LIC Bar reopens

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest News

Queens Plaza/Court Square developers may be REQUIRED to build affordable units should rezoning occur

QueensPlaza1

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The Department of City Planning is likely to make it mandatory for developers to build affordable housing in the Court Square and Queens Plaza areas should it rezone the district.

The department is currently studying the area to determine whether it should upzone the district as a means to promote affordable housing as well as commercial activity—such as light manufacturing.

The agency is currently reviewing about 100 streets that include Queens Plaza (from Queensbridge Houses to Northern Boulevard) and parts of Court Square. It is also reviewing neighboring sections of Jackson Ave. and Northern Boulevard.

The concept of implementing a mandate requiring developers to include affordable units would be unique– since no other New York City neighborhood has done so, said John Young, the director of the Queens Office of City Planning. The idea is a departure from standard policy where developers are provided with “incentives” to build affordable units–such as allowing them to build slightly bigger buildings.

Therefore, while the Queens Plaza/Court Square proposal is likely make way for larger buildings, the change would also guarantee more affordable units.

“It would be a requirement that a portion [of the building] would have to be affordable,” said John Young, the director of the Queens office of City Planning, who is reviewing the concept.

Young said that the department will be having meetings with stakeholders this winter to discuss the concept–as well as other issues. Such stakeholders include members of community board 2, civic associations, cultural groups and the Long Island City Partnership, he said.

Young said that by late spring the department is likely to come up with the results of its analysis and would then present a preliminary proposal to stakeholders in summer.

He said by fall a proposal would must likely go out for public discussion.

Young said the study comes on the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York proposal, which aims to create or preserve some 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years.

Furthermore, the study was prompted by a letter sent out by Community Board 2 last year that claimed that sections of Long Island City had turned into the Gold Coast and that there was greater need for affordable housing.

When the area was rezoned in 2001 the planning department had hoped to create a significant business district as well as housing. However, the business area has not grown to a level that it had hoped—while pricey buildings have gone up at a fast clip.

Therefore, the department is looking for ways to promote retail, office and light manufacturing.

Any rezoning would have to go through a lengthy process—including several public meetings—and various government bodies. It would ultimately need to be approved by the city council.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he is open to a rezoning. However, he said, that he would want to make sure that the infrastructure—such as schools—could handle a larger population.

These areas in color are part of the area being studied

These areas in color are part of the area being studied (New York City Planning)

 

 

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

Elected officials to hold press conference at Hunters Point Library site, formally announce its construction
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A press conference will be held Thursday to announce the construction of the Hunters Point Library.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, library officials, local families and business owners will meet at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue at 9:30 am to announce that the project has been funded and that construction will soon begin.

The 21,500-square-foot library will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, next to Gantry Plaza State Park. The project will feature a reading garden, rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, performance space, a children’s area and sweeping views of the New York City’s skyline from the East River.

See previous story.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Brooklyn restaurant’s attempt to drum up LIC business gets mixed reaction
Ria Bella

Ria Bella

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A Brooklyn pizzeria is looking to take a bite out of Long Island City.

Residents of Hunters Point were mailed some promotional material earlier this month from a Greenpoint pizzeria that is looking to gobble up Long Island City market share.

The promotion—put out by Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) –offers 20% off any delivery from western Queens residents.

The reception to the mailer so far has been mixed. Some residents welcome other eateries coming to Long Island City to compete. Others view it as poaching.

“I think [Ria Bella] is trying to reach out to the growing population in Long Island City,” said Jeremy Rosenberg, a 22-year-old resident and student with the CUNY School of Law.

“I like that businesses from other neighborhoods – and boroughs – are reaching out to me…but I hope that this does not crowd out new, local businesses from potentially opening up in LIC.”

However, one Long Island City business owner said that many Vernon Boulevard restaurants are finding it tough and outside competition just makes their situation worse.

Meanwhile, two residents were quick to point out that several Brooklyn eateries had crossed the Pulaski Bridge to reach Long Island City residents. Furthermore, this goes both way.

Tom Blaze, who opened the pizzeria Linizio on Vernon Boulevard in July, said that he was not concerned about Ria Bella’s campaign.

“As a resident of LIC for the past 50 years, I think it’s great that there are more varieties of restaurants to choose from,” Blaze said.

Other residents encouraged competition.

“When I first moved to LIC, I definitely didn’t look far past Vernon Blvd for dining options, so I appreciate a business in another borough reaching out,” said Jon Lechliter, a resident on Center Boulevard, who was happy to welcome the alternative.

Frank Sorrentino, the owner, said that Long Island City residents are starting to respond to his mailers.

“We have had a lot of orders from LIC since [our mailers went out]. After all, the average delivery time to Hunters Point is 25-30 minutes.”

Note: Ria Bella advertises with this site

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Tony Mazzarella, owner of Waterfront Crab House, passes away
Tony Mazzarelli

Tony Mazzarella

Jan. 27, By Michael Florio

Tony Mazzarella, the owner of the Waterfront Crab House, passed away on Sunday. He was 77.

Mazzarella, who lived in Rockland County, owned the Crab House, located at 2-03 Borden Avenue, for nearly 40 years.

Mazzarella, who was a prize fighter in his youth, built the Crab House into an iconic restaurant that was as well known for its seafood as it was for its sports and boxing memorabilia. He was known for his grit—having brought the restaurant back to life after it was savaged by Superstorm Sandy and a prior fire.

Mazzarella had been suffering from several long-term medical issues at the time of his death.

“He was a very kind-hearted man and is going to be greatly missed,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Police Precinct Council, who knew him for more than 20 years.

Mazzarella was known just as much for his charitable work as he was for his restaurant.

Every Christmas he would write out a check to the precinct council that would be used to buy presents for the needy, Ballek said. He donated $1,000 each year for 15 years. He would also donate food for various events.

“He didn’t boast about his community work; he did it because he loved the community,” Ballek said.

Ballek is confident that Mazzarella’s children will keep the restaurant going.

“The Waterfront Crab House will live on forever,” Ballek said. “I’m sure his family is going to keep it running the way he did.”

Joe Conley, the former chair of Community Board 2, said Mazzarella was an active supporter of cancer-fighting causes. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Queens division of the American Cancer Society.

“He was the co founder of the Patty Fund for Childhood Cancer where he helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for children being treated for childhood cancer,” Conley wrote in a Facebook post.

Many Long Island City residents were saddened by his loss.

“He was a wonderful person who did so much for the community. He is an irreplaceable loss,” said Brent O’Leary, President of the Hunter Point Civic Association, who had known Mazzarella for eight years.

“A little bit of LIC history is gone today and we offer our condolences to his family,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said that Mazzarella would always offer the upstairs level at the Crab House for different organizations to use.

“He was a wonderful and caring person, and there should be more people like him,” said Teri Adams, a long-time resident who knew him since he opened the Crab House.

Mazzarella, a former boxer, was a member of the New York State Boxing Commission. He started the Golden Mittens boxing events to introduce sports to young kids as a way to encourage kids to stay away from drugs.

He is survived by his wife Robin and three children—Kris, Danny and Francesca–as well as two grandchildren.

The wake will be held at Pizzi Funeral Home, located at 120 Paris Ave, Northvale, New Jersey, this Thursday. Viewing will be held from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm.

The funeral will be on Friday, 11 am, at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Church, located at 120 Kings Highway, Tappan, NY.

Crab House

Crab House

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
LIC digs out after ‘historic’ storm

licsnow2

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Long Island City was still left with plenty of snow.

Here is some of the aftermath.

LICSnow

licsnow1

licsnow3

LICsnow5

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio

The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor.

Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th.

His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater.

Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department.

The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900.

The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Brick building on 5th Street to be rehabbed, completion date set for summer 2016
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street

25 January, By Christian Murray

A four-story building on 5th Street that sold for a whopping $12 million earlier this month is going to be rehabbed.

The property, located at 47-33 5th Street, is one of the last remaining brick buildings in Hunters Point and that is why the buyer paid a premium for it, real estate experts said.

“The beauty of that building is that it is one of the last of the Mohicans,” said Rick Rosa, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is overseeing the development. The property is located next to 5sl and kitty corner to Duane Reade.

The owner, Eunhasa Corp., plans to gut the building and then make room for about 15 apartments. The property will also have ground floor retail.

Rosa said that the building will be completed in about 18 months and the owner is still determining whether to go condo or rental.

He said that rental prices for studios and 1 brm apartments have reached a point where buying—based on mortgage costs–is only a little higher than renting. However, with two bedroom apartments typically selling for over $1 million, renting is a much more affordable option, Rosa said.

Meanwhile, the corner property on Vernon Blvd and 50th Avenue (49-18 Vernon Blvd) is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The plans call for 15 rental apartments with room for two or three retail spaces, Rosa said.

One of the retail spaces will be occupied by the Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of the deli , which is located next door at 49-16 Vernon Blvd, is a co-owner of the site.

49-18 Vernon Blvd

49-18 Vernon Blvd (completion date: spring 2016)

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

More Headlines

Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor. Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th. His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater. Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department. The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900. The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.
Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker
Registry Jan. 26, Staff Report The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer. Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984. “Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.” Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports. Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post. Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her. Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members. Nolan could not be reached for this article. Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan. The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman "Denny" Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.
Brick building on 5th Street to be rehabbed, completion date set for summer 2016
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street

25 January, By Christian Murray A four-story building on 5th Street that sold for a whopping $12 million earlier this month is going to be rehabbed. The property, located at 47-33 5th Street, is one of the last remaining brick buildings in Hunters Point and that is why the buyer paid a premium for it, real estate experts said. “The beauty of that building is that it is one of the last of the Mohicans,” said Rick Rosa, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is overseeing the development. The property is located next to 5sl and kitty corner to Duane Reade. The owner, Eunhasa Corp., plans to gut the building and then make room for about 15 apartments. The property will also have ground floor retail. Rosa said that the building will be completed in about 18 months and the owner is still determining whether to go condo or rental. He said that rental prices for studios and 1 brm apartments have reached a point where buying—based on mortgage costs--is only a little higher than renting. However, with two bedroom apartments typically selling for over $1 million, renting is a much more affordable option, Rosa said. Meanwhile, the corner property on Vernon Blvd and 50th Avenue (49-18 Vernon Blvd) is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The plans call for 15 rental apartments with room for two or three retail spaces, Rosa said. One of the retail spaces will be occupied by the Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of the deli , which is located next door at 49-16 Vernon Blvd, is a co-owner of the site.
49-18 Vernon Blvd

49-18 Vernon Blvd (completion date: spring 2016)

Big chunk of Court Square hits the market for $41.5m
Court Square Assemblage Jan. 23, By Michael Florio A giant size parcel in the heart of Court Square has gone on the market with an asking price of $41.5 million. The parcel represents an amalgam of seven properties located across the street from the Citigroup Tower. The parcel is being marketed as “The Court Square Assemblage,” since six adjoining landlords are collectively selling their townhouse buildings. The property is being marketed in tandem by the Corcoran Group and Modern Spaces. The “Court Square Assemblage” is 11,145 square feet, according to a Modern Spaces. With zoning, a developer has 167,000 square feet of build able area. The parcel is zoned for office, retail and mixed use development, according to Modern Spaces. The portfolio of properties has only been on the market for three days. The buildings are located at 23-10 45th Ave.; 45-03 23rd Street; 45-05 23rd Street; 47-03 23rd Street; 23-14 45th Ave.; and 23-16 45th Avenue. The sites are near CUNY Law School and are in an area where more than 10,000 new and in-development luxury housing units are located. For more information, please click here. .
Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square Diner. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign, however, has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages may have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim  
Van Bramer issues annual report–with focus on pedestrian safety, Citi Bike and arts/culture
1_7_CharterMeeting Jan. 21, By Christian Murray When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. Does it make sense to build over the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Of course. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It is this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, since few-- if any-- other council members do it. “I like people to know what I’m doing,” Van Bramer often says, who believes that his constituents have the right to know. “I don’t ever want anyone asking 'What does he do?''” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled during the five years he has been in office. Furthermore, it says that in 2014 he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries--and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Long Island City projects that will come to fruition this year. Construction of the Hunters Point Library, which has been bogged down in red tape, is expected to begin this spring. Citi Bike, which has been plagued with problems, will finally be coming to Long Island City, and a segregated bicycle lane on the Pulaski Bridge will be built. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, which he funded to the tune of $750,000, is expected to open in Court Square this year—its first branch in Queens. “Many of these unveilings could all happen at once…which would make for an exciting time,” Van Bramer said. However, he couldn’t predict with certainty the timing of these events. “We don’t have a firm date as to when Citi Bike will be here…but I expect to have the bikes here in the warm weather,” Van Bramer said. He said that there will be 10 docking stations in Long Island City and Queensbridge with more than 1,000 bikes. The construction of the segregated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge is expected to begin in the first half of 2015, he said, with completion toward the end of the year. There have been delays, he said, but he has been assured of this timetable by Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. Van Bramer said that 16% of constituent calls involve transportation issues--from public transportation to signage on streets. He said that in 2014 he helped combat problems such as the dangerous traffic conditions on Center Blvd and 5th Street. He said that he applied pressure on the DOT that led to stop signs going up on Center Blvd at 48th and 49th Avenues--as well as made sure that 5th Street  was converted to a one-way street with speed bumps. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said. “There are two parks, two schools and thousands of people who live nearby.” Van Bramer is a staunch supporter of Vision Zero and was an early advocate for the arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvds. Furthermore, he sponsored the “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” a law that recently went into effect that imposes a lofty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident.
2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

Van Bramer said that he continues to push ahead with quality of life issues. He said that a dedicated crew of workers are cleaning sections of Long Island City through the Doe Fund. The Doe Fund program started in Hunters Point in 2013 and was expanded to incorporate a wider area in 2014. It was brought to Dutch Kills last year. Van Bramer said that it's proven to be a success and he plans to continue funding it. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration in December to let it be known that the Pepsi sign should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council one last time in 2017. He would not comment if he had Council speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [Dec. 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For a full copy of Van Bramer's report, Please click here .
Construction of Hunters Point Library expected to begin this spring
Hunters Point Library location

Hunters Point Library location

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A ground breaking on the Hunters Point Library could happen as early as this spring. The city has the funding it needs to start construction, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “The funding problem has been solved so we can begin construction,” Van Bramer said, although he added that he will have to add funding midway through the 2-year project. “Hopefully there will be shovels in the ground …and I would hope we could begin construction in the first half of this year.” Construction of the library, which will be built at Center Blvd/48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) was expected to begin in 2013. However, there have been several delays due to the inability of the city to find a contractor willing to build it for the $28.6 million that had been allocated. The bids came in ranging from $33 million to $42 million and the city had to do some value engineering in order to find a construction company that could build it within budget. Officials said that they had to get rid of some of the more elaborate features to reduce the cost by about $5 million. They included replacing the aluminum exterior facade with cement and glass; forgoing custom interior fixtures; and going without the geothermal well system. However, the library will feature a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline, a garden, a gallery, a conference room, a computer center and youth and teen spaces.  The 21,500 square-foot facility will be largely a glass and cement structure. Van Bramer said that while there was some value engineering, the changes would be merely cosmetic. “I think the project that will ultimately be built will be architecturally significant and a spectacular addition to the Hunters Point Community.” Meanwhile, Mark Christie, who is the president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library, said: “I see this as the crown jewel of the Queens Library system." “It’s a beacon for the community—an inspiration for people, which will be a great community center especially as Hunters Point grows,” Christie said.
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Large piece of 5th Street property sells, next to 5sl
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street (GMAPs)

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A large piece of Hunters Point real estate sold earlier this month—next to 5Sl and cater-corner with Duane Reade. The property, 47-33 5th Street, sold for $12 million and the transaction was filed with the city Friday. The purchaser was Eunhasu Corp., an Elmhurst based real estate firm. The four-story industrial building is zoned for residential development. In 2009, the previous owner, 47-33 5th Street Corp, filed plans with the Building Department to construct a six-story structure with 14 units. The property had been bought by that firm in 2003 for $2.25 million, according to city records. The chief executive of Eunhasu is Kyu Heung Park.
Bicyclist dead after being hit by truck at intersection of 41 Ave. and Vernon Blvd.
Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray A bicyclist was struck and killed by a truck at the intersection of Vernon Boulevard and 41st Avenue Saturday, according to police. The 36-year-old victim was hit by a private sanitation truck at 5:13 pm as the driver turned east onto 41st Avenue from Vernon Blvd. Police and EMS arrived on the scene and found the victim lying on 41st Avenue unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as Hoyt Jacobs of Bushwick. The driver of the truck remained on the scene. There have been no arrests although the police are still investigating the incident.
City looks at zoning change in Long Island City, WSJ reports
Linc-LIC-465x343 Jan. 16, Staff Report The city has preliminary plans to rezone a section of Long Island City—which would lead to further construction in what is already a crane-filled neighborhood. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the city is targeting Long Island City “along the East River and just north of the Long Island Expressway for a possible rezoning that would promote the construction around Queens Plaza of more high-rise apartment buildings, including ones with lower rents.” The Department of City Planning is about to conduct a study of 100 blocks around Queens Plaza, Court Square, Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, the Journal reports. The new zoning would prioritize mixed-income housing, as well as potential growth for arts and tech industries. The first rezoning in 2001 led to 8,000 new units in the neighborhood, 20,000 more under construction, and a 5.9 percent rent increase over the past year, according to the Journal. The plans are in their early stages.
Source: LIC Partnership

Source: LIC Partnership

Restaurants

  • Random Posts