and the city approved its move to the Bronx last year.

FreshDirect Selling Mega LIC Facility Ahead of Bronx Move [Queens Courier] GMAP


Late last week, the city released a Request for Proposal for feasibility studies on developing over Sunnyside Yards. Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to build 11,250 units of permanently affordable housing over the yards is a controversial one — a petition against development formed even before the mayor made his announcement. And now we are hearing about protest groups gaining traction in the borough, with plans to start petitioning soon. There are also murmurings of possible protests to take place at the St. Pats For All Parade this weekend, which the mayor is expected to attend.

Local pols have already picked up on local resistance to Mayor de Blasio’s idea. Council Member Van Bramer has yet to embrace any development plans, and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan released this statement yesterday:

I remain concerned that any attempt by Mayor Deblasio’s administration to develop Sunnyside yards faces environmental, developmental and density issues that has the potential to tremendously damage the middle class quality of life of our western queens communities. I recently wrote an op-ed article with various concerns that still need to be addressed. I will be vigilant in monitoring the actions of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and will continue to demand that the Mayor hear the voices of the many tax paying, middle class New Yorkers who live in Western Queens. The character of Queens would change completely with additional high-rise, overbuilt towers. I await more news from the administration and will continue to monitor this situation very closely.

And according to DNAinfo, Governor Cuomo spoke out against development for the second time just this Monday.

All Sunnyside Yards coverage [Q'Stoner]

02/24/15 4:00pm


Tonight, the Hunters Point Park Conservancy is hosting a membership drive and season launch party. If you’ve got any suggestions for parks throughout Long Island City, this is a place to bring them. According to the Conservancy, “Let your voice be heard and share ideas and suggestions for future events and help the Conservancy plan an exciting second season of Yoga, Movies, Concerts and more at the LIC waterfront parks.” The party will last from 7 to 9 pm at Shi Restaurant, 47-20 Center Boulevard. There will be complementary appetizers from Shi, while existing and new conservancy members get a free drink. Full event details here.

Recently, Hunters Point Park Conservancy has pushed for new members and support in an effort to host outdoor movies, organize a music series and possibly get an ice skating rink inside Hunters Point South Park for next winter.

02/24/15 3:00pm

45-34 Pearson Street-rendering

Way back in the summer of 2013, we told you about an out-of-context, eight-story finger building planned for 45-34 Pearson Street in LIC. Nothing really happened at the site, which was still quiet when Court Square Blog checked in last year. But that may change soon, as a new buyer just picked up the property for $3.5 million.

A Massey Knackal listing — which provided the proposed rendering above — said that the property comes with “approved plans to begin construction with an active work permit of an eight story, 16 unit residential building totaling approximately 15,427 gross square feet.” The actual lot is only 2,500 square feet. Because it has a FAR of 4.99, a building of this size (and height!) is indeed possible. While we don’t know if the buyer plans to follow the rendered design exactly, it’s very likely they will try to build to the full allowable height.

Get Ready for an Out-of-Context Sliver Building at 45-34 Pearson Street [Q'Stoner] GMAP

02/24/15 10:00am


What’s up at LIC’s soon-to-be tallest residential skyscraper at 42-12 28th Street? Heatherwood Communities is now building up the 477-unit rental, dubbed 28 on 28th, and it will rise to 58 stories and 648 feet. 6sqft snagged interior renderings of amenities and common spaces. The amenity package, as you may have guessed, is extensive: bicycle and tenants’ storage, attended parking for 50 cars, a pool, outdoor deck, tenant’s lounge, screening room, children’s playroom, gaming lounge, fitness center, rooftop terrace and “sky lounge” on the 56th floor. (Keeping track?)


Check out lots more renderings after the jump. The project is expected to wrap in the summer of 2017.

First Look at the Amenities in Queens’ Tallest Residential Skyscraper 28 on 28th [6sqft]
All 42-12 28th Street coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP


02/24/15 9:00am


Both the New York Times and The Real Deal are reporting huge news that Citigroup plans to sell a massive development site located right next to its iconic tower. The parcel in question is bound by 44th Road, 23rd Street and 44th Drive in Court Square and is nearly one acre in size, or 36,000 square feet. It is expected to sell for as much as $150 million. A developer could build up to 780,000 square feet, and a C5-3 zoning allows residential, office, retail and hotel use.

The Times reports that it’s likely this will go residential, as the area didn’t quite make it as an office hub but is officially a residential hotspot. As the Times says, “If the property sale marks a shift in the neighborhood from commercial to residential development, it also is another sign of Citigroup’s diminishing presence in the city.” (The article details the many troubles faced by the bank since the recession.)

Citigroup sold One Court Square in 2005, but still holds a lease in the building until 2020. And in 2007, the bank built out Two Court Square in hopes to kick off a larger 1.5-million-square-foot development. Obviously that never happened, with Citigroup ultimately selling six floors of the 15-story building to the City University of New York School of Law.

New Housing to Benefit as Citigroup Sells Queens Site [NY Times]

Photo via Queens Plaza


One day last spring, I was walking down Jackson Avenue towards Astoria when I found myself in the midst of a flock of pigeons who were pecking away at the sidewalk and doing – y’know – pigeon stuff. Nothing unusual about that, and the sort of thing that New Yorkers barely even notice. What grabbed my attention, however, was that one of these critters was sporting plumage of the scarlet and golden variety, which is decidedly uncommon. A fancy that this might be some sort of Buddhist Monk Pigeon or X-Man was entertained briefly, but then again I’m sort of an idiot.

More after the jump… (more…)