04/18/14 2:00pm

62-96 Woodhaven Blvd

The building at 62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard, the former home of Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, is coming down — at least partly. Queens Chronicle reports that the developers filed demolition permits for a portion of the existing building to make way for a seven-story, 114-unit apartment building. No one is spilling any details on the coming demolition, and existing shop owners feel frustrated due to the lack of specifics on the future transfer of ownership and potential demo. The owners of A Dog’s Best Friend, located just down from Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, plan to move the business a few blocks away because of all the uncertainty.

Demolition on the Menu for Abbracciamento’s [Queens Chronicle]
All Joe Abbracciamento coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

64-80 82nd Street-LOTD

Calling all renovators! This Middle Village home at 64-80 82nd Street is going to need some work but it’s got nice bones. Just get rid of the carpet (bright green carpet – why oh why?) and those purple tiles in the bathroom. The kitchen we quite like. And it looks like there are hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms, meaning that there may be more to uncover underneath all that carpet, as well as some original fireplaces. The ask is $689,000. Do you think that sounds right, given the cosmetic work this home is going to need?

64-80 82nd Street [Tscherne Realty] GMAP

03/13/14 3:00pm


The other week, news broke that the Criterion Group planned to build a new seven-story, 120-unit residential development at the former Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant site on Woodhaven Boulevard. We never heard back from Criterion on details for the coming build, but a Criterion rep spoke briefly to the Forum Newsgroup. The rep stated, “I’m surprised by how much interest this has already generated. We haven’t even finished our design stage yet. We are still waiting for the property to be acquired.” (Word is that the property sold for over $10,000,000.) A DOB spokesperson followed up, saying that Criterion is only in the beginning phases of development, with no permits issued yet. So far there’s only a building application for 81,719 square feet of residential space and 3,910 square feet for parking.

Rego-Forest Preservation Council was hoping the developers would maintain or restore the building’s historic character, but it looks like demolition may be in the near future.

Abbracciamento Building May Become Residential Housing: Developer [The Forum]
A Residential Development Is Coming for the Former Abbracciamentos’ Block [Q'Stoner] GMAP

03/05/14 9:00am

6276-6288 Woodhaven-Blvd

This Sunday, longtime Italian restaurant Joe Abbracciamento shuttered in Middle Village. A very interesting comment popped up on this Q’Stoner post about the closure suggesting a development to come:

As a long term Middle Village resident, I have overheard many rumors as to who has purchased the entire block where Abbracciamentos’ has been for so long. Criterion group has recently submitted drawings to the building department for a 7 story residential building. Most likely condominiums. Luckily, Criterion has developed quality looking buildings in the past and they are an experienced developer.

Lo and behold, here are those Department of Buildings documents filed by the Criterion Group for a new seven-story, 120-unit development. There will be a total of 81,719 square feet of residential space, 3,910 square feet of parking and no commercial space. As far as we can tell, the development will encompass three different parcels (outlined above) with frontage on Woodhaven Boulevard, 62nd Drive and 63rd Avenue.

Building plans are “in process” with the DOB and no demolition or new building permits have been issued just yet. We’ve reached out to the Criterion Group to see if we can pull up any more information about the construction timeline. And if you know anything more, do hit up the tipline!

Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant Will Close in Rego Park This Sunday [Q'Stoner] GMAP

02/20/14 9:00am


Queens Courier shares some disheartening news about the state of transportation projects in Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village. In short, everything set to be improved is delayed. Here’s a roundup from the Courier:

  • Reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge: This bridge is in danger of collapse, but its reconstruction was delayed back in 2009 and was just delayed again. The city still has to review and redesign the project, which is estimated to cost as much as $25,000,000. According to the Courier, “Developers are now considering building an abutment, eliminating one track under the bridge, to help the building process.”
  • The Grand Street Bridge project: The city plans to replace this 111-year-old bridge (pictured) at a price of $50,000,000. The project was delayed after Hurricane Sandy and is now being redesigned to meet new flood regulations.
  • Wyckoff Avenue Reconstruction Project: This project calls for new sewer lines and water mains on Wyckoff Avenue, a new concrete base on the roadway, new sidewalks and new curbing. It’s estimated to cost $20,000,000. The city planned to start the project in 2010, it’s been delayed until 2026.
  • Middle Village Streetscape Improvements: New sidewalks, sewer lines, water mains, signage and street lights for the area from 73rd Place to 80th Street, between Metropolitan Avenue to Cooper Avenue. The city keeps pushing back the $20,000,000 project to take care of higher priorities. Currently, the ETA is set for 2022.

Stalled Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village Transportation Projects Suffer More Setbacks [Queens Courier]

Photo via NYC.gov

01/14/14 4:00pm


Yesterday the New York City Department of Sanitation announced that it will expand its curbside collection of organic materials to Queens. The city is just launching its organics collection program — which includes food waste, food-soiled paper, and leaf and yard waste — to help the city reduce trash disposal costs and create renewable energy or compost. This April and May, the service will be rolled out to include portions of Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth — check out a PDF map here. The Department already provides organics collection in areas of Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

So how does it work? The city gives single-family homes or buildings with nine or fewer residential units a brown outdoor organics bin with wheels, a lid, and a latch to dispose of compost material. The brown bins will be placed curbside on recycling day for collection by the Department of Sanitation. (Residential buildings with 10 or more units are not automatically included in the pilot but can enroll in the program on a voluntary basis.) For all the information, go to the Department of Sanitation’s website.

11/27/13 10:30am


The Department of Transportation is testing out different safety initiatives for Woodhaven Boulevard, a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that is the site of many accidents. Queens Courier reports that the DOT is three years into a five-year study. So far, the DOT added extended sidewalks and medians from Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road, made southbound traffic on the service road at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard a “must turn right” lane, and shrunk the two lanes of the service road into one. At a community meeting held this month, the DOT reported that since the improvements, crashes are actually up on Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road. Accidents at Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard decreased 29 percent.

The DOT will continue to implement safety changes — the service roads between Atlantic Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard will be changed into one lane of traffic and one parking lane. They also hope to create a northbound dedicated bus lane from the Belt Parkway to Liberty Avenue.

Woodhaven Boulevard Safety Still in Flux [Queens Courier]

Photo via Google Maps

08/29/13 10:00am


The Community Board 5 Transportation Committee has spent the last several months working with the Department of City Planning and the Department of Transportation to install bike lanes in Ridgewood, Maspeth, and Middle Village. After the committee’s latest meeting, attended by Streetsblog, it looks like these plans will come to fruition next year. The Department of City Planning proposed these bike routes: Eliot Avenue from Metropolitan Avenue to Woodhaven Boulevard; Juniper Boulevard South from 69th Street to Dry Harbor Road; Woodward Avenue, Onderdonk Avenue, and connecting streets from Metropolitan Avenue to Cypress Hills Cemetery; Central Avenue and Cooper Avenue from Cypress Hills Street to Woodhaven Boulevard; 69th Street from Calamus Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue; and 80th Street from the Long Island Expressway to Myrtle Avenue. Streetsblog also notes, “There are four additional routes that could receive further study: Grand Avenue, a north-south route between Ridgewood and Maspeth, a route between Ridgewood and Bushwick, and a loop around Juniper Valley Park.” As you can see in the map above, central Queens sorely lacks bike lane infrastructure, so these plans will be welcome news to bikers. The Department of City Planning will host a workshop with the Community Board next month for more feedback on lane placement. The DCP and DOT are hoping to install bike lanes as soon as fall of next year.

The Transportation Committee also looked at plans to make the 71st Avenue Plaza in Ridgewood permanent. It’s expected that the committe will write a letter of support for the permanent plaza proposal, which heads to the Public Design Commission next month.

Queens CB 5 Set to Move Ahead With Bike Lane Planning, Plaza Construction [Streetsblog]
Temporary 71st Avenue Plaza Likely to Become Permanent Fixture in Ridgewood [Q'Stoner]
Map by NYC DOT

06/12/13 9:00am

Picture 11

A liquor store plans to open at a former garage and gas station at Cooper Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village,  Times Newsweekly reported. The 5,000-square-foot store would open in a space that has been vacant for years. A spokesman for City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley said nearby liquor store owners in have expressed concerns that the new store would take away business. The owners may have hired an attorney to oppose a liquor license application. GMAP

Photo: Google

05/30/13 1:00pm


We were driving east on Metropolitan Avenue a couple of weeks ago and had to pull over when we reached the intersection of 69th Street. Why? There was one of the coolest looking garages we’d ever seen. It wasn’t too hard to figure out what the place was, as the name Frank T. Lang is prominently displayed on the facade. Although it’s now an auto repair shop, Forgotten NY reveals that the 1904 structure was originally built by a mausoleum and monument manufacturer named, you guessed it, Frank Lang. According to the Queens Chronicle, the building was used for monuments until 1946, when three knitting mills moved in. The Lang Building is in a part of Queens known as Middle Village. For a visual stroll through Middle Village, check out this page of Forgotten NY. GMAP