Long Island City Post

Long Island City NY news

Four story apartment building going up near Foodcellar


Sept. 23, Staff Report

An application has been submitted to the Building Department for the development of a 4-story residential building at 47-27 5th Street.

The new building would be catercorner to Duane Reade– near Foodcellar.


Diner in Queens Plaza neighborhood opens

(file photo)

(file photo)

A new diner opened today in Queens Plaza that caters to local residents as well as office workers.

Queens & Paupers, located at 27-08 Queens Blvd South, is an old-style diner that is open from morning ‘til late.

The diner, which has dark-timber booths, plans to be a place where office workers and residents can hang out.

LIC Concert series at Gantry ends tonight


Sept. 22, By Christian Murray

The Long Island City concert series, a popular music event that has taken place at the Gantry Plaza State Park each Sunday this month, will be wrapping up its series this evening.

Tonight’s event begins at 5 pm and ends at 7:30pm. It will feature acclaimed pianists, opera singers and guitarists — as well as bands such as Mappa Mundi (an experimental band rooted in rock, folk and pop).

Many of the artists, who have performed throughout the series, are students of the Long Island City-based music school Sage Music.

The first two concerts drew crowds of between 700 and 800 people.

For details, please click here.

Van Bramer in running for Council Speaker job

JVB Headshot- current headshotSept. 20, By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, is interested in becoming the next council speaker, taking over the role from the term-limited Christine Quinn.

While many of the 51 council members are vying for the top council job, many political pundits believe that Van Bramer has a shot since he is in the advantageous position of being a member of two powerful voting blocs in the city council: The Queens Democratic delegation and the Progressive Caucus.

Crains NY broke the story yesterday in an article detailing the horse race.

“I think it would be a terrific opportunity to lead the city council and to do tremendous things for the entire city,” Van Bramer told the LICPOST.

He said it would also be good for the Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside neighborhoods if he were to nab the speakership position. “It’s the second most important job [in city government] and I would be in a position to get more things done.”

Presently there are five or six names being circulated for the position. According to political pundits it will be clearer who the favorites are after the general election.

To get the speaker role, Van Bramer needs 26 council members to support him. The Queens Democratic delegation is comprised of 14 members (with an additional member who represents part of Queens, namely Ridgewood).

The Queens delegation is viewed as being very influential. “It is powerful delegation since we stick together and vote in a block,” Van Bramer said. “Not all delegations do that.”

Meanwhile, the Progressive Caucus, which was founded just four years and focuses on issues such as affordable housing and funding public schools, is currently comprised of 11 council members (four from Queens). After the election, that number is likely to rise to the high teens.

“I think my chances are as good as any others,” Van Bramer said. “The process is unfolding.”

LIC’s Alobar earns some citywide attention

Nine eateries participate in this week’s Vernon Blvd Restaurant Week


Sept. 18, By Christian Murray

A group of restaurants on Vernon Boulevard will be offering specials this week.

The Vernon Boulevard Restaurant Week, organized by the Queens Tribune, will run through Saturday, with 9 eateries participating.

The following restaurants on Vernon (or near Vernon) will be offering lunch and/or dinner specials..

Alobar - best known for its locally-sourced pork, chicken and fresh ingredients

Cranky’s – French, Louisiana & Creole

Creek & Cave – Mexican

Madera Grill - Cuban cuisine & steakhouse

Manducatis Rustica – Rustic, homemade Italian food

Open Door – Brunch, lunch, sandwiches

Testaccio Ristorante – Contemporary Italian cuisine

The Z Hotel – burgers, wings and bar treats

Woodbines - Craft beers, Irish food

Times Square to Queensboro Plaza train service to be cut for 5 weekends this fall


Sept. 17, By Christian Murray

The MTA announced today that the No. 7 train will be shut down between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for 5 weekends this fall.

The MTA said the shut downs are scheduled to take place on the following weekends: October 12-13, October 19-20, October 26-27, November 9-10 and November 23-24.

For each of these weekends, the No. 7 train will be down from 12:01 am on Saturday through 5 am Monday.

The MTA said it will provide a free shuttle bus service that will operate between the Vernon-Jackson and Queensboro Plaza Stations while the service is disrupted.

The MTA said that it has to close the No. 7 line down between these stations– so it can work in the Steinway Tunnel, which runs between Queens and Manhattan. The MTA is carrying out a long-term project to upgrade the signal system on the 7 line. It is expected to be completed by 2016.

PIX 11 News trashes Queens Plaza South, Crescent Street



The trash piles around Queens Plaza South and Crescent Street are getting larger and larger, despite the ongoing development and the gentrification of the neighborhood.

PIX 11 News did this illuminating report on the issue over the weekend.

Woman killed crossing Queens Plaza Friday night

Sept. 14, By Christian Murray

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a car while crossing Queens Plaza North last night, according to police.

The victim, an unidentified woman believed to be in her 50s, was hit by a blue 2009 Honda CRV at the intersection of 27th Street and Queens Plaza North at about 9:45 pm.

The police arrived on the scene moments later and transported her to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

A preliminary investigation determined that the woman was walking from the south side of the plaza toward Queens Plaza North. The driver of the Honda, who remained on the scene, was traveling toward Manhattan on Queens Plaza North.

(File: 27th and Queens Plaza North)

(27th and Queens Plaza North)

New wine bar in the works for Center Boulevard

Blue streakSept. 13, By Christian Murray

Blue Streak Wines & Spirits, located at 47-20 Center Blvd, is planning to open a wine bar two doors down.

The owner of the wine & spirits store, Stephen Spiller, has applied for a restaurant wine license to operate the new wine bar. The wine bar, Spiller said, would also offer small plate tapas style food.

The new location, which is also part of the same 47-20 Center Blvd TF Cornerstone building, is 1,500 square feet in size. That space is currently being occupied by TF Cornerstone’s leasing office.

“We are very excited and think it will be a very good location for a wine bar,” Spiller said. He said the wine & spirits store would continue to operate.

Spiller said that Long Island City has been good to him. He opened Blue Streak on Center Blvd six years ago, before Shi opened and Skinny’s Cantina across the street.

“I thought this would be a great neighborhood and all of my expectations have been met.”

Leasing office

Leasing office


Nail salon nabs prime Vernon Blvd location

Sept. 13, 2013 001

Sept. 13, By Christian Murray

A new business is set to move in to a prime Vernon Blvd space.

A new nail salon, which will be located at 48-13 Vernon Blvd, is going to take over the 1,000 square foot space that was previously occupied by State Farm Insurance, according to workers on the site today. The workers did not know when the store would open or what the salon’s name will be.

State Farm moved to Jackson Ave at the beginning of the year

Another high-rise rental building to go up by Queens Plaza




Sept. 13, By Christian Murray

A 21 story rental building is about to be constructed on an empty lot in the Queens Plaza North section of Long Island City.

The World-Wide Group, a decades-old real estate firm, is spending $157 million on the development, which is located at 41-50 24th Street (btw. 41st Ave. and 42nd Road).

The building is expected to include 421 luxury apartments, 8,400 square feet of ground floor retail space and 25,000 square feet of amenities. Those amenities will include a landscaped roof deck, outdoor pool and a gymnasium.

The apartments in the building are expected to range in size–from studios to three bedrooms.

Rents have yet to be set.

Current average rent for a studio in the Queens Plaza area is $1,990 a month, $2,750 for one-bedroom, and $3,750 for two-bedrooms, Jodi Stasse, of Citi Habitats, told the Crains NY.

The developer bought the 24th Street site last year for $29 million and is expected to complete the building in 18 months.

This rental development is one of several being constructed just north of the Queensboro Bridge.

Property Markets Group announced plans for a 410-unit rental building on 42nd Road, according to Crains NY, while Meadow Partners said it will convert a commercial building on Crescent Street into a new residential and retail project.

Massive Long Island City rock climbing venue to open first week of October

Sept. 12, By Christian Murray

The largest indoor rock climbing venue in the US is expected to open in Long Island City in less than three weeks.

Mike Wolfert, the owner of The Cliffs of LIC, said that about 30 contractors are in the midst of completing his 30,000 sqf recreation center that will offer rock climbing, a gymnasium and an apparel store.

Wolfert took on the massive task of converting a former warehouse located at 11-11 44th Drive into the facility at the beginning of the year. The venue will feature walls that tower up to 60-feet high.

However, the construction process has not been an easy one.

Wolfert, who had planned to open in May, was slapped with a stop-work order in April that brought construction to a halt for nearly five months.  He was unable to restart construction until Sept. 4.

Wolfert said that between rent, debt servicing, staff costs and lawyers fees the stop-work order cost him as much as $500,000.

Wolfert, however, said the stop work order was issued because of a misunderstanding. He said that he filed an application to make alterations to the warehouse that was approved by the buildings department.  At the same time, he sought a zoning change that would allow him to build a sports/recreation facility.

When a building inspector arrived on the premises he determined that the alterations to the warehouse were for the purposes of creating a sports facility—which Wolfert had yet to receive the zoning for– and issued a stop work order.

It was at that point that Wolfert got into a tangle with the authorities for allegedly bribing the official. He was arrested in May and the case is still going through the courts.

Wolfert said the stop work order had nothing to do with how the facility was being constructed and he is glad the construction issue has been resolved.

Wolfert said he wants to focus on the good news.

“We are just weeks way from opening one of the best gyms in the United States,” he said.

The Cliffs will be so large that 500 climbers will be able to scale the walls at the same time.

The center will include a gym that offers full-fitness cardio and free weights, as well as a retail store that sells climbing gear.

Wolfert said the club is currently selling annual memberships for $1045, which come with a monthly guest pass, gym access and climbing classes.

He said he is looking to introduce programs for children – with scholarships for children from low income families.

Starting October, the club will be available for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and other events.