A 350-bed medical facility will be built at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens to ease the pressure the Elmhurst Hospital has been facing amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Construction began at the site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which hosts the US Open tournament, yesterday. The city’s Emergency Management selected the site to serve as a temporary facility, which will begin treating COVID non-ICU patients beginning next Tuesday, April 7th. The center’s indoor courts will be converted into the medical facility, with its Louis Armstrong Stadium set to become a place for volunteers to assemble 25,000 meal packages per day for patients, workers, and students.
Applications are now being accepted for 16 middle-income new apartments in Jamaica, Queens. The seven-story residential building at 88-56 162nd Street contains 51 units. Located between busy Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue, the rental sits near a number of restaurants and retail spaces, as well as the Rufus King Park, home to the historic King Manor Museum. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the apartments, which range from $1,500/month one-bedrooms to $1,980/month two-bedrooms.
We may not be able to gather together for Easter this year, but we can certainly still place a chocolate order to lift our spirits. And if the Easter Bunny is choosing where to get the best homemade chocolates and candies to fill his basket, Schmidt’s Candy in Woodhaven, Queens would certainly be a top choice. German immigrant Frank Schmidt founded this nearly-century old confectionery shop in 1925. We recently had a chance to tour this iconic shop with Margie Schmidt, Frank’s granddaughter and the third-generation owner. Margie continues to make specialty holiday chocolates and candies by hand using the same recipes that were handed down to her by her father. Ahead, go behind the scenes to see how all these tasty treats are made, tour the historic interior, and learn about the shop’s history from Margie.
All renderings by the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)
According to the master plan for the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard development in Queens, the former storage and maintenance hub for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road will include 12,000 affordable apartments, making it the largest affordable housing development to be built in NYC since the middle-income Co-op City in the Bronx was completed in 1973 (h/t Wall Street Journal). The plan by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) outlines a $14.4 billion deck over the train yard on which the complex would be built. Half the housing in the development would be rental apartments for low-income families earning less than 50 percent of the area median income, with the other half set aside for affordable homeownership programs through Mitchell-Lama. The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) was identified to lead the planning process, and they have just released renderings and maps of the massive development.
Photo by Ezmosis on Wikimedia
An appeals court on Thursday upheld a $6.75 million judgement against a real estate developer who whitewashed 5Pointz, the former graffiti-covered complex in Long Island City. The 32-page decision confirms the decision made by the Federal District Court in 2018 that said developer Jerry Wolkoff of the Wolkoff Group illegally destroyed the building’s colorful murals. In 2014, Wolkoff razed the iconic graffitied warehouse, which had been visible from passing trains since the 90s as a studio and exhibition space for artists. The artists, who unsuccessfully attempted to sue to stop the demolition, filed a second lawsuit in 2015 against Wolkoff, claiming their artwork was of “recognized stature” and protected by the Visual Rights Act.
Listing images by Rare Photography; courtesy of Compass
From its location on the fourth floor, this waterfront condo at 46-30 Center Boulevard in Long Island City (the same building that recently held the neighborhood’s priciest listing) directly overlooks the iconic Pepsi Cola sign. Seeking $1,698,000, the two-bedroom pad spans a generous 1,160 square feet. Common charges will add another $995 to the monthly payments, but due to a pilot tax abatement program, taxes for the property are only $13 a month.
Part of the Welling Court Mural Project; via Wikimedia
Located just steps from the Welling Court Mural Project and Socrates Sculpture Park, a new rental building in Astoria has launched an affordable housing lottery. Fifteen newly constructed units are up for grabs at the Amana Astoria, located at 14-47 29th Avenue. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 70, 80, and 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the apartments, which range from a $990/month studio to a $2,770/month two-bedroom.
Since the 1990s, the Regional Plan Association has been advocating for the restoration of passenger service to a rail line known as the Bay Ridge Branch that runs from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens and is now used as a freight line. The MTA has announced that it will begin a feasibility study to “evaluate the potential for subway, commuter rail, light rail or bus service” along the line, which the agency notes would create the potential for reverse commuting and connect to 19 subway lines and the LIRR. In October, the RPA’s Kate Slevin explained to NY1, “We don’t have unlimited resources here in New York City, as we know, so the fact that we already have tracks there, that are underutilized, really means a lot.”
This past October, Neir’s Tavern in Woodside, Queens celebrated its 190th anniversary. But last week, the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society reported on Twitter that the beloved and historic establishment would close its doors for good on Sunday. Originally opened in 1829 as a saloon called the “Old Blue Pump House,” Neir’s considers itself NYC’s oldest bar. When the tavern was in danger of closing in 2009, a local FDNY member and a group of friends bought and restored it, but in December of 2018, the building was sold unbeknownst to them. According to a Facebook post by Neir’s, they were unable to negotiate a new “affordable long-term lease” with the new owners. But when Mayor de Blasio heard the news, he and the city stepped in and saved the bar from closing.
Courtesy of the TWA Hotel
Between giving Connie, its vintage airplane cocktail lounge shared billing with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in a publicity partnership last December and offering runway ice skating, the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is doing its best to share its Eero Saarinen-designed mid-century fabulousness with the public rather than keeping it under wraps. A new opening adds yet another reason to visit the cool transportation destination: The hotel’s rooftop bar is being transformed into a “runway chalet” for the rest of the winter season.