Court grants 5 Pointz artists a 10-day restraining order, as long-shot battle to save building continues

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21 Responses to Court grants 5 Pointz artists a 10-day restraining order, as long-shot battle to save building continues

  1. a-bidge

    Yawn. Just demolish the eyesore already! The 'artists' need to remember that the owner let them use his building for their 'works of art' for years, they should have known it wouldn't last forever. instead of all this bull they should realize they had a good run and be thankful for it. or if they want it that bad, pitch in and buy it from the owner, but then that would require atleast one of these 'artists' to actually have a job. The hoops the owner now has to go thru to demolish his own building is a joke!

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  2. Pro-Art

    Hurray! I love it. They claim "property rights," so can the artists. Wonderful.

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  3. Nancy

    i think it would be wonderful if it would remain the meca for local artists that it has become.

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  4. Anonymous

    the artists become the facists

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  5. NYC Born and Raised

    a-bidge... youre obviously not from NYC ... at least not from Queens NY where the building is... and as a native New yorker from queens i support the artists and wish for the building to stay up as hundreds of others who have lived here all our lives...

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  6. Mike Jones

    I respect Jonathan Cohen and his team for their efforts. I am a huge fan of graffiti and art etc... however the building is in extremely bad shape. I've been in real abandoned buildings and would say they were in better shape than the 5 Pointz building. The property owners probably would loved to build within the exsisting structure however they are well aware it's not realistic. The 5 Pointz building is filled with black mold and asbestos. The inside of the building serves no purpose and is a hazard. (e.g. The Stairway collapse a few years back).

    All this effort is like having a loved on on life support and you're not allowing the doctor to pull the plug. The building is not gonna sit vacant forever and only going to detererate in time. If all these artists have this much time and energy to put into proving their point they deserve respect why don't they find a new building or wall they can say they actually started and watch that grow over time and be able to say they're proud of that.

    Just my 2 cents...

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  7. WED3

    @ a-bidge...You shouldn't speak on what you don't know. I'm positive few of those artist make more than you. And if it's such and eyesore don't look at it. There is a such thing as HISTORICAL LANDMARK!

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  8. LICresident

    LIC is becoming the concrete jungle of condos and more condos. The old school feel is quickly diminishing. To those who vote for the demolition of the building obviously do not care about the art and the history surrounding it. Such a shame to see this go one day.

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  9. Anon

    This is just one more indication that creative and Bohemian NYC (and LIC, in particular) is in the final death throes. The place is pretty much done. Listen to the chest rattles.

    Time to just admit it, roll up the tents and look for more fertile pastures some place else. It's not the end of the world. You don't need to pay $2500 a month to live like a chump.

    Let the trust fund Asian and Euro hordes and Midtown project managers consolidate their LIC prize they've fought so hard for the past 30 years. Go crazy, you guys. Maybe some day you'll finally reach the critical mass of Thai restaurants, wine bars, and doggy-daycare joints you seem to want so much.

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  10. New York is WACK!

    I honestly hope they tear down your precious "5 Points"! Why? Because all the hate New Yorkers have towards outsiders. You all want to be "Pro Art" and be supportive. But after seeing every BANKSY piece dissed or slashed this month in your rotten apple this month, I will turn a blind eye and give you all a deaf ear. I'm from Los Angeles by the way. We don't diss people like SEEN, FUTURA, QUIK, KAWS, Trusto Corp, etc when they pieces or murals in our Golden State! For shame!

    http://stealbanksyny.com/

    New York = Haters & Hipsters!

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  11. art critic

    Re: above comment. Most New Yorkers don't hate Banksy. A few insecure, envious, childish punks with zero artistic talent do.

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  12. art critic

    PS.

    As much as I'd like to see 5 Pointz survive, all this lawsuit will do is guarantee that no other property owner will ever let their building be used for art in the same way again. Between the legal hassles and the vilification, it's just asking for trouble.

    20 years was a good, long run.

    What I object to is the city relaxing the zoning laws for the new building. That was total BS.

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  13. jason

    This is just dumb, the art that is on this building is never permanent, its painted over and over and over and over by artist so no difference if they tear it down. just stop this BS already and move forward with this project.

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  14. a-bidge

    @NYC Born and Raised, you are correct, I'm not originally from New York, but have lived in Queens for a very long time. You 'born and raised' Queens-ites are the problem with the LIC and the surrounding neighbourhoods, you are dinosaurs with an overly-sentimental view of the area. Manhattan is spreading out and as a result, Queens is growing up, it’s a good thing.

    Without new condo’s and apartment buildings, the demand for housing increases; with increasing demand comes increasing rents, which I can guarantee, you local dinosaurs will also complain about. So let’s get rid of a useless beaten up old building, and replace it with something useful that will actually help the local area.

    @WED3, it’s possible, one or two artists may make more than me, but how do you know what I make? It's also not easily ignorable as I have to walk past it twice a day. Maybe you shouldn’t speak about what YOU don't know. Pot.Kettle.Black.

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  15. Irishgirl

    Dear a-bidge,

    Please be sure you have your facts correct before stating BS on this article. As a wife of one of the artists who has painted 5P on numerous occasions I would like to point out the following

    My husband has a full time office (shirt & tie job), he looks after his company's largest & most valuable customer achieving all budgets & KPi's set and he has been doing this successfully for numerous years.

    If you think it is an eye sore now I would hate to think what it would look like with no artwork, just left to rot over the years.

    I challenge you to produce something better than what is there...

    Pog Mo Thoin,

    Irishgirl

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  16. Anonymous

    F$$k user 'New York is Wack" and F$$K LA, stay over there, asshole.

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  17. Paco

    Good news! Hope it could change the way things are going...

    If you love 5Pointz, check this online doc out: http://www.francetv.fr/defense-d-afficher/en. Among 8 films, there is a Jonathan Cohen focused doc.

    Cheers.

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  18. a-bidge

    Dear Irishgirl,

    Thank you for your reply, it was almost dignified until the Pog Mo Thoin.

    In regards to your husbands job, well done, but I would guess that your husband is the exception rather than the norm.

    It is your opinion that the graffiti makes it better, I feel that it show's urban decay worse than a decaying building alone. My argument here is not that the graffiti is there, but that the 'artists' now feel that they have some kind of right to the building and what is done with it. If I go and spray my name on the empire state and no one washes it off for a couple years, does that then make the empire state mine?

    I'm not an artist in any way, so I could not replicate any of the 'works' nor do better, however, give me a wrecking ball and I'll gladly accept your challenge.

    Modern Architecture is a far more useful and valid art form than graffiti, time to move forward...

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  19. Geenius

    is 5 pointz still open for people to see and visit? I want to make a trip out there before its no more smh.

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  20. John B

    a-bidge - based on the views you espouse here, you would've been gleefully swinging a wrecking ball into the old Penn Station as well I gather. While the 5 Pointz is no where near as grand, the equivalency at the higher level is the same. Tear down the old that has an unique character and aesthetic value to replace it with the vacuous, sleek modern. While development is essential in a city like this, preserving New York's uniqueness is also a must. I believe a balance can be found, but the last 10-15 years shows a worrying trend that developers have free reign, an all in the name of creating housing and services for a small percentage of New Yorkers and new arrivals.

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  21. a-bidge

    John B - I agree that a certain degree of history and uniqueness should remain. It is important that different area's keep some kind of identity and are not totally modernized to within an inch of their lives. But why at the expense of the owner. If 5 pointz is such a historic landmark, let the city buy and preserve it. Or one of these many many protestors that are fighting to keep it. It really isn't the owners responsibility to lose money just so as LIC keeps it's Penn Station.

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LIC digs out after ‘historic’ storm

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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.

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

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

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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.

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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)

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Big chunk of Court Square hits the market for $41.5m

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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

.

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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

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More Headlines

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

Vietnamese restaurant to open on Jackson Ave., by Court Square station
Bia Restaurant, 23-10 Jackson Ave.

Bia Restaurant, 23-10 Jackson Ave.

Jan. 15, By Christian Murray A Vietnamese restaurant is opening by the Court Square train station in the location that was previously occupied by Quiznos. Bia Restaurant, which currently has a location in Williamsburg, is expected to open at 23-10 Jackson Ave. in April, according to owner Hoan Quan. The restaurant is across the street from MoMA PS 1 and is a block away from the old 5Pointz building. Quan said the menu will be very similar to what’s being offered at the Williamsburg location (67 S 6th St), which includes dim sum, noodles, pho and banh mi sandwiches The Court Square restaurant will be 2,000 sqf., with room for 60 chairs and space for 9 seats at the bar. Quan went before Community Board 2 last night seeking a full liquor license. He was approved. The board gave Quan permission to open until 1 am on weekends and until midnight on weeknights.
Pols. introduce community board term limits bill, aim to bring on new members as neighborhoods change
QNCB1 Jan. 14, By Christian Murray and Michael Florio The Chairman of Astoria’s Community Board 1 Vinicio Donato has held the top job since 1979. Meanwhile, all the leading figures on the Community Board 1 have been there since the 1980s—including those in charge of zoning and overseeing liquor licenses. The first vice chair George Stamatiades was appointed in 1982; second vice chair Norma Nieves-Blas was put on the board in 1987; the head of the Zoning & Variance Committee John Carusone joined in 1988; and the head of the public safety committee Antonio Meloni has been a member since 1988. This scenario of long-serving board members holding key posts is very common throughout the city-- and some legislators are looking to change that. Councilman Daniel Dromm (Jackson Heights) introduced legislation in December that would limit the amount of time a board member could serve to six two-year terms (12 years). The legislation would only apply to board members appointed after April 1, 2016. Existing board members would not be affected by the bill and would be able to stay as long as they desire—as long as their attendance records are in order. “I applaud those board members who have served for 30 or 40 years but I think we need to start thinking about changing things up a bit,” Dromm said. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside/Woodside/LIC as well as a section of Astoria, is one of seven other legislators who has co-sponsored the bill. Councilman Costa Constantinides is not a co-sponsor and declined to comment on the legislation for this article. Dromm said that New York has undergone a great deal of change in the past 30 years and that should be reflected in terms of who sits on the community board. He said that when people sit on boards for three and four decades it creates a “huge power structure” that doesn’t always benefit a changing community. The same people stay in charge, he said, since the new members don’t want to challenge the long-serving chair person or executive board members. "While new members do get appointed to the [50 person] boards each year, they rarely get into powerful positions or on the executive board,” Dromm said. “These [chair] people wield a lot of power,” Dromm told the Sunnyside Post last year, since they decide who heads the committees and who is on them (see bylaws below). “They have a significant amount of power over the direction of the community.” Van Bramer, a former Community Board 2 member, said that the “changing of the guard is healthy and it represents good-government and democracy.” He said that council members are term limited and so too is the president of the United States. Therefore he believes that they should apply to community board members too. Van Bramer said that he supports the bill since it isn’t aimed at removing existing board members or punishing them. “We all value their volunteerism and what they have done.” However, Van Bramer said that more people should have an opportunity to serve on the board.
Daniel Dromm

Daniel Dromm

He noted that there are about 30 people looking to get on Community Board 2 yet only a few spots open up each year. Community Board members are appointed by the borough president, with half the nominees coming from the council member from a given district. Each board member has a two year term and then has to be reappointed by the borough president. The members are almost universally reappointed unless they have poor attendance records. The amount of work a member does on the board is not measured, nor is their attendance at committee meetings. Therefore, a member could go to most of the monthly meetings, say or doing little and still be reappointed. However, those opposed to Dromm’s bill argue that the long-serving members have accumulated an enormous amount of knowledge that helps the board tackle complex topics. “I am opposed to term limits because there is value in experience and the history of many issues that come before the board,” said Community Board 1 Chair Vinicio Donato in a statement. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who served on Community Board 7, told the Gotham Gazette in December that developers often present boards with complicated land-use proposals and that it often takes experienced board members to grasp it all. Furthermore, Brewer said that seasoned board members are better able to negotiate with developers when it comes to affordable housing and other public amenities. "Without that kind of expertise, the developers will have a field day," Brewer told the Gazette. She does not support of the bill. Meanwhile, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz also opposes Dromm’s bill and does not believe in the concept of term limits for board members, according to her spokesman. Lisa Deller, who is the land use committee head at Community Board 2, told the SunnysidePost last year that it took her a long time to get up to speed with how the city planning process works as well as other city issues. She said that unless someone is a land-use attorney, it takes years to work out all the nuances. “I think [term limits] would diminish the power of the community board,” Deller said. She said it would increase participation but members would be term limited once they developed a level of expertise.” However, Dromm said that the community board managers have the institutional knowledge and contacts-- and that the board members should be able to confer with them. Furthermore, the senior members can help mentor the new members. Patrick O’Brien, who was recently voted in as the chairman of Community Board 2, said “like anything there are always two sides to every equation.” “Turnover and involvement of new people is always a good thing, whether it is due to term limits or other reasons, but the loss of quality people who have developed relationships over the years with agencies…would be missed.” He said that 12 years is "too long" for those board members who do little. However, “someone who has done a great deal and continues to do so in a really great way, well then 12 years is a hard limit—despite people thinking it is a good thing.” “In some scenarios term limits are a good. In others it would be a real loss to the community and the community board,” O’Brien said. .

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

Long Island City cooking school opens, teaching culinary basics
Dan Doglin

Dan Dolgin

Jan. 13, By Michael Florio Throw away your take-out menus and put on your aprons. Dan Dolgin, 57, the founder of a cooking school based out of his Queens Plaza apartment, is looking to teach western Queens residents how to cook. The company he formed, CookSingleNYC, is geared toward beginners. He said he held his first lesson at his Crescent Club apartment in September. “Most cooking classes are for those who know a lot about cooking and are looking to improve that skill,” he said. “This is for people who are trapped in the world of takeout and would like to learn the basics of how to cook.” Dolgin said he teaches beginners how to roast, grill, sauté and stir-fry. He offers 3-hour group lessons where two meals are cooked--each consisting of a main entree item and some sides. Dolgin said his focus is not on specific recipes, but rather on cooking techniques. “If you know how to roast--you can roast chicken, salmon or a pork chop,” he said. A one-time three-hour class costs $95. To date, more than 175 people have taken classes. The classes are taught from Dolgin’s kitchen. “I have a big kitchen, which provides adequate space to teach six people at a time,” he said. Dolgin was inspired to open his cooking school after his marriage of 25 years ended in divorce and he began venturing back out into the social scene. He noticed that there were a lot people of all ages who do not know how to cook. “In New York there are a lot of excuses not to cook, from all the take-out options to having a small kitchen,” he said. His idea was originally geared toward single people, hence the name. However, he has broadened his base to all
Crescent Club

Crescent Club

beginners who are interested in learning how to cook. Dolgin does not have any culinary school training. Instead, he said he has gained experience by cooking dinner almost every night for 30 years and watching cooking shows. “I take cooking very seriously,” he said. “It has always been a passion of mine and I enjoy it and want to teach more people how to do so.” Prior to opening his cooking school, Dolgin was a vice president in global sourcing at Vanity Fair. He would travel the globe visiting manufacturing facilities. This job also allowed him to try a variety of international foods. “I think I have had exposure to food all over the world that many people haven’t had,” he said. He said he hopes to expand his cooking school and perhaps move the business out of his apartment. At the moment, he is focusing on getting the word out about his school, which he thinks will boost demand.  
Artists and Wolkoff still at war over 5Pointz, despite demolition almost complete
5 Pointz Jan. 12. By Michael Florio (updated: Jan.13) A number of artists who put the 5Pointz graffiti Mecca on the map have come together to deny the controversial developer from trade marking the 5Pointz name. Jonathan Cohen, a graffiti artist know as “Meres One,” started a petition in an attempt to deny the developer from using the name to market his apartment buildings in the “graveyard” of the graffiti Mecca. Jerry Wolkoff, owner of 5Pointz, is just days away from completely demolishing the structure, clearing the way for two high-rise apartment towers, one 47 stories and the other 41, containing nearly 1,000 units. The project will have 50,000 square feet of commercial space, 12,000 square feet for artist studios and will include a public park. Wolkoff plans to use the 5Pointz name, and his company G&M Realty has filed an application to trademark it. The petition, which sets out to prevent the name from being used on the towers, set its goal at 2,000 signatures. Currently, it has over 1,800 signatures. Jose Fernandez, a Woodside resident wrote on the petition: “They purchased the property, not the history.” Meanwhile, Orestes Gonzalez from Long Island City, wrote, “You can’t market a name that does not morally belong to you.” On the petition, Cohen writes that he was given full curatorial and operational control in 2002, allowing aerosol and street artist to come paint on the 200,000 square foot building turned canvas, without repercussions. He writes that he thought up the name 5Pointz. However, Wolkoff claims that he and Cohen both collaborated on the name. “Do you think I would just let any name go up on my building?” Wolkoff said in November. Wolkoff said that Meres used to walk around 5Pointz thinking it was his building—particularly after he announced his plan to develop the property. “I gave him permission to use it for all these years…and he would work with artists,” Wolkoff said in November. “But the property was always mine to develop and deep down Meres and his crew knew that.” While Wolkoff knows some of the artists will always criticize him, he hopes that will change once the two towers are completed and he invites the street artists back to display their work. (update) Wolkoff's application for the 5Pointz name with the US Patent and Trademark Office was turned down on Jan 6 because it was too similar to the moniker of California real estate company. He has six months to respond or appeal the decision. .

. Artist's Petition

Court Square building boom rolls on
27-01 Jackson Avenue

27-01 Jackson Avenue

Jan. 12, Staff Report The Court Square building boom shows no signs of abating. The number of building permits filed with the Department of Buildings for large-scale residential buildings continues to get grow. The latest filing is for a 15-story, 88 unit-residential building at 27-01 Jackson Avenue located near Rockrose’s planned 50 story tower. The 27-01 Jackson Avenue site is currently a gas station. Albert Shirian, the owner of the Jackson Avenue building, expects the permits to be approved within six weeks and for the ground to be broken within six months, according to reports.
44-12 Purves Street

44-12 Purves Street

(click here for a map/list of all LIC developments) Meanwhile, building permits have been filed for a 27-story building with 165 units at 44-12 Purves Street (27-19 44th Drive). The 44th Drive end of the site was home to a recently-closed auto repair shop. That building will be across the street from 44-41 Purves Street, a 25-story, 284 unit building expected to be completed in 2017. Meanwhile, permits were filed in December for the demolition of 44-46 Purves Street, a sited tucked in the far end of the street.
Permits filed for demolition

Permits filed for demolition of 44-46 Purves Street

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