07/22/14 3:00pm


The warehouse at 779 Wyckoff Avenue, on the corner of Madison Street just off Myrtle Avenue, is going rental. Curbed checked in with the construction project, which will transform the two-story warehouse into a five-story rental development. It will hold 28 units; it also includes an enclosed parking area. The design is by the popular Queens architecture firm Gerald J Caliendo Architects.

The DOB approved the building plans back in 2012, and issued permits to install a sprinkler system in April. No word on a finish date, but Curbed guesses that “if the price is right, rentals in this building might be filled pretty quickly.”

28-Unit Rental Will Replace Factory On Wyckoff Avenue [Curbed] GMAP

07/21/14 11:00am


On Friday, the 11th of July, I found myself at the very edge of Queens in a very special place. At the end of Vernon Boulevard in LIC, where the old Vernon Avenue Bridge and the Newtown Creek Towing Company were found, is a facility which is engaged in the hands-on work of the Superfund process. The Anchor QEA company operates out of here, carrying out the collection of samples and scientific tests which will determine the exact nature of what’s wrong with Newtown Creek. These samples and tests are overseen and directed by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, and is an effort conducted by the so-called ”Potentially Responsible Parties” (PRPs).

These “Potentially Responsible Parties” have organized themselves together as the Newtown Creek Group, and they invited a small group of community members and representatives to their LIC facility to describe what they actually do at the Vernon street end and discuss the future of Newtown Creek.

More after the jump… (more…)

07/11/14 9:00am


Many months after news broke that developers would convert the Ridgewood Theater into apartments, the Department of Buildings approved new building plans. Bushburg Properties, the building’s owner, told Curbed that “they are still in the planning stages of the development, working to bring contractors on board and finalizing their designs.” You can check out a drawing of the DOB plans after the jump.

Plans call for a five-story build behind the existing building, as well as two additional stories on top of the three-story theater. There will be a total of 50 apartments. 13,638 square feet will be dedicated to an entertainment or cultural venue housed on the first floor. (The space has yet to be leased.) Since the building is landmarked, the existing facade cannot be altered, but it’s unclear what the addition will look like. That also means the entrance for the residential portion will likely be on Cypress Avenue or Madison Street, not on the main drag of Myrtle Avenue. The architect Nataliya Donskoy is behind the addition.

The theater sold to developers for $6,950,000, despite a local organization hoping to make it a performance space. No word on the development’s completion date yet.

Ridgewood Theater’s Residential Conversion Moves Forward [Curbed]
All Ridgewood Theater coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP


07/02/14 9:00am

482 seneca

Steel framing is going up at the site of this conversion and expansion in Ridgewood. The original two-story structure at 482 Seneca Avenue, a former factory, will be turned into 16 residential units. Though the permit is for a four-story, 50-foot tall building, the rendering shows a six story building, a contradiction first pointed out by Wyckoff Heights. It’s not entirely clear from the framing how many stories the building will be. Right now it looks like five.

Steel Rising at 482 Seneca Avenue [Wyckoff Heights]
Crazy New Rendering for a Conversion and Enlargement Project in Ridgewood [Q'Stoner]

Photo: Wyckoff Heights

06/13/14 1:00pm


There will be dancing in the streets. Many, many streets…bars, cemeteries, gardens, historic houses, malls, parks, nonprofits, restaurants, stoops and triangles, too. On June 21st (aka the longest day of the year), Make Music New York will host a Summer Solstice festival consisting of more than 1,000 free concerts throughout the five boroughs. From 10 am to 10 pm, musicians of all persuasions — hip hop to opera, jazz to punk, high school bands to pop stars — will do their things. Queens, of course, will be in the center of the action. For example, South African artist Toya DeLazy will perform her unique blend of hip hop, jazz and electronica at LIC Landing (52-10 Center Boulevard, Long Island City) at 1 pm. Meanwhile from noon to 4 pm, the Queens Council on the Arts (37-11 35th Avenue, Astoria) will present Reggae artist Desmond followed by Instrumental Jazz Fusion by Mind Open. Six hours of music and dance are scheduled at the Spaceworks LIC Block Party (33-02 Skillman Avenue, LIC). All told, Astoria, Corona, Elmhurst, Glendale, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Ridgewood and Sunnyside will host events.

Click here for a complete list of all performers, venues, and times in Queens.


06/10/14 4:00pm


Three stops along the M train, in Ridgewood, now boast some amazing permanent art installations. The work, commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design, is by the Madrid-born artist Laura F. Gibellini. The blog Hyperallergic shares great photographs of the art.

Gibellini designed a mosaic mural (pictured above), located across from the mezzanine entrance at the Fresh Pond Road station. She used a combination of subway tile and mosaic to create an inviting bedroom scene — the MTA shares more details on her work here. Gibellini also installed laminated glass images of hanging laundry for the Forest Avenue and the Seneca Avenue stations (pictured below) — the MTA details those projects here. The work, which is hand-painted on glass, echoes the theme of “home” found at the Fresh Pond station mosaic mural.

New Subway Art Installation Brings the Home into the Commute [Hyperallergic]

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 2.35.39 PM

All images courtesy the artist, commissioned and owned by MTA Arts for Transit & Urban Design, photographs by Stephen Scott Gross

06/06/14 9:00am

60-07 Metropolitan Ave-strip-club

The tenant of the building at 60-07 Metropolitan Avenue, located off 60th Street in Ridgewood, wants to keep his strip club there. The Vixen nightclub has occupied this location for 21 years, but the 6,000-square-foot building is now on the market. The New York Daily News reports that the site has drawn interest from at least four developers. The owner of the Vixen says he’ll pay $1,300,000 to keep the building and claims he still has 10 years on his lease — that number was not confirmed.

Residents tell the News they’d be happy to see the business go, given the reports of violence in the club, the loud music, and drunk visitors who pee on the sidewalk. GMAP

Ridgewood Strip Club Owner Plans to Buy Building Before Developers Pounce [NY Daily News]

Photo via Google Maps

05/30/14 4:00pm


Today Brick Underground ran a profile on Ridgewood, the “dirt cheap, radioactive Queens nabe that may be the next Greenpoint.” The article breaks down prices (median sale price is $884,000, median rent is $2,400) and quotes Ridgewood residents on the changes in the neighborhood, the bar scene, where to find a taxi, and hidden gems. So what do residents like? The cheap rents, the proximity to Bushwick, friendly bars, Zum Stammtisch and Gottscheer Hall. Public transportation (“The L train is my death,” says a resident), the lack of clothing stores and the potentially toxic atmosphere are cited as downsides to living here.

Neighborhood Secrets: Ridgewood [Brick Underground]

Photo via Wikipedia

05/23/14 1:00pm


With about 130,000 residents, Queens is home to more war veterans than any other borough in New York City. This weekend various neighborhoods honor their war heroes with Memorial Day parades, including biggest one in the country (Little Neck/Douglaston).

The Maspeth Memorial Day Parade (Sunday, May 25th, at 1 pm) is always an emotional display of patriotism and gratitude. This year, it honors local veterans and women. Retired Capt. Laura Zimmermann is the speaker, and other honorees are Leo J. Wasil, who flew 35 combat missions as a radio operator, mechanic and gunner in World War II; Anthony Simone, who fought in the treacherous Mung Dung Valley during the Korean War; and Jane Crowley, who joined the United States Marine Corp Women’s Service in 1943. The parade begins at 1 pm at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, 72nd Street and Grand Avenue, and proceeds down Grand to the Frank Kowalinski American Legion Post 4 and Knights of Columbus on 69th Lane, where there’s a memorial service at 2 pm.

Information on the other parades follows:

  • Broad Channel, Sunday, May 25th, 1 pm, Cross Bay Boulevard.
  • Forest Hills, Sunday, May 25th, noon, starts at Ascan and Metropolitan avenues, proceeds to Trotting Course Lane, ending at St. John Cemetery. Grand marshals are Monsignor John McGuirl, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church; Community Board 6 Chair Joseph Hennessey; and Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Terrance Holliday.
  • College Point, Sunday, May 25th, 2 pm, starts at 28rd Avenue and College Point Boulevard and heads to 5th Avenue and 119th Street. State Senator Tony Avella is the grand marshal. Poppy Queen is Isabella Joan Hollaway.
  • Howard Beach, Monday, May 26th, 9:30 am, begins with Memorial Day Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church at 101st Street and 159th Avenue. The parade kicks off at 11 am in Coleman Square and takes its time-honored route through Old Howard Beach, visiting the Vietnam War memorial at 99th Street and 157th Avenue, the World War II memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th Street and then St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 98 Street.
  • Laurelton, Monday, May 26th, 9 am, Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards to the Veterans Memorial Triangle, 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue.
  • Little Neck-Douglaston, Monday, May 26th, 2 pm, Northern Boulevard between Jayson Avenue and 245th Street, 2 pm. The closing ceremony is held in the parking lot of Saint Anastasia School, Northern Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, where awards are given, honorees are acknowledged, and refreshments are served. World War II heroes are the grand marshals, including Rocco Moretto and John McHugh Sr., who stormed the beaches of Normandy during D-Day; Thomas Dent; John W. Peterkin; and Lucy Salpeper, who joined the Navy Waves and cared for injured soldiers.
  • Ridgewood-Glendale, Monday, May 26th, 11 am, starting at the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle at Myrtle and Cypress avenues and ending at the Glendale War Monument at Myrtle and Cooper avenues. Charles Dunn, a member of Glendale’s VFW Sergeant Edward R. Miller Post 7336, is the grand marshal.
  • The Rockaways, May 26th, noon, steps off at Beach 121st Street.
  • Whitestone, Monday, May 26th, noon, starts at Whitestone Memorial Park, 149th Street and 15th Drive and proceeds on 12th Avenue. Dr. David Copell, a Korean War vet, is the grand marshal.

Photo: The Whitestone Memorial Day Parade


Looks like some big-time tenants are eyeing the commercial and residential property at 5823-25 Myrtle Avenue, between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street in Ridgewood. The 4,264-square-foot building sold earlier this spring for $3,250,000. The broker in charge of the sale reports that the buyer, a private investor, is currently in negotiation with national tenants to lease the retail space. According to a rep at EPIC Commercial Realty, “Being on the corner of Forest and Myrtle Ave, plus over 40 feet of exposure on Myrtle Avenue, is drawing the attention of national retailers who are excited at the opportunity to set foot in the upcoming neighborhood.” It’s still unclear what kind of renovations are coming for the building, if any. (The property comes with a total of 11,688 buildable square feet, and was delivered to the buyer vacant.) So far there are no work permits up on the Department of Buildings website.

Very interesting, indeed. Ridgewood residents, what kind of retailers would you like to see on this corner?

Mixed-Use Building in Ridgewood Sells [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via PropertyShark