Groundbreaking a long way off for Hunters Point Library

Location for Hunters Point Library

Location for Hunters Point Library

Feb. 11, By Christian Murray

The development of the highly-anticipated Hunters Point Community Library continues to face delays as builders remain unwilling to erect it for the $28 million on offer.

“No one should give you a date as to when we can do a groundbreaking,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who spoke at the Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks meeting at PS/IS 78Q last week. He said the library has yet to find a builder who is willing to construct it for the $28 million on offer—and said that additional city funds might be needed in order to entice a developer to erect it.

The project was put out for bid last year. However, the city received quotes from builders to do the job that were 40% more the $28 million that was funded.

Since then, the library and the city have gone back and revised the design—which they believe reduces the cost of the construction job by $5 million via a process known as value engineering.

“We worked out what wasn’t essential and left those pieces out,” Van Bramer said. However, “it is still essentially the same design.”

The design has always been an elaborate one. It features 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, which will be built at Center Blvd and 48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) , will be largely a glass and cement structure.

The project is back out for bid and the latest round of quotes are expected to come in within the next couple of months. If a builder can do the job for $28 million (via the revised plan) then Van Bramer expects a groundbreaking by the end of the year.

However, if the city is unable to find a builder that can do it for the price, then Van Bramer and other elected officials will have to find additional funding—which will cause further delays.

At this point, Van Bramer said, “It is out of my control and is in the hands of architects and contractors.”

However, Van Bramer assured residents that the library will be built—he just doesn’t know when.

“I had hoped it would have been completed during my first term, now I am hoping it will be done by the end of my second [2017].”

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11 Responses to Groundbreaking a long way off for Hunters Point Library

  1. Sonny L.

    and away we go! this after the CLOSED meeting on the 5th between the buildings and library. . .. let's see what goes on tonight.

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  2. lic human

    Thanks LICPOST, I think everyone was wondering what was going on.

    Shouldn't the architect have had some idea how much this was going to cost? Are we paying the architect now to help us figure this out?

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  3. Ro

    If they build it non-union it with probably save them 25% to 30%. I am all for the working class getting paid fair wages but the construction labor in this city is out of control.

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  4. Ro

    *would not with

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  5. Anonymous

    "If they build it non-union it with probably save them 25% to 30%. I am all for the working class getting paid fair wages but the construction labor in this city is out of control."

    lol go back to west bumblefuck asswipe

    build union in nyc or you are asking for trouble

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  6. Meghan

    Everything is bid and contracted through the City, so going non-union isn't an option.

    In any case, since we won't have a library in the neighborhood anytime soon, please sign and share this petition for book mobile service.

    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/book-mobile-library-service

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  7. Ro

    Anonymous,

    You obviously know very little about NYC construction and from your remarks it looks like you come from bumblefuck yourself. There are plenty of buildings which were recently or currently being built that are non-union - I know because the fund I work for has invested in a few of them. Of course the city would never build non-union because politicians would lose the union votes and money during elections. The time of breaking legs and getting concrete shoes if you didn't use union has been over for a while.

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  8. anonymous

    I don't hear JVB ranting and raving, all I hear is crickets. If this was Sunnyside he would be up in arms. Another JVB failure for LIC. Also JVB please put down the cell phone while driving and stop at the STOP sign, the VTL is written for everyone councilmen are not exempt.

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  9. Anonymous

    No nice speeches about the schools he brought here. Did he bring the schools or was he lucky to serve in the right term?
    Increase funding or decrease ambitious design. This has been going on since more than 4 years.
    For the next zoning change (i.e. the waterfront) demand that a library be built in exchange for zoning change (hello 5ptz). Better than any affordable apts.

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  10. Anonymous

    did not mean leg breaking tactics

    go read another novel

    i meant shady building with substandard "illegal labor"

    so build your crappy project and rip off some morons

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  11. DLO

    Folks, get real. Look for a sweetheart deal with a "kind & helpful" builder willing to put up ten or more stories of apartments atop the site. Just to help out of course. Queens Library's Galante appears to appreciate delay leads to desperation. Not saying pay-off.
    Folks, no infighting, and could we have some hard-ass words and words and
    push at the politicos. Rally! Push De Blasio. Push Van Bramer to get real!

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Latest News

Upscale cafe/bar opens at Gantry Park Landing complex

LIC1-465x310

Sept. 28, By Christian Murray

Beans, Grapes and Leaves—an upscale coffee, tea and wine bar—opened Wednesday on the ground floor of the newly developed Gantry Park Landing complex at 2-14 50th Avenue.

The café offers premium coffee and tea–as well as four craft beers on tap and an extensive wine menu with more than 30 reds and 15 whites on offer. It also serves pastries and array of sandwiches.

“Think of a premium version of Starbucks with wine and beer,” said Simon Khan, the owner of the establishment, yesterday. “That is the concept and if it does well we will open other stores.”

Khan, a Sunnyside resident, is not new to the café business. He is a co-owner of Guy & Gallard, a company that has seven coffee /specialty food stores in Manhattan.

Khan said that he has been pleased with the reception Beans, Grapes and Leaves has received since opening. “This is our first weekend and people seem to like it.”

The café is the first of three commercial establishments to go into the Gantry Park Landing Complex.

Urban Market, a 7,500-square gourmet food store that will offer fresh meat and seafood, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, an urgent medical care center– North Shore-LIJ– is likely to open early 2015. It will be about 4,300 square feet in size.

The residential apartments in the building have all been leased. The 199 units went on the market in July, with rents starting at $1,875 for a studio, $2,450 for a one-bedroom and $3,250 for a two-bedroom.

Beans, Grapes and Leaves

Beans, Grapes and Leaves

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Italian group to hold procession along Vernon Blvd. Sunday, as piece of LIC history lives on

Italianevent

Sept. 25, By Christian Murray

A piece of old-world Italian tradition will be on display on Vernon Boulevard this Sunday.

Members of Societa Sant’ Amato Di Nusco, which is located at 47-39 Vernon Boulevard, will be holding their annual procession through the streets of Hunters Point. The members will carry a life-sized statue of their patron saint, Saint Amato, as they pay homage to him.

Saint Amato is believed to have lived in the town of Nusco, about 40 miles outside of Naples, during the 11th century. He was canonized following his death in September 1093.

The Societa was established in 1903 by immigrants from Nusco, and since then they have paid tribute to their patron saint on the last Sunday of September.

“This was a big tradition we brought with us from Nucso,” said Frank Stagliano, the club’s secretary. “He [Saint Amato] is like our home town boy.”

The club, which operated out of Long Island City church basements and meeting halls in its early years, bought its Vernon Boulevard building in 1959, Stagliano said. He said that the club today has about 150 to 200 members, with about one-quarter of them still living in Long Island City.

Stagliano said that all the members are all from Nusco or have ancestors from there.

The group was founded to help fellow immigrants make their way in America, at a time when there were no social services to help those in need.

Sunday’s procession is the biggest event on the club’s calendar. The event starts at the club at 10 am, with the procession beginning at 11:30 am. It is followed by a church service at St Mary’s at 1 pm.

The procession will incorporate sections of 11th Street, Vernon Boulevard, 47th Road, 47th Avenue, 48th Avenue and Center Boulevard.

Italianparade

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Demolition of 5 Pointz enters a new phase
Source: David Or

Source: David Orecchia (from Citibank building)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray,

The demolition of 5 Pointz appears to be entering into a new phase as workers get ready to take down the main structure.

The low-rise warehouse complex at the rear of the building has gone and work has begun on demolishing the main area where artists would gather for events.

A small section within the central meeting area has already been destroyed and workers have brought in heavy machinery to start taking down the main structure.

5 Pointz Sept 24A

5 pOINT sEPT 24B

 

 

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Alobar and John Brown Smokehouse win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Alobar

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Michelin Guide has just released its 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks and Alobar and John Brown Smokehouse (10-43 44th Drive) were among the picks for the best value for money.

These two restaurants were the only Long Island City restaurants to receive the highly-coveted prize. Restaurants are evaluated for excellence on a budget (defined as two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head).

The Bib Gourmand restaurant winners are widely considered the best and most affordable restaurants in New York.

For the full list, please click here.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, Maribel Egipciaco , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Martha Puruncajas, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Maribel Egipciaco, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Modern Spaces opens second office in Astoria as development boom continues
Astoria location

Astoria location

Sept. 23, By Christian Murray

The real estate market is heating up in Astoria–and LIC-based Modern Spaces is looking to get in on more of the action.

Modern Spaces, which has its flagship office at 47-42 Vernon Boulevard, will be opening its second office in Astoria next month at 34-16 30th Avenue.

The new location will be much more substantial than its first Astoria office, which is in the Ditmars section of the neighborhood  at 29-20 23rd Avenue.

The 30th Avenue office will be 2,000 square feet, with room to house 25 agents. It will also include an outdoor garden space that can be used for events.

Modern Spaces, which was founded in Long Island City in 2008, will have six offices when its second Astoria office opens. It has offices in Williamsburg and Chelsea.

Eric Benaim, founder of Modern Spaces, said: “We are very happy to expand our Astoria reach with this new office, and are proud to be part of this community. The timing is opportune for us, as we have three new projects in Astoria that will be hitting the market early next year.”

Modern Spaces also announced that Greg Kyroglou, an Astoria resident who currently manages the firm’s Ditmars office, will head up the new office.

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First movie at LIC park a big hit
Source: Rob Basch

Source: Rob Basch

Sept. 22, By Christian Murray

More than 200 people attended the first movie screening at Hunters Point South Park on Saturday night.

The film, Julie & Julia, was displayed on a 26 x 24 foot screen, on what was a clear night offering unblemished views of Manhattan.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which organized the event, selected the movie since a good portion of it was shot in Long Island City. The film contrasts the life of Chef Julia Child with the experiences of Long Island City resident Julie Powell, who wrote a popular blog about cooking all of Child’s recipes from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” within a year.

Julie Powell and Rob Basch

Julie Powell and Rob Basch

Powell, who has seen the film 13 times, had many supporters at the event, particularly her friends from the Murray Park dog run. They were there to “support me and make fun of me,” she said.

Powell spoke before the movie and discussed showcasing Long Island City to the late Nora Ephron, who directed the movie. She also talked about Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, which she said captured the soul of Child’s French cook book.

“The weather was perfect and a lot of people came with blankets, pillows and picnics,” said Robert Basch, who organized the event with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. He said LIC Landing had a pop corn machine going and was selling its regular food.

Basch said he was not sure when the next movie will be screened.“We don’t want our sponsors to pay $2,000 if the weather’s terrible.”

The film was sponsored by real estate firm Nest Seekers International.

For future events, click on Hunters Point Parks Conservancy Facebook page.

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No. 7 train to be closed from Times Square to 74th Street this weekend

7subway1Sept. 19, By Michael Florio

Getting around New York City is going to be a lot tougher for many Long Island City residents this weekend.

Number 7 train service between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street/Roosevelt Ave will be suspended from 2 am Saturday through 4:30 am Monday, according to the MTA.

In lieu of the closures, the MTA will be providing two free shuttle services this weekend. One will run from Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave to Queensboro Plaza, stopping at Hunters Point Ave, 45th Road/Court House Square, and Queens Plaza.

The other will run between Queensboro Plaza and 74th Street/Broadway, stopping at 33rd Street, 40th Street, 46th Street, 52nd Street, 61st Street/Woodside, and 69th Street.

The service disruptions are due to ongoing construction taking place along the 7 line and are expected to continue until 2017.

 

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