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Court Square Civic Association to host panel Thursday to discuss the outlook for new retail stores

April 4, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

The Court Square Civic Association will host a panel later this week to discuss retail development in the neighborhood.

At its meeting Thursday, the CSCA will host several neighborhood influencers to discuss retail in Court Square from multiple perspectives.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at MoMA PS1, and will include a panel discussion with Senior Vice President of Development for Rockrose Properties Patricia Dunphy, President of the LIC Partnership Elizabeth Luskin, and owner of local bar The Beast Next Door John Veenema.

“I wanted to have a mix of folks that could talk about business development from different perspectives,” said President of the CSCA Amadeo Plaza, adding that each panelist could offer a unique insight in to the neighborhood development.

As president of the local Business Improvement District, Luskin could bring a macro perspective to the discussion and speak on the overall vision for the neighborhood as it develops, Plaza said.

He added that Dunphy could provide a more grounded perspective as the head of retail in LIC for Rockrose, a major development company in the area. “Rockrose has a lot of influence in day-to-day retail and neighborhood amenities in Court Square, so I hope she can provide context as to what people can expect when it comes to ground floor retail throughout neighborhood,” Plaza said.

Finally, Veenema will bring the business owner perspective, Plaza explained. “I’m eager for people to hear what the challenges one could face opening a business in Court Square might be,” Plaza said. “He did it and knows what the challenges were in doing so, and he can hopefully provide greater clarity as to why retail spaces haven’t filled up so quickly and can bring his own perspective as to what is missing in the neighborhood.”

Plaza hopes that the panel will be educational to those in the neighborhood who don’t know how retail is brought in to the area, and will also allow for an exchange of ideas between market influencers.

He added that many people see empty storefronts and wonder why they are not filled, but he hopes this meeting could provide perspective and hope for the future. Though plans are still under wraps, Plaza said that Rockrose is in the midst of bringing several new businesses in to the area.

“If everything comes together, we will have some pretty interesting things coming to the neighborhood in the not too distant future,” Plaza said. “I want people to realize that our neighborhood is developing and I believe that the days of feeling like we have to go to Manhattan to do anything will be behind us soon.”

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My friend went to the meeting and said same old same old. There was one woman saying frequent local eateries , while a woman spoke and said I can’t even afford my rent and you want me to frequent these places. What about new not high end places, It is not all people I want to see coming to LIC but you must admit everything is LUXURY and the amount of people will hurt the infrastructure. Over crowded and Over Building are wrong ideas especially when there is no planning being done. My friend did not hear of businesses coming to he Court Sq. area, mostly Vernon Blvd area. he said. Ye Van Bramer has to be blamed for letting all his DuBlasio development happen and continue to happen.


This supposed retail space hey are trying to sell us on should ask one question first. How much rent will be charged? Junior’s on Vernon Blvd just closed as the owner aid they upped his rent and he could not afford it.

Amadeo Plaza

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act will be one of the topics we plan to touch on during the discussion, which is especially relevant to the rising commercial/retail rents such as the one that pushed out Junior’s.

Hope to see you there!

and your solution is...?

how would you propose to force the landlord to charge a certain rent?


Mr. Plaza,

You seem to have some influence. Why can’t the rents stabilize at affordable instead of the GREED IS GOOD policy of how much more money can we suck from potential owners (mom & pops). Only franchise will be able to come to LIC and many are not coming here. McDonalds, Burger King, etc… where are they? Why next to the Court Sq. Diner do we have to have another Luxury development where the union hall is/was. The 5 Pointz development overkill with non-union workers after the owner said he would use union people is a disgrace.The 80 story tower to be developed on 44th drive. Its just too much for this area. I have lived here my whole life and was glad it was not like Manhattan. Now it is getting like Manhattan and I can’t wait to move. No wonder NY state has lost residents as I recently heard and read about. Developers tell prospective tenants “you will 5 minutes from Manhattan” My wife takes the 7 train everyday and people at Vernon=Jackson and Hunterspoint have to wait a couple of trains to get on one they are so crowded. Adding more people will be WORSE. Overkill without planning does not work.


Current affordable housing regulations don’t work well. People win the lotto and then sublease their place for profit. More affordable housing limits the amount of market-priced housing, and with lower supply, prices increase. More supply of housing decreases prices, which is why prices have started to fall in some cases. However, it’s disgraceful that there is such overdevelopment – the infrastructure can’t handle it at all and it is out of character with much of the neighborhood. Many of the buildings are ugly and poorly built too, why can’t we get anything beautiful and iconic?

We need local businesses to be nurtured because they keep money in the community, and they also make neighborhoods more desirable.

provide solutions

Though you combine a lot of assumptions (housing lottery) with some real concerns like infrastructure, it seems like the underlying problem is just the neighborhood is changing and you are unable to adapt to these changes.

Also assumption having local businesses is great but saying it stays in the neighborhood? Not many of the local business owners actaully live in LIC. Some do but please ask around first. I’m all for local businesses but pulling in legitimate concerns of infrastructure and more affordable housing and rising rents and not be willing to discuss possible solutions and just complaining doesn’t help anybody. Go to the meeting and be willing to discuss and provide solutions instead.

wait for it...

so you want more affordable housing but then don’t want more people. You just mean you don’t want people you don’t want in your neighborhood…
Surprised you didn’t blame it on Van Bramer yet… haha … wait for it….


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