CITY LAUNCHES ANTI-DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN – WELL START WITH BEING ABLE TO RIDE ON THE SUBWAY IN PEACE

Yes, I totally agrees that everyone has a right to be treated with respect and dignity, but this seems to go out the window with people like DeBlasio or Queens BP Melinda Katz and all the other so-called progressive liberals in this administration when it comes to hard working tax payers who want to be able to ride the subway to and from work without the constant harassment of panhandlers (ILLEGAL), pole dancers (ILLEGAL), homeless people stinking up subway calls and posing a health threat & physical threat from crazy dangerous homeless, young & other disrespectful riders who play or blast music (ILLEGAL) and all the other bullshit on the subway we have deal with on a daily basis and that does not even count all the fuck-ups by MTA (signal problems, train traffic, sick passenger, broken rail, etc) that make our daily rides PAINFUL.

Kind of ironic from a so-called liberal city that does everything it can to keep us pretty much segregated in our various communities. I mean the only time we tend to be all together is on the shitty subway and the daily shitty ride that people like deBlasio does not address, but then what the fuck does he or the other elected officials or MTA big wigs care for, they don’t ride it. By the way deBlasio and Katz, how diverse are your blocks that you live on?

Funny you NEVER hear from Katz on any quality of life issues, but she sure knows how to play this particular card, especially during election time. I never hear her bring up the environmental racism (or deBlasio), like Jamaica having a huge polluting waste facility (Royal Waste) in a residential area or the the South Bronx and North Brooklyn area that has even more bigger and more polluting waste dumps and are communities of color.

What hypocrites. Liberal Democrats tend to be the biggest hypocrites around. At least far right conservative Republicans don’t make any bones about who they are and this is where I find liberal Democrats like deBlasio and Katz much more dangerous. Speaking with forked tongues.

But it is much easier to focus on this issue and pump out several posters without having to get your hands dirty and do actual work to improve quality of life issues for EVERYONE.

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From Queens Times Ledger:

City launches anti-discrimination campaign as bias incidents rise

The city launches a new citywide ad campaign to counter the rise in reports of discrimination and harassment against vulnerable New Yorkers.
By Bill Parry

Following a 60 percent increase in reports of discrimination to the city’s Commission on Human Rights in 2016, a trend that continues into 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a citywide anti-discrimination campaign Tuesday. Advertisement, videos, community events and public service announcements will affirm New Yorkers right to live, work and pray free from discrimination and harassment.

“It is now more important than ever for New Yorkers to stand united as one city and reject hatred and intolerance,” de Blasio said. “In New York City, our diversity is our strength. It does not matter where we come from, who we love or who we worship. We are all New Yorkers, and deserve to be treated with dignity. Regardless of the national rhetoric, we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination in our city.”

Campaign ads and poster will appear in English and Spanish in more than 3,400 placements citywide over the next six weeks, including on subways, bus shelters and ferry terminals, in houses of worship, ethnic and community radios and newspapers and social media. The ads feature six individuals standing up to scenarios of discrimination and harassment commonly experienced by vulnerable New Yorkers, including Jewish, Muslim, Hispanic, Asian, Black and LGBTQ New Yorkers.

“At a time when bias incidents are on the rise, this campaign sends a clear message to all New Yorkers that they do have the right to live free from discrimination and harassment and that NYC has your back. No one has permission to discriminate against you or your community. If they do, rest assured that the NYC Commission on Human Rights will hold them accountable.”

The commission is currently investigating 30 percent more complaints of discrimination than this time last year, with more than 1,600 current open cases of discrimination compared to 1,200 in May 2015.

“Incidents of bias and discrimination have been occurring with more frequency throughout New York City and across the country. This is not OK,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “Now, it is more important than ever for New Yorkers to stand together against discrimination in all forms. If you see something, say something. If you witness an incident, call it out and report it to the commission. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and Queens denounces any act of discrimination, whether micro-aggression or blatant.”

If you feel you have been discriminated against, take action. Contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights at 718-722-3131 .

NOTHING LIKE NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS (CLYDE VANEL) KISSING ASSES OF PAST JAMAICA HACK ELECTED OFFICIALS (ARCHIE “THE DEAN” SPIGNER) WITH SOME TOTALLY MEANINGLESS VIDEO

This crap came from SE Queens Council member Clyde Vanel. I mean what is the whole point of this self-indulgent video that does not show ONE positive accomplishment, from yet another in a LONG line of SE Queens political hacks.

So VANEL, what was the damn point of sending this crap out to your constituents. AND just like many have not heard the ghetto term “The Ave” used to describe Jamaica Avenue, who the fuck ever heard Spigner called “The Dean”.

What fucking utter bullshit. Just like his Comrie who followed him in office for 3 terms, not a damn thing to show for Jamaica that shows MAJOR IMPROVEMENT.

Christ, the beginning of this bullshit video shows EXACTLY what is wrong with Jamaica: Flake, Meeks, Comrie & Crook (I mean Cook). I mean it starts off with crap, ends with crap and has a whole lot of CRAP in the middle.

AGAIN, what was the fucking point of this totally useless video. Can we just live some shit where it belongs, IN THE FUCKING PAST.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgGx3Jpktzo&feature=youtu.be

 

THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL IN HOLLIS: HOLLIS GARDEN SUPPORTIVE HOUSING APARTMENTS VERY PROBLEMATIC – DID NOT NEED A CRYSTAL BALL FOR THAT ONE

I mean did you expect Noble Peace prize winners and other upstanding civilized citizens moving into supportive housing.

Okay, let’s break this down:

Hollis Garden Apartments, a supportive housing residence run by HELP USA, in Hollis, in the Greater Jamaica Area in SE Queens with elected officials like Senator Leroy Comrie and then you wonder why there are quality of life issues like prostitution, pan handling,  men exposing themselves, drinking, drug use and loitering. AND if you look at statistics, you will see that 311, 911 and crime have all gone up in that vicinity.  I mean did you expect anything less from supportive housing not run properly by HELP USA or any other non-profit making money from the homeless situation and giving a big FUCK YOU to the community.

Yes, Virginia, not all homeless are cute little kids.

And as some residents of Hollis noted:

Several also accused Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) of dragging their feet when it came to trying to stop the project.

Yes, Virginia, not surprising that the black ebony political gangsters sold the community out. AND NO Virginia, they would never have tried to pull that crap in a majority white community because a majority white community would not tolerate the bullshit that a majority black community ALWAYS tolerates, because many in those communities seem to not give a shit what goes on. Just go to a community board meeting or a police community council meeting in Jamaica, where problems are sky high, and you will see a low attendance turn-out.

REALITY FOLKS………………………You get the community you deserve. It is not rocket science.

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From Queens Chronicle:

Hollis Ave. residence has neighbors riled

May 30 meeting summoning public to talk quality-of-life shortcomings

Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 10:30 am

Long before it opened, residents along the Hollis Avenue corridor suspected there would be trouble with the supportive housing that had been the decades-vacant Stark apartment buildings.

Emma Dawson and Charlotte Thornton of the Hollis Local Development Corp. told the Chronicle that the last 16 months have proven them correct to a large degree.

“Not all of the people at the Stark houses are causing problems, and not all of our problems are coming from the Stark houses,” Dawson said. But they do see a spike in lewd and illegal behavior at the complex that now is Help USA’s Hollis Garden Apartments.

So the group will host a meeting at 7 p.m. this coming Tuesday at IS 192 to discuss what problems have manifested themselves in the last 16 months, and what they believe can be done about it.

Thornton and Dawson said the meeting is open to the public, and that both elected officials and representatives of Help USA, which operates the buildings, have been invited to attend.

Dawson said there has been a marked increase in aggressive panhandling and prostitution. Thornton said parents of children at nearby schools have reported an increase in men exposing themselves.

There are schools nearby, as well as a daycare center, a playground and a branch of the Queens Library.

“It’s the kind of park where you are only allowed in if you have a child,” Dawson said. “But recently we found liquor bottles there.”

Thornton said one of the library’s proposed solutions is to remove a bench from the area just outside the building.

“That’s something the community would like to keep,” she said.

Dawson said that because Help USA bills the property as permanent housing rather than just a shelter, it is more difficult to compel residents to avail themselves of the social and medical services available on-site.

“And there are people who look like they need those services,” Dawson said.

“Parents are afraid to send their children to the park alone,” Thornton said. “Senior citizens used to be able to walk the street. You don’t see that as much anymore.”

Dawson pleaded a similar case last Wednesday at a meeting of Community Board 12. Chairwoman Adrienne Adams told the Chronicle that few people in the area are surprised.

“We saw the writing on the wall in 2015,” Adams said. She said the library has had a number of incidents requiring police intervention.

The buildings, ranging from 202-02 to 202-24 Hollis Ave., had been vacant for more than 20 years when the buildings were proposed as a homeless shelter. In the summer of 2015 bunk beds had been moved in during the renovation process.

The proposal then was changed to a shelter for homeless veterans.

The civic organization People for the Neighborhood in late 2015 successfully stalled the startup for three months by securing a legal injunction.

Numerous residents accused the de Blasio administration of trying to sneak the development in with no public notice or input; and than of stonewalling and strongarming as details began to come out and residents raised objections.

Several also accused Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) of dragging their feet when it came to trying to stop the project.

The courts subsequently ruled against them, allowing Help USA to increase the number of residents. Adams on Monday recalled the meeting that included the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and representatives of Help USA.

“They were supposed to be the agency, a group celebrated for their role in taking over management,” she said.

Help USA representatives could not be reached for comment.

IS 192 is located at 109-89 204 St. in St. Albans.

 

SHITTY NEW YORK – WORST SUBWAY, STREETS, TRAINS, QUALITY OF LIFE & NOW AIRPORTS

But then we all know that NYC SUCKS, this just confirms what a shitty expensive city this crap hole is.

So whether it is by foot, car, subway, trains, planes, expect major fuck-ups and expect not getting where you want on time or even getting there. BUT hey, keep cramming more people into this third world country known as the Big Apple.

So, is there really anything worth staying here………………………I don’t think so. NYC lost it’s shine and it’s uniqueness, decades ago. Now it is Duane Reades, Walgreens, Banks, fast food joints and homeless, TONS OF THEM.

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From Queens Courier:

LaGuardia and JFK Airports experience more flight delays in the summer than other busy airports around the country.
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Thomas Lillis IV

If you’re planning to fly out of LaGuardia or JFK Airports for your summer vacation, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a delay.

Milecards.com, a website that gives tips on earning travel rewards points, analyzed federal Department of Transportation airport on time arrival data during the summers of 2007 through 2016. According to the data, LaGuardia ranks second in most summer travel delays while JFK ranks fourth. Newark Airport in New Jersey is the worst offender.

At LaGuardia Airport, just 66.9 percent of flights arrive on time and at JFK Airport, 69.2 percent of flights arrive on time. Both airports also have more summer delays than winter delays and 40 percent of the 50 busiest airports experience more delays in the summer than in the winter.

The study also found that June is the worst month for summer delays, with 76 percent of the 50 busiest airports experiencing more delays in June than in July or August. Airlines for America, an airline industry trade organization, estimates that  234.1 million passengers will travel worldwide on American Airlines between June and August 2017. This number represents a 4 percent increase from last year.

Both LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport are going through renovations but until those are complete MileCards.com encourages fliers to try to book early morning flights, which are less likely to experience delays and to frequently check mobile apps from specific airlines or FlightAware.com to know in advance if your flight is supposed to get in late.

Chart via Milecards.com

THE BLACK “HOPE” AT JAMAICA’S TRANSFORMATION

There are some in Jamaica (well maybe more than a some) who are already complaining about Jamaica’s transformation just with the news of a mediocre Chipotle opening on Jamaica Avenue, like Chipotle is a symbol of “gentrification”. I mean the idiotic stupid ghettoish remarks have already been appearing on Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook Page and on this blog. Idiotic comments like:

LEAVE QUEENS ALONE WHITE PEOPLEARE NOT WELCOMED,not trynah be racist but I’m tired of white people taking over the hood like go to Ohio or something,the Ave has always been an Urban neighborhood for people who can’t afford good housing,EVERY WHERE WHITE PEOPLE GO THEY JUS HAVE TO TAKE OVER LIKE NOOOOOOOOO WE DONT WANTYOU

they really making jamaica white again smh

Gentrification. They trynna fix the area up so more white people will invest in it and push the minority’s out

FUCKING NEWSFLASH Folks: Many folks behind improving Jamaica (I meant what, you want Jamaica to continue being a trashed ghetto for another decade, I mean the down slide started in the late 60’s, 70’s and continued all the way to the present), are not white, but black and other ethnic folks as well. People like Justin Rodgers (Managing Director, Real Estate and Economic Development) of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Rhonda Binda (Executive Director) of Jamaica BID, a name from Jamaica’s past is new again (Laurel Brown), who was Executive Director for Jamaica BID for several years before leaving for a position in Brooklyn, is back in Jamaica as Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, and Hope Knight, president of GJDC to name a few.

The article below about Hope Knight is from February and some of the items mentioned below either did not happen, fell through or will happen.

I totally disagree with Ms. Knight’s comment about developing all the parking lots in Jamaica (which GJDC owns five).

Replacing parking lots makes the most sense; Jamaica already generally moves by public transportation. Aside from the E, the J, the (mythical) Z and F subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, there is a bus hub with about two-dozen lines. (There are so many buses zigzagging around Jamaica that the official city bus map has a separate Jamaica inset.) Plus new developments generally have underground parking.

One, Jamaica does not generally move by public transportation, there are plenty who use cars and many who live in Jamaica own cars as well as people who come to the area. If you ever look at the parking lots, many are filled up. Also do we need every inch of space to be developed into some massive building that causes more people, more congestion, more traffic. Christ, keep some open space to breathe.

So for those who want to scream WHITE, read and learn something for a change.

ANOTHER NEWSFLASH: Many black people don’t want their community to be trashy ghetto, far from it. So stop continually this myth.

Jamaica had a nice too long run as a ghetto, now it is time for some decent change. So know it is time for the “Black Hope, Jamaica’s Shining Knight”.

The Black Jamaica Hope.

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From Commercial Observer:

Meet Hope Knight, the Woman at the Center of Jamaica’s Transformation


 


Before Hope Knight became the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) almost two years ago, she walked the neighborhood to get a sense of what it was like.

The East Harlem-born and raised Knight hadn’t actually been in eastern Queens in many years. She had been busy bouncing around the globe with various roles in numerous companies before landing as the chief operating officer of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) in 2002, an organization founded to revitalize deteriorating communities by injecting public funds to lure private investments.

She may have not been familiar with Downtown Jamaica (also known as DoJam for those looking to give the area a cute sobriquet), but Knight, now 52, saw elements that reminded her of one of UMEZ’s chief areas—Harlem—as she canvassed Jamaica Avenue, including a transportation hub, retail corridors, population diversity and historic places.

“I felt like Jamaica and the Downtown [area were] very similar, particularly Jamaica Avenue, to 125th Street in 2004,” Knight, who took over the GJDC role in May 2015, told Commercial Observer. “And [they were] approximately 10 years behind the development of that central corridor.”

Harlem now is buzzing with development, a thriving restaurant row and a host of retailers who have gotten in on the action, including Whole Foods Market, P.C. Richards & Son and H&M, thanks in part to Knight’s work with UMEZ. But since she started working in Jamaica the change, which had been set in motion decades prior, is starting to take effect. There are more than 3,666 new apartments and 2,194 hotel rooms planned for the Queens neighborhood, by GJDC’s count. And Knight is finding her role is to maintain the growth of Jamaica while still keeping it affordable.

“I knew that this community was positioned for continued revitalization, and I believe that I could employ some of the tools and actually that created change in Upper Manhattan,” Knight said.  

BRP Companies' 669-unit development near the AirTrain station in Jamaica called The Crossings at Jamaica Station. Photo: FXFOWLE
BRP Companies’ 669-unit development near the AirTrain station in Jamaica called The Crossings at Jamaica Station. Photo: FXFOWLE

Before she knew it, she was already advocating for the largest planned development in Jamaica.

GJDC selected developer BRP Companies for a project at 93-01 Sutphin Boulevard in 2012. GDJC owned the property, which was home to a Duane Reade and low-rise mixed-use buildings, since 2001 and agreed to sell it to BRP if the developer would build a large mixed-use project to spur growth in Jamaica. The sale closed in 2015 for $19.5 million.

BRP is currently constructing The Crossings at Jamaica Station at the site, a two-building, 669-unit residential complex with 40,000 square feet of retail and community space. The project will be targeting a mix of low- to middle-income families with its studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms units. The development will encompass 737,000 square feet with one 25-story and one 14-story building. In January, BRP closed on about $324 million in financing from the city for the project. It is currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2019.

Although GJDC had been partnering on the site with BRP years prior to Knight’s arrival, the developer still needed her support when she came aboard to convince city agencies and politicians to get behind the project. And Knight delivered.

“Hope’s stewardship was consistent with our original plan,” said Meredith Marshall, a managing partner and co-founder of BRP. “Everything we needed—engagement with the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority], we needed to present to the borough president—we sought their advice and they were supportive along the way. She had to be really behind this to help push it forward.”

But Knight’s work as an advocate for new development is just beginning. GDJC owns five parking lots totaling 761,853 square feet in the area, and is planning to convert them into developments through partnerships with private developers.

Replacing parking lots makes the most sense; Jamaica already generally moves by public transportation. Aside from the E, the J, the (mythical) Z and F subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, there is a bus hub with about two-dozen lines. (There are so many buses zigzagging around Jamaica that the official city bus map has a separate Jamaica inset.) Plus new developments generally have underground parking.

What Jamaica does need, Knight believes, is more housing to accommodate the burgeoning population. As a case in point, GDJC announced a partnership with developer Blumenfeld Development Group in 2013 for the development of two adjacent lots that the nonprofit owns on 168th Street into a retail complex of 160,000 square feet for big-box retailers and 550 parking spaces. After a local and political push for more housing, the developer announced amended plans in January 2015 so the project could include about 100,000 square feet of housing.

But in February 2016, the plans were quashed by both GJDC and Blumenfeld under Knight’s leadership.

Then in September 2016, GJDC released a revised request for proposals (RFP) seeking a development partner for just one of the open-air parking lots, located at 90-02 168th Street, for a whopping 497,500-square-foot project with 250 affordable apartments. Just 75,000 square feet has been designated for retail at the moment. And a developer has yet to be announced. (No word yet on when the remaining four lots will be offered up for sale.)

“I just think that the economy changes priorities, particularly on the residential side,” Knight said. “That project did not accommodate [enough] residential development, and now we are a point where residential development is clearly needed in this community.”

Knight has two fundamental passions that have guided her career choices: real estate and finance.  

Like many Manhattanites, Knight grew up admiring the city’s buildings, many of which pioneered the current age of supertalls. She studied business at Marymount Manhattan College, from which she graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree. (Today she is the chairwoman of the board of trustees of her alma mater.)

Upon graduation, she had a stint as an operations manager at Bloomingdale’s, then she transitioned to the city’s Department of General Services (today known as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services), where she was involved in the city’s acquisition and disposition of real estate. While working for the city, Knight earned an executive MBA from the University of Chicago and started working in financial services at Accenture Management Consulting in Manhattan. Then in 1997 she moved to Tokyo to work for Morgan Stanley as a vice president of e-commerce. (When asked if she could speak Japanese, she replied, “Sukoshi dake,” meaning, “only a little.”) She returned to the Big Apple in 2000 and continued working for the financial services firm until 2002.

Since she was traveling a lot for work meetings and had a son (who today is 15 years old), she decided to change her lifestyle and left Morgan Stanley. She found an opportunity to settle in New York City at UMEZ.

That job allowed her to combine her passions.  

“I thought it would be interesting to work at the intersection of community development and finance,” she said.

UMEZ offers many small business owners in Harlem financing to help grow their businesses. It also gave funds to historic institutions such as the Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum in Harlem. As its COO, Knight played a big role in revitalizing Harlem before she left the position for GJDC in mid-2015.

That December, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Knight as one of the 13 members of the City Planning Commission (CPC). Thanks to regulations set by the city’s Conflict of Interest Board, Knight wouldn’t be able to weigh in on items pertaining Jamaica.

She would have to recuse herself if city planning was voting on another rezoning of the neighborhood, for example.

Besides conflict of interest issues, taking on the CPC role limits her free time.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation selected Omni New York to develop its former NYPD parking lot in Jamaica into a mixed-use complex. Photo: Courtesy Omni New York
The New York City Economic Development Corporation selected Omni New York to develop its former NYPD parking lot in Jamaica into a mixed-use complex. Photo: Courtesy Omni New York

“Almost all of the work and preparation needed for CPC review sessions and hearings is done on the weekends, so I am very busy working most weekends,” she said.

Jamaica Avenue and Harlem’s 125th Street may have seemed like a similar situation, but people had great expectations for her at GJDC after what Jamaica has been through. The area has been a deteriorating neighborhood since major retailers Macy’s, Gertz and May’s all left in the 1970s and 80s, along with financial institutions.

Carlisle Towery, the first president of the GJDC, spent more than four decades fighting for more public spending and infrastructure improvements in the area. He got it with more transportation: the extension of the subway lines to Parsons Boulevard and the AirTrain station, the latter which connects travelers to John F. Kennedy Airport.  

Towery was also credited with being a major force behind the city’s decision to move York College, a City University of New York institution, to the neighborhood from sharing space at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens.

And in 2007, the neighborhood got a much sought after rezoning in its Downtown, allowing investors to build bigger and more denser commercial and residential projects. The resolution was pushed by then Councilwoman Melinda Katz, who was chair of the land use committee, and is today the Queens borough president. The recession put plans on hold and Towery ended up retiring, but many projects are finally starting up again with Knight in the middle of it all.

“I think she is doing well,” said Towery, who served in an advisory role with GJDC until October 2016. “I have watched and read news about Jamaica, and applauded. The future for Jamaica looks very, very bright to me. And she’ll steer it very well. She is quite bright and entrepreneurial. I haven’t seen anything but progress since I left.”

“Hope has big shoes of her own,” said Melva Miller, the deputy Queens borough president who has worked with Knight on various initiatives. “She brings added value to the position. I think the time when Carlisle was the president of the GDJC there was a need that Carlisle was able to fill—convince the public sector that Jamaica was a place to invest. Hope‘s job and responsibility is about managing that growth. And I think she has done a very good job doing that.”

Public and private dollars are starting to roll into the area with the city’s Jamaica NOW Action Plan, which promises $153 million worth of funding for new developments and organizations to foster businesses and the arts. Thanks to that plan, there are now 18 WiFi kiosks in Downtown Jamaica, which allows free internet access throughout the neighborhood.

Also as part of the plan, the city announced last month the development of an old New York Police Department parking lot at 168th Street between Jamaica and Archer Avenues into a 450,000-square-foot mixed-use development with more than 350 affordable apartment and recreational and commercial spaces. The New York City Economic Development Corporation selected former Mets slugger Mo Vaughn’s Omni New York to develop the property. 

Able Management Group's Hilton Garden Inn in Jamaica will have a rooftop bar.
Able Management Group’s Hilton Garden Inn in Jamaica will have a rooftop bar. Photo: GF55 Partners.

In the private world, hotels, housing and retail are all under way. On the opposite site of the LIRR tracks from BRP mega-development, Able Management Group is constructing a 27-story Hilton Garden Inn with 225 hotel rooms at 93-47 Sutphin Boulevard. The Chetrit Group is converting the defunct Mary Immaculate Hospital at 150-13 89th Avenue into 324 apartments, according to New York City Department of Buildings records. And Flushing-based developer Jia Shu Xu is building a two-pack Marriott Courtyard, with 224 rooms, and Fairfield Inn & Suites, with 114 rooms, at 148-18 Archer Avenue. The project is expected to be completed this year.

Also, United American Land is erecting a 150,000-square-foot retail complex on Jamaica Avenue. The project is under construction and with a slated completion time of next year. United American Land has already signed a 35,000-square-foot lease with H&M and a 70,000-square-foot deal with Burlington Coat Factory. The development has retail space spanning the basement to the fourth floor.

“Jamaica Avenue is one of the great urban retail strips that is underdeveloped and retailers are looking for new markets,” said Albert Laboz, a principal at United American Land. “The TJ Maxxs and the H&Ms, the malls and suburbia is dead to them. There is no business. The urban market is new to them. [Jamaica] is something where the rents are not out of control and they can still make money. And that’s really the bottom line. There is no better underserved market in Queens than Jamaica.”

The commercial market is still in its infancy in Jamaica. But Empire State Development selected York College as the only school in Queens for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Startup-NY initiative, which offers 10 years of freedom from taxes to new and expanding businesses near eligible universities and colleges. Knight’s office is working with the school in the vetting and selection of those businesses, which would partner with the school. The first of those businesses will be announced shortly, Knight said.   

With the dizzying amount of change occurring in Jamaica, one thing that worries many is the G word (i.e., gentrification). Knight is paying close attention to this, and it’s why she has advocated for housing that is for families with low to middle income.

“The parcels of land that we have sold for residential development have been specifically identified to develop mixed-income residential units,” Knight said. “We are looking at providing housing for a wide range of family incomes and accessibility.”

Big on Knight’s wish list for Jamaica is what may seem like a simple request: more sit-down restaurants. While Jamaica Avenue is bursting at the seams with national fast-food joints like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Subway, and local ones, like Golden Crust, the highest-priced eatery is the Applebee’s on the second floor of 161-21 Jamaica Avenue.

Many in Jamaica leave for work (to places like Manhattan) in the morning, and when they come back in the evening, it’s to sleep. While there is shopping for necessities, groceries and clothes, the dearth of people staying in the area has resulted in slim restaurant options, according to Winick Realty Group’s Daniel DePasquale.

“The day-time population isn’t there. There are not a lot of offices, so at lunchtime there are not a lot of bodies there,” explained DePasquale, who is marketing spaces on Jamaica Avenue to national retailers. “No one is really going to go there for dinner time. Once the sun goes down on Jamaica Avenue, you don’t have much activity there.”

Knight is well aware of the problem and is advocating for more sit-down restaurants and entertainment options to various real estate professionals. Of note though is a rooftop bar at the Hilton Garden Inn that is under development.

“One of the things that is absent from the community is sort of a nightlife, because there isn’t that much residential density in the community, but that is going to change,” Knight said. “While these projects are being developed we also want to create some dining and entertainment infrastructure to support the new residents and existing ones.”

She added, “Three to five years from now, Jamaica will be a very different community in terms of scale and the availability of amenities here. And that is just going to continue to build.”

JAMAICA’S NEWEST 380 APARTMENT BUILDING ON 94TH AVE OFF SUTPHIN IS CURRENTLY THE TALLEST BUILDING IN JAMAICA

Coming soon

Jamaica’s newest development, J1(not sure what the actual name will be) by GF55 Partners on 94 Ave off Sutphin, a few blocks from the now gone notorious drug den strip joint, Club Kalua, where Sean Bell was killed back in 2006, is currently the tallest building in Jamaica, Downtown Jamaica (saying that to piss some folks off) and put up in a record breaking less than 10 months.

GF55 Partners (a top notch architecture firm) are also doing the Hilton Garden Inn across from the LIRR station, and will include a roof top bar (http://gf55.com/projects/hotels/hilton-garden-inn/). So if Chipotle got some folks panties in a wad, wait till they take a look at this.

Rendering of the Hilton Garden Inn on Stuphin across from the LIRR station.

Rendering of the Hilton Garden Inn on Stuphin across from the LIRR station (Roof top Bar).

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Before (2013)

AMERICAN CITIES ARE RUNNING OUT OF ROOM, NO MORE ROOM AT THE INN

No surprise that our American cities are running out of room to build while the population increases for various reasons and no where do you see this most than in the most fucked up city in the country, the rotten big apple, which has the worst quality of life of all the American cities.

A huge building boom in many cities are killing them and allowing only the mega rich to move in, although those not in that league still come to the cities and cram a small place with way too many people in it. Not only that, but there is very few room left to build anywhere in some cities, I mean look at LIC, one of the most over built and over development areas in NYC.

It also doesn’t help that 1) people are living much longer, 2) people have way too many kids, especially the lower-economic ones who don’t have the money to take care a a fish, let along 4, 5 and 6 kids. And then we have countries in Africa and the Middle East that are emptying out at record rates to over burdened Europe and this here country as well. An until these people start taking back their countries they once called home, both USA and Europe are going to be over-populated messes where infrastructure can no longer handle the population, food and water become scarce, where neighborhoods will look like third world countries, diseases ramp up, homeless people increase, crime rises, drug addiction ramps up and unemployment increases since there are not enough jobs for all those people. What a mess.

Welcome to the new America and welcome to our dying planet……………………………….

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From Bloomberg:

America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room

Everyone wants to live downtown, but only the rich can afford it. And it’s getting worse.

May 22, 2017, 4:00 AM EDT
 

QuickTake: The American Dream of Home Ownership

A shortage of homes for sale has bedeviled U.S. house hunters in recent years, so why don’t builders build more? One problem is that they’re running out of lots to build on—at least in the places that people want to live.

Cities that were sprawling before the Great Recession have begun to sprawl again. Space-constrained cities, meanwhile, have run out of room to build. That reality has spurred developers to focus on center-city neighborhoods where high-density building is allowed—and new units command exceedingly high prices.

At some point, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, vacant lots in desirable urban neighborhoods will run out. “If you have three days of rations left, you’ll be fine on day one, two, three,” said Romem, author of new research demonstrating home construction patterns. “On day 4, you have a problem.”

Historically, cities grew outward, as builders developed tracts on the periphery—then filled in the land between various developments over time. When these so-called expansive cities of the South and Southwest run out of infill land on which to build, developers simply pushed out further.

Some of these cities, like Austin and Nashville, have seen downtown boomlets. But more broadly, the building trends in those metros looks more like Dallas: Inside a 30-mile radius from the center of the city, new home sales decreased from 2000 to 2015. Outside the radius, though, sales are up by more than 50 percent. The same trend has played out to varying degrees in Phoenix, Atlanta, and San Antonio, among other cities.

In America’s most expensive cities, however, that dynamic has been turned inside out (or perhaps outside in). New construction trends in places like New York City have been tightly focused on downtown clusters where zoning rules permit high-density construction. These cities stopped expanding their geographic footprint decades ago, leaving builders to concentrate on finding buildable lots inside existing boundaries. As those lots became harder to find, land prices increase, reducing options for builders hoping to turn a profit. Developers building on pricey lots generally seek to offset land prices by building more densely, Romem said. In many cases, that means focusing on high-end apartments that offer better profit margins. The wealthiest residents are the only ones who can buy, and a vicious cycle is created.

 

Lately, there has been some give as oversupply of new high-end apartments forces landlords in New York and San Francisco to drop prices on expensive aeries. Still, the broader pattern continues to lean in the direction of higher rents.

What happens next depends on whether voters and their elected officials rewrite zoning rules to allow denser construction, said Romem, particularly in neighborhoods currently limited to single-family homes. Under current rules, he said, it’s unlikely new housing will get built at affordable prices, pushing city-dwellers into a game of musical chairs rigged to favor the rich.

“As long as these cities continue to do well economically, you’re going see poorer folks replaced by richer folks,” he said. “You’re going to read stories about teachers not being able to find place to live.”