10/20/14 12:00pm


Calling old home lovers! We found this house in Bayside Hills through Old Homes Queens. It’s a single family with three beds and three baths that’s just oozing with potential. The interior’s decked out with lots of gorgeous wood detailing, fireplaces and exposed ceiling beams. But it’s still going to need some work; areas like the kitchen and bedrooms look downright outdated. This could be a real stunner with a little TLC. The asking price comes in at $888,000.

216-12 48th Avenue [Zillow] GMAP

10/20/14 11:00am

Today we’re republishing one of Mitch’s older Q’Stoner posts, and it includes a Queens ghost story from 1884.

The father of modern Greenpoint was a Yankee engineer named Neziah Bliss. In addition to his efforts in Brooklyn, he set about the creation of a somewhat utopian laborers community in Queens with his partner, Eliaphet Nott of Union College. Eponymous, the village of Blissville didn’t quite end up being a utopia, instead it ended up hosting fat renderers, rail yards, and after 1848 — Calvary Cemetery.

Irish laborers followed the jobs here, and the reputation of Blissville suffered from the anti-Catholic and anti-Hibernian prejudices typically found in the society of 19th century New York City. This was before Tammany took over, when NYC was still very much an anglophile, Protestant town which did not subscribe to our modern notions of diversity and racial equality.


Blissville’s natural extant is defined by the infamous Newtown Creek and that’s where today’s “Queensylvanian Ghost Story” comes from.


10/20/14 10:00am


This morning, City Council will hold a hearing for Alma Realty to propose the mega development known as Astoria Cove — the Queens development that gets more controversial by the day. The main point of contention, as previously reported, is affordable housing, but electeds and tenant organizers protested something new yesterday at City Hall: Alma Realty’s track record in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As the New York Times reports, Alma plans to de-regulate around 700 rental units it owns in the neighborhood. According to the Times, protesters “urged the City Council not to approve the Astoria Cove project unless Alma Realty rolls back the rent increases in Crown Heights and addresses concerns about its plans in Queens.” There were also charges of the developer’s history underpaying black and Hispanic construction workers, while labor leaders called for union labor to build out the development.

And here’s an interesting tidbit from the Times: “In a neighborhood [Crown Heights] where affordable housing fights usually center on longtime minority residents, many of the Jewish Hospital tenants are white professionals who moved into the neighborhood only recently — a sign of how Brooklyn’s rapidly accelerating gentrification is pushing out even the gentrifiers.”

It’s unclear what will happen today at the City Council hearing, but it’ll likely be packed with protesters. The Community Board and Borough President both denied the building plans, but the City Planning Commission approved it in September. As it stands, the 1,723-unit development will hold 20 percent affordable units.

Protesters Link a Queens Project to Brooklyn Rents [NY Times]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Build Up NYC’s Twitter

10/20/14 9:00am

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 8.14.36 PM
The quarterly tracking of the price per foot of all closed sales in LIC

Modern Spaces released its third quarter market report, which now tracks commercial real estate too. The numbers show that price per buildable square foot in Long Island City hit $300 this past quarter — “shattering records,” according to Modern Spaces. As the CEO Eric Benaim says, “The properties that are being acquired at those price points will most likely all be condos as they don’t make financial sense as a rental product with that high of a land base. But as condo prices rise in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, it’s naturally going to drive the buyer who is getting priced out of the areas to Long Island City or Queens as a whole.” The trend, however, is not expected to continue — Modern Spaces predicts land prices will level out around $225-$250 per buildable square foot.

Land prices in Astoria doubled over the past year, with some properties eclipsing $200 per buildable square food. The average is still under $200 but is expected to rise. Modern Spaces also checked the numbers on the now-desolate (but not for long) area of Hallets Cove, which is the future home of the Astoria Cove and Hallet’s Point developments. According to Benaim, “We have already seen numerous trades above $100 per buildable square foot and have recently signed a contract for a site worth just over $140 per buildable square foot, further evidence of the rising land costs in this market.”

As for already-built condos in LIC, the average just broke $1,000 per-square-foot and it’s expected to rise. Developers are starting to build out larger units for families, which means the neighborhood is commanding higher prices. Moving to Astoria, condos have reached up to $900-square-feet, but the lack of new development in the neighborhood keeps the average lower. As for rentals, the average price per foot of luxury rentals in LIC is $3,799; for a walk-up it’s $2,440. (The report shows that the LIC rental market is stabilizing due to many new projects on the market this year.) The average price per foot overall for an Astoria rental is $43 (a record for the area) with an average price of $2,572.

10/20/14 8:30am


College Point Residents Protest Construction Companies’ Street Intrusion [NY1]
Battered Bulkheads and Seawall Spell Danger for Rockaway Residents [NY Daily News]
Woman Starts Coalition to Bring Artists Together in Ridgewood [Queens Courier]
Participatory Budgeting Spreads to Additional Council Districts [Times Ledger]
The Influx of Real Estate Firms Upsets the Long-Time Brokers [Astoria Post]
Sunnyside Restaurant Week Kicks off Monday [Sunnyside Post]
A High Line in Queens? No, Thanks, Some Say [NY City Lens]

10/17/14 4:00pm


This Saturday, October 18th the Parks Department, City Parks Foundation, Partnerships for Parks and TD Bank is hosting a fall “It’s My Park!” event. It’s an opportunity for New Yorkers to volunteer at their local parks across the five boroughs — over 5,000 volunteers are anticipated to help clean, paint, weed and plant. Residents in Queens have plenty of opportunities to participate. Volunteer events are taking place at Cunningham Park (pictured), MacDonald Park, Russell Sage Playground, Juniper Valley Park, Travers Park, Queensbridge Park, Detective Keith L. Williams Park, Idlewild Park, Redfern Playground, Sherry Park and Hoover Playground. Just click on the link for more details. The day begins at 11 am.

Photo by NYC Parks

10/17/14 3:00pm


Our friends at PropertyShark took a look at how the proximity to subway stations affects the home prices in Queens, as well as Brooklyn and the Bronx. They compiled a group of stations with the highest number of riders in 2013, using data straight from the MTA. Then they compared the average price per square foot for distances of .5 miles, .75 miles and one mile from the transit hubs.

As the numbers show, proximity oftentimes pays — but not always. Flushing comes in with the highest prices ($602 per square foot) for homes closest to the 7 train, then the price declines as you move further from the subway. But in Jackson Heights, the subway distance doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. And in Jamaica, prices are actually higher further from the subway station.


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…)

10/17/14 1:00pm


It’s always a bumper crop in these parts. This Sunday, the Queens Botanical Garden hosts its fourth annual Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch, a day-long, family-friendly bash with great food, live entertainment, craft vendors, children’s activities, a bird-and-nature walk, the famous beer tent, and gourds galore.


10/17/14 12:00pm

1Forest Hills
62 Rockrose Place
Broker: Apre Inc.
Price: $1,950,000
Sunday, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

2East Elmhurst
23-43 95th Street
Broker: Exit Realty Genesis
Price: $545,000
Saturday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

85-18 80th Street
Broker: National Homes Direct
Price: $515,000
Saturday, 11:00 – 3:00 pm

2106 35th Street, #2B
Broker: Douglas Elliman
Price: $339,000
Sunday, 11:00 – 1:00 pm