Don’t fret if you missed last week’s innumerable Lunar New Year celebrations, as this week presents opportunities for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dance, music, art, and calligraphy. There’s also plenty of live (indoor!) music, plus a kick-off to the Queens World Film Festival and the chance influence Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s future. Here’s the rundown, broken down into music, arts and cultural events.
We featured this three-bedroom townhouse condo, at 30-53 12th Street in Astoria, as an Open House Pick — did any readers get to see it in person? The listing touts the “Brooklyn Brownstone Charm” of the unit, which comes in at 1,346 square feet. It is a nice, modern renovation with a dedicated living room, dining room, and private terrace. And the asking price ain’t low, at $849,000. Thoughts?
When this bank was built in 1952, it was seen as cutting edge, modern and quite unique. It’s hard to believe that it is now sixty-three years old. It’s held up well, especially considering that modern architecture, and by “modern” I mean the bold, space age architecture of the 1950s, is now certifiably old enough to be antique. That’s right – this building and the original suburban ranch house have been around long enough to be classified as “old buildings,” eligible for landmarking and other perks that one would think would only be designated for something built during the Art Deco period or before.
Excluding Staten Island, because of its isolation, Queens was the last borough to really be developed, and much of that didn’t happen until the mid-20th century. Consequently, the borough has a rich history of Mid-Century Modern and International Style architectural endeavors. This bank building is one of the best. The Queens Chamber of Commerce thought so too, and in December of 1952, awarded the building with a first prize bronze plaque for “excellence in design and civic value.” (more…)
FreshDirect, which operates out of a Long Island City facility at 23-30 Borden Avenue, is packing up and moving to the South Bronx. And according to Queens Courier, the online grocery company has put its gigantic, 203,236-square-foot plot of land on the market. No word on what the property is asking, but it’s strictly zoned for manufacturing — meaning that it will get less than a parcel zoned for residential development. There’s still, however, lots of demand for manufacturing and storage use in the market. Any buyer would be able to build up to 406,552 square feet at the site, which fronts Newtown Creek.
The Courier says that the company is “hoping to sell and then lease back the property from the new owners for about a year while it begins to wind down operations in Queens.” FreshDirect bought the warehouse back in 1999, and the city approved its move to the Bronx last year.
Late last week, the city released a Request for Proposal for feasibility studies on developing over Sunnyside Yards. Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to build 11,250 units of permanently affordable housing over the yards is a controversial one — a petition against development formed even before the mayor made his announcement. And now we are hearing about protest groups gaining traction in the borough, with plans to start petitioning soon. There are also murmurings of possible protests to take place at the St. Pats For All Parade this weekend, which the mayor is expected to attend.
Local pols have already picked up on local resistance to Mayor de Blasio’s idea. Council Member Van Bramer has yet to embrace any development plans, and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan released this statement yesterday:
I remain concerned that any attempt by Mayor Deblasio’s administration to develop Sunnyside yards faces environmental, developmental and density issues that has the potential to tremendously damage the middle class quality of life of our western queens communities. I recently wrote an op-ed article with various concerns that still need to be addressed. I will be vigilant in monitoring the actions of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and will continue to demand that the Mayor hear the voices of the many tax paying, middle class New Yorkers who live in Western Queens. The character of Queens would change completely with additional high-rise, overbuilt towers. I await more news from the administration and will continue to monitor this situation very closely.
And according to DNAinfo, Governor Cuomo spoke out against development for the second time just this Monday.
Tonight, the Hunters Point Park Conservancy is hosting a membership drive and season launch party. If you’ve got any suggestions for parks throughout Long Island City, this is a place to bring them. According to the Conservancy, “Let your voice be heard and share ideas and suggestions for future events and help the Conservancy plan an exciting second season of Yoga, Movies, Concerts and more at the LIC waterfront parks.” The party will last from 7 to 9 pm at Shi Restaurant, 47-20 Center Boulevard. There will be complementary appetizers from Shi, while existing and new conservancy members get a free drink. Full event details here.
Recently, Hunters Point Park Conservancy has pushed for new members and support in an effort to host outdoor movies, organize a music series and possibly get an ice skating rink inside Hunters Point South Park for next winter.
Way back in the summer of 2013, we told you about an out-of-context, eight-story finger building planned for 45-34 Pearson Street in LIC. Nothing really happened at the site, which was still quiet when Court Square Blog checked in last year. But that may change soon, as a new buyer just picked up the property for $3.5 million.
A Massey Knackal listing — which provided the proposed rendering above — said that the property comes with “approved plans to begin construction with an active work permit of an eight story, 16 unit residential building totaling approximately 15,427 gross square feet.” The actual lot is only 2,500 square feet. Because it has a FAR of 4.99, a building of this size (and height!) is indeed possible. While we don’t know if the buyer plans to follow the rendered design exactly, it’s very likely they will try to build to the full allowable height.
There was a time when some Irish people thought that New York City streets were paved with gold. Well, on Sunday, a Sunnyside/Woodside thoroughfare will be filled with innumerable Emerald Isle natives and many other marchers during the St. Pat’s For All Parade. This 15th annual event was founded in response to the never-ending conflict over openly gay participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan. Thus, organizers of the Queens march emphasize the diversity of the Big Apple’s Irish and Irish American residents, especially the LGBT community. Beyond the ethnic groups, expect such entities as the Sunnyside United Dog Society, the Ethical Humanist Society of Queens, and veterans agencies.
Details: St. Pat’s For All Parade, Skillman Avenue from 43rd Street in Sunnyside to 56th Street in Woodside, March 1st, 1 pm (assembly and remarks), 2 pm (step off), free.
Bonus details: Lunar New Year, Queens Center Food Court, 90-15 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, February 28th, noon to 6 pm, free. Events include a martial arts demonstration with Kung Fu Master Long Fei Yang, Korean and Japanese drummers, tea tastings, and the Dragon Dance. The first 200 people who bring an event social media post (like this one) will receive a red envelope with a prize.
Where to begin with this home at 30-23 86th Street, in East Elmhurst? Well, it’s on the market for $650,000. It’s a single family with three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and a finished basement. The living and dining rooms have been completely renovated with ceramic tiles and recessed lighting — it’s all giving off a bachelor pad vibe to us. The rest of the home appears to be pretty straightforward, with hardwood floors and decently-sized rooms. And while it looks like the property comes with a garage, the backyard is completely paved over. What do the readers make of this one?