City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod announced Monday that part of Downtown Flushing’s waterfront is being targeted for upzoning to help implement the mayor’s plan for more affordable housing.
Weisbrod testified at a City Council hearing that three areas in the city are being studied for Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to create 200,000 affordable housing units. Besides Flushing, they are East New York and the Cromwell-Jerome section in the Bronx.
Fortune Society sues R’way landlord over its denial of ex-cons
The formal opening of a new apartment complex doesn’t often draw politicians, business and civic leaders to the ribbon cutting.
The developers of Norman Towers welcomed the public to a reception in their courtyard at 90-14 161 St. in Jamaica on Oct. 28.
During a recent quarterly meeting with concerned parties, members of Community Board 7 demanded input in the review process for development of Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Downtown Flushing.
Bids on the mixed-income, affordable housing complex planned near the Long Island Rail Road station were due earlier this month to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Work on Flushing Commons, the large mixed-use development, has not only affected area businesses but the historic church next door as well.
“Construction has impacted the congregation,” said the Rev. Richard McEachern, senior pastor of the approximately 300-member Macedonia AME Church.
When area residents were invited to a community town hall meeting at the Pomonok-Electchester Public Library on Monday evening to discuss issues of concern, they arrived in droves, filling the makeshift meeting space to beyond capacity and showed little inhibition in letting the elected officials in attendance know their displeasures.
Hosted by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), in conjunction with state Sen.Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) and Councilmember Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), who was unable to attend, the event also featured brief presentations by city Comptroller Scott Stringer and several city agencies.
Area civic leaders remain concerned about the future of the Klein farm property in Fresh Meadows following its recent sale to a convicted felon who illegally tore down trees on the protected site.
Ziming Shen of Manhattan, who runs a preschool on the historic Klein property at 194-15 73 Ave., remains under house arrest for stealing funds designated for poor children’s lunches from his chain of Red Apple preschools.
Up to 200 units of mixed-income, affordable housing could be in the offing for Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Downtown Flushing.
Although even the developers wondered at times if the project would ever get off the ground, the first shovels were activated Monday morning to signal the start of work on the $1 billion mixed-use Flushing Commons project.
Michael Meyer, president of TDC Development, which is working with the Rockefeller Group to develop the five-acre project on the site of Municipal Parking Lot 1, told an audience of elected officials and community leaders that “it’s been a long time coming.”
One of the city’s most difficult, intractable problems is the lack of affordable housing, and in recent years the situation has only gotten worse. In just one illustration, research shows that since 2002, rents in the city have gone up 40 percent, while incomes have only risen 15 percent.
Meanwhile the top 25 hedge fund managers in the country earned a collective $21.1 billion in one year, meaning their average income was nearly $1 billion. And of course they don’t pay the same tax rate on that money that they would if it were regular income.
Mayor de Blasio’s recently unveiled affordable housing plan, “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan,” is mammoth. At more than 100 pages, it lays out the new mayor’s plan for creating a “better and more affordable New York.”
“This plan, over the next 10 years, will create opportunity for so many people who are being priced out of our city,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Monday. “It will be a central pillar in the battle against inequality. This plan took a lot of effort and it will take a lot of effort to implement.”
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association addressed several issues, many of them ongoing, that have been affecting the area during its last meeting.
Community Affairs Bureau Officers Jose Severino and Brendan Noonan of the 102nd Precinct cautioned against scammers who continue to prey on the elderly and vulnerable, particularly immigrants, with promises of winning lottery tickets and manufactured threats.
Woodhaven residents who have been demanding the city demolish a Jamaica Avenue building that partially collapsed a year ago may finally get their wish. The building could come down within a month.
The owner of the building failed to appear in court for a hearing on April 10 — almost a year to the day since the collapse — allowing the judge to give the city the authority to make the next move.
Administrative Law Judge Michelle Manzione has fined Ziming Shen, who runs a preschool on the historic Klein farm property in Fresh Meadows, $1,600 for destroying trees and illegally building a driveway.
Shen testified earlier this month at an Environmental Control Board hearing in Jamaica that he was responsible for illegally cutting down large shade trees on the property at 194-15 73 Ave. He indicated the trees were rotten and that the existing driveway posed a hazard to the children and needed to be repaired.
In the last two weeks, Mayor de Blasio has taken two giant steps toward fulfilling his campaign promise to change the makeup of and the culture at the beleaguered New York City Housing Authority.
Two weeks ago it was the appointment of new managers in three key housing positions, the most prominent being Shola Olatoye, tapped to replace the embattled former NYCHA Chairman John Rhea.
The following is a transcript of Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address, as prepared, sent to the media before the speech was delivered.
The city landmarked former Sohmer & Co. piano factory in Astoria is under consideration by the Department of the Interior for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
The submission was made earlier in the month by the state for the 128-year- old former factory at 31-01 Vernon Blvd., which has been converted to residential lofts.
A former resident of what he says is the borough’s only Anglo-Japanese-style home is furious at the vacant building’s ongoing descent into decay and dilapidation.
The home, located at 84-62 Beverly Road in Kew Gardens, looks more like the setting of a horror movie than a historic, nearly 100-year-old piece of significant architecture.
The ongoing recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy dominated life in South Queens for most of 2013 and was a factor in many other big stories, from the future of the abandoned Rockaway Beach LIRR line to the election battle between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Democratic opponent Lew Simon.
But South Queens also dealt with a wide array of other issues in 2013, from crime at Forest Park to internal strife on Community Board 9.
At what was called a “Community Visioning Meeting” on Dec. 18, officials announced that the long-evolving project to develop Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Flushing to provide affordable housing is moving forward.
Representatives of various agencies and several elected officials were in attendance at the meeting, but the public was noticeably underrepresented, owing, apparently, to the short notice and early meeting at 5 p.m.
The elegant, old shade trees around the historic Klein farm in Fresh Meadows have been cut down and area residents want to know why.
The 2.5-acre former farm, at 194-15 73 Ave., was bought by convicted felon Thomas Huang in 2003 as part of his Audrey Realty. Huang wanted to develop the site into 22 two-family houses or 18 dwellings, but both plans failed.
The ongoing Willets Point development plan is hard to pin down. It is a project with many moving parts that has been lauded as one of the best development deals made in the borough’s history, while at the same time denigrated as an attack on the lower class and outer-borough business owners.
But the colossal plan that has struggled to get its bearings for some time has gained stability over the past few months — after the City Council approved the revised version — and will take its first steps on Saturday when the first round of business relocations will be completed.
The grandstand walls at Aqueduct Racetrack will serve as canvasses for 11 contemporary urban artists who will transform the first floor of New York City’s only racetrack into a horse racing-themed street art show for “Aqueduct Murals,” opening to the public on Saturday.
“New York City is arguably the mecca of street art, and ‘Aqueduct Murals’ integrates horse racing with a celebration of this vibrant, artistic community,” said Paul Kelleher of the New York Racing Association’s corporate development department. “Aqueduct is New York City’s racetrack and this exhibit will be emblematic of the track’s wonderful, multifaceted environment.”
Community Board 8 members discussed a variety of issues during their meeting on Oct. 9 at the Hillcrest Jewish Center, where they also approved their capital and expense budget priorities.
Free immigration assistance from a lawyer, a new service for the CB 8 area, will be provided on the first and third Fridays at its office at 197-15 Hillside Ave. in Hollis, through June. Funding came from Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and CUNY Citizenship Now.