On her 387th day in office, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz delivered her first tate of the Borough speech, listing accomplishments that she spoke of with pride, and future goals that she addressed with a mixture of hope and determination.
“Our motto at Borough Hall is simply this,” Katz told a capacity crowd at the Colden Center at Queens College. “If it’s good for our families, it’s good for Queens.”
Community Board 3 residents can now know the purpose of peculiar green sidewalk markings that have appeared in the last year.
At CB 3’s January meeting last Thursday at IS 227 in East Elmhurst, Mikelle Adgate, from the city Department of Environmental Protection, spoke about the upcoming construction of 11 bioswales, a planter-like infrastructures designed, built and maintained to absorb excess rainwater.
What started out as a traditional Haitian New Year’s Eve dish became the catalyst for a fire that ripped through a family’s ninth floor apartment in LeFrak City, killing three.
Fire officials found Louise Jean-Charles, Nadia Donnay and Napoleon Michel unresponsive at around 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Affordable housing is in high demand — and thousands are hoping to beat the odds.
According to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, 92,000 applications — a combination of 90,000 online applications and 2,700 paper applications — were submitted for only 925 units in the Hunter’s Point South living development in Long Island City, making odds of being drawn about one in 100.
The Central Queens neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Briarwood are mostly made up of quiet, residential streets that, when you look around, can make you forget about the hustle and bustle of city life.
But that doesn’t mean news was sparse there in 2014.
It was a tense 2014 in the City of New York. And that was especially true in the largely residential Queens neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Elmhurst.
Whether it was the stealthy opening of a homeless shelter in Elmhurst or the continued fight over placing one in an abandoned factory in Glendale, southwest Queens residents found themselves battling city government at different times throughout the year.
The year started out with the installation of two new city councilmen — Paul Vallone of Bayside and Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows. Vallone replaced Dan Halloran, who did not seek re-election following his indictment on federal bribery charges. Lancman replaced Jim Gennaro, who was term-limited out of office.
Officials from the Queens Hospital Center are promising to meet with the public in the coming weeks to discuss their plans for transforming its old tuberculosis sanitarium in Jamaica Hills into apartments and so-called supportive housing.
Known in Jamaica Hills-Briarwood vernacular as the T Building, the 1937 structure is located on Parsons Boulevard and run by the City Health and Hospitals Corp.
More than 80 families will not be in their homes on Christmas Day after a five-alarm fire ripped through their apartment building in Ozone Park last Thursday, rendering all of the units uninhabitable.
Close to a dozen of those families heard the devastating news during a town hall with city Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven), city agencies and the Red Cross at PS 65 last Friday.
Ray Hodges of the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development presents Community Board 4 with details of a new senior housing structure set for Corona.
Community Board 4 may have only met for about 70 minutes on Tuesday night, but it was an efficient use of time.
The board heard two proposals from developers looking to build in Corona, approving one, and discussed other matters, including the proposed unification of Roosevelt Avenue into one police precinct.
It’s been a long wait, but in a few days tenants will finally be moving into Macedonia Plaza, an affordable housing project in Downtown Flushing.
Built by the adjacent Macedonia AME Church, the 14-story, 142-unit building includes studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with 7,200 square feet of retail space on the first level.
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.
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.
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.”
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.