11/20/14 4:00pm


Today, both the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition and LIC Partnership announced upcoming tree lighting celebrations. The Central Astoria LDC will host its second annual tree lighting on Thursday, December 11th at the Astoria Park Great Lawn. The evening, which kicks off at 6:30 pm, also includes caroling, Chanukah and Kwanza celebrations.

LIC Partnership will host its seventh annual tree lighting on Wednesday, December 3rd at 6 pm. The Hunters Point Community Development Corporation, community members and local merchants will light the Christmas Tree and Chanukkah Menorah at Vernon Mall, Vernon Boulevard at 50th Avenue. Check out the details here. UPDATE: There’s another lighting celebration in LIC on Thursday, December 4th at 5 pm. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, LIC Partnership, JetBlue and LIC Business Women will be present for the 3rd Annual Snowflake Lighting at LIC Bar on Vernon Boulevard. Details here.

11/20/14 11:00am


If you’re anything like the average American, by the time that Friday rolls around, you are going to have to work off a few holiday pounds. Never fear, Brownstoner Queens come to the rescue with a recipe for edgy adventure in Western Queens.

Your first stop is Queens Plaza. That’s where you’ll find the combined pedestrian and bicycle lanes for the Queensboro Bridge, at the intersection of Crescent Street and Queens Plaza North. Personally, I’m a walker, but you this path works for bikes too. You’re going to want to cross the bridge, heading for Manhattan. One thing to keep in mind is how early the sun sets this time of year – which is around 4:30 in the afternoon this week.

More after the jump… (more…)

11/19/14 4:00pm


Exactly one year ago, we all woke up and the 5Pointz graffiti warehouse looked like this. Now the building is under demolition and the developers are trying to trademark the 5Pointz name. By next year, construction will be underway on two 47- and 41-story apartment towers. Sigh.

Last night, a group of 5Pointz artists held a memorial to mark the anniversary. According to Untapped Cities, “About 150 people attended in the cold, while Meres and Danielle Mastrion repainted the ‘rest in paint’ gate.”

A 5Pointz Memorial on First Anniversary of Whitewashing [Untapped Cities]
All 5Pointz coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Rachel Fawn Alban via Untapped Cities

11/19/14 1:00pm


And then there was one. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem outsold the Beatles in their 1960s heyday while popularizing traditional Irish music in the United States. Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger said they were profoundly influenced by these lads — Paddy, Tommy, Liam, and Bobby plus Makem although he left in 1969 — who wore Aran wool sweaters and sang catchy ballads, such as “Finnegan’s Wake.” This Friday, the New York Irish Center will screen The Yellow Bittern, a documentary on the wild, devil-may-care life of Liam, the last surviving Clancy brother. With unseen behind-the-scenes footage and audio recordings, this film is a dark and revealing portrait of a performer with tremendous talent and a troubled personal life.

Details: The Yellow Bittern, New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, November 21st, 7:30 pm, $11/$8 for students, seniors, and the unemployed.


Photos: The Clancy Brothers FB


For the first time ever, the Economic Development Corporation is offering free air rights for a “permanently affordable housing program that maximizes both the number of housing units and the level of affordability” — and it’s happening in Long Island City. The Observer reports that the EDC released a Request for Proposals that offers up the air rights from three city-owned parcels beneath the Queensboro Bridge. (The parcels are un-developable due to the bridge ramps.) The air rights could then be used for adjacent parcels within the same block and zoning district. Developers can request the development rights for all three parcels, or just for some.

The RFP states that a developer will be selected based on “the quality and feasibility of the proposal, response team qualifications, the proposal’s economic impact on New York City, proposed affordable housing program, and purchase price.” Developers must submit proposals by December 22nd.

Air Rights for Affordable Housing: City Pitches LIC Development Deal Swap [Observer]

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


Just last week, the owners of Bia67, on South 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, signed a deal for an expansion to Long Island City. Bia67 is taking over the commercial space at 23-10 Jackson Avenue, the old Quiznos located between Pearson and Davis Streets. (The Quiznos closed earlier this year.) The owners of Bia67 plan to build out a Vietnamese restaurant and bar this winter. The Brooklyn menu includes dim sum, noodles, banh mi sandwiches, pho and more.

Oren Friedman, of DY Realty Services, brokered the deal and has this to say about the restaurant’s arrival: “It will add some depth to the cuisine of the neighborhood and should make a nice lunch and after work spot for drinks.” Seems like a better addition to the neighborhood than Quiznos, that’s for sure. GMAP

Photo via Bia67

11/17/14 10:00am

5-02 54th-avenue-sold

Two one-story warehouses, at 5-02 54th Avenue and 52-37 2nd Street, are now on the market asking “north of $50 million,” according to The Real Deal. 5-02 54th Avenue offers 120,000 square feet of development rights and 52-37 2nd Street comes with 52,000 square feet of development rights, making a grand total of 172,000 buildable square feet. Pinnacle Realty plans to market the parcels for residential, retail or office development. Given the proximity to the waterfront, the existing FAR and the option to seek upzoning, Pinnacle expects to get around $300 per buildable square foot.

The Real Deal also mentions the nearby warehouse site at 202-242 54th Avenue, which is not on the market but is definitely something to keep an eye on. According to TRD, it comes with an astounding 1.6 million buildable square feet.

Hunter’s Point Development Sites Hit Market for $50M-Plus [TRD]

Photo via Google Maps


MoMA PS1 selected five finalists for its 2015 Young Architects Program, according to the website Bustler. Every year PS1 selects promising young firms and asks them to submit a design for the museum’s outdoor courtyard. The winning design is then installed for the summertime. Last summer, The Living won with this organic brick structure, pictured above. This year, finalists are Andres Jaque/Office for Political Innovation, based in Madrid and New York, brillhart architecture from Miami, Erin Besler from Los Angeles, The Bittertang Farm from New York, and Studio Benjamin Dillenburger, based in Toronto. Their courtyard designs must incorporate seating, shade and water, as well as environmental and sustainability measures.

MoMA PS1 Announces YAP 2015 Finalists [Bustler]

Rendering via The Living

11/14/14 2:00pm


This afternoon, Key Foods held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its latest “Urban Market” outpost, now open in the ground-floor of Gantry Park Landing. The 199-unit rental building is located at 50-01 2nd Street, right near the waterfront. According to an article in Supermarket News, the 8,000-square-foot supermarket will offer “equal selections of organic and regular products; an extensive cheese selection; and a gourmet deli with catering services.” The hours will be from 7 am to midnight on Monday through Saturday and 7 am to 10 pm on Sunday.

Photo via Senator Mike Gianaris’ Twitter

11/14/14 10:00am

29-37 41st Avenue-sold-long-island-city

The L-shaped lot at 29-37 41st Avenue, off Northern Boulevard in LIC, just sold in an unbelievable flip. Developer Steve Cheung bought the parcel in 2011 for $8,000,000; an unidentified investor picked it up for $46,300,000. According to The Real Deal, “The site has a buildable square footage of roughly 205,000 square feet and comes with approvals for a 30-story residential tower with 242 units.”

Back in 2011, the site was a failed hotel project. Cheung never built anything and eventually decided to list the property for $50,000,000 this February. The listing lasted 45 days on the market before entering contract. “It didn’t make sense to invest another [$50-75 million] in the project when he could get significantly more value out of it today with less risk than originally anticipated,” Cheung’s rep told TRD. Land prices in the area have gone up like crazy in the past two years, and can reach as high as $250 per buildable foot. For comparison, Cheung paid about $40 per square foot.

In at $8M, out at $46M — Just Three Years Later [TRD] GMAP