03/25/15 11:00am

Free Synagogue of Flushing, Google pix 1

Flushing is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse communities in Queens, so it should come as no surprise that the oldest Reform Synagogue in the borough is located here. The Free Synagogue of Flushing was founded in 1917 through the efforts of the Hebrew Woman’s Aid Society of Flushing.

The Free Synagogue Movement was begun in Manhattan by Rabbi Stephen Wise in 1906. Rabbi Wise came to NYC from Portland, Oregon, to “organize and lead an independent Jewish religious movement.” He established a congregation in Manhattan which soon had over 500 members. They were able to purchase a group of brownstones on W.68th St. which were torn down to build the first Free Synagogue in 1911.

Between 1914 and 1920, branches of the Free Synagogue were established throughout the city, in Westchester and New Jersey. The Flushing synagogue was one of those branches. (more…)

03/25/15 10:00am


Yesterday, the LPC officially calendared the LIC Clock Tower for landmark designation. Though calendared, there’s no exact date on when the agency will actually vote to landmark the neo-Gothic structure, built in 1927. (The good news is that if the developers file demolition permits here, the LPC will be notified and is likely to take a vote.) A public hearing will take place before the actual landmark vote.

The LIC Post is reporting that Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer “is confident that it will landmarked by the end of June.” He supports landmarking “1,000 percent,” and he told The Post that the chairwoman of the LPC also expressed support in preserving it. We hope that this is a done deal… it’ll be quite significant to see landmarking in a neighborhood that’s been dominated by new development as of late.

Van Bramer Wants Clock Tower Landmarked, Expects it to be Done by June [LIC Post]
All LIC Clock Tower coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/25/15 9:00am


Yesterday, the Department of Transportation unveiled its final design concept for Select Bus Service on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. This comes after a full year of meetings, open houses and workshops. The DOT ultimately selected Design #2 (out of three different proposals), which creates a “transit-oriented boulevard” where buses will travel along designated lanes in the main roadway. The design allows for faster and more reliable bus service, where buses travel freely from any turning or parking conflicts. The DOT anticipates that passengers will save 25 to 30 percent of travel time. There will also be new median transit stations with shelters, seating, and real-time bus information, as well as a full reconstruction of the 14-mile thoroughfare. NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg called this “the biggest, boldest, and most ambitious design concept the City has attempted for Select Bus Service.”

Streetsblog also agrees, saying that the project “goes further than previous SBS projects to keep bus lanes clear of cars.” They report that the $200 million project will begin in 2017 and should take a year to complete.

Rendering via the NYC DOT

03/25/15 8:30am


Governor: Queens Midtown Tunnel In for Sandy-Related Repairs [NY1]
Queens Landlords Fear Another Rent Freeze [Times Ledger]
Goldman Sachs Gifts $2 Million to LaGuardia Community College [Times Ledger]
Singas Famous Pizza Shutters Elmhurst Outpost After Nearly 50 Years [DNAinfo]
Owners of Packard Square Face Criticism, Failing to Pay Prevailing Wage [LIC Post]
Permits for 11-Story Build Filed for 44-46 Purves Street as Demo Nears Wrap [Court Square Blog]

03/24/15 4:00pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 2.03.13 PM

Today, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer released the participatory budget ballot for District 26, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Dutch Kills, Astoria, Queensbridge, Ravenswood and the Woodside Houses. The ballot includes 27 different projects decided on by the community. After the vote, $1 million will be allocated to the most popular projects. Project proposals include technology upgrades at local schools, playground updates, an LIC bikeway, library improvements and street safety measures. Check out the full ballot here [PDF].

Council Member Van Bramer is hosting a Project Expo on Monday, April 6th from 7 to 9 pm at the Sunnyside Community Services (43-31 39th Street) so residents can speak with project delegates, see project presentations and learn more about the proposals. Voting will take place from April 11th to the 19th at a variety of locations throughout the district. Check out the locations here [PDF].

All Participatory Budgeting coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/24/15 3:00pm


Commercial Observer reports that two buyers have picked up 94,000 square feet of land near The Shops at Atlas Park. This follows another, massive $19.5 million sale of the Atlas Terminals Industrial Park to a production company. That property is located just east of the mall, while this property is located to the west.

The recent sale, officially at 79-40 Cooper Avenue, includes eight lots, a 50,000-square-foot industrial building, two attached residential buildings, two parking lots and two acres of vacant land. It belonged to the deli processor Hansel ‘n Gretel Brand, which closed last year. One buyer, Carye & Sons Acquisitions, spent $7 million for most of the property, including four lots, some vacant land and the industrial building. They plan to build out an 80,000-square-foot self-storage and retail building.

The other buyer spent $2.2 million for a parking lot and two residential dwellings. No word on any future plans yet. Both sales brought in a total of $9.18 million. Seems like tons of commercial growth is slated for that area of Glendale! GMAP

Glendale, Queens Mixed-Use Property Sells for $9.18M [Commercial Observer]
Film Studios, Small Businesses Coming to the Atlas Terminals Industrial Park [Q'Stoner]

03/24/15 2:00pm


At today’s Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting, the agency decided to officially calendar the LIC Clock Tower. That means that at a later (unknown) date, the LPC will discuss landmarking the building. The neo-Gothic structure, built in 1927, has been under threat of demolition since a developer purchased the site for $30.9 million with plans to develop directly around it.

This news is a great victory for the preservationists who recently rallied around the landmarking of the clock tower. There are now more than 1,400 signatures on a petition to save it.

All LIC Clock Tower coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Michael Perlman


Running through seven countries from Argentina to Venezuela, the Andes is the longest mountain range in the world. This weekend, the South American strip will seemingly stretch even higher to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where films, dance, music, and even fashion will celebrate the region. More information and an additional photo on the jump page.


03/24/15 12:00pm


Okay, is it summer yet? Seriously, we’re ready. Especially while checking out this one-bedroom co-op that faces the beach, at 130 Beach 121st Street in Rockaway Park. The unit comes with a beautiful balcony that we wouldn’t mind having ourselves. Also, the interior has been renovated, and we think the current owner did a very good job. There’s a very cute kitchen, hardwood floors, large closets and just overall a nice, comfortable space. All that’s left is the asking price, which comes in at $315,000.

Check out interior photos after the jump.

130 Beach 121st Street #3F [RealDirect] GMAP