Community Board 2 makes push for affordable housing, in effort to combat soaring rental prices

Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2

Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2

August 8, By Christian Murray

The cost to rent an apartment in Western Queens has become so pricey that Community Board 2 is calling for the city to offer incentives to developers to build more affordable housing.

Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley has proposed four sections—scattered among Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—that the city should look to rezone in order to increase the number of low and moderate income housing units.

The developers would, in essence, be offered the ability to build larger buildings in return for creating a greater number of below market-rate units.

The areas selected include a triangular section of Woodside—bound by Northern Boulevard, Broadway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway; an area in Sunnyside bordered by 37th Avenue and Northern Boulevard from 43rd Street to 48th Street; and a number of parcels adjacent to Queens Plaza.

Furthermore, Conley is suggesting that the city review the Queens Boulevard area on the border of Sunnyside/Woodside from Calvary Cemetery to 49th Street to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

Other sites include building on top of the LIRR on Woodside Ave. between 63rd and 65th Streets—as well as on the Phipps site along the Sunnyside rail line.

Conley said that all the new development in the past decade in Long Island City—where there was no requirement for affordable housing in the zoning code—has created a “gold coast’ where over 10,000 new market rate units have been built with less than 1,000 affordable units.

This week, Modern Spaces, a Long Island City-based real estate firm, released it second quarter report that reported that the average cost to rent a luxury 1 bedroom apartment in Long Island City was about $3,200.

The Long Island City boom has also put pressure, Conley said, on rental prices in Sunnyside and Woodside, where rents have also skyrocketed.

For instance, the average asking price for a one bedroom in Sunnyside is somewhere between $1650 and $1,800, according to local real estate agents.

Conley said that the boom is forcing some people out of the district—since when their lease gets renewed the rent becomes too expensive.

Potential Rezoning Study Sites

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61 Responses to Community Board 2 makes push for affordable housing, in effort to combat soaring rental prices

  1. RK

    1650-1800 for one bedroom in the roach infested area of Sunnyside is absurd. These landlords need to get Ebola and go the hell away.

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  2. Anonymous

    Rezoning = Built where there's a dump, be more than would normally (using common sense) be allowed, build more than the transportation network and community can take and all of that in exchange for a small percentage of "affordable units", read: lottery for a lucky few.

    Please no. That's an invitation for developers to make $$ on the shoulders of our community. CB2 needs new leadership, see the FDNY disaster.

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  3. SunnysidePosthatesme16

    HAHAHHAAH, Oh man it is SO sweet to see this going on. I told you all first about the hipsters coming in and jacking up the prices back when Vantage was kicking out all the good folks. I love seeing the faces of all these angry hipsters coming in and out of my building, so miserable because they were too stupid to do some research and wanted to live in the next big thing.

    They don't even hold the door for the people who have lived in the building longer.That's how angry they are. HAHAHHAHA. Oh...and you bet they will build a building by that place that they wanted to put into a warehouse. I bet you 50 bucks that's gonna happen. Then all those people bitching about it not being a good spot because of traffic will be REALLY crying.

    Man I can't wait to get outta Sunnyside.

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  4. John Z

    How about no. I was priced out of long island city an settled in sunnyside. If you can't afford it, you can't live there. The government shouldn't constantly step in... People don't have to live in western queens to work in the city, look at everyone who lives in long island. Put them in eastern queens.

    Where does this Joe Conley live? Put them next to him.

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  5. BionicMe

    Ssposthates so what are you waiting for? Carry on.

    The area has improved in perks but the quality of life has decrease. Robbery is at all times high. Parking is a nightmare. Etc..

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  6. Stay Loose, Sunnyside

    Sunnyside Post is only read by haters. You all sicken me. You certainly show your true colors here. Sunnyside will be a better place when you all these commenters leave for good. You can make room for kind, supportive people who are active in the community. Your unsavory grousing and insults bring down the level of discourse and make our area unneighborly. Why anyone would wear SunnysidePostHates me as a badge of honor is beyond me. Move away and criticize another neighborhood, or do something about it.

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  7. ak_nyc

    Parking is indeed a problem Sunnyside / Woodside. I've been on the waiting list for an outdoor spot for over 12 years now in my building.

    Outdoor parking spots rent for at least $150. Indoor spots go over $200+

    The price hikes that are being mentioned here are inevitable. Sunnyside is still a GREAT area to live in and as folks get priced out of other areas, Sunnyside looks more and more like a better option.

    Are landlords wrong to price vacant apartments to what the market will bear?

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  8. larry

    I'm sorry but affordable housing are going to bring ghetto people here if you can't afford to live here go somewhere else it's simple stop trying to make Sunnyside the so called new Williamsburg people in this community have been around for years never complained about rent because they can afford !!! This proposal is going to bring the wrong type of people when crime goes up like robbery muggings or even murder you guys are going to think to your selfs but how did that happen?

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  9. ak_nyc

    larry, it is wrong to characterize the people living in these "affordable housing" units as ghetto.

    The folks who are approved for these affordable housing units are actually gainfully employed and tax paying citizens. They just happen to work in careers that are not high-paying (i.e. teachers, artists, doormen, etc.).

    And if Sunnyside does become the new Williamsburg, that's actually a GOOD thing because it means that we will have more restaurants, shops, bars, etc.making the neighborhood more amenity filled.

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  10. Hoof Hearted

    "Affordable" is an entirely subjective term, depending on how much money you have. What's affordable to a wealthy person is not affordable to you or me. What's affordable to you or me is not affordable to someone on welfare.

    Let's call this what this really is: LOW INCOME housing.

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  11. larry

    Ak nyc ummm I'm calling get as it is if you if you live under a rock and not see what "affordable housing" has done to other communities then you have no idea what's going on buddy... you get what you pay for you can't afford it then move they already have affordable housing out there it's called project housing let me tell you this ak nyc what's the the biggest reason people don't move into projects? I'll tell you it's not the apartments or the price is the type of people it attracts time to wake up!!!!!!

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  12. ak_nyc

    larry, again you are incorrect. You are incorrectly conflating buildings owned by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) "projects" with the plan they are talking about here.

    The developers would using these areas to build larger than typically allowed residential units which they would offer at market rates in return for setting aside a portion of those units for low to moderate income tenants.

    Even new luxury buildings going up in Manhattan offer these units when they take advantage of low-cost development financing from NYC (vis a vis liberty bonds)

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  13. Seriously

    Call it whatever, 'affordable' or 'low income' net result is the same. And I'll bet that teachers as well as other non-high paying professions & trades do not qualify for the 'affordable' units. Also add anyone who has managed to scrape enough together to make ANY kind of purchase. They're out, but it doesn't mean you have lots of money. How nice to pay market rate for your studio or 1-2 bedroom apt, and your "affordable housing' neighbor pays $500? Let Sunnyside continue to reap the benefits of the rental & condo boom in Long Island City, let those who don't want to stay, go. There are other neighborhoods in Queens.

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  14. 43rd & 43rd

    Sounds like they at least made good choices for which areas to develop. At least they're not proposing skyscrapers in the Gardens -- that one 9-story building on 43rd is enough.

    But $1650-1800 for a 1br is absolutely laughable...don't trust real estate agents, at all. When I was looking for an apartment not long ago, brokers all pretended they had never in their lives heard of anywhere in my price range. They were shocked! Impossible! Unthinkable! Meanwhile every night I was going to private viewings (no brokers!) of nice apartments in that price range.

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  15. ak_nyc

    Seriously, can you point me to where you are getting your source of information from to conclude that "teachers as well as other non-high paying professions & trades do not qualify for the ‘affordable’ units "?

    I can tell you that a couple making a combined salary between 86k-89k would qualify for one of the affordable two bedrooms in a luxury building in Manhattan. Up to 100k for a family size of three and up to 112k for a family size of 4 for that same two bedroom.

    Those salaries are pretty modest for the NYC area and fall within the range of moderate incomes needed to qualify for an affordable unit.

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  16. larry

    Don't complain when crime goes up all I'm saying you can't argue with statistics....exactly @seriously leave if can't afford then it's not the place for you that's goes with anything this his world can't afford it well to bad that's life

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  17. larry

    If I want to move fifth Ave I'm not going to complain why is so expensive and protest on its unfair that I can't live there or they should make it affordable come on now if I can't afford it I'm going to even look in that area and if I do wanna live there I'll just have to work harder to reach that goal....also it's unfair for people who work hard to have a great place and live in a great neighborhood just to have someone next to them paying way less just because they can't afford it

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  18. Seriously

    I could be misinterpreting information on the nyc hpd website, but it appears that a single cannot earn over 48,100 to occupy a studio apt an affordable program, and a family of 6 cannot earn more than 79,700 for a 3 br. If a single earns 50k, or just under 1000/wk, he is still not a high earner, but is out of the running. A combined salary of 89k is not a lot of money for a couple, but neither is 100k. And would lock out many skilled and professional couples. Perhaps the answer is to add children to to the mix.

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  19. Dov pincus

    @Larry...just looking at your command of the English language it would be fair to say you weren't born here...I guess that now that you may have a piece of the pie you find it necessary to look down your nose at less fortunate people..I would also guess that "statistics" would indicate that people from your ethnic background commit a disproportionate amount of crime...Bigotry wears many hats

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  20. 43rd Street

    Where does Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2 live?
    NYC Public records Acris does not show him owning property owner in Woodside or Queens or for that matter in NYC.
    Sounds to me like another property developer interested in buying on the cheap.
    Which goes back to years of what is he doing on Community board as chairman.

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  21. Julia Assange

    Let the market work. I still want to know what Joe Conley's real job is.

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  22. Crane

    People complain when rent is too high, people complain when they want to build a low cost housing. Make up your mind people, you want rents to go up or down? When prices are you all complain it is due to hipsters, they pay so landlords increase, and now someone wants to make a building with lower rent, you complain. I agree that last thing we need is a "housing project" and I don't think any of these "affordable housing" is anything but a ghetto housing project, so they should call it whatever it is. Simply put we want to preserve the neighborhood feel and just like the Co-Ops in our community, not those crappy corporate owned co-ops where they allow subletting, I am talking about real co-ops with more than %80 owner occupied apartments, we need a way to control who is moving in and out of our neighborhood, and nobody gives a damn so why should we, right? Anyway, just looking through some of these comments, I already see the neighborhood lost it's sense of unity and just trying to pick a fight with random people on internet.

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  23. Not Conley's Fool

    Everyone here, including our esteemed editor, seem to forget that J Conley just spent the last twenty years of his life doing his wretched best to make this place into the Gold Coast.

    Haven't you been watching?

    He is an avowed Con Artist of the Order of Sleaze. His job is to rob us all while telling pretty stories. I don't know who is paying him, but he is well paid.

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  24. 43rd Street

    Please do not remove my blog

    I still want to know where Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2 resides.

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  25. Fr Ted

    "Careful now " $1650 -1800 for a one bedroom , thats the going rate around here right now . I,m sure theres a few folks who have made comments here who are landlords and I,m pretty sure they dont give back the rent checks ( or cash ) at the end of the month and say , ah no thats too much .!
    Its supply and demand , when those folks who cant afford manhattan take a so called 20 minute ride from grand central ( like all the ads say ) and are willing to pay that for a one bed , let them , anyone know any 6 family for sale , I want some of this action !!!!!!

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  26. larry

    Lol piece of pie good one I bet your the hipster doofus rooting for this lol @dov pincus go choke on it

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  27. larry

    And I bet @dov that you think ghetto means a certain race which it does not you racist

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  28. hipsters are makin me rich!!!!

    lets see, with hipsters we get:

    - rising home values
    - cool cafes and restaurants
    - possible a Whole Foods (yeah man)
    - An Apple Store
    - A good cheese store - like the one on Bedford Av
    - Book store - like "Word" in Greenpoint
    - Less 99 cent stores

    With affordable housing we get:
    - Lower property values
    - Even more El Salvadorean drunks lying on benches
    - More crime

    If its cheap you want, stay on the 7 and get off when you can afford it.

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  29. jesus is my back seat driver

    conley: typical liberal thinking, i cant afford it so the govt needs to help me. WAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Mommy make them lower the prices for me!!!! WAHHHHHHHHH!!!! Its not fair!!!!!!! WAHHHHHH!!!!

    When that loser sunnysideposthatesme63 finally leaves i will be there to lay out a red carpet for this glorius event. Hey Rubin, when is it? How many more years??

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  30. Sycamore

    They are all Bridge and Tunnel people now! The snobs have invaded, led by the mutant Conley. Even members of CB2 don't know where he lives, who pays his check or what the hell he is doing making proclamations when they are not in session until September.

    He is using his Executive Dysfunction! Lining his pockets is his reason for living, and he has sold the neighborhoods of CB2 in order to do it. Joe, don't forget, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    If you are feeling, dissatisfied, it is because your soul has died.

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  31. SunnysidePosthatesme17

    I hope people can see through these comments that the real problem with sunnyside isn't the comments on this post , it's the douchebags that think they are better than others.

    And these comments prove my point.

    For example. I will point out how rude the new tenants have been , how they don't hold the doors for people or say thank you. Then you'll have someone like Larry or any other of those Goobers above say that low income housing is "ghetto". This is true ignorance and these are the people who have made Sunnyside what it is today, a souless veneer of a neighborhood.

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  32. redev sunnyside

    There is currently no program in the nyc government to offer housing to the middle class. There is either market rate or the various "affordable" housing programs. I personally have looked at the criteria for these housing lotteries all over the five boroughs and people like firemen and teachers don't even come close to qualifying. We're talking about people who are hourly workers at retail jobs or work inconsistently. Not that there is anything wrong with retail jobs but we are talking about a low income mostly uneducated population that currently reside in the bad areas of the city or in the projects. Until the city adjusts these housing lotteries to reflect the median income of all people who work in nyc these affordable housing programs will continue to drag down good established neighborhoods. Just wait until those two "affordable" buildings in lic are done on the water. You will see.

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  33. larry

    @ sunnysideposthatesme17 So you know everything right what kind of people live in low income communities just curious on your view? Oh and by the way I know I'm better then you

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  34. larry

    @ sunnysideposthatesme17 I bet you never stepped into a low income community I also bet you didn't know Sunnyside already had a affordable housing starting from 45-49st let's see you walking there at night and let's see if you come out of there in one piece...Sunnyside is not only queens blvd/Skillman side

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  35. Anonymous

    @larry, don't bother even trying. Ruben is just trying to troll.

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  36. Hoof Hearted

    If the city wants landlords to keep rents down, will the city be willing to help out and bring property taxes down?

    Basically, the city wants landlords to do something the city is unwilling to do themselves.

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  37. Dovpincusisaphony

    Dov Pincus is not is real name. He is a liar, racist and fraud.

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  38. Larryisanidiot

    Hey Larry:

    Can you write another comment. I don't think you've expressed your opinion enough. Get a job!

    Yours Truly,

    Larryisanidiot

    PS

    And when was the last time any mother named their kid Larry? 1960?

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  39. Fr Ted

    Larry , you started a good debate here , but the " hipsters are making me rich " has a really good point . Change is as good as a rest as they say .

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  40. Not Hipster Thug

    Hey Hipsters Making Me Rich..
    You are simply an Ass !!!
    To generalize that the drunks in Sunnyside are
    Salvadorean's is just plain stupid and idiotic. I have lived in Sunnyside close to 30 years and trust me that drunks issue is spread out pretty nicely across all nationalities as are racist jerks like yourself.

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  41. Dov pincus

    Of course Dov Pincus is not my real name...wow what a genius to figure that out..does anyone leave their name and address here?...you call me a racist?..why do you take such exception to the name Dov Pincus? ..Would the name Rico Suarez be more appropriate? ..Who's the fraud here?

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  42. El loco

    Hey Dov/Ari:

    Go back in your dark room until your mommy calls you for dinner.

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  43. SunnysidePosthatesme17

    Hey anonymous, how am I trying to troll stupid. You should be saying that about Larry and his ignorant views of what a ghetto is and him saying he's better than people. moron.

    That being said, in response to Larry, Yes...I know rough areas, I've worked in rough areas, I used to hang in projects..you know what? it's about using common sense because if you walk ANYwhere at night..anything can happen.

    These are YOUR fears Larry, you're the chicken because you think people with low income want what you have. You're the guy who dies first in a movie and the audience cheers.

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  44. ann

    The idea of taller buildings in Sunnyside is horrible. The sop of including some affordable-rent apartments is just a scam for developers to build more gigantic buildings with high rents charged for most of the apartments.

    The recent rezoning that now permits a 9-story building on 43rd St is horrible enough. NO to more of this. Sunnyside is a low-rise neighborhood. Let's keep it that way.

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  45. Sycamore

    @Ann I'm with you, but I am afraid that fight was lost years ago, and Conley gave us away. Blame him. He has held the community board in his thrall since day one.

    The whole thing--including the story we are commenting on here--is a charade. The rich have taken over Queens and are ignoring the cries of the poor. They are too fascinated by their own riches to see or hear those they are stepping on.

    That is how humanity is.

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  46. angela

    if you have a rent-stabilized apartment the landlords can only raise the rents allowed by law -- you are entitled to either a 1 year lease or a 2 year lease and whatever the percentages are by law they have to follow -- only if you live in a 2 family house can they raise the rent to whatever they want to --

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  47. i confess, i am a hipster, lock me up

    yeah, call me a hipster. I am 28 and can afford to rent a decent apt here. I like Apple and enjoy many things you people regard as hipster standards. I moved here I thought this place was pretty chill but then i get to this discussion board and these are some of the most hateful angry people posting. Sorry to see this side of the place I love and now call home.

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  48. El Loco

    Where is Dorothy Moorehead when you need her. We need some sanity here. Yo DoMo where you at? Your 'hood needs you. Bring some clear level headed thinking to these imbeciles! If I hear Larry one more time I'm going to blow my head off. Thank you.

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  49. Anonymous

    Ssphm,

    You are a troll, no one cares what you think. Why do you think no one holds the door out acknowledges you, we have better things to do. Please go away as you've been promising for the longest time. Kthxbye.

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  50. SunnysidePosthatesme16

    Whats the matter anonymous, did I say something that hit too close to home? or did I step on your agenda? Too much truth? it hurts doesn't it?

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  51. Sycamore

    @ I Confess You can self-deport, which would save us all a lot of time and money locking you up and feeding you. And first, we would have to build a jail.

    In any case, please go. Tell all your hipster friends that this is a hipster unfriendly neighborhood and that we are building a jail for all of you under the LIRR tracks.

    You do know, of course, that you are now a member of the Bridge and Tunnel crowd, right? Can you bear the label? We've had to for most of our lives. You tend to develop a lopsided walk from carrying the chip on your shoulder, but we out here call that walk "cool." Not "hip," just "cool."

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  52. Anonymous

    @ssphm

    Lol hardly. I'm enjoying my lot in life, which is more than I can say if you.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  53. Hipsta Thugg

    More bickering on this discussion board than "The View" - too many hormones goin crazy I guess

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  54. Julia Assange

    Who are the people on the community board and why do they have so much power?

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  55. Sick of More

    People on the community board are appointed by the city council person. They are there to work with the city council on local matters. Every so often they elect leaders. The leader pictured above has run unopposed for years and years and years because he devotes so much time to it no one else on the board thinks they can out do him. The problem is he can afford to devote so much time because--and this is what I have heard, I don't have anything else to base this on--he has a no-show job with some real estate developer. The word is they pay him to smooth the way for their projects, to make sure there is no opposition.

    I've seen him in action, he runs the meetings with an iron will. The board members follow him like puppies because they want his favor.

    It is disgusting.

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  56. Concerned Hipster

    @ jesus is my back seat driver
    "conley: typical liberal thinking, i cant afford it so the govt needs to help me. WAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Mommy make them lower the prices for me!!!! WAHHHHHHHHH!!!! Its not fair!!!!!!! WAHHHHHH!!!"

    Thanks for giving voice to those who normally have none! I've often caught myself wondering what poor folk are thinking.

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  57. doc

    If you can't afford to live here then don't.

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  58. NOSTRADAMUS

    ALL OF THESE GAY YUPPIE HIPSTER MOVING HERE MAKING RENT SKYROCKET AS WELL AS SUPERMARKET/DELI ITEMS FOOD COSTS AND COST OF LVING IN-GENERAL. GO WHEREVER YOU CAME FROM AND LEAVE US BE. YOU'RE FORCING US OUT OF OUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD AND TURNING IT INTO THE EPICENTER/PLETHORA OF GAYS AND GAY BARS. GET THE HELL OUT OF MY TOWN!!!!!!!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(1)
  59. A.Bundy

    doc's got it right! i am very happy that my property value keeps going up. that's why people make that investment. if this was the other way around, we'd have a ghetto here with rampant crime.

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  60. Sunnysid-ster

    Just hope the rents keep going up Baby!! Need that rental income to keep going up to meet rising costs!!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off Monday
Salt & Fat

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Oct. 19, By Christian Murray

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The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

Furthermore, there will also be artwork on display at five participating restaurant—with three of those pieces coming from Sunnyside artists.

On Monday, there will be a reception held at 7pm at Salt and Fat (41-16 Queens Boulevard) to mark restaurant week. The reception will include a guided tour of the five art installations as well as a movie screening at Dazies.

The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a Manhattan-based contemporary art organization. The work will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

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The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 33 restaurants on its website. Most have put together a special menu just for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

All this for $25.

Takesushi: All this for $25.

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

meters

Oct. 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.

The program attempts to reduce the time it takes for motorists to find parking in business districts– by changing meter rates, extending park hours and modifying commercial parking zones.

The program was first introduced in Queens in 2013, with the implementation of a pilot program in Jackson Heights.

The program typically focuses on changing the meter rates to encourage short-term parking through “progressive” rates.

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.

However, in some cases, the parking period has been extended on certain streets. For instance, one hour limits have been increased to two.

Park Smart typically aims to change the commercial parking and delivery zones. “Early Morning Delivery Zones” are often established to provide loading space before the meters turn on at 10 a.m., and “Paid Commercial Parking Zones” reserve daytime metered spaces for commercial uses.

The Department of Transportation will not introduce the system unless business owners opt into the program. The DOT representatives told the Community Board 2 that it will reach out to Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Long Island City Partnership and Woodside on the Move to get their feedback. Those groups are likely to conduct a survey of local businesses to get their feedback.

Park Smart is not a program that typically goes into effect overnight as the DOT typically evaluates each street to determine whether the parking times and rates need to be modified.

Furthermore it is typically implemented as a pilot program before becoming permanent.

The programs were made permanent in Park Slope and Greenwich Village, after they were deemed effective, according to the DOT.

However, the pilot program on Madison Avenue and East 86th Street was brought to a halt after it was viewed as being ineffective, according to published reports.

For more information on Park Smart click here

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Sunnyside building winds up on ‘Worst Landlord Watch List’
 43-15 46th Street

43-15 46th Street

Oct. 16, By Christian Murray

New York’s annual “Worst Landlord Watch List” was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside.

The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street.

The building, which is a 6-story 88-unit complex, has 271 outstanding violations, according to the report. While the building is a coop, it has several renters—although the exact number is not known.

The original landlord, who took the building coop about 25 years ago, rents several units, according to published reports.

The violations, which have been filed with HPD, deal with water leaks, missing smoke detectors, loose bathroom tiles, mold and defective faucets.

The managing agent of the building is Aras Properties, which is located in Cedarhurst. The head officer is Kevin Kane, who could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the landlord who runs a Woodside building has the fifth worst record in Queens, with 223 violations.

The building, located at 39-30 59th Street, is a 6-story 78 unit complex.

The violations include complaint about roaches, defective plastered surfaces, broken stoves, mold and missing smoke detectors.

The owner of the building is Harry Silverstein. Silverstein could not be reached for comment.

Click here for the Worst Landlord List

Click here to look up the violations in any building

 43-15 46th Street.

43-15 46th Street.

 

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Application period for Hunters Point South has begun

Hunters Point South building

Oct. 15, By Christian Murray

The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today.

The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, 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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Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant

saltfat-350x263

Oct 15, Staff Report

The Village Voice has just named Salt & Fat as the best restaurant in Sunnyside.

The write up starts as follows:

“Salt & Fat looks like it could be in Brooklyn — reclaimed wood for the storefront sign, artfully arranged small plates that feature New American decadence — but owner Daniel Yi is a local boy. Born in Seoul and raised in Sunnyside, Yi has crafted a nation-hopping menu that reflects the area’s diversity. A meal begins with a complimentary starter — popcorn cooked in bacon fat, as American as can be — and finishes with little bottles of Yakult, a tangy-sweet Japanese yogurt drink.”

For the rest of the Village Voice Article, please click here.

 

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Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street

Noodles

By Christian Murray

A dumplings and noodles eatery will be opening on 46th Street next door to Pio Pio Riko.

The restaurant, which will be located at 45-24 46th Street, is expected to open in late December, according to its owner, who was reluctant to provide too many details at this point.

The eatery will consist of about 30 seats and there will not be table service. The owner described it as “fast casual.”

The menu will consist of soup, baos (steamed buns filled with pork/beef/vegetables), and a wide selection of noodles and dumplings (both steamed and fried). The food will include a mix of Chinese and other Asian flavors. There are also plans to get a liquor license.

The owner has another restaurant—offering the same style of food—in Park Slope.

The business owner was attracted to Sunnyside due to its diverse population.  “I like the mixed neighborhood and there are few [restaurants] like this in the area.”

The restaurant is moving into a portion of the space that was once occupied by Grand 99 Cent Store, which left about 2 years ago. The other portion of the site was leased to  Signature Paint & Home Center, which opened this summer.

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

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Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot

JohnKwilsonThis 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.

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Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets

Hennessy
Oct. 12, By Christian Murray

Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community.

Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues.

While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program.

“I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.”

On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway.

Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti.

Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there.

The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm.

On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention.

Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing.

In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.

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Rally to find driver responsible for Woodside Hit-and-Run

Van BramerFATAL

Oct. 12, By Christian Murray

Less than 48 hours after a hit-and-run incident on Queens Blvd, community leaders held a rally calling on the public for tips to find out who was responsible.

The rally was held at the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Blvd at the scene where an unidentified Hispanic man in his 30s was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV around 1:30 a.m. Thursday while crossing the intersection. The driver fled the scene.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition and—as of Friday afternoon—had yet to be identified.

“To leave someone lying in the street and offer no assistance is an outrage,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Someone out there has a guilty conscience and should turn themselves in.”

“We are calling on anyone who has information on this case to call the authorities,” he said.

A large road sign had been placed on the side of Queens Blvd calling on motorists to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS if they had any information on the incident.

The rally, however, was also held to remind people that they must stop after a collision.

“You have to stop no matter how serious, whether it’s a fender bender or someone is lying in the street injured, you must stop. That is the law. And if you don’t you will be brought to justice,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer said that the recently passed Hit-and-Run Victims Act, which he sponsored, will go into effect December 29. With that law, a perpetrator of a hit and run can be fined up to $10,000–on top of any criminal charges imposed by the state.

Van Bramer said the new law is about increasing the public’s awareness that this will not be tolerated. “We want to change the culture. When people see the full weight of the law is coming down they might think twice,” he said.

Should the incident prove fatal, it would be the first traffic-related death this year in the 108 Police precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This time last year, there had been 8 deaths, including five pedestrians.

Van Bramer said that the Vision Zero campaign has been a large factor in keeping traffic deaths down, which has included the redesign of dangerous streets to greater enforcement.

The 108 Precinct has issued 30% more speeding tickets this year compared to the same period in 2013. The police also doubled the number of drunk drivers arrests, with 112 people arrested so far this year compared to 52 for the same period in 2013.

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Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot
JohnKwilsonThis 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.
Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets
Hennessy Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community. Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues. While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program. “I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.” On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway. Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti. Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there. The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm. On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention. Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing. In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.
Rally to find driver responsible for Woodside Hit-and-Run
Van BramerFATAL Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Less than 48 hours after a hit-and-run incident on Queens Blvd, community leaders held a rally calling on the public for tips to find out who was responsible. The rally was held at the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Blvd at the scene where an unidentified Hispanic man in his 30s was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV around 1:30 a.m. Thursday while crossing the intersection. The driver fled the scene. The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition and—as of Friday afternoon—had yet to be identified. “To leave someone lying in the street and offer no assistance is an outrage,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Someone out there has a guilty conscience and should turn themselves in.” “We are calling on anyone who has information on this case to call the authorities,” he said. A large road sign had been placed on the side of Queens Blvd calling on motorists to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS if they had any information on the incident. The rally, however, was also held to remind people that they must stop after a collision. “You have to stop no matter how serious, whether it's a fender bender or someone is lying in the street injured, you must stop. That is the law. And if you don't you will be brought to justice,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer said that the recently passed Hit-and-Run Victims Act, which he sponsored, will go into effect December 29. With that law, a perpetrator of a hit and run can be fined up to $10,000--on top of any criminal charges imposed by the state. Van Bramer said the new law is about increasing the public’s awareness that this will not be tolerated. “We want to change the culture. When people see the full weight of the law is coming down they might think twice,” he said. Should the incident prove fatal, it would be the first traffic-related death this year in the 108 Police precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This time last year, there had been 8 deaths, including five pedestrians. Van Bramer said that the Vision Zero campaign has been a large factor in keeping traffic deaths down, which has included the redesign of dangerous streets to greater enforcement. The 108 Precinct has issued 30% more speeding tickets this year compared to the same period in 2013. The police also doubled the number of drunk drivers arrests, with 112 people arrested so far this year compared to 52 for the same period in 2013.
Brooklyn man arrested in connection to Woodside murder
queenspalace Oct. 10, By Michael Florio A Brooklyn man was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing a man outside a Woodside party hall in July. Jorge Navarro, 20, was arrested in connection to the July 26th death of Eduardo Rojas, who was killed after being struck in the head. The incident occurred outside of Queens Palace, located at 37-27 57th Street, when a fight broke out. In the melee gun shots were also fired. The 108 precinct responded to a 911 call just after 1 am and discovered a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his left leg and back, as well Rojas, who was dead. Navarro is facing charges of murder, manslaughter and gang assault. He has not been charged for the shooting.
Another hit-and-run in Woodside leaves man in critical condition
ambulance Oct. 9, By Michael Florio Another pedestrian has fallen victim to a hit-and-run in Woodside. A 20-to-30 year old male was struck in the early hours today while crossing the intersection at Queens Blvd and 60th Street. A dark colored SUV was traveling westbound along Queens Blvd when it struck the victim at about 1:30 am, according to an NYPD spokesperson. The vehicle did not stop and continued westbound toward the Queensboro Bridge. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim to be unconscious. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition. The investigation is ongoing.
Sunnyside Gardens planned community turns 90
SGbefore Oct. 9, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Gardens, the planned community designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will be presenting “Sunnyside Gardens at 90,” which will feature a series of photographs of the gardens over the decades as well a presentation by local historian Jeffrey Kroessler and architect Laura Heim. The presentation, which will take place tonight at 7pm at 35-20 Broadway in Astoria, will discuss the origins and significance of the community, including its importance in urban planning, design, and history, and the contentious campaign to gain designation as a historic district. (Click for details) Sunnyside Gardens was initially constructed between 1924 and 1928, and consisted of a series of twelve “courts”. The designated area went on to include the Phipps Garden Apartment buildings, which were constructed in the early 1930s. To celebrate the anniversary, the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance will be holding an event marking the occasion on Saturday, Oct. 25, with the unveiling of three historic district signs followed by a reception. The event will kick off at 1 pm at Skillman Avenue and 46th Street. (Click for details) According to the Preservation Alliance's website, the City Housing Corporation organized a “grand opening” for the first group of houses that were developed in Oct 1924. Advocates for affordable housing and New York City officials joined in to applaud the start of a new kind of neighborhood at the time. The very first Sunnyside Gardens owners moved in at the beginning of September 1924, according to the website, with the first house sold located at 41-49 47th (Carolin) Street. House prices ranged from $8500 to $13,500. SGNow sgplay    
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.
Van Bramer

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 Chase bank in Sunnyside in July
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 Chase Bank branch at 47-11 Queens Blvd, where the suspect approached a teller and passed her a note—before fleeing with $5,900 in cash. That incident occurred on July 25, 2014 (see story). 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 comes to Skillman Avenue this Saturday
claret1Oct. 7, By Christian Murray It’s time to get out the lederhosen and the Bavarian hats. The Skillman Project, a group of bars and restaurants located on Skillman Avenue, is hosting its 3rd annual Oktoberfest this Saturday. There are eight bars/restaurants participating in the event—and attendees will be offered $3 beers until late. The event will start at 3pm and go until close. Several of the bars/restaurants will be serving German-themed food—with items such as Bratwurst and pretzels on offer. The Skillman Project has also hired a brass band that will be playing polka music at all the participating venues. The band will start at 6:30 at Claret Wine Bar and will then perform at the other bars/restaurants. “Oktoberfest is typically the most popular event that the Skillman Project puts on each year,” said Justin Costello, the manager at Claret. “It tends to bring in the largest crowd.” The Skillman Project also puts on an annual Mardi Gras and a summer event. To partake in Saturday’s Oktoberfest, attendees are required to register at Claret (46-02 Skillman) between 3 pm and 5 pm, and buy a $5 wristband. The wristband is needed in order to get the $3 beers at all eight restaurants/bars. The $5 proceeds will be donated to the local food pantry. Participating bars are: Dog and the Duck, Claret Wine Bar, Flynn’s Garden Inn, Quaint Bistro, Murphy’s Lobster Grill, The Globe, Aubergine Cafe and The Copper Kettle. Skillman_OktoberFest2014_Final  
Famous singer/songwriter a frequent performer at Sunnyside venue
JD @ teapot 6-22-2013Oct. 6, By Kim Brown Jim Dawson has sold out shows at the Bitter End, been signed by RCA Records and written a song recorded by Sesame Street’s Elmo. This Thursday he’s playing at The Globe Tavern’s Open Mic night on Skillman Avenue. “It really ups the quality of the night,” said host and guitarist Trevor Bowen. “He’s a pro, it’s the most wonderful feeling of support.” Dawson, who has been compared to James Taylor and Harry Chapin, was also touted as the next Bob Dylan after “Songman” was released in 1971. He is still a regular at venues like the Cutting Room. Newer fans know him because Elmo sang his “Simple Song” and older fans remember when he played Constitution Hall in Washington with The Birds. But when he comes to The Globe about once a month he’s just Jim, competing against baseball games and loud conversations like any other musician. There is no cover charge and he buys his own beer. “One of the reasons I love it is Trevor says ‘Here’s Jim’,” said Dawson, who lives in Manhattan and is Bowen’s vocal coach. “It doesn’t matter if I sold 200,000 records or zero. We’re all the same. We all got into this in the first place because it’s fun.” Dawson came to New York City in the late 1960s, after a stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Because he was signed by a record company pretty quickly, playing the open mic circuit was not something he had done very often. Despite distractions the last time he played The Globe--like an overturned tray of garlic knots and Derek Jeter’s last home at bat on TV—-he somehow managed to quiet a pretty raucous room. “When I’m doing it and I’m getting it right those are the most alive situations. I feel like I’m 18 or 19 years old again,” he said. Dawson, who lives on the Upper West Side, has released 15 CDs and albums. He is also known for writing the opening theme for a popular German soap opera. Money from that song allowed him to set up a home recording studio. The 1999 CD of his own live sessions in his apartment, “Therapy in Session: The Studio Concerts,” gained attention as an innovative way for musicians to release their work independently. Dawson’s website still attracts about 2,000 visitors a month from all over the world. Maybe he is able to arrest a noisy bar so well because he has been playing for nearly 50 years. Or maybe it’s because he tends to write Americana songs with lyrics that seem to have sprung from our own hopes and worries or that the gift to connect with the audience is just that, a gift. Whatever the reason, the audience quiets and connects with Dawson when he is behind the mic. “I want people to hear the words and I want them to hear what I have to say,” Dawson said. “But it is a bar for crissake.” Yet The Globe’s open mic is not all about Dawson, or even all about music. Poets, magicians, comedians and actors are welcome as well. “Pretty much anyone can show up, grab a beer and sign up,” said co-owner Rena Hershberger, who sings and performs at open mic night herself. “Everyone gets their 10 minutes.” Yet Bowen admits his ultimate goal is beyond that. He’d like the bar and the neighborhood to become a destination for original, quality music and he already sees that happening. “There have been really surprising musicians who have come and blown the socks off people,” he said. Ben Hope, who played the lead in the Broadway musical Once, and renowned Jazz guitarist Tosh Sheridan are both Globe regulars. Dawson is only adding to that momentum. “If people think ‘this guy Jim is going to show up’ and that will bring in two more people,” Dawson said, “that’s what I think is important. I’m just trying to be one of the guys on the team.” Open Mic Night at The Globe Tavern, located at 49-10 Skillman Avenue, will be held this Thursday and every other week.
Police swarm Sunnyside with plain clothes cops prior to arresting armed robber
Amazon-pharmacy-800x600 Oct. 5, By Christian Murray The police sent in more than a dozen plain clothes cops into the Sunnyside commercial district following two armed robberies at local drug stores early last month. The strategy led to an arrest of a Sunnyside man when the third Sunnyside pharmacy was targeted. The first robbery took place at Greenpoint Pharmacy, located at 40-26 Greenpoint Avenue, on Sept 2, when a masked man displayed a gun, and demanded Vicodin, before fleeing with Oxycodone. The second incident occurred on Sept 5 at Family Pharmacy, 45-60 43rd Street, when the masked perpetrator showed a gun and took off with prescription drugs. “We sent in about a dozen plain clothes [officers] to the area,” said Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer at the 108 precinct, after the second incident. The officers were there to monitor the pharmacies in the neighborhood. “With two [robberies] taking place so close to each other, we knew there was a good chance he would hit the area again,” Hennessy said. Therefore, when a perpetrator went into Amazon Pharmacy, located at 43-10 Queens Blvd, on Sept 11 with a knife and demanded prescription drugs the police were in the area. The police received a 911 call with a description of the suspect and several officers were in the neighborhood to search for him. The perpetrator, Patrick McNamara, ran across Queens Boulevard and was arrested by Police Officer John Miszuk, a plain-clothes officer, who tracked him down just two blocks from the drug store. McNamara, 37, a Sunnyside resident was then identified by a witness. The police, however, have not been able to make an arrest on the first two robberies since the suspect was wearing a mask and was hard to identify. However, Hennessy noted, that there have been no drug store robberies since. McNamara was arrested on a variety of charges, such as robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. Greenpoint Pharmacy-475x355 FamilyPharmacy

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