Coming into Tuesday’s hearing with the State Liquor Authority, the battle over the Knockdown Center and its attempt to garner a liquor license for 600-plus patrons has raged on in southwest Queens for over six months.
So waiting two more weeks for an official decision shouldn’t be too difficult.
Plans to establish a homeless shelter in Glendale that came to the attention of some residents a year ago are on the cusp of being made official.
Samaritan Village, a social service organization based in Briarwood, notified Community Board 5 on Tuesday that it wants to discuss its plan with the members soon. The group wants to provide transitional housing for 125 families at a vacant factory site at 78-16 Cooper Ave., right down the street from the Shops at Atlas Park.
The Maspeth Bypass plan that went into effect two years ago doesn’t seem to be doing much. Residents, elected officials and civic leaders are reporting truck after truck ignoring truck route signs to avoid traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
A 90,000-square-foot residential building that was presented at last week’s Citizens for a Better Ridgewood meeting to be built at 176 Woodward Ave. in Maspeth is currently located in an Industrial Business Zone.
IBZs, established by the Bloomberg administration, were designed to promote industrial growth by setting aside specific real estate in the city for businesses.
Everyone agrees that Maspeth needs parkland, and no one is saying that the effort to put a park on the site of the old Saint Saviour’s Church is dead.
But advocates of the proposal are expressing their disappointment in the city’s Parks Department and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who are redirecting their efforts — and money — at least for the time being.
What do you do when you want to purchase the remainder of the old St. Saviour’s Church property in Maspeth but the present owner is putting up buildings and money for the purchase is tied up in Albany?
You proceed on faith.
The remnants of the wood-frame 1847 church now sits disassembled in trailers at All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, while civic leaders and elected officials try to free up money that the state formerly said was available to buy about one acre of property that has not yet been developed by Maspeth Development Corp., the property’s owner.
“They’re starting to build warehouses and we’re waiting for the money to be released,” said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Though there have been several developments over the last three weeks on different fronts surrounding the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth, the future of the land is still unclear.
Since June 17, five stop-work orders have been issued by the Department of Buildings to the owner, Maspeth Development, LLC. However, several neighbors have snapped photos and sent emails detailing sporadic construction work on a small part of the 2.5-acre parcel. Maspeth Development is trying to move forward with a plan to build warehouses on a quarter of the site.
The activist leading the fight to bring a public park to the St. Saviour’s site and a state senator this week called on the Department of Buildings to enforce a stop-work order on the land.
In pictures sent Tuesday by Newtown Historical Society President Christina Wilkinson to members of the media and elected officials, crews could be seen using heavy construction equipment on part of the 2.5-acre plot. According to DOB records, a partial stop-work order was issued in November 2009.
More than 80 people last Saturday rallied outside the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth, urging the city to acquire the land — by purchase or through eminent domain — and turn it into a green space.
Organized by Newtown Historical Society President Christina Wilkinson, the demonstration is the latest salvo in the push for a public park on the 2.5-acre plot that began in 2006.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley addresses the crowd last Saturday outside the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth. Christina Wilkinson, far left, organized the rally. PHOTO BY Michael Cuse
As the owner recently began constructing warehouses on a portion of the land on which historic St. Saviour’s church and parsonage once stood, the activist who has spearheaded the push to have a public park installed at the site said the Bloomberg administration has options to acquire the property, but is dragging its feet.
Christina Wilkinson, president of the Newtown Historical Society, said the Department of Parks and Recreation should have started the Universal Land Use Review Procedure prior to the city entering into negotiations with the owner, Maspeth Development LLC, which according to the Parks website, is actually the last step in the property acquisition process.
In 2008, the state Department of Environmental Conservation settled with the city for $10 million after the city failed to meet its deadlines in upgrading the Newtown Creek wastewater treatment plant. In December, New Yorkers will have a say in what is done with the money.
The Newtown Historical Society, in conjunction with Queens Chronicle columnist Ron Marzlock’s Q Gardens Gallery, recently unveiled its second exhibit, “Maspeth in the 1940s,” in Maspeth Federal Savings bank on 69th Street.
The city Department of Buildings this week denied the owner of the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth permits to build warehouses on the vacant property.
The briefly dormant saga of the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth recently picked up as the developer applied to erect warehouses on the land activists and elected officials have pushed to become a park.
Hidden under a crate and surrounded by heavy construction material, the current condition of the already worn Colonial-era millstones in Queens Plaza has preservationists outraged. They say the lack of concern for these historic artifacts that have been part of the streetscape since the 1600s is shameful.
A state budget resolution presented last week by Senate Democrats is renewing hope for plans to convert the former St. Saviour’s Church site in Maspeth into a passive park.
Recent momentum to convert the former St. Saviour’s site into a passive park is now in jeopardy after Gov. David Paterson proposed drastic cuts to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
The Kosciuszko Bridge is known for its panoramic views of Manhattan, as any driver stuck in traffic knows, but if the state Department of Transportation has its way, those views will soon be available to pedestrians, as drivers speed along on three additional lanes.
“Every time I pass by I cannot help but to stop and enjoy the view,” said Yvonne Chung as she stopped to admire the archaic-looking buildings in A Walk Down Flushing Avenue in 1929.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley sought to block the Department of Education on Tuesday as it tried to move a plan for a new high school in Maspeth through the first phase of city approval.
City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. rejected a Parks and Recreation Department contract last week that would have funded the initial phase of redevelopment at Ridgewood Reservoir.
The monthly Juniper Park Civic Association meeting erupted in shouts last Thursday after former City Councilman Dennis Gallagher’s sexual assault victim spoke to the hundreds assembled there.
The latest chapter in a long and bitter struggle between local civic groups, elected officials and foreign real estate developers came to a head late last week, as demolition of the historic Saint Saviour’s Church in Maspeth got under way amid vociferous protest.