Development

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Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is against any attempt to save the 5Pointz building in Long Island City. The former factory, long a mecca for graffiti artists, is now slated for demolition. The owner, Jerry Wolkoff, plans to build two towers on the site, one 46 stories, another 41 stories. Advocates have pushed for the city to buy the building to rescue it from demolition. However, as Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City and the surrounding communities, told the Long Island City Post, “first of all, you need a willing seller and the Wolkoff family is not interested in selling. It would probably cost tens of millions—if not hundreds of millions—to buy it and renovate it… which would be a foolish expenditure of city funds.” The developer is hoping to build 1,000 units, 370 more than are allowed as of right. Community Board 2 unanimously rejected the initial plan. Since then the developer has added 54 units of affordable housing and increased the studio space that he plans to include in the new buildings from 2,000 square feet to 12,000. Van Bramer’s position on the development is important as he is likely to have sway with other city council members who ultimately must approve the project.

Van Bramer Dismissed Plans to Save 5Pointz [LIC Post]
5Pointz Developer Commits to 54 Affordable Units, Artist Space [Brownstoner Queens]
Community Board 2 Votes Against 5Pointz Development Plan [Brownstoner Queens]

Photo: Harlan Harris

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The one-story warehouse at 530 47th Avenue, between Vernon Avenue and 5th Street, is not long for this world. The Department of Buildings issued a demolition permit this May, although the owners were slapped with a stop work order a few weeks ago for not properly installing the scaffolding. In August of last year, the DOB approved a building application for a new four-story mixed-use building with two residential units to rise in the warehouse’s place. The DOB has yet to issue building permits, so there’s no word on how soon a new building’s going up. Of course, this warehouse has to go down first! GMAP

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Last month when we checked in on the progress of the TF Cornerstone development at 4610 Center Boulevard on the Long Island City waterfront the Arquitectonica-designed project there was not a pane of glass in sight. When we pedaled past last Friday however, the seven-story portion at the southern end was about halfway glassed. The entire building will have a total of 585 units when all is said and done. Another photo on the jump.
TF Cornerstone’s Fifth LIC Tower Coming Down the Pike [Brownstoner Queens] GMAP

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Another day, another C-Town post. Yesterday, we noted the construction underway at the C-Town in Woodside. Today, more news about the C-Town planned for Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside. As you may recall, last month we blogged about the plywood fence and small “Coming Soon!” sign on the side of the former Foodtown location at 41-25 Greenpoint Avenue. We are happy to report some more incremental progress: Last week the Department of Buildings approved permits for a sidewalk shed and said sidewalk shed was put up posthaste. What’s more, the facade has been stripped of its Foodtown cladding and is down to its original brick. A marked improvement, to be sure.
Work Under Way at Supermarket Site on Greenpoint Ave [Brownstoner Queens] GMAP

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A former U.S. Post Office has been torn down and a 12-story tower will rise in its place at 27-40 21st Street in Astoria. The 50-by-77-foot lot, which traded hands for $2.1 million last year, will accommodate a 25,000-square-foot building based upon the R7X zoning. Let’s just hope that the new 30-unit building will be a little stronger in the design department than the one that’s gone up next door at 27-34 21st Street. For a look at that eyesore, click through below. GMAP

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A one-story mosque at 24-30 Steinway Street in Astoria has been demolished (or not quite demolished, it seems, as there are only alteration permits as opposed to new building permits on file) to make way for a five-story structure that will house a school in addition to religious facilities, according to DOB permits. Based on this DOB violation, it seems safe to surmise that the Al Iman Center (aka the Al Marwa Center) has been operating in one form or another since the mid-1990s. There are several other violations from around that time for the illegal excavation of the basement. One of the complaints at the time alleged that 15 20-yard containers of dirt had been removed! Let’s hope this new construction will be more by the book! GMAP

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A company called Uovo has broken ground on a state-of-the-art storage facility for fine art at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge in Astoria Ravenswood. The address for Department of Buildings purposes is 41-54 22nd Street. According to Uovo’s website, the 270,000-square-foot building will have “unsurpassed” temperature and humidity controls. And to avoid any Hurricane Sandy-like threat, the ground floor will be more than 16 feet above sea level. The company is targeting an opening in the fall of 2014. GMAP

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It was ten years ago that the original developers of 19-73 38th Street began the process of trying to build at large mixed-use project on the edge of the Steinway IBZ by going through the ULURP process to gain approval for housing on the site. As the Queens Gazette reported at the time, the owners envisioned a 10-sotry building with retail, community space and parking on the lower level and condos on the upper floors. By 2008, the developer had its application to build a 234,000-square-foot building approved by DOB. The developer was only part-way through the project however when it ran into financial difficulties and construction stalled. The first lis pendens was filed in 2009 and a foreclosure sale was scheduled for October of last year with an outstanding lien amount of $25,478,983. Property records show that the deed changed hands in February of this year for just $6,000,000, which, at about $25 per buildable foot, seems incredibly low. So low, in fact, that the truth has to be more complicated. Regardless of the financial details, it appears that a permit was issued for a partial job in March, and a guy running the garage across the street said he’s heard that the project was going to start up again. This good news for the neighborhood? Anyone know more of the gory details about how the original deal imploded? More photos of the site below. GMAP

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Long Island City is getting another hotel, albeit a modestly-sized one. The old check-cashing joint at 44-04 21st Street already has a construction fence up in anticipation of the one-story building being torn down to make way for a four-story hotel. The current owner, who paid $2,200,000 for the property in 2005, is allowed to build almost 27,000 square feet of commercial space on the site. GMAP

The complete guide to LIC hotels, from budget to boutique [Brownstoner Queens]

 

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If you’ve visited PS1 in Long Island City recently, you might have noticed work going on at the corner of 21st Street and 46th Avenue and wondered what was happening. Turns out it’s a five-story, eight-unit residential project that’s actually been in the works for six years, although DOB only issued a permit for the new building this spring. In all, there will be about 5,500 square feet of residential space and another 1,150 square feet of commercial space. GMAP