09/15/14 3:00pm

42-31-union-street-flushing

An 18-story, glassy hotel dubbed “Eastern Mirage” is slated for Flushing, at 42-31 Union Street between Franklin and Sanford avenues. New York YIMBY points out the project is “an exceedingly rare instance of a developer asking the city to build less housing and more commercial space than allowed by the zoning code.” The development, which is located in an area rezoned for residential use, will hold 180 hotel rooms, a medical center, and a 300-space public parking garage. The hotel should be an Element by Westin, and the medical space will be called the North Queens Medical Center.

Construction is now underway, with the tower up to its fourth floor. Signage says that it should be ready by the fall of 2015. GMAP

Revealed: Eastern Mirage, Flushing Hotel & Medical Center, 42-31 Union Street [New York YIMBY]

09/15/14 2:00pm

tacuba-astoria

Tomorrow marks the grand opening of Tacuba Cantina Mexicana, Astoria’s newest Latin American restaurant at 35-01 36th Street. The folks at We Heart Astoria broke down the menu, which includes guacamole, peruano (a Peruvian style ceviche), empanadas, carnitas tacos and Mariscada en Molcajete (shrimp, octopus, clams, tilapia and cilantro rice). The menu will also feature a large collection of tequilas and mezcal, as well as cocktails with fresh fruit.

Tacuba is the work of Chef Julian Medina, who also worked at the NYC restaurants Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia. Hours will be Monday through Thursday, 11:30 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to 2:00 am and Sunday, 11:30 am to 11 pm.

Some Things to Look Forward to at Tacuba [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

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Excuse the pun, but this really is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth. This weekend the New York Hall of Science will host its fifth annual Maker Faire, which has been described as “the ultimate geek fest,” but is actually a family-friendly celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. More than 750 makers — including tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubbers, and artists  – will be at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue, showing off their DIY creations and hands-on activities. Expect everything from personal drones to humanoid robots that can take blood pressure and dispense medications. Cupcake cars, Swap-O-Rama-Rama, and smart lamps are possible.

More photos and a partial list of inventions that will be on display after the jump.

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09/15/14 12:00pm

84-62-beverly-road

The borough’s only Anglo-Japanese-style home, located at 84-62 Beverly Road in Kew Gardens, has just hit the market. This property has an interesting history, and in more recent years sadly fell into decay. According to this article in Queens Chronicle, “The building was constructed by Joseph Fleischmann, a florist who became a millionaire after developing a flower shop franchise with stores in Chicago and Washington DC, for his daughter to live in.” The exact construction date isn’t known, but it’s believed to be before 1928. The lower half of the home is white stucco; the roof features curves reminiscent of Japanese architecture — just gorgeous. This Forgotten New York article calls the building in its present state a “near ruin,” with hostile handmade “Stay Away” signs on the door. Our guess is that the interior is a mess.

The listing markets this property “as is.” And the asking price is going to raise many eyebrows at $1,387,777. It would be wonderful to see a new owner come and fix this property up, but we unfortunately don’t think it’s going to happen at that price.

84-62 Beverly Road [Realty Depot LLC] GMAP

09/15/14 11:00am

bsQ_091514_comstock_001

Before the consolidation of the City of Greater New York, the center of the world in Queens was in Hunters Point. This was where the docks were, and where the LIRR ferries discharged passengers coming from Manhattan. These passengers would ostensibly board the east bound trains, but an entire industry of saloons, bars, and hotels had sprung up in the area around the LIRR yard to keep them in the neighborhood. Now… remember that we’re talking about the 1870-1900 period here. Your best point of reference, from a modern point of view, for what such such establishments offered is fictionalized in Cowboy movies and the Boardwalk Empire television series. There was gambling, women, and lots and lots of liquor. This was, in effect, a frontier town – one which was ruled over by a clique of politicians whose antics would have made Boss Tweed blush. Notorious even amongst his fellows, the last Mayor of Long Island City was Patrick Jerome Gleason. He was called Battle Ax Gleason by friend and foe alike.

Gleason was personally responsible for the construction of the exquisite P.S. 1 school house pictured in the next shot, a terra cotta masterpiece which nearly bankrupted LIC – amongst other imbroglios. Dogged by claims and accusations (and at least one conviction) of corruption – Gleason used to sit in a barber chair outside the Miller Hotel – known today as the LIC Crabhouse – and hold court with constituent and passerby alike. This was his favorite spot by all reports, directly across the street from the LIRR train and ferry terminal.

He instructed those he met to avoid addressing him as “Mayor,” instructing them to instead to “Just call me Paddy.”

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Long Island City, which existed as an independent municipality that stretched from the East River to Woodside and from Newtown Creek to Bowery Bay for just 28 years, was hardly a candidate for the good government award prior to Gleason. For some reason, he raised the ire of press and political player alike. Remember – this is during the golden age of Tammany Hall over in Manhattan. Bribes and graft were a matter of fact in this era, a part of doing business. Liquor and gambling were commonplace, along with prostitution, and this turpitude raised the ire of do gooders all over the state and nation.

Enter the assassin of joy.

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09/15/14 10:00am

dutch-kills-wsj

Somehow we missed this — late last week the Wall Street Journal highlighted the commercial and residential growth for Dutch Kills, a neighborhood it calls “a concrete-heavy stop of last resort for those fleeing the pricier boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.” A 2008 zoning change allowing for more residential construction is still affecting the area, which attracts artists, small businesses and manufacturers. Media company MediaPlace moved into the Scalamandre Silks building from Chelsea and cut its overhead costs by more than 50 percent. (Over the past 18 months, office prices in the Silks building rose from $18 a square foot to $28.) Artists, too, looking for industrial space have found that Brooklyn is just to expensive and settled in Queens. And developers are bringing a number of six- and seven-story residential developments to Dutch Kills over the next 18 months, not to mention the towers planned nearby around Court Square.

Here’s what President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association (and Dutch Kills Centraal owner) Dominic Stiller has to say of the changes: “It’s put life on the streets, where there was no life. On the other hand, it has taken away parking.” The changes, he says, continue to elicit a mixed reaction from locals.

Old, New Buildings Draw Crowds to Dutch Kills [WSJ]

Image by WSJ

09/15/14 9:00am

astoria-cove11

On Monday, September 29th, the City Planning Commission is holding a review session over the massive Astoria Cove development. A tipster at Queens Crap reports that it’ll be “a Special Meeting regarding their Astoria Cove decision.” The CPC already hosted developers Alma Realty to present the development plans and held a public hearing. The CPC still has to approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the application — the vote will be telling, as the City Council usually votes with CPC. So far, both the Community Board and Borough President disapproved the application, on the grounds of not enough affordable housing.

The proposal as it stands includes 1,698 apartment units, 345 of which will be affordable.

All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering by Studio V Architecture

09/15/14 8:30am

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Rally at Cunningham Park for New Airplane Routes and Quieter Skies [NY Daily News]
Jamaica Students Want Programs Restored at School [NY1]
Soldier’s Memorial to be Cleaned, Remodeled in Ridgewood [Queens Chronicle]
Schumer Announces Funds for Transportation, Housing Study in Rockaways [Rockaway Times]
Luxury Brokerage Expands Into Queens [Epoch Times]
Whale, Dolphin Sightings Increase Near Breezy Point [Times Ledger]
‘Manhattan-Style’ Developments That Turned Rego Park into a Hotspot [DNAinfo]
Dutch Kills Attracting Businesses Priced Out of Manhattan [TRD]
Queens CB 2 Endorses Long Island City Pedestrian Upgrades [Streetsblog]
Demolition Permit Filed at 27-21 44th Drive Site [Court Square Blog]
Candid Camera Comes to Queens [Queens Crap]

09/12/14 4:00pm

douglaston-station-plaza

This week, the Department of Transportation posted the above photo of signage going up at the new Douglaston Station Plaza, making the public space official. The plaza, on the corner of 235th Street and 41st Avenue, is about 3,000 square feet. It holds umbrellas, tables, chairs and planters. Residents have hopes that the public space will bring some new commercial options to the neighborhood, which now has many empty storefronts.

Douglaston Residents Hope a New Public Plaza Will Spur Commercial Growth [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Facebook

09/12/14 3:00pm

40-05-crescent-street

The owners of 40-05 Crescent Street, the warehouse off of 40th Avenue, filed a Department of Buildings application for a brand new residential building. Queens Courier first spotted the DOB paperwork, which divulges that the development will have five stories and hold 32 units. Interestingly, the residential build will also hold manufacturing space — 11,415 square feet of it. (There will be 25,018 total square feet of residential space.) There will also be 48 enclosed parking spaces. No design yet, but the architects are T.F. Cusanelli and Filletti Architects.

Mixed-Use Manufacturing and Residential Building Planned for LIC [Queens Courier] GMAP