Image via Google Earth.
A planned expansion by Target into several Queens neighborhoods has run afoul of politicians and community groups. The chain store hopes to open new stores in Astoria and Elmhurst by 2022, but activists in the borough have been fighting to stop the new additions, objecting to the fact that they’ll replace mom-and-pop stores and concerned about the effects of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Another concern is that Target’s non-union workforce will replace union jobs, The City reports.
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Nearly half of New York City’s 220,000 small businesses are owned by immigrants. To celebrate this community, the Historic Districts Council is hosting an event this weekend that highlights immigrant-run businesses in New York City. Taking place at the Bohemian National Hall on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the symposium will discuss the ins and outs of running a business in a city that is constantly changing.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the landmark designation of the Greenwich Village Historic District on April 29, 1969, Village Preservation has released an online map and tour of the district. The online tour shows each and every one of the over 2,200 buildings in the district as they looked in 1969 and today.
Find buildings on the interactive historic district map and more
image via Google Earth
Two months after mega-retailer Amazon announced it was walking away from a lease at One Court Square, a Long Island City library branch that occupies space on the ground floor of the 53-story Citigroup building is facing the possibility of eviction according to non-profit publication The City. The lease on the 3,200-square-foot One Court Square branch of the Queens Public Library expires on August 31. The library has paid an annual rent of $1 since the building opened in 1989 as part of a deal with Citigroup, whose lease on the space ends in May of 2020, but a spokesperson for the library has said that the building’s owner has “indicated it is seeking market rent for the library space.” Last year, building owner Savanna was reportedly seeking $55 to $65 per square foot for space in the building.
A valuable community service in jeopardy
Photo via CityRealty
The city unveiled on Tuesday its proposal to rezone Bushwick, five years after local residents and officials called on the Department of City Planning to study the growing out-of-context development in the neighborhood. The Bushwick Neighborhood Plan calls for creating and preserving affordable homes, improving public park space, protecting historic buildings, and supporting small businesses. The plan covers 300 blocks, bordered by Broadway to the south, Cypress Avenue to the north, Flushing Avenue to the west, and Trinity and Broadway Junction to the east.
See the plan
Chrysler Building via Pixabay (L); Google Street View of the Starbucks at 76th and Columbus
- In East New York, the city is looking for artists to beautify Broadway Junction. [BK Reader]
- While most neighborhoods are fighting to save their small businesses, a group of Upper West Siders is petitioning against the closure of their Starbucks. [New Yorker]
- Artist James Turrell has asked MoMA PS1 to close his installation “Meeting” since construction at the former 5 Pointz site is obscuring its sky views. [NYT]
- Experts weigh in on what should be done with the Chrysler Building. [Curbed]
- Con Ed wants to raise gas and electric rates in New York City and Westchester County. [WSJ]
- Did you know Staten Island has a Booze History Museum? [NYT]
Image: Steven Pisano via Flickr.
The Department of City Planning, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Margaret Chin announced today the launch of a six-month public engagement process addressing the future of NYC’s Soho and Noho neighborhoods. The series of public meetings and consultation with local stakeholders are an early phase in outlining a vision for the future of those neighborhoods; the city’s plans include updating what many consider outdated zoning laws, including the removal of rarely-enforced restrictions on ground floor retail tenancy and Soho’s Artist In Residence law.
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McNally Jackson bookstore on Spring Street. Image by Carl Mikoy via Flickr.
As one of New York City’s finest all-around independent bookstores, McNally Jackson booksellers on Prince Street is a literary standby for the latest bestsellers as well as thought-provoking political non-fiction, art books, cards, magazines, readings and more. Though the shop occupies a spot on one of the city’s most highly-trafficked “High Streets,” it has endured for 15 years, long enough to be taken for granted. But that would, of course, be a mistake in the city’s current environment of empty storefronts in high rent neighborhoods because only Amazon can afford the rent. And right about the time Amazon has opened a storefront in Soho, the beloved bookseller is moving out after the rent was raised to $850,000–a 136% increase. Fear not, the owner is opening again in a new location, but unlike other, less gutsy mom-and-pop proprietors, she has no fear of being very vocal about the issue, Fox5 NY reports.
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More than a dozen organizations have joined together to form A Better Way to LGA in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport (AirTrain LGA). Comprised of community members, economic development groups, transportation advocates, unionized labor, civic stakeholders, and local business leader, the coalition beleives that it is essential to create a viable transit alternative for LaGuardia Airport travelers and workers. The coalition is co-chaired by the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Association for a Better New York, and the New York Building Congress. The group emphasized in a press release announcing their launch that LaGuardia is the only major East Coast airport without a direct rail connection, despite the fact that LaGuardia Airport is currently undergoing an $8 billion complete renovation.
Why ride the train?
, Tue, September 18, 2018
Willets Point from Citi Field. Image: Wiki Commons.
The city and developers have filed preliminary plans to pave a 6.5 acre stretch of city land for 665 parking spots, Crains reports. The economic development site within the industrial neighborhood of Willets Point, in Corona, Queens also known as the Iron Triangle was slated for a cleanup of its toxic soil and the creation of affordable and senior housing, plans which resulted in the demolition of a cluster of small businesses.
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