Crain’s released this rendering of the largest residential project now underway in Ridgewood, at 16-14 and 16-26 Madison Street between Myrtle and Wyckoff avenues. The developer Essex Capital purchased the warehouse site last September for $4,700,000 and filed building permits in January. Construction is now underway and should last until the summer of 2016.
The seven-story building will hold 90 units (mostly one and two bedrooms), as well as “a WeWork-style business center” for renters who work from home — as Crain’s points out, this amenity is “largely associated with trendy neighborhoods like Williamsburg.” The developer told Crain’s, “We view Ridgewood as having an separate identity and a separate desirability from whatever places like Bushwick are offering,” but it’s pretty clear this building will try to target younger residents who might otherwise reside in Bushwick.
I was invited to attend the annual Ridgewood Democratic Club brunch over on Putnam Avenue last Saturday. The event raises funds for the upkeep and renovation of the building which has housed the organization since 1917. I was there last year as well, and my colleague Kevin Walsh offered this post describing the building at Q’Stoner back in 2013. The structure holds a collection of political memorabilia – campaign posters and so on – which is unparalleled in my experience. This year’s brunch had food and beverages provided by Congressman Joseph Crowley‘s office, although the Congressman was unable to attend as he was on a trip to India with President Obama.
Having arrived a bit early, as is my habit, I was treated to a short tour of the second floor which is undergoing renovation. Coming back down the grand stairs, a buzzy crowd and the smell of fresh coffee greeted me.
The NYC Compost Project is setting up compost sites in both Ridgewood and Kew Gardens, according to DNAinfo. In March, the initiative will bring pop-up sites to both neighborhoods that will accept fruit and vegetable scraps from residents. Locations will pop up once a week for a few hours, and then the compost will go toward local farms and community gardens. NYC Compost is still trying to decide on actual locations for the scrap drop offs — you can help them decide by filling out this survey.
There are plans for future compost sites in Corona and Pomonok, too. Currently, you can drop off scaps at the Jackson Heights and Forest Hills greenmarkets.
Tonight’s the night! The owners of Ridgewood cafe Norma’s are opening their beer and wine bar at 818 Woodward Avenue near Cornelia Street. Dubbed Julia’s, there will be local beer, organic wine and a menu of charcuterie and small plates. (Expect Finback, Bridge and Tunnel and Transmitter Breweries on tap.) The opening was delayed due to Department of Building issues that have since been resolved.
And yesterday, Gothamist wrote about Bierleichen, a new German-style bar slated for 582 Seneca Avenue. The owners (also behind the Brooklyn bars The Bounty and The Drink) hope to open with German beers, sausages and pretzels within the next month. Gothamist posits that “it wouldn’t be totally out there to say Seneca, with its convenient subway stop, will become Ridgewood’s Bedford Avenue one day.”
It’s no surprise to anyone that Ridgewood real estate is booming (above, an example of a new development slated for the neighborhood), but Queens Courier crunched the numbers on how much rents have actually grown. The answer is a lot: since 2009, rents in the neighborhood have nearly doubled. The median rental price came in at $1,340 a month in 2009; it was $2,182 for 2014. That number’s $382 higher than the median rent for 2013 — Queens Courier points out that median rent in a place like Astoria rose $50 from 2013 to 2014. The neighborhood still comes in third when ranking median rents for the year: LIC is first with rent at $2,770 a month, then Astoria at $2,100.
The article also provides us with yet another nickname for Ridgewood — apparently Quooklyn or Ridgewick aren’t enough. But how about “Ridgebetween”? Alan Lightfeldt, a StreetEasy data scientist, told the Courier the name stems from “its new found status as an ‘in-between’ neighborhood of Brooklyn and Queens.”
We’ve kept a close eye on Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar, under construction at 818 Woodward Avenue near Cornelia Street. The owners (who also run popular Ridgewood cafe Norma’s) planned to open last September but were held up by Department of Buildings issues. Today they announced that they’re planning on a soft opening for next Friday, January 23rd.
Once open, the spot will serve local craft beers (with Finback, Bridge and Tunnel and Transmitter Breweries on tap), wine, charcuterie and cheese plates. The interior looks gorgeous, too. Can’t wait!
Mexican Apple BBQ, a barbecue joint with some Mexican flair, is now open at 66-89 Forest Avenue, off of Putnam Avenue in Ridgewood. Ridgewood Social gives the spot two thumbs up, and reports that the owners use a small, in-house smoker and make homemade tortillas to order. The menu includes BBQ ribs and chicken, buffalo wings, burgers, tortas, juices and more. It’s open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 10:30 pm and Saturday through Sunday, 8 am to 10:30 pm.
Topos Bookstore is located at 788 Woodward Avenue, between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street. We hear there’s a good selection of books, including children’s books. Ridgewood Beat noted that there was an open house Sunday night, with an official grand opening coming soon. Then there’s Buttah Bakery, under construction at 377 Onderdonk Avenue between Stanhope and Stockholm Streets. The owners, two sisters from Williamsburg, gave Ridgewood Social some more details on the coming opening: “Buttah is an American bakery committed to using the freshest and highest quality ingredients. All of our items are freshly baked daily from scratch on premise. Our menu includes many sweet and savory American and Italian-American classic treats with a twist. We don’t have a Grand Opening date yet but we’re hoping for before the holidays.” Two very nice additions to the nabe!
Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the designation of the Central Ridgewood Historic District. The district spans 40 blocks of the neighborhood and covers 990 buildings — more than three times the total number of buildings in already-landmarked districts of Ridgewood. The district mostly consists of brick rowhouses built in the early 1900s, and includes the streetscapes of 69th Avenue, Madison Street, Catalpa Avenue (above), and the Meyerrose House at 66-75 Forest Avenue. Prominent architects featured in the area are Louis Berger (the architect of record for over 5,000 buildings in the Ridgewood-Bushwick area) and Paul Stier (who built about half of the houses in the Central Ridgewood Historic District). This district is, according to the LPC, “One of the most harmonious and architecturally-distinguished enclaves of working-class dwellings built in New York City during the early twentieth century.” Here are more details from the LPC:
The detailing of the buildings is mainly in the Renaissance Revival Style, often mixed with elements from other styles, such as Romanesque Revival and neo-Grec. Many of the buildings’ original brownstone stoops, cut-glass and wood doors, and iron fences, railings and gates remain intact, as do most of the pressed-metal cornices. Representing a cohesive collection of speculative urban architecture, the row houses in the Central Ridgewood Historic District retain a high level of architectural integrity and represent an important part of housing development in New York City.
This is the third historic district for Ridgewood, and the 11th for Queens. Check out two more photos of buildings in the district after the jump.
Soon after the cocktail bar Onderdonk & Sons opened on Onderdonk Avenue, we got word of a Belgian beer bar slated to open on Fresh Pond Road. Called The Monk, the bar specializes primarily in Belgian beers and will have a strict “no TV” policy. According to Bedford and Bowery, “The name of the bar is an homage to the Trappist Monks who famously brew their own beer, considered among the best in the world.” There will be eight rotating beers on tap, a unique selection of bottled beers, and a backyard to drink in when the weather’s warm.
The grand opening is tomorrow, Saturday, from 5 pm to 2 am. Regular hours will be Monday through Thursday, 5 pm to midnight, Friday from 5 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 2 pm to 2 am, and Sunday from 2 pm to midnight. The Monk is located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Road, just north of Myrtle Avenue. GMAP