04/17/14 3:00pm

21-30 44TH DRIVE-sold

A buyer just snatched up the warehouse at 21-30 44th Drive, between 21st Street and 23rd Street in LIC, for $13,700,000. The 17,500-square-foot lot currently holds a one-story, 12,930-square-foot warehouse. It’s zoned for both manufacturing and residential use, with a FAR of 4. (The current building on site is built up to a FAR of .74) But don’t count on a residential build coming — after some online sleuthing it looks like the buyer, Kupoint USA Corporation, is in the business of warehouse storage. GMAP

Photo via PropertyShark

04/17/14 2:00pm


Saigon Cafe is now serving up Vietnamese food at 25-90 41st Street, off 28th Avenue. We Heart Astoria shares the news, saying that there are iPads at the restaurant to surf the web. As for the food, the menu includes sandwiches, soup, pho, meat and rice plates, Vietnamese coffee, bubble tea, and salty plum soda. So far, the Yelp reviews for the food are quite good.

Vietnamese Food Alert! Saigon Cafe Opens in Astoria [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

04/17/14 1:00pm


Everything is going to go downhill next weekend. USA Luge‘s nationwide recruitment tour will make a stop in Bayside’s Crocheron Park on April 26 and April 27. The USA Luge Slider Search seeks to identify, train and qualify young athletes (boys and girls, ages 9-13) for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Participants will learn the riding and steering basics with national team athletes and coaches before taking rides down a hill under the observation of those coaches. Those who demonstrate potential will receive an invitation to the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, where they will compete for a seat on the junior development team.

Details: USA Luge Slider Search, Crocheron Park, vicinity of 214th Place, Cross Island Parkway and 33th Avenue, Bayside, April 26th-April 27th, sessions run from 7:30 am to 6 pm, free and all participants will receive a USA Luge tee-shirt, click here to register or call 1-800-USA-LUGE.


04/17/14 12:30pm


This gated entry point is one of the 37th Avenue portals to the NYC S.E.M./Signals Street Light Yard, a facility which stores and sorts various bits of street furniture and fittings – such as lamp posts, for instance. (Nearby the Home Depot on Northern Boulevard.)

In warmer times, this entire fence line is encased in a thorny vine whose fruit is a foul smelling purple-red berry. The edge of an evidently large facility, it seems seldom travelled by men, but shows all signs of serving as a protected haven for the many cats observed around it. Back in 2011, I was trudging home in a deep snow when something caught my eye.


Something about this object was familiar to me, but its identity eluded. My thoughts keep drifting toward mental catalogs of midtown Manhattan transportation centers for some reason. Grand Central perhaps? Simple observations of the object revealed it to be metallic, and designed to exhibit a cuprous patina. Were it composed of copper or white bronze, as it is designed to appear, this would be a small fortune sitting out in the snow (from a scrap metal point of view). Sculptural ornamentation and overall design suggested “City beautiful” or “Beaux Arts” era design to me, but it is difficult at best to discern such things from an object divorced of its overall and proper setting.


04/17/14 11:00am


TF Cornerstone is now leasing its sixth and final building on the Long Island City waterfront, 4610 Center Boulevard. The 26-story glassy tower, designed by the architecture firm Arquitectonica, holds a total of 584 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The interiors, according to a press release, “feature stainless steel appliances, glossy white cabinets, great custom closets, wood strip floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.” Amenities include a lobby with a WiFi lounge, a private garden, 24-hour concierge, a fitness center and a resident club with a landscaped terrace. As for pricing, studios start at $2,160 a month, one bedrooms at $2,800, two bedrooms at $3,890 and three bedrooms at $5,330. (We heard there’s already a waiting list to move in.)

The leasing effort comes right after TF Cornerstone filled up 4545 Center Boulevard, its largest waterfront tower with 820 rental units.

4610 Center Boulevard coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

04/17/14 10:00am


Alma Realty filed plans with the city last month for its massive Astoria Cove development, and the actual number of affordable units planned is less than what was promised. The Daily News reports that Alma Realty promised a minimum of 340 units of affordable housing over five buildings at this mega development — in the application, that number is 295. And according to the News, “Housing advocates worry that the reduced number could float under the radar when a city review begins this month to rezone a handful of prime waterfront blocks from industrial to residential.”

The land use lawyer working for Alma Realty argues that development plans were formed under pro-development Mayor Bloomberg, and should not adhere to Mayor de Blasio’s promise to preserve affordable housing. Alma Realty also argues that the new number of affordable units still meets the 20 percent required to receive city incentives. As for the city, an official from the Planning Department tells the News that they will “do their best to ensure that a ‘significant portion’ of the housing in Astoria Cove is set aside as affordable.”

Planners Drop 45 Affordable Units from Astoria Cove Development [NY Daily News]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

04/17/14 9:00am


Wowza. The design firm AMLGM designed these “Urban Alloy Towers” to rise above the Woodside Long Island Railroad and 7 train station. (Curbed calls this “the most exciting and completely insane thing ever proposed for Queens.” AMLGM, on the other hand, calls this “symbiotic re-purposing of the air rights above transportation corridors in New York.”) These designs aren’t meant to be actually built, but it sure is fun pretending.

The facade of these tubular towers, which shift from cylindrical to triangular shapes from bottom to top, is made of metal fins with their own specific “solar orientation.” The interior holds luxury, market-rate and SRO apartments, retail, office space, a central atrium and transportation infrastructure. The idea is to bring housing close to transportation hubs, and offer “a wide range of living conditions… within the one development.” You can read all the architectural details over at Design Boom. Meanwhile, we’ll just drool over the renderings — check out more crazy images after the jump.

AMLGM Envisions Urban Alloy Tower Over Transportation Hub in New York [Design Boom] via Curbed


04/17/14 8:30am


Imagining the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Lego [NY Daily News]
Corona Parents Rally for Better School Conditions for Their Children [NY1]
Reddit Co-Founder Raising Money for Future Queens Techies [Queens Courier]
Astoria Residents Help Clean up Roadway [Queens Gazette]
Queens Library Sets up Self-Service Kiosks in Flushing [Queens Gazette]
MTA Awards More Than $625M in East Side Access Project Contracts [DNAinfo]
Construction Underway at 21-41 45th Road, Future Home of Planned Parenthood [Court Square Blog]

04/16/14 4:00pm


It’s almost here. Queens Beer Week begins this Friday, April 19th and lasts for nine days until Sunday, April 27th. The week offers more than 40 awesome beer events at venues and bars around the borough. Check out the full schedule at the website. This Friday, expect brews from Transmitter Brewing at Crescent and Vine in Astoria, as well as whiskey and beer pairings at Alobar. There will also be a “Taste of Queens” kickoff party at Singlecut Beersmiths from 7 to 11 pm. So, can the week be over yet?