This Thursday, November 20th, Woodside on the Move is hosting its third annual “Taste of Woodside.” The event will feature food samples from as many as 20 restaurants hailing from Woodside and Western Queens. Food will include American, Spanish, Turkish, Thai and Mediterranean cuisine; participating restaurants include F. Ottomanelli Burgers, La Adelita Restaurant and Takesushi.
The event lasts from 6 to 9 pm at the St. Sebastian School Auditorium. Tickets cost $25.
You can take the Q39 bus here, but why? There’s a somewhat hidden stretch of Laurel Hill Boulveard, which is entirely overflown by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, down here. On either side of the street, high masonry walls define the borders of Third and Fourth Calvary Cemeteries. There are sidewalks, however, and this is one of the loneliest spots to walk through that can be found in all of Western Queens.
The street is only ten blocks long, spanning the area between 58th and 48th Streets, and it’s one of those hazy areas where you might be in the neighborhood of Maspeth, or in Woodside, or perhaps Sunnyside. It’s actually and definitively Woodside, by the way, but there really is no one around whom you’d be able to ask. You’d be surrounded by literally millions walking down this street, but they’re all dead.
Today, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer officially announced the installation of three Neighborhood Slow Zones in Sunnyside south of Queens Boulevard, as well as Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside. (As you can see in the photo above, he was joined by PS 199 elementary school students.) As part of the initiative, the DOT will bring 38 speed bumps and 50 gateways (special signs to indicate where the zone begins) to the neighborhoods, and the speed limit will be reduced to 20 mph.
Community Board Two approved the slow zone proposal in September, after about a year of planning. See maps of the new slow zone areas right after the jump.
The NYC HPD announced that one of the Mitchell-Lama towers in Woodside opened up its waiting list for two- and three-bedroom co-op apartments. The exact address of the housing is not listed, but our guess is that it’s part of the Big Six complex — read more about the successful, desirable housing complex right here. Under Mitchell-Lama, the city regulates prices for moderate- and middle-income apartment units. Prices for two bedrooms at this particular development range from $36,467 to $40,519. Three bedrooms are priced between $48,721 and $52,781. (No, those numbers aren’t typos. Sigh.)
The city will only select 1000 applicants to be entered in the lottery for two-bedroom apartments, and 500 applicants for the three-bedroom apartments. There are income restrictions in place — view the full list of guidelines and details here [PDF]. Applications are due in the mail by October 31st, 2014.
Last month, the Vass Stevens Group closed on the building at 62-02 Roosevelt Avenue, right off 62nd Street, and now plans to redevelop it into a commercial hotspot. There is 12,200 square feet of rentable space, with the potential to build up to 35,000 square feet. The developers dubbed the building “The Hub” — it even has its own website. They hope to lure a retail, office, or hospital tenant and are emphasizing the development’s proximity to the 7 Train and LIRR. Steven Lysohir, representing the new owners, had this to say about the potential on Roosevelt Avenue: “The strong existing residential base, combined with infrastructure surrounding this property, proximity to major markets, and the increasing demand from various demographics results in a recipe for growth… We plan to commence the leasing effort shortly to find the right tenant for the property and trade area. Our group is committed to Woodside and will spend real dollars to upgrade the appearance and size of the asset to further enhance the curb appeal of this commercial strip.”
You can see more renderings exploring the possibilities of the building after the jump. GMAP(more…)
Every once in awhile, an ambitious plan is floated to “deck over” the Sunnyside Yards and develop right over it. Well, it looks like we’ve got another one of those plans — or at least a proposal — on our hands. Queens Courier shares that at a recent board meeting, Community Board 2 approved a motion to ask Borough President Katz for a feasibility study on decking the yards and developing on top of it. While Board Chair Joseph Conley brought the issue up for a vote, there are no specifics whatsoever about the plan — the goal is just to start a dialogue. As Queens Courier puts it, “Conley reasoned that it would be good to explore the ability to use the space, especially for affordable housing, as land prices continue to shoot upward in nearby communities such as Long Island City.”
Some board members didn’t want more housing — which requires more public services and infrastructure — for the area. Others want to explore possibilities of a hospital, affordable housing, school or public space there. Here’s a technical analysis complied by the former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff in regards to future development.
The Big Six Towers, Queens Boulevard between 59th and 61st Streets, were developed, like Electchester in Flushing, by a trade union. In 1961 the New York Typographical Union (Local 6) completed the project in 1963 and one-third of its current tenants are active or retired union members. The AFL-CIO invested heavily in the towers in 2008 to help keep its apartments affordable for middle-class families. There are still some retired lithographers and printers among the residents.
While other large residential developments have joined the Big Six Towers on this stretch of Queens Boulevard, the small terra cotta former Childs’ restaurant outlet holds firm on the NW corner of 60th Street. The building hosts a laundromat, bodega, Irish bar and pizza parlor on the ground floor.
Last week, Community Board Two held a public hearing regarding two proposals to install Slow Zones in Sunnyside, Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside. If the zones are implemented, the DOT will bring 38 speed bumps and 50 gateways (special signs to indicate where the zone begins) to the neighborhoods. The speed limit will be reduced to 20 mph. The Times Ledger reports that the proposal “did not receive overwhelming support” with board members worried about possible gridlock and more traffic. One member called the yellow gateway signs an eyesore, although the DOT stated they cannot be altered. But CB2 Chairman Joe Conley spoke in support of the measure, saying that cars usually travel 35 to 40 mph through the residential streets.
Ultimately, CB2 almost unanimously approved the proposal by a hands-raised vote, according to the Ledger. The DOT is now going to take the community suggestions into consideration before submitting a final plan for installation.
What would become Woodside, a bustling community centered at Roosevelt Avenue and 61st Street where the #7 Flushing Line and the Long Island Rail Road come together, was originally a part of a larger colonial village, Newtown. It was largely a woodsy swamp until the mid-1860s, when developer Benjamin Hitchcock purchased the John Kelly farm and divided it into building lots located along today’s Woodside Avenue. Kelly, an early settler, was part owner of a Brooklyn newspaper and sent it dispatches from his home in the ‘sticks’ called “Letters from Woodside;” Hitchcock perpetuated the name. Woodside took off when the Queensboro Bridge opened in 1909 and the el arrived in 1917. Woodside’s strange street pattern, with some streets angling for seemingly no reason, has to do with its old railroads: the Flushing and Woodside and Flushing and Northside Railroads, as well as the Long Island Rail Road, all ran through Woodside. By the late 19th century, the railroads had either failed or had been absorbed by the LIRR. The surviving roads, absorbed into the LIRR, were elevated by 1917.
Today in Woodside you are just as likely to exit an Irish bar and enter an Indian restaurant as you are to walk out of a bodega and then past a remnant of the colonial era. Woodside has succeeded in hiding in plain sight some of its more prominent relics from the old days, too.