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First off, there were goats.

Secondly, Luyster Creek has been mentioned on Brownstoner Queens before, in this June 2013 posting — “Will Luyster Creek Ever Get a Make-Over?” After reading that post, it struck my fancy to wander over and take a look. The waterway is an industrial canal which can be visited, in Astoria, at 19th Avenue near 37th Street and the Steinway Piano Factory.

Luyster Creek has gone by a few different names over the centuries, by the way.

Astoria, and all of western Queens in fact, is ancient.

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Here is a roundup of properties we’ve featured on QueensNYC this week – there are two houses, a co-op and a condo, in the neighborhoods of Beechhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, and Queens Village.

66-40 Powells Cove Blvd, #5A, Beechhurst, NY 1135 (GMAP) – This 1 bed/1 bath co-op in Beechhurst is priced at $239,000. It has a newly renovated kitchen. It also has a terrace. The building is very close to the waterfront, and is convenient to the Cross Island Parkway and the Clearview Expressway. It is neither near the subway nor LIRR.

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The NY Daily News reports that rents and residential real estate prices are going up, especially in the luxury home department – this price increase is because there isn’t enough inventory to meet the demand. Our friends at Modern Spaces say that during the last quarter of 2012, the average rent and sale price for a 1 bedroom apartment in Astoria was $1,600 and $387,786, respectively.

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Image source: NYDN – the most expensive house in Queens, located in Neponsit, was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and is uninhabitable

The NY Daily News reports that the most expensive real estate sold in Queens this year is on the waterfront, according to survey results by Point2Homes, an online residential real estate listing company. In particular, the neighborhoods of LIC, Malba, Whitestone, and the Rockaways have had the highest priced properties. If you remember from this past summer, the most expensive sale made in the history of Queens was for a home in Neponsit, on the Rockaway peninsula. It was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and is currently uninhabitable.

And on the subject of Hurricane Sandy, it is not surprising to hear that the storm has negatively affected property values in the Rockaways. Real estate broker Robin Shapiro, who does a lot of her work in the Rockaways, says right now there is a lot of damage to many of the homes, some totally destroyed. Robert Tracey, of Tracey Real Estate, says that housing prices have dropped in the area 20% to 30% since the storm.

A number of folks in the local real estate industry believe that waterfront property prices will bounce back and that people will still want to live there, despite the perceived risk so soon after the storm. In the words of Modern Spaces’ Eric Benaim, “People want to live on the waterfront.” Real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller says “The aftermath of the storm hasn’t changed people’s love for being on the water and having the view.” Comparisons have been made to downtown Manhattan just after 9/11. Rosemary Scanlon, dean of New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, made just that comparison, and is convinced the market for waterfront property will rebound.

After the Neponsit home sale, a house in Malba was the second highest sale in Queens, at $3.7 million. Malba is an affluent neighborhood between College Point and Whitestone (its name is an acronym made from the first letters of the names Maycock, Alling, Lewis, Bishop, and Avis, who were the five founders of the Malba Land Company).

So why are these properties so expensive? Well, there are the aforementioned views, which can be amazing. Also, according to David Legaz, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Landmark, “You have a combination of mostly waterfront homes on large properties. Generally, they have a movie theater, a sauna, a wine cellar, Jacuzzis and a steam room.” Nice.

Priciest Queens home is in storm-battered Rockaways [NYDN]
Hurricane Sandy’s effects on waterfront development and sales [QNYC]
LIC for Brooklynites – where to live in Hunters Point, Queens Plaza, Court Square, and Dutch Kills [QNYC]

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Image source: Times Ledger

So it looks like the residential conversion of the old Chilton Paint factory (109-09 15th Ave – GMAP) in College Point, which was first planned back in 2005, might finally be happening. According to the Times Ledger, there was a change of ownership, and in August the new owner filed paperwork with the city to get the project back in motion. According to the original 2005 plans, the conversion would turn the building into 134 apartments, the exterior of the building would remain intact, and a public walkway would be built along the waterfront. There would be views of Manhattan, though given where the building is situated LaGuardia airport and Rikers Island seem like they would be in view too. 

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Image source: DNAinfo

LIC’s Brooklyn Grange has found success planting on rooftops, and Cooper Union architecture student Karim Ahmed now aims to find what’s possible through planting on floating gardensDNAinfo reports that he has one anchored in the East River at Plaxall’s Anable Basin (which is the same location of the future floating beer garden) in Long Island City. Interesting sounding stuff is coming out of that corner in LIC, as Plaxall spends time exploring new ways to use their waterfront.

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A site in Whitestone owned by Bay Rock Group is being sold off by Massey Knakal.

Dozens of bids have been placed for the huge residential waterfront site, according to Stephen R. Preuss, director of sales at Massey Knakal. Bids were due March 5.

The site is expected to hold approximately 52 single family homes, some of which will have waterfront views. Home sizes are envisioned to be in the range of 3,200 square feet and up. Bay Rock Group purchased the former industrial site in 2005 for over $25 million. The group has had it on the market since 2011, according to Crains.

Preuss said the winning bid is expected to be announced within the next month. He said both finances and building plans would be taken into consideration by the seller.