Earlier today, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced the expansion of a street cleaning initiative which has popped up in a number of Queens neighborhoods. More areas of Long Island City will now be included in the initiative, particularly the neighborhood of Dutch Kills. The city works with The Doe Fund, who helps formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals find jobs, to clean streets. And since taking office, Council Member Van Bramer allocated over $230,000 for this partnership to take on the streets of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.
Earlier this month LIC Post reported that Council Member Van Bramer allocated $34,000 of last year’s budget to hire two workers from the Doe Fund to help clean the streets of LIC. For 2015, he secured another $70,000 to expand the work to Dutch Kills. He promised that crews will pay special attention to 36th Avenue.
As the developers of Astoria Cove move through their public review process, action is already popping up around the development site. We Heart Astoria spotted demolition permits for two industrial buildings at 26-15 4th Street and 26-01 4th Street (pictured). As the blog points out, that is just steps away from the footprint of Phase One development of Astoria Cove. The owners who filed demolition permits purchased these properties back in 2009.
Massey Knakal marketed these parcels as a development site asking $18,000,000. Looks like they never sold. There’s a total of 51,493 square feet and a zoning designation of R6 — a developer could built up to 154,479 square feet for a residential development. Looks like Astoria Cove isn’t the only development to look out for in this now-sleepy corner of the neighborhood.
We are getting oh-so-ready for Astoria Coffee to open its cafe/bar at 30-04 30th Street, off 30th Avenue. Yesterday they posted the above photo to their Facebook account, showing an almost-ready interior. Looks beautiful, too. The Astoria Coffee website says that the owners hope to open sometime in August; they initially hoped to open up in June.
Astoria Coffee, who roasts and distributes its own beans, plans to serve coffee, tea, beer, wine and baked goods at its brick and mortar location.
Without a doubt, Louis Armstrong is the most famous jazz musician who ever lived in Queens. However, Satchmo often cited a much lesser-known borough resident, Bix Beiderbecke, as one of his biggest inspirations. Known affectionately as “Bix,” this self-taught coronet player had his own, distinctive sound described as “bullets hitting a bell.” He had his heyday during the Roaring Twenties Jazz Era before dying at age 28 in his apartment at 43-30 46th Street in Sunnyside, thanks largely to Prohibition-era alcohol. This Saturday with some help from Sunnyside Shines, Bix’s music and the Roaring Twenties will come to life at the 14th annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert.
Check out the full schedule and event details after the jump. (more…)
The Deal: Murphy’s Lobster Grill opened last October, an extension of the owner’s next-door namesake bar. Murphy’s Bar has been a Skillman Avenue staple for the last 10 years.
“When the space next door became available I decided to expand and run a seafood restaurant. There’s none in this part of Queens, and I have experience from my other restaurant in Mineola, Long Island,” says owner Mike Murphy.
This Woodhaven property, at 91-43 80th Street, is pretty special indeed. It’s a sprawling six bedroom, three bathroom Victorian with a drool-worthy wrap around porch. The house itself is 3,035 square feet, and the property is a grand total of 10,000 square feet. There aren’t any interior photos so there’s no commenting on that. What’s unfortunate is that it looks like the realtor is trying to sell this as an investment property — as the listing says, “Opportunity knocks.” The lot is zoned for both commercial and residential use. We’re just hoping it doesn’t sell to be demolished. The asking price: $949,999.
The 23rd Street/Ely Avenue station has increased in importance in recent years, as Greenpoint has gotten hotter — Queensicans needing access can change trains to the G line here, when the G vouchsafes to cross under the noxious and noisome Newtown Creek, which it won’t be doing for awhile. Many subway amateurs think this is the place where 23rd Street crosses Ely Avenue. This is a fallacy, as Ely Avenue is actually the former name of 23rd Street. It carried the name until the 1920s, as the then NYC Topographical Bureau decided to put Queens under one numerical street system in 1915, and the streets were numbered gradually from neighborhood to neighborhood, completing the process by 1930.
However, some anachronisms remain on subway station signs. The best-known are along the #7 line, where Rawson, Bliss, and Lowery Streets, as well as Lincoln Avenue, are still on the station signs for 33rd, 40th, 46th and 52nd Streets. Names also persist along the N/Q in Astoria, and the A in Ozone Park and the Rockaway peninsula.
After a long fight by LIC residents and local pols, Center Boulevard is finally getting crosswalks. LIC Post reported the news that the Department of Transportation will add crosswalks to 48th and 49th avenues by the end of August. That’s the same location the DOT added stop signs earlier this month.
The DOT stalled on the crosswalks, claiming it’d be hard to paint lines along Center Boulevard because of the granite and cobblestone. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer especially pushed the city agency, stating that drivers treat the thoroughfare like a speedway. He held a rally calling for both stop signs and crosswalks earlier this summer. “I am glad that the DOT has found a way to do it,” he told LIC Post. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families and have a right to demand a safer Center Boulevard. There are two parks, two schools and thousands of people who live nearby.”
Daniel Karatzas, a broker with Beaudoin Realty Group, just released the second quarter sales numbers for Jackson Heights. He found that the volume of transactions fell in the second quarter, for two reasons. The sales report issued by the city was cut off about 10 days at the end of June, and inventory in the neighborhood remains thin. Therefore, the constrained supply has limited the number of transactions. The numbers also showed that prices in Jackson Heights were generally higher compared to last year. (more…)