Jerry Wolkoff to add affordable housing, art studios to 5 Pointz plan

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25 Responses to Jerry Wolkoff to add affordable housing, art studios to 5 Pointz plan

  1. JdubNYC

    learnt?!

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  2. Mike Novak

    "Wolkoff, who was represented by his son David and a fleet of consultants"...Thats all one needs to know.

    Daddy, sonny and the consultants never "consulted" with the community.

    Let hope he is not like that scumbag Bruce Ratner who promised "affordable housing" as he and Bloomie used eminent domain to toss hardworking people out into the street, only to see that the "affordable housing" looks like it will never be built. Ratner can delay until 2035 and then pay a small fine.

    Only in Bloombergville.

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  3. Sick of Development

    I don't believe a word he says. Nor do I give Conley much credit. Fifty four units is a start, but he is getting 370 extra!

    How about he makes all of them affordable? Make this place nicer for the people who already live here! Don't push us out to make room for the overflow from Manhattan. Do you think we don't notice? Your protestations are insulting! You didn't realize. . . . Yeah, sure, I buy that. And, hey, do you have a bridge I can buy?

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  4. me

    what is affordable??? $2000 a month for a 1 bedroom.....oh that's right the "can't afford wanna be manhattanites" will flood this part of Long Island City>>>>>>>>>>>> Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so sorry I forgot we're not Long Island City we're LIC ...another area destroyed!!

    2 more years and cya NYC done
    choking on these fake aholes moving & destroying NYC............................

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  5. SDO

    2K a month for a one bedroom in Long Island City? Surely you jest - try 2.8K and UP. My building in Sunnyside (south) finally broke the 2K mark on a smallish one bedroom (relatively speaking; the apts in my building are huge). The apt. rented within 2 weeks without being painted/prepped. None of us can believe it!

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  6. SDO

    PS Ironically, I went to high school with David Wolkoff...

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  7. Anonymous

    It is ironic and hypocritical to be disparaging towards the owner of this building and not see the selfishness of the people who benefited for free for 2 decades. The new plan seems more than fair and gives concessions to the disgusting mob.

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  8. db

    It is a real shame that no political or cultural organizations are advocating to preserve this place. It seems the deals have been made. It is essentially a bunch of artists and their lawyer trying to advocate for this cultural institution.

    A good comparison or model would be the Magic Gardens in Philly. Philly has a very different relationship to Public Art then New York, but we're talking about an art space that was preserved by the community and city. Today the Magic Gardens is a thriving tourist destination. Imagine a 5pointz preserved as a studio, artspace, etc. Multiply the Magic Gardens times a thousand in terms of the effect it would have on the economy as a tourist destination.

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  9. surreal estate agent

    Wolkoff never had to let that property be used for low-rent art studios or allow the building to be used as a graffiti canvas in the first place, but he did for nearly 20 years.

    At least give him credit for that. I can't think of any other property owner that can make that claim.

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  10. marie

    a few facts :

    The Wolkoff met hush hush with the cb2 after the no vote, and apparently guaranteed increased space for artists ? which artists , no one from 5 Pointz has been involved, and as of now, none of the studio space, nor gallery space is being offered to 5 Pointz. There has been no communication between G&M realty and the 5 Pointz collective, other than a letter of eviction and a phone call preventing the use of the roof, because I quote " people were mean to the Wolkoff family at the meeting.

    At the hearing with Helen Marshall , Mr Conley acted like he was part of the Wolkoff team stood in between them during the entire presentation.

    Mr Wolkoff indeed did not have to give the space to artists, but most of you need to understand that a lot of the artists that paint the building use to be tenants , and pay rent , till 2009 when the staircase collapsed. The low rent was a reflection of the poor shape of the building , it was a win win artists had space to work in , and G&M realty did not have to bring the building up to code , as artists are very low maintenance tenant.

    5 Pointz as a collective tried to rent more space on the ground floor back in 2010 , and started cleaning the space , the said space was taken away from the collective after fans started the save 5 Pointz petition.

    it is a difficult battle , and 5 Pointz today is an iconic site bringing a huge amount of tourists to LIC. Where are our elected officials ? 5 Pointz has been begging for a meeting with Jimmy Van bramer , without any success ...

    To be continued ...

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  11. Anon.an.on

    I don't like the term 'affordable housing', at what price point is housing affordable? If a luxury building rents the 1 beds for $3000, how much less would the 'affordable housing' versions be? And more to the point, is it fair that certain people get to live in the luxury building for less than others? I agree housing should be made available for all, but do those earning a lower wage really need to be living in a luxury building? Should those that have studied and worked hard and are now reaping the rewards by living in a nice apartment, have to share with those that arent. I myself do not live in a luxury building, nor could I afford to, I'm far from a wall street type, but I don't feel that because I earn a lower salary that I am entitled to a 2 bed with ensuite, roof deck and river view.

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  12. Sonny L

    I am beginning to wonder if we turned our backs on the wrong man. It sounds like finally someone cares about our community who could help us here.

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  13. Sonny L

    Naturally NOT at $3000/1BR/Mo but still

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  14. Tom

    5 Pointz is a huge cultural asset to LIC and NYC in general. It is what many tourists come to NYC to see, and are instead confronted with a sterile and boring city. Mr Wolkoff doesn't need more money, and if he really wants to do something for the community, he should work with the curators of 5 Pointz to develop it's full potential.

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  15. Tom

    and, Anon.an.on, 'is it fair that poor people get to live in nice apartments'? wow, that is an incredibly nasty sentiment. Most of us americans work hard, very hard, and the fact is that those born with money stay with money. The way the education and health system is set up makes it hard to break the cycle of poverty. I agree that nobody 'needs' luxury housing. That's not the point. The point is that New York needs affordable housing PERIOD. And if that housing happens to not be in run-down ghettos then that's a bonus! Have some empathy for struggling families and put your jealousy aside.

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  16. Anon.an.on

    @ Tom I disagree, it's not a nasty thing to say at all, I think it's a very vaild point that too many people are too scared to say. It is unfair that one person pays one price and someone else pays a different price for the exact same thing. That's not jealousy, that's sanity. I'm saying it should be fair accross the board, if you can't afford to live somewhere, then you shouldnt be living there.

    I agree that there is affordable housing needed, and I agree that it shouldnt have to be in run down ghettos, but inside luxury condo buildings is the complete opposite side of the scale. I would rather see affordable buildings dotted all over the city and queens.

    I think there are too many people that shrug theirs shoulders, blame their current situation on 'the system' or 'the goverment' or 'the schools', take no blame themselves, and then hold their hand out expecting the world to give them something for nothing. Now luxury condo's is to be added to that hand out list.

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  17. songline

    I love Art and always have. I think what the Wolkoff family is proposing is instrumental in making LIC a more desirable area for all concerned. I looked at the new building sketches and at the graffiti building too. I do not get the outrage at all. People want to live in nice places and when you give it to them they raise a stink, all for nothing. Graffiti is graffiti, and while talent did go into it. I think Art should be framed, and hung, and a nice area will help many in the long run.
    I do not see that the Wolkoffs are trying to do anything to harm the artists. Maybe instead of stores on the bottom they can have Art exhibits, galleries. Etc….

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  18. Mari Lyn

    Hello!

    I've started the petition "New York City Council: Stop the demolition of 5 Pointz" and need your help to get it off the ground.

    Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-city-council-stop-the-demolition-of-5-pointz

    Here's why it's important:

    This place is an open air art museum for the unique and beautiful art form that is graffiti. G&M realty plans to demolish the building to build two high rise apartement buildings intended for the financially affluent. While they are offereing the 5 pointz group studio space and the opportunity to curate the building, buch of this will be the antithesis of what it was that the graffiti mecca represented to the artists who journeyed there on a pigrimage to see artists' work that have inspired them. The art on dispay at 5 pointz is for the public. It is a place for artists to legally put their art on display, and it is a lifetime goal for many of us. Please, support the cause to save this beautiful open air art museum and prevent it from being turned into apartments, retail space, and a parking garage. You wouldn't tear down the Louvre would you? That's how much this means to graffiti artists around the world.

    You can sign my petition by clicking here.

    Thanks!

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  19. songline

    The thought of Bloomberg is enough to choke anyone. He was as good for this city as the terrorists were in 2011. Unless you are a billionaire like he is he has no use for you, and is moving you as far away as he can. Affordable housing is a lick and a promise.
    I just wonder how he stayed this long without being thrown out.
    The rendering for this place is nice, but we do not know if it is a 20/80 affordable. Meaning only 20% of the building will be affordable. Unless he does 80% market rates, he can’t afford to build it.
    So is it really affordable? Or is it not for everyone.
    I still rather see new buildings come in, new stores, expand the good areas. Right now that area is not really desirable for many. It is no neighborhood, it has no shopping, in short what is LIC really?

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  20. Carol

    Yes, the Wolkoffs have the right to do what they want with their property. But let's not pretend this won't be a huge loss to the character of NYC. 5 Pointz is a special place and it's a shame that, as usual, money triumphs over art and taste. Could those two towers be any more generic and bland?

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  21. Chris

    "I would never build a building that didn't have community support!"

    Then why did you white wash the building the day after a support rally that the very community you claim to respect came out for you lying piece of slime? To block the community's efforts to get landmark status? Oh yeah, some respect you have for the community. Just another rich jerk trying not to show his true colors.

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  22. Char

    LI City has many new developments and has been the place to go when you can’t afford Manhattan. I hope more people will ban together to support normal life style in NYC, STOP the outrageous gouging and displacing people. Seems like the Developers and the government all BS and get over on the people.
    Kudos to those people who stand up to make a difference.

    But LIC is no completion for Manhattan, and it does not have 1% of the conveniences or interest that Manhattan does. It is where to go when you can’t afford Manhattan. They better make it a neighborhood with good eateries, good shops, and all the things that make it a comfortable place. NOT Alienate potential business owners/ residents….
    When I drove through there recently it was cold, not good on stores, shops, eateries, or transportation FROM a passengers view in a car. The area needs to remain affordable.
    IT is no other then "close to the city" NOT some great special anything, I know marketing….it is what it is. But, but, but the people that live there if stabilized will get to see its renaissance as did the upper Upper West Side. People did not leave the UWS because new came in. But people will, and should ban together from allowing the rich to crush the not rich so they can get richer

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  23. J lance

    1. Today five points -thanks to the greedy, apathetic new owners. Their "white wash" is an eyesore. Affordable housing? For who? These two are greedy and selfish. They're not going to help the community. Just like my landlord. He won't upgrade anything and charges a years salary for rent. They're all full of crap.

    Ask yourself this.... If they were going to create affordable housing why spend money to tear it down? I'll tell you why. To build condos on prime realistate and what makes it prime? The artist. If all the artist were to leave these two guys would be screwed. Al we can do us not rent from them.

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  24. star

    The affordable housing is only twenty percent which isn't a big accomplishment . That's the standard affordable housing to get a tax break. Plenty of buildings in Manhattan offer that. Won't there be more community meetings where this can be brought up?

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  25. Chris

    The affordable housing is only 20% of the ADDITIONAL units Wolkoff wants to build, and in reality are only 5.4% of the total # of units...

    That is if it gets built and things like the affordable housing/art areas aren't "value engineered" out of the project when it goes over budget

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Frederick Becker, the attorney representing I Love Kick Boxing LIC, said the venue will focus primarily on physical fitness.

He said the 2,800-square foot facility would essentially be like “aerobics on steroids.”

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He said that the owner is working with the landlord and acoustic engineers to protect the residents from noise.

The facility will primarily provide classes—catering to groups of about 30 people. Becker said that each class is about 45-50 minutes long.

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Communitea, long-time Vernon Blvd coffee shop, is closing

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Communitea, the long-time coffee shop located at 47-02 Vernon Blvd, announced on Facebook Monday that it is closing.

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Red-hot LIC rental market shows signs of cooling down

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The upward trajectory of the Long Island City rental market is beginning to show signs that it is tapering off, with rental prices down in the third quarter compared to the second.

The cool down was also evident on a year-over-year basis with rents up only slightly compared to 3Q 2013, according to a recent report.

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No. 7 train weekend service to be cut for 5 weekends this fall

7subway1Oct. 17, Staff Report

The MTA has announced that the No. 7 train will be down between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for five weekends this fall.

In addition, No. 7 train service will be reduced between 74th Street Broadway and Queensboro Plaza.

The cuts begin this weekend, with service down from Saturday (Oct. 18) at 2 am through Monday (Oct 20) at 5 am.

The cuts will also take place on the following weekends—starting at 11:30pm through Monday at 5am.

Oct 24-27

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Parking costs might rise in LIC, as DOT has preliminary plans to introduce ‘Park Smart’

metersOct. 17, By Christian Murray

Representatives from the Department of Transportation attended a Community Board 2 meeting last week and introduced a preliminary plan to introduce “Park Smart”– a program that aims to free up parking spaces–in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

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For instance on certain streets in Jackson Heights, it now costs 50 cents to park for 30 minutes, $1:50 for an hour, $2:50 for 90 minutes and $4 for 2 hours.

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For more information on Park Smart click here

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Police seek man who allegedly punched 65-year-old in face
suspect

suspect

Oct. 17, Staff Report

The police are looking to locate a suspect who allegedly punched a 65-year-old man in the face last month.

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The incident occurred on Sept. 22 at 10:50 pm.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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LIC’s underground stations now have Wifi

Vernonirtstairlar
Oct. 16, By Michael Florio

The MTA announced today that it had completed Phase II of its seven-phase plan to bring WiFi service to all 277 underground stations in New York City.

The second phase has brought WiFi service to an additional 11 Manhattan and 29 Queens stations–including several in Long Island City and Astoria. The total number of underground stations with WiFi service has now reached 76.

Phase II provides WiFi service to the underground stations in Long Island City and Astoria.

The Vernon/Jackson and Hunters Point Ave. stations are now covered by Phase II, as well as Grand Central and 42nd Bryant Park, which are key stations for 7 train riders. Times Square was part of phase I.

The Court Square station (which caters to the E, G, M and 7) was also added under the wireless plan.

Astoria residents who take the R train will also receive WiFi service. The service—under Phase II—is now available at the Queens Plaza, 36th Street, 46th Street and Steinway Street stations.

“Subway riders will now always be connected with our WiFi,” said Bill Bayne, CEO of Transit Wireless, which has partnered with the MTA. “We as consumers expect to be connected 24/7 no matter where we are.”

The WiFi, which provides voice and data service, is also viewed as increasing public safety—since people will be able to make calls from these station.

“Whether you’re checking your email, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to above ground into the subway system,” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said.

“This is a win for the riders in my district and all over the city,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Riders will now get the convenient and comfortable ride that they look for every day.”

Phase three will bring WiFi to another 105 stations and is expected to be completed by spring 2015.

The entire seven-phase project will cost upwards of $300 million.

Phase 1 Phase 2 Stations

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Application period for Hunters Point South has begun

Hunters Point South buildingOct. 15, By Christian Murray

The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development went live today.

The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect  (https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/lottery.html#home), which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought.

Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application.

There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.

Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

affordablerents

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Court Square: Planned Parenthood to break ground on first Queens facility
Rendering

Rendering

By Michael Florio

Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) will be breaking ground Thursday on its first healthcare center in Queens.

The new center is being constructed in the Court Square section of Long Island City, at 21-41 45th Road. It is expected to open in 2015.

The 14,000-square-foot facility center, like other centers, will offer abortions, breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and routine gynecological exams.

Planned Parenthood, a non-profit center, anticipates that it will serve 17,500 patients annually at the location.

In a statement, PPNYC said that thousands of Queens patients have to travel to other boroughs to receive its services.

“The new health center will strengthen our ability to provide Queens residents with the essential reproductive health care services they need,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC.

Planned Parenthood estimates that one in five women in Queens do not have health insurance.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who allocated $750,000 of city funds to help bring the Long Island City facility to the area, said earlier this year that it was important to bring essential “healthcare for women and all new Yorkers” to Queens.

Malin said PPNYC selected this location because Court Square is accessible to subway lines.

Meanwhile, Life News, a news site catering toward the pro-life movement, was less than happy about the announcement. “Forty percent of Unborn Babies in New York City are Aborted, Planned Parenthood Wants More,” referring to the new facility.

The abortion rate in New York City has been falling. The Health Department reported that in 2012, 38 percent of viable pregnancies ended in “induced terminations.”

21-45 45th Road, Court Square

21-45 45th Road, Court Square

 

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More Headlines

LIC’s underground stations now have Wifi
Vernonirtstairlar Oct. 16, By Michael Florio The MTA announced today that it had completed Phase II of its seven-phase plan to bring WiFi service to all 277 underground stations in New York City. The second phase has brought WiFi service to an additional 11 Manhattan and 29 Queens stations--including several in Long Island City and Astoria. The total number of underground stations with WiFi service has now reached 76. Phase II provides WiFi service to the underground stations in Long Island City and Astoria. The Vernon/Jackson and Hunters Point Ave. stations are now covered by Phase II, as well as Grand Central and 42nd Bryant Park, which are key stations for 7 train riders. Times Square was part of phase I. The Court Square station (which caters to the E, G, M and 7) was also added under the wireless plan. Astoria residents who take the R train will also receive WiFi service. The service—under Phase II—is now available at the Queens Plaza, 36th Street, 46th Street and Steinway Street stations. "Subway riders will now always be connected with our WiFi," said Bill Bayne, CEO of Transit Wireless, which has partnered with the MTA. "We as consumers expect to be connected 24/7 no matter where we are.” The WiFi, which provides voice and data service, is also viewed as increasing public safety—since people will be able to make calls from these station. “Whether you’re checking your email, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to above ground into the subway system," MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said. “This is a win for the riders in my district and all over the city,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Riders will now get the convenient and comfortable ride that they look for every day.” Phase three will bring WiFi to another 105 stations and is expected to be completed by spring 2015. The entire seven-phase project will cost upwards of $300 million.

Phase 1 Phase 2 Stations

Application period for Hunters Point South has begun
Hunters Point South buildingOct. 15, By Christian Murray The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development went live today. The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect  (https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/lottery.html#home), which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought. Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application. There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year. For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom. However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000. The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom. Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. affordablerents affordablehousingmoderate income
Court Square: Planned Parenthood to break ground on first Queens facility
Rendering

Rendering

By Michael Florio Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) will be breaking ground Thursday on its first healthcare center in Queens. The new center is being constructed in the Court Square section of Long Island City, at 21-41 45th Road. It is expected to open in 2015. The 14,000-square-foot facility center, like other centers, will offer abortions, breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and routine gynecological exams. Planned Parenthood, a non-profit center, anticipates that it will serve 17,500 patients annually at the location. In a statement, PPNYC said that thousands of Queens patients have to travel to other boroughs to receive its services. “The new health center will strengthen our ability to provide Queens residents with the essential reproductive health care services they need,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC. Planned Parenthood estimates that one in five women in Queens do not have health insurance. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who allocated $750,000 of city funds to help bring the Long Island City facility to the area, said earlier this year that it was important to bring essential “healthcare for women and all new Yorkers” to Queens. Malin said PPNYC selected this location because Court Square is accessible to subway lines. Meanwhile, Life News, a news site catering toward the pro-life movement, was less than happy about the announcement. “Forty percent of Unborn Babies in New York City are Aborted, Planned Parenthood Wants More,” referring to the new facility. The abortion rate in New York City has been falling. The Health Department reported that in 2012, 38 percent of viable pregnancies ended in “induced terminations.”
21-45 45th Road, Court Square

21-45 45th Road, Court Square

 
8 people isolated — and later cleared–after suspicious powder discovered in LIC building
ambulance-e1412871498173Oct. 14, By Michael Florio (Update: 7:30 pm) A suspicious white powder was discovered this morning at the headquarters of the New York City Housing Authority in Long Island City this morning. Eight people were initially isolated by the FDNY-- but they were later cleared. The powder was discovered on the fourth floor of the 23-02 49th Avenue building, around 10:50 am, inside a letter that was opened in the mail room, according to a NYPD spokesperson. The Department of Environmental Protection is currently testing the powder to identify what it is but the NYPD said it was unlikely to be hazardous. There were no injuries, the NYPD said, and the building was not evacuated.  
Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot
JohnKwilsonOct. 13, By Christian Murray This November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time. Nolan has name recognition, the benefit of incumbency, strong party backing and has raised more than $130,000 in campaign funds since 2010 (Friends of Catherine Nolan and Nolan for Assembly). She has moved up the ranks over the years, where she has chaired the Banking as well as Labor committees. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee. Meanwhile, her challenger John K. Wilson, a Sunnyside barman/actor, has raised $10,000 in campaign funds (Committee to elect John K Wilson) since 2010 and has virtually no name recognition. His best effort against Nolan came in 2010 when he generated 16% of the vote, after he ran a confrontational—and at times—negative campaign (see website). Wilson said he is running in order to introduce term limits and bring an end to the Queens Democratic machine. “There is too much power in too few hands,” he said. “Six years in office should be the limit,” Wilson said. “I want to put an end to career politicians.” “The longer someone is in power the less work they do for the people,” he said. “They take the job for granted and focus on moving up within the party.” Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions. “When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.” His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.” He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy. “Local restaurants hire people, want to do what is right by the community and are losing revenue,” he said. “These owners don’t want to be bad neighbors,” he said. “It is not in their interest to have loud noise at night. Why not a compromise?” He said that he opposes the concept of affordable housing, which he views as a “buzzword” to make it appear as though elected officials are “helping the little people.” He said the term “affordable” has never been defined and believes that market forces are the answer. Wilson, who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice, said that he wants the number of charter schools to be expanded. He said charter schools benefit poor and minority students and many parents want to send their children to these schools since they provide the best chance these children have for success. He also said that the state needs to cut spending and focus more on reducing taxes."Lower taxes equal more jobs," he said. Most of all, Wilson said that voters need a choice come Election Day (Nov. 4) and said it is disappointing that many legislators are running unopposed. “Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.
New French bakery just days away from opening
cafeshopOct. 10, By Christian Murray A new French bakery is about to open in Hunters Point. Cannelle Patisserie, a popular French bakery that opened in Jackson Heights more than six years ago, will be opening in the next week to 10 days. The bakery, which is located on the ground floor of The Maximilian building at 5-11 47th Ave, will offer cakes, pastries, macaroons, coffee and sandwiches—much like its Jackson Heights location, said co-owner Jean-Claude Perennou. The new bakery has space for 25 seats—and Perennou has plans to offer sidewalk seating next summer. Perennou, a French native who has lived in the Hunters Point for the past 18 months, has plenty of industry experience. Prior to opening Cannelle Patisserie, Perennou was a pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria for more than a decade—and has worked at several restaurants in New York and Paris. He attended Le Paraclet, a culinary school in France. Perennou said he and his business partner wanted to expand into Hunters Point since there is no other French bakery in the neighborhood and that they would be filling a niche. Furthermore, he said, the new bakery would not be too far from the Jackson Heights location, so they could travel back and forth with relative ease. Perennou said he looks forward to having a location where people will be able walk to the store. Currently, he said, most people have to drive to get to the Jackson Heights bakery. “We are looking forward to opening in LIC and are eager to start,” he said.
Jean Claude

Jean Claude Perennou

Two robbed in Murray Playground last month, police search for suspects
LICBAC Oct. 9, By Michael Florio The police are searching for two men wanted in connection with a gun point robbery that took place in Murray Playground (45th Ave and 21st Street) last month. The two suspects entered the park at about 2:10 am Monday, Sept. 15, and approached a 22-year-old male and 22-year-old female. They displayed a firearm and demanded money. The suspects removed a Samsung Galaxy cellular phone, a debit card, and $5 in cash from the male victim, and removed an iPhone and debit card from the female victim. The suspects are both described as black males. The police have released a photo of one of the suspects who using the male victim's debit card at a Bank of America ATM, located at 2680 Broadway in Manhattan. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  
Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards
Sunnyside_Yard_East_jehOct. 8, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks. Conley said at the monthly Community Board 2 meeting that the Sunnyside Yards could be used to build more affordable housing. “We should look at it with the possibility of creating a community…with affordable housing, market rate housing and retail,” Conley said. Conley called on the board to give him permission to send a letter to the Queens Borough President’s office requesting a study of the area. The board complied. The letter, however, alarmed several people who fear over development—with some claiming that the infrastructure is overstretched as it is. Van Bramer said the community is not calling for the development of the Sunnyside Yards. He said people are more concerned about school overcrowding, transportation issues and other problems that actually stem from development. “My office is in the business of receiving hundreds of letters and speaking to people about important issues all the time,” Van Bramer said. “Not one person has come to me and said ‘you should deck over the Sunnyside Yards and build housing.” Several Community Board 2 members said after last Thursday’s meeting that they were caught by surprise by Conley’s request. “I’m opposed to the concept of decking [building] over the Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said. “The idea gets floated whenever there is an economic boom…but I think it would be bad for the surrounding community.” Van Bramer, as councilman, has a big role to play in terms of land use decisions such as these. All significant zoning changes go through the city council and it is typically the elected official in a given district that makes the call. Van Bramer was unsure how the idea surfaced in the first place.
Jimmy Van Bramer

Jimmy Van Bramer

Conley said that the Sunnyside Yards—which go through Long Island City and Sunnyside--are owned by government agencies. Therefore, this provides the community with an opportunity to negotiate with developers as to the number of affordable units that could be built. “Jackson Avenue and 21st Street would be our jumping off point,” Conley said, adding that the study would then look toward Thomson Avenue and Queens Plaza. Van Bramer said that he too is in favor of affordable housing. However, he said, “Density is appropriate in some places and not others. I, for one, believe Sunnyside and Astoria are great low-density neighborhoods that should remain so.” Conley told the Daily News Tuesday that the Sunnyside Yards also divide the neighborhoods and indicated that the housing would draw them closer. “Right now you have this scar that runs down the community,” he told the News. Van Bramer disagreed with this view. “I wouldn’t characterize these neighborhoods as having a scar running through them…and I don’t believe the neighborhoods are unreachable.”  
Police seek help in locating serial bank robber, suspect allegedly hit HSBC bank in LIC in 2012
Oct. 8, By Christian Murray suspect Call him the 21st Century version of Willie Sutton or John Dillinger. The police are searching for a man who has robbed eight Queens banks—and attempted to rob two others—in the past 2 1/2 years. The banks have been scattered throughout the borough—covering Jackson Heights, Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing, East Elmhurst and Sunnyside. In total, the suspect has taken in about $50,000. One of the robberies occurred at the HSBC Bank branch at 22-15 43rd Avenue, where the suspect approached a teller and passed a note—before fleeing with $8,680 in cash. That incident occurred on August 20, 2012. The suspect’s modus operandi has been to enter a bank, pass a note and—on four occasions—display a firmarm. He also tends to hold a mobile phone up against his ear. No injuries have resulted from his spree. The suspect (see photo) is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6-feet-tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat and a button-down short sleeve shirt. He also had a light beard connected to a goatee, tinted eye glasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist. The first incident occurred on July 17, 2012, when he allegedly entered into an Amalgamated Bank at 78-01 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and took off with $1,450.suspect1 The latest robbery occurred Saturday, when the suspected entered Chase Bank at 69-55 Grand Avenue, passed a note and left with $5,170. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Oktoberfest fundraiser to be held at waterfront park Saturday
LIC-007Oct. 6, By Christian Murray Oktoberfest is coming to Hunters Point South Park this Saturday. The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and LIC Landing are hosting an Oktoberfest event on October 11 (btw. 4pm and 7pm) next to LIC Landing. The party is a fundraiser for the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a non-profit group dedicated to maintaining the waterfront parks and hosting events. The funds raised will be used to host a series of events in the spring/summer of 2015—such as movies, a music series and family events. This Saturday’s fundraiser—aptly called ParkToberfest—will cost $50 a ticket, and attendees will be provided with unlimited beers between 4 pm and 7 pm from breweries such as Singlecut, Harpoon, Radeberger, Hofbrau and others. The cost of admission will also include a bratwurst sandwich, while other food—such as oysters-- is available for purchase. Music will be performed by the Street Beat Brass Band, a New York City brass band that plays an eclectic mix of music—from New Orleans Jazz, Mexican Banda, Gospel, Klezmer, and Funk. There will also be giveaways including T-shirts, hats and other beer-inspired gifts. “This will be our last fundraiser for the year before it gets too cold,” said Rob Basch, who is in charge of events for the Hunters Point Park Conservancy. Basch is hopeful that the weather will remain warm this Saturday. However, he said “Oktoberfest in Germany tends to be cold.” Basch is expecting about 200 people to turn out for the fundraiser. He said that the first 25 people to buy a ticket will receive a 1-litre Hofbrau Crystal mug, with the next 12 ticket buyers getting a 1-pint Hofbrau boot mug. Tickets can be purchased on the day or online at parkToberfest.eventbrite.com There will be an after party hosted by Alewife, where beer specials with be available to all ParkToberfest party goers. poster
Ramen restaurant to open on Vernon Blvd.
Japanese restaurant Oct. 5, By Christian Murray The owner of an Astoria ramen restaurant is opening a location on Vernon Boulevard. The restaurant, which is expected to be called Tamashii Blue, will be located 47-36 Vernon Boulevard. The ramen restaurant will be owned by Jhon Cho, who owns and operates Tamashii Ramen at 29-05 Broadway. The announcement comes weeks before Mu Ramen, a highly-touted ramen shop that had operated out of the Bricktown Bagels, opens at 12-09 Jackson Avenue. Cho said he plans to open his Vernon Boulevard restaurant in March. The restaurant will seat about 25 to 30 people—a little larger than the 22 seats that Mu Ramen will have. Cho said that he decided to open a Vernon Blvd location since there has been a lot of demand from Long Island City customers. He said many Long Island City residents call his Astoria restaurant hoping to place an order  that -due to distance--he is unable to meet.- Cho, a Korean national, has been in the US for 16 years and has worked or owned restaurants since. His father is Japanese while his mother is Korean. His mother operated a restaurant in Korea for more than 30 years, he said. For more information on Tamashi Ramen, click here.
Owner Jhon Cho

Owner Jhon Cho

Inside Tamashi Ramen

Inside Tamashi Ramen

Exterior of Tamashii Ramen

Exterior of Tamashii Ramen at 29-05 Broadway

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