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Thread: Queens Development

  1. #61
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Perhaps BPC doesn't fit the "towers in the park" description to the tee but it does share certain traits.

    Regardless of whether they come out to the sidewalk or surrounded by greenspace on only just one or two sides, one would only have to walk through the area to get that feel.

    This kind of layout just doesn't create the sort of vibrancy that the traditional blocks just east of West St. has.

    Anyway, when you hear them talk about using BPC and Rockefeller Center as a model, you pretty much know they are going in that direction (towers in a park that is).

  2. #62
    The Dude Abides
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    I've got faith in Garvin. His report's a breath of fresh air, and really gets to the bottom of what the city needs as far as large-scale urban planning. It's not surprising to see the Sunnyside development be mentioned so soon; it's what Garvin constantly referred to as the biggest and most urgent priority for Doctoroff et al. to act on.

    He does think BPC is a success, but not for some of the reasons that might first come to mind.

  3. #63
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    This brings up a good point about BPC (although this is probably not the best place). I'll just briefly give my opinion on why BPC is successful eventhough I believe it's layout is not the most ideal.

    First, it's success at attracting tenants is not so much due to its own doing but rather more of the fact that it offers housing in a part of the city where housing is in short supply.

    If you were to take BPC and plop it down in some other place other than Manhattan, it would not be anywhere as successful.

  4. #64
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    Right, but even more importantly, it's market-rate. Most of the towers-in-a-park failures we associate with slum clearance, low-income housing, where people were forced to live (for better lack of a word.)

    In BPC, people are actually drawn to it, and because of the extensive maintenance, they actually use the recreational areas. Thus, it doesn't become rundown and unsafe.

  5. #65
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    QUEEN BEEP: 2 MORE HOSPS


    By CARL CAMPANILE

    November 14, 2006 -- A housing boom in Queens warrants the construction of two new hospitals in the borough - one along the East River and another in the Rockaways, Borough President Helen Marshall said yesterday.

    The Marshall plan for up to 800 new beds is based on analysis by the consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Marshall said a new hospital is needed in the Long Island City area, where thousands of new housing units are sprouting up.

    And she said a facility is needed on the Rockaway Peninsula, which also is undergoing a massive housing expansion. Western Queens already has a hospital, Mount Sinai. The Rockaways have two, Peninsula and St. Johns Episcopal.

    While Marshall is calling for more beds, a state commission is expected to propose closing or downsizing several city hospitals, possibly including some in Queens.

    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  6. #66
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    ^ How 'bout schools too?

  7. #67

    Default i'm skeptical

    According to Census Data, population growth in Queens has slowed dramatically since 2000. Yes, there is a richer group of people coming into luxury condos, but if anything, I'd bet that means they are healthier than who they are displacing.

    And much of the new housing is fairly close to the never ending sea of hospitals lining the east river.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by investordude View Post
    And much of the new housing is fairly close to the never ending sea of hospitals lining the east river.
    Would you be willing to wait in traffic to cross the 59th St. bridge or the Midtown tunnel if you were in an emergency?

    They are preparing for the new housing units that will coming on board in the next few years.

  9. #69

    Default a trader Joes for Queens

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/ny...ml?ref=thecity

    I am a bit puzzled by the choice of location. Is this easy to get to from public transit? Also, is there space near to this where someone could place additional development?

  10. #70

    Default 3rd LIC tower?

    Wasn't the third Rockrose tower suppossed to break ground this month? Anyone know if that's still the timeline?

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by investordude View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/ny...ml?ref=thecity

    I am a bit puzzled by the choice of location. Is this easy to get to from public transit? Also, is there space near to this where someone could place additional development?
    Public transportation wise, this building is in the middle of nowhere. Got to take the Queens Blvd. local and get off at Woodhaven Blvd. then take the Q11. Although its nice that they got rid of that terrible warehouse that was abandoned, the whole plan for this area is pretty depressing. Big parking lots surrounding buildings.

    As for the 3rd Rockrose Tower, I haven't heard anything about it going up soon. I believe it's the condo, right?

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramvid01 View Post
    Public transportation wise, this building is in the middle of nowhere. Got to take the Queens Blvd. local and get off at Woodhaven Blvd. then take the Q11.
    Nothing light surface rail won't cure.

    Better than the polluting and slow buses.

  13. #73

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    Rocky path to building cycle track
    BY NICHOLAS HIRSHON and DONALD BERTRAND
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS


    This long-abandoned stretch of railroad tracks, which runs from Rego Park to Ozone Park, has not been used in 40 years.

    Link to article


    A community board committee will decide next month whether to support a controversial study on turning a long abandoned stretch of railroad tracks in central Queens into a bicycle path and greenway.

    The Rockaway Beach Branch right of way, which runs from Rego Park to Ozone Park, hasn't been used in 40 years and is now a haven for squatters and vandals.

    Some locals hope to transform the tracks into a bicycle path and greenway, but others are worried the plan will foster crime and quality-of-life problems, especially if pedestrians and bikers use the path late at night.

    A proponent of the project, Jordan Sandke, received a mostly cool reception Wednesday night when he asked Community Board 6 to support a feasibility study on the greenway.

    Board Vice Chairwoman Elizabeth Anderson will head an approximately 10-member committee considering Sandke's proposal.

    Other board members have been asked to contact Chairman Joseph Hennessy if they want to be on the committee.

    The committee's recommendation is set to come before the full board at a Feb. 14 meeting, sources said.

    Minutes before being selected as committee chair, Anderson said the greenway "would be a wonderful thing," though added that she had some reservations.

    Board member Barbara Stuchinski was particularly adamant about not supporting the study or going ahead with the project.

    "The cost would be absolutely ridiculous," Stuchinski said. "Who's going to police it? Who's going to maintain it? Who's going to build it? That's taxpayer money. Nah-uh."

    Meanwhile, in northwestern Queens, Community Board 2 has scheduled yet another public hearing next week on a proposal to make the 55-acre Sunnyside Gardens a historic district.

    The hearing will be held at the Sunnyside Senior Center on 39th St. on Wednesday, at 7 p.m.

    Representatives of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, and Buildings and City Planning Departments are slated to attend.

    "We will try to separate the mystery from the fact," said Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley.

    Built between 1924 and 1928, Sunnyside Gardens "consists of a series of nine courts or rows of townhouses and nine small apartment buildings [four to six stories tall], built on all or part of 16 blocks, a total of more than 600 buildings," a Commission "statement of significance" issued last month states.

    City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), who lives on the outskirts of the Gardens, said he believes there is broad agreement that the community does not "want to see our neighborhood overrun by overdevelopment and greedy developers who knock down small houses and build things that are out of character with the neighborhood."

    Originally published on January 12, 2007

    I really hope this project gets off the ground. The ROW has been rotting for more than 40 years. Of course, the usual opponents come out against it. They prefer overgrown weeds, homeless people wandering around and taggers?

  14. #74
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    On the Horizon in Queens, Less Travel for Travelers



    A hotel proposed for Forest Hills
    would have Tudor accents.



    By JEFF VANDAM
    February 4, 2007

    Gas and food can easily be had in Queens. Lodging is harder to come by.

    Though many travelers begin their trips to the city in Queens, thanks to the presence of New York’s two major airports, the borough has few hotel options outside the immediate areas of Kennedy and La Guardia.

    “The airports have a bunch of hotels, and there’s the one in Flushing on Main Street,” said Frank Gulluscio, district manager of Community Board 6, which covers Forest Hills. “But if somebody had to stay over from out of town, how far do you want to drive to get them into a hotel?”

    If the answer is not far, Queens residents may be in luck. Plans are in the works for two new hotels in the borough. But while one seems likely to find favor with its neighbors, the other is already provoking criticism.

    On Austin Street in Forest Hills, in the middle of a busy shopping strip, a developer named Yeheskel Elias is seeking approval for a 100-room luxury hotel. It would be the first hotel in the neighborhood since the Progressive-era hotels of Station Square in Forest Hills Gardens were converted to apartments long ago.

    “The idea for me is really not to build a generic Holiday Inn,” Mr. Elias said, noting that families of local residents as well as tennis fans attending the U.S. Open might stay there. “We want to do a five-star hotel.”

    The hotel, which would be neo-Tudor style to fit in with the neighborhood, would be built on property Mr. Elias already owns at Austin Street and 70th Road. The developer hopes to start construction within a year, and Mr. Gulluscio of the community board said the proposal would probably pass muster with Forest Hills residents.

    But another proposal is drawing opposition, because of its size. It calls for erecting a 10-story, 130-room hotel, SpringHill Suites, on Northern Boulevard in Corona. The hotel would rise on a lot across from a six-story co-operative called the Dorie Miller Apartments, the tallest buildings in a low-rise neighborhood.

    Borough President Helen Marshall is among those expressing criticism of the plan. She said she had received several irate calls from residents of the Dorie Miller apartments, some of whom attended a recent community board meeting to protest the proposal.

    Kathy Duffy, a spokeswoman in New York for Marriott International, which operates SpringHill, confirmed that the hotel was planned for the site, which is occupied by the empty white warehouses of American Auto Accessories. There is no timetable for the plan, Marriott said. She added that a franchising deal for the hotel had not yet been signed.

    But in Ms. Marshall’s opinion, a hotel on the site would be out of scale.

    “We like that space and air in between,” she said, arguing that the arrival of such a tall building might set a dangerous precedent. “This is not Manhattan. To see a whole stream of tall buildings along one of our avenues is just not acceptable.”


    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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    With new projects, Queens offices get company

    Builders look across East River to catch commercial rent wave



    Joseph Pistilli of Pistilli Realty Group
    is constructing a 10-story office
    building in Astoria. He says businesses
    in Queens need room to grow.


    By Catherine Wigginton
    February 2007

    In Queens, business is usually done from a storefront or a second-story converted apartment. The borough has fewer high-rise office buildings than Manhattan or Brooklyn, but new developments will soon add to its supply of office space.

    Record-high rents for Manhattan office space and continued residential growth in Queens are spurring new commercial development in the city's largest borough. One developer is putting up a 10-story Class A office building in Astoria and has plans to expand elsewhere in Queens.

    Long Island City, Queens's closest approximation of a Manhattan-like business hub, will see the opening of Citigroup's 570,000-square-foot Court Square Two in 2007. Late last year, TDC Development International completed a mixed-use commercial project in Flushing with more than 190,000 square feet of offices, and a proposal for zoning changes in Jamaica may encourage development there.

    Queens won't top the rest of the city with its stock of office inventory any time soon. The borough has just about 21 million square feet of office space compared to Brooklyn's 24 million and Manhattan's 440 million, according to Robert Sammons of Colliers ABR, who tracks commercial space throughout New York City.

    And only 4.7 million square feet of office space in Queens is in full-service, Class A buildings.

    The same type of Class A office space accounts for 7 million square feet in Brooklyn and 225 million in Manhattan. Queens does have the edge over Staten Island, however, which has 3.2 million square feet of overall office space, 1.3 million of which is considered Class A.

    Rezoning efforts in Long Island City in recent years have increased commercial development, with companies like Citibank and Metropolitan Life Insurance headquartered there.

    However, Long Island City recently suffered a blow in its bid to become a lower-cost option for corporations that would typically locate in Manhattan when MetLife, which moved its operations from Manhattan to Long Island City in 2001, inked a deal a month ago to move its operations back to Manhattan. The company signed a lease for 12 floors at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, or 410,000 square feet of space, with plans to move in next year.

    Nearly half -- 2.2 million square feet -- of all Class A office space in Queens is in Long Island City. Because the office market in Queens is dominated by Class B facilities -- mostly 40- to 50-year-old, low-rise buildings along commercial streets that aren't good office space locations, Queens agents and developers see some potential for new office projects.

    Joseph Pistilli, president of Pistilli Realty Group, says the market is already picking up. He's constructing a 10-story office building with two floors of underground parking on Newtown Avenue in Astoria. The Class A building should be open to tenants by fall 2007, and Pistilli is in negotiations with a local government agency that will likely occupy 20,000 square feet in the building. He expects other tenants to be mostly medical-related businesses.

    The 70,000 square feet of office space, which he's planning on naming Pistilli World Plaza, will be a full-service building with parking for 60 cars.

    Pistilli believes office buildings like his Astoria project will be welcomed by local business owners. "What we are lacking," he explains, "are office buildings with good lighting and a comfortable environment."

    The professional spaces in the borough, located above stores, are often in converted apartments that limit options for companies to physically grow. "With so much residential development, a lot of businesses are growing," Pistilli says. "They need a place to work and continue to thrive."

    Pistilli's office space portfolio already includes high-end office buildings in other areas of the city and he has plans to continue expanding in Queens. He has a 65,000--square-foot building, Pistilli Corporate Plaza, near the Whitestone Expressway, and other facilities on Long Island. He has also just purchased the old Jamaica Savings Bank building from North Fork Bank and plans to build offices there.

    Forest Hills is also touted as another area with office growth potential. It's an attractive neighborhood and has a good infrastructure, but it sits farther out from Manhattan than Long Island City, making it less desirable for large companies to move even their back-office operations there.

    Nikolay Diankov, a Massey Knakal sales director specializing in Forest Hills, Rego Park and Kew Gardens, says he knows of no major office projects under way.

    The mayor's office can also help generate commercial development, as it did in Flushing, where TDC Development International in November completed a mixed-use commercial project that included more than 190,000 square feet of office space.

    Diankov points out that the mayor wants to rezone a chunk of Jamaica, which may provide an incentive for commercial development there, but says nothing will materialize for another two to three years.

    Sammons agrees that there just isn't enough quality space in Queens. The only major Class A office project currently under way that Sammons knows about is at Court Square Two, Citigroup's building in Long Island City. That 570,000 square feet is set to open sometime in 2007. "Certainly I think Queens is underserved," he says. "Not only for Manhattan back-office operations, but also for businesses already in Queens."

    Long Island City, he says, is particularly ripe for development. When the New York City Planning Commission approved rezoning in Long Island City in 2001, developers, brokers and retailers saw great potential for commercial and residential development to replace the area's manufacturing zones. Now, nearly six years later, the promise of major growth has yet to be realized and few projects have been built or planned.

    One project planned in Long Island City is Silvercup Studios West, a 3-million-square-foot mixed-use development at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge that will include 650,000 square feet of office space.

    "There just isn't the service industry there yet to support office workers," Sammons says about Long Island City. "It will come together, but it's taking a lot longer than anyone expected."

    Still, renting in Queens is a bargain compared to Manhattan. Average rent for office space in Queens for Class A space is $31.17 per square foot. Though that might seem steep, says Sammons, the market is pretty tight with a solid 8.2 percent vacancy rate.

    The only major vacancy he knows of is 125,000 square feet at 24-01 44th Road, the United Nations' credit union building, a recently completed project in Long Island City. Manhattan Class A space, on the other hand, rents for more than twice the Queens rate, at an average of $68.29 per square foot.

    Rent in Queens has only risen slightly in the past few years with Class A rent in 2004 averaging $28 per square foot, while Manhattan rents increased by 30 percent in 2006, making it a record year.

    The one thing that might push more offices to the outer boroughs, says Sammons, is that the Manhattan market has gotten so expensive in recent years that price-sensitive businesses, particularly nonprofit organizations that want to stay in New York City proper, are forced to move to outer boroughs.

    Pistilli agrees and expects more companies to move to Queens.

    "The smart money is going to come on this side of the river," says Pistilli. "Plus, the views are better here."

    Copyright © 2003-2007 The Real Deal.

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