Astoria’s Paul Raimonda Playground is getting some exciting upgrades, according to DNAinfo. The Parks Department will replace an unused bocce ball court with an adult fitness area, add benches, replace asphalt, and reconstruct the flag pole. Parks also plans to build out a spray shower area that is shaped like a Steinway piano (the Steinway & Sons factory is nearby), with pre-cast concrete piano keys and a musical scale in bronze lettering. The second phase of the project includes repairs to the gate, new playground equipment, and resealing the basketball court. Work should kick off in the fall of 2014.
Will the Food Bazaar ever open at 42-02 Northern Boulevard? We’d really like to know! When the company announced it was moving into the space a year ago, the ETA was early 2013. Then word was that it would open in October. Now the Sunnyside Post reports that it’s opening next week. When the day finally comes, the supermarket will feature an open food court, a fresh fish market, an in-store bakery, and street-level and underground parking. It’s the sixth Food Bazaar for Queens.
Technically, it’s when the sun reaches its most southern declination. Effectively, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours for those living north of the Equator. Artistically, it’s has been the inspiration for dance, literature, mythology, painting, religion and ritual for centuries. Locally, it’s the perfect time to head to the Queens Botanical Garden. On December 8th, the Flushing oasis will celebrate the winter solstice with live music by the acappella group Rough Dozen, botanical craft workshops, a special holiday market, garden tours and a tree lighting that morphs into a seasonal sing-along. There’s also a rumor that Santa Claus will show up.
Details: Winter Solstice Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, December 8th, 12:30 pm to 5 pm, Free. (QBG admission is free from November 1st through March 31st.)
This Astoria condo, at 25-19 35th Street, is 700 square feet and asking $499,000. The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom unit looks exactly how you’d expect a newish condo unit looks. A few perks: a balcony, a huge walk-in closet, and a large-looking bedroom. Think the price is right?
Located at the junction of Newtown Creek with one of its Queens tributaries, Dutch Kills, a particular industrial site has long called to me. Several years of stalking the place have provided for a series of extraordinary images, and whether onboard a vessel or on foot, visitors to the watershed are seldom disappointed by this singular location with its frenetic activity, maritime splendor, and constantly moving heavy equipment.
It’s Sims Metal Management’s Newtown Creek facility, at the edge of Queens, in Blissville.
Procedurally speaking, Sims is a recycling facility which welcomes private and public (DSNY) recyclable material, within certain guidelines. Trucks carrying said material are weighed on an enormous scale at the gate, and the attendant creates a manifest describing what is being delivered and dispatches the vehicle to an appropriate spot to tilt and discharge its cargo. Said cargo can be anything from copper and aluminum to iron girders or automobiles, which will be processed and resold as commodities. They also take in and process some of the clear and blue bag recyclable materials which DSNY collects at curbside.
It isn’t a terribly large facility, by Newtown Creek standards. (more…)
In October, we caught an $11,250,000 sale along Avery Avenue between College Point Boulevard and 131st Street for four different commercial properties. Turns out Marcus & Millichap was in charge of the sale, and a few more details popped up on Real Estate Weekly yesterday. The 86,560-square-foot property sold at $130 per buildable square foot. The seller actually spent six years working to rezone the block; the site just had its zoning changed to C2-6A with an FAR of 4. According to a Marcus & Millichap broker, “This allows for various commercial and residential uses and increased the potential development size of the lot to 86,560 square feet, doubling the buildable square footage from its previous zoning.” So far, there is no hint on DOB records of what development is to come.
The single-family landmarked house at 34-24 86th Street, in Jackson Heights, just sold for $940,000 according to DNAinfo. Beaudoin Realty Group listed the property for $979,000 and it entered contract a few weeks later after a number of bids. Built in the 1930s, it comes with five bedrooms, crown molding, hardwood floors, and a large backyard with a fig tree. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any interior photos, but the broker states that it’s “in good condition in terms of what one of those houses looked like when they were built.” Since these types of single-family homes rarely pop up on the Jackson Heights market, they go quickly around similar prices as this particular property. The average cost for a single-family in the area is $622,455.
Willets Point has been all over the news this week. Here’s the latest: the Daily News reports that the city will hold a public hearing today regarding the developer’s request for $43,000,000 in tax breaks. The city’s Industrial Development Agency will make a final decision on the matter Tuesday. Given that the city is already giving this land to the Queens Development Group (composed of Sterling Equities and Related Companies) for $1, opposition emerged to the hefty amount of tax breaks. State Senator Tony Avella, a longtime detractor of the development, tells the News: “This whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end. How do you justify [giving] tens of millions of taxpayer money when you’re selling the property to the developers for a dollar?”
The city is now trying to relocate Iron Triangle tenants, who are working with a deadline of January 31st if they want any rent payout. Right now, more than 30 businesses have left or are in the process of leaving. Another 50 businesses are eyeing a large warehouse space in Hunts Point.
Here’s a sweet video taken last night of the Long Island City holiday lighting celebration. LIC Partnership President Liz Lusskin, Jeffrey Goodell of JetBlue, Senator Michael Gianaris, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Sheila Lewandowski of The Chocolate Factory Theater and children from the LIC community gathered to speak (and sing!). You can now catch the illuminated snowflakes along Vernon Boulevard.