When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.

It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.

More after the jump…


This past weekend the New York Times published two, yes two! features on Queens. The first, “The King Can No Longer Afford Queens,” is about Queens the brand and the rising prices in the borough. The Times looks at Queens’ transition for being the “image of white, urban American working-class life” — brought on by shows like All in the Family and King of Queens — into a “taller and skinnier and cosmetically rearranged” borough. Units at luxury developments like Five 27 (pictured above) and The View are asking several million bucks, attracting buyers and investors from around the world and affluent suburbs. The first quarter report of 2014 showed dramatically rising sales prices, a chic children’s boutique opened in LIC, etc. As far as Queens trend pieces go, this one feels very simplistic, only concerned with the luxury market in Long Island City. We love Queens because it’s a huge, diverse borough — you sure wouldn’t know it from the article.

Secondly, the Times published “In Queens, Chickens Clash With the Rules,” an article about a family keeping chickens in Forest Hills Gardens. Strict neighborhood regulations ban backyard chickens, with the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation citing the nuisances section of its century-old homeowners’ covenant. The chicken/home owner Sylvia Saye thinks the covenant restrictions are antiquated and plans to keep the coop, telling the Times that there have been no resident complaints about “odor, noise or unsightliness.” Here’s what Mitchell Cohen, president of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, had to say: “[The covenant] is what has kept the Forest Hills Gardens the oasis it is today. I’m sorry Mrs. Saye is upset by our letter, but to keep the Forest Hills Gardens the community it is, everyone must look beyond themselves and follow the rules we all agreed to follow.”

The King Can No Longer Afford Queens [NY Times]
In Queens, Chickens Clash With the Rules [NY Times]


That’s the title of a post today on New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog. The article refers to the first quarter market report released this morning, which shows growing prices and decreased inventory in both Queens and Brooklyn. Jonathan Miller, the man who crunched the numbers, said this: “Queens is benefiting directly from Brooklyn’s success… You’re seeing spillover across the lines and adjacent areas are likely to benefit moving forward. If you think Brooklyn is here to stay in terms of the success and the changes it has undergone in terms of the public’s perception of the borough then Queens is right there, too.”

Miller and Douglas Elliman’s director of sales Yuval Greenblatt recommend that buyers check out Ridgewood, Maspeth, Long Island City and Woodside. The above image is of Icon 52, the new “affordable luxury” rental development that started leasing in Woodside early this year.

Gentrification Is Coming for Queens [NY Mag]
Queens Sales off to Strong Start in First Quarter [Q’Stoner]


Have you heard that Ridgewood is the next hip neighborhood in NYC? Yeah, we thought so. Just in case you weren’t sure, the New York Daily News profiled the growing neighborhood this morning. Ridgewood: it’s got hip restaurants like Bunker, the art and music space Silent Barn, it’s close to the L train, and it’s got industrial areas that appeal to creative types as well as Renaissance Revival residential blocks. Rents are going up, with two bedrooms priced around $1,450 a month and one bedrooms asking between $1,100 and $1,300. To buy a home here, prices hover around $700,000.

Ridgewood, Queens, Is Emerging as a ‘Next Big Thing’ for Creatives Types Priced out of Brooklyn [NY Daily News]

Photo via Wikipedia


On the heels of this new luxury rental development, plans to convert the Knockdown Center into an event space, as well as concerns of gentrification coming to the neighborhood, there is a fear that Ridgewood’s IBZ zone is threatened. (IBZs are an initiative developed in 2006 to prevent manufacturing businesses from getting priced out of the neighborhood, with the city’s promise not to rezone those areas.) The Times Ledger reports: “One or two high-profile projects like the Knockdown Center may be enough to tip the balance of an IBZ, according to Adam Friedman, executive director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, an organization that promotes equitable and sustainable development.”

Friedman’s fear is that as the neighborhood becomes more and more developed, property owners will start rising rents accordingly. Manufacturing businesses will assume their time in the neighborhood is limited, and stop investing in the area. Do you think Ridgewood will follow the similar path of its neighbors, Bushwick and Williamsburg, in which much of the manufacturing space has been turned over to housing?

New Neighbors may Pinch Industrial Zone [Times Ledger]


Queens Courier attended the public hearing held by Community Board Five for a zoning change to build a luxury rental development at 176 Woodward Avenue, in Ridgewood. According to the Courier, some Ridgewood residents expressed a fear of gentrification that the build could bring. As a lifelong resident stated, “What are we going to get that comes with this to make sure that our neighborhood could handle this and that it’s not a complete rift from the incomes that are in that neighborhood, so that when this wonderful looking project shows up all the folks that can’t afford wonderful looking projects in New York City don’t get kicked out.”

Estimated rental prices are $1,100 to $1,200 for a studio, $1,400 to $1,600 for a one bedroom and $1,700 to $1,800 for a two bedroom. Other residents expressed support for the zoning change, saying that the growth will have a good impact on the community. The Land Use Committee will discuss the community feedback before making a decision to support or oppose the rezoning, which will be announced at the general meeting on April 7th.

Ridgewood Residents Divided over Planned Luxury Apartment Building [Queens Courier]
176 Woodward Avenue coverage [Q’Stoner]