February 16, 2023

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🍔 Food & Restaurants

LIC's Foodcellar Markets Paving the Way for Frictionless Shopping Experiences with Instacart Scan & Pay


Good Food Holdings is leveraging Instacart's Connected Stores initiative to bring its customers a frictionless shopping experience, while Foodcellar Markets in Long Island City is the first retailer to roll out Instacart Scan & Pay technology for a smooth online and in-store shopping journey.

"Ancestral Coffees, DoughCo Bagels Join Food Scene in LIC and Westchester"!

Ancestral Coffees, based in Harrison, and DoughCo Bagels from Croton-on-Hudson are now available at the Ossining Farmers Market, with DoughCo delivering to and pop-ups at breweries in Brooklyn, Long Island City (LIC), and Westchester.

An Unbelievable Bargain: Wines Under $20 from LIC, Languedoc and Burgenland

Château Puech Redon Vin de France Apparente Rouge 2019 and Nittnaus Burgenland Anita Red Blend 2018 from Languedoc and Burgenland respectively, as well as Meinklang Burgenland White 2020, sourced from near the Hungarian border, and Early Mountain Vineyards Virginia Chambourcin Young Wine 2021 from Long Island City (LIC), all offer great bargains under $20.

🏠 Real Estate

City Adding More Carshare Parking Spots to Queens Neighborhoods

The Department of Transportation has announced that Long Island City (LIC), Woodside, and other Queens neighborhoods will receive additional carshare parking spots to join the city-sponsored program, which started in 2018. Already, over 280 parking spaces have been designated for carshare vehicles throughout the city, and 80 more spots will be added in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Related Fund Management and BentallGreenOak Surrender The Point LIC to BrightSpire Capital following Default on CMBS Loan

Related Fund Management and BentallGreenOak (BGO) have surrendered their Long Island City office complex, The Point LIC, after defaulting on a CMBS loan. The two-building campus, which included the Paragon and Blanchard Buildings, has now been taken through a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure arrangement with BrightSpire Capital.

NoHo Named Most Liveable NYC Neighborhood for Renters in RentHop's Neighborhood Index

NoHo, located in Manhattan, was named the most liveable NYC neighborhood for renters in RentHop's Neighborhood Index. NoHo scored the top spot thanks to few rodent complaints, car crashes, and housing code violations. Brooklyn's Downtown Brooklyn also scored highly, while Queens' Long Island City (LIC) achieved the highest score in the borough thanks to its many subway stations and parks.

Real Estate Investment Frenzy in NYC: Maddd Equities, Joy Construction, Empire Capital Holdings, & Rockrose Development Make Major Deals

Last week, Maddd Equities and Joy Construction bought a development site at 375 West 207th Street in Inwood for $27.8 million and Empire Capital Holdings sold a mixed-use building at 324 Grand Street on the Lower East Side for $23.8 million. Additionally, entities tied to Rockrose Development and Oren Evenhar purchased development sites in Long Island City (LIC) for $22 million and $21.1 million respectively.

Brookfield Secures Deals for Key Manhattan Projects as Office Space Availability Rate Increases due to Pandemic

Brookfield has secured deals for 2 Manhattan West and Vornado's Penn 2 projects, with Manhattan's overall office space under construction totaling 13 million square feet. This includes SL Green's 1 Madison Avenue and the Googleplex at 550 Washington Street, along with Amazon's aborted second headquarters project in Long Island City (LIC). January 2021 saw an availability rate of 16.9% for office space in Manhattan, with the pandemic causing an increase of 69.4%.

MNS Real Estate Reports Slight Increase in Queens Home Sales, NYC Rental Prices Stable


MNS Real Estate's January market report shows a 0.89% increase in sales in Queens, with the highest price rise from studio and two-bedroom apartments in Rego Park and Astoria. Long Island City rental prices have stayed consistent with an average rental price at $3,237, $4,011, and $5,563 for studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms respectively. Manhattan apartment rent hit a record high of $4,097 in January, while rent prices in Long Island City (LIC) remained mostly unchanged.

LIC Coalition for Shelter Offers Long-Term Support to CUNY Students Experiencing Homelessness

CUNY students struggling with housing insecurity and homelessness can now access a support system and housing in Long Island City (LIC), with the help of the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter's pilot program. This long-term investment can help these students obtain the academic credentials needed to lift themselves out of poverty.

Ann Sacks Increases Presence in LIC with 20,000-square-foot Lease

Ann Sacks has leased a 20,000-square-foot studio and showroom in LIC's The Cardinal Building, represented by James Ferrigno of JLL for the landlord and Tyler Clutts of Cresa for the tenant.

LIC Make It Right Houses and Hunters Point Library Hit with Legal Disputes and Settlements

Designed by notable architects such as David Adjaye, Frank Gehry, Morphosis and Shigeru Ban, Make It Right houses in Long Island City (LIC) were subject to a $20.5 million legal settlement after reports of water leaks, black mould, and fault foundations; while LIC's Hunters Point Library was also involved in a class action lawsuit for not being wheelchair accessible.

🗳️ Politics

LIC Comes Alive: New Rental Construction, Office Space Conversion, and A New Rail Tunnel Boost NYC's Long Island City

New York City is seeing a rental construction boom and the possibility of converting underutilized office space in Manhattan into housing, particularly in LIC which saw an influx of Asian residents and an Art Deco office tower become a residential complex. The city is also receiving a $292 million grant to build a new railway tunnel and its labor force is recovering post-pandemic.

Gov. Hochul Fails to Secure Chief Judge Role, Opens Humanitarian Relief Center in LIC

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was unsuccessful in her attempt to replace Janet DiFiore, who resigned last year, as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, but has decided to open the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center in Long Island City (LIC) to help the more than 45,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in the Big Apple since spring.

Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn NYC Vaccine Mandate: Thousands of Teachers File Petition Seeking Job Security and Choice

Thousands of New York City teachers who were denied exemptions from the city’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement have filed a lawsuit in state court against the government that dismissed them. Led by Teachers For Choice, the lawsuit seeks their jobs back, along with back pay and retirement benefits. Parents at P.S./I.S. 78 in Long Island City expressed their support for the teachers, saying they should be given the freedom of choice, and their services are sorely missed. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the city’s vaccine mandate, and the New York City law department has stated that it will review the case once served.

North Brooklynites Unite to Fight District Splitting, Keep Communities United

North Brooklynites are advocating against a proposal to split Assembly District 50 in half, with the East portion moving to a Queens-based district represented by Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar. This would split Williamsburg and Greenpoint, with parts of Long Island City (LIC) being in the new Assembly District 38. At the upcoming IRC hearing, they will be pushing to keep their neighborhood intact, rather than have their needs muted due to the Queens majority.

The Unexpected Fallout from Amazon's Cancellation in Long Island City: 25,000 Jobs Lost and No Replacement

Amazon's canceled plans for Long Island City in 2019 resulted in the loss of 25,000 jobs, with current initiatives failing to make up for this, leaving the area with zero new jobs and the Plaxall plastics factory having closed. Politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gianaris, Jimmy Van Bramer and Corey Johnson who were at the centre of the opposition have gone on to do well while Amazon has gone on to lay off 18,000 of its 1.5 million workers.

Queens Democratic Party Unanimously Backs Six Candidates, First Openly Gay Judge Among Them

The Queens County Democratic Party voted unanimously to support five candidates for various spots on the Queens Civil Court bench, including Antonio Alfonso, Sandra Perez, Sandra Muñoz, Michael Goldman, Delsia Marshall and Evelyn Gong, with Goldman running for a vacancy in the 1st Municipal District, which includes Long Island City. Goldman, if elected, would become the first openly gay judge elected to the Queens bench. This diverse slate reflects the party's commitment to diversifying the bench, which currently consists of 45% white judges despite Queens's population being only 25% white.

Bally's Bronx Casino Dream in Jeopardy: Ocasio-Cortez and Preceding Waste Dump Put Plans in Doubt

Bally's has reached an agreement with the Trump organization to take control of 17 acres of their leased land at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx which could allow them to build a casino. However, their plans could be stalled due to opposition from local politicians, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the fact that it was previously a waste dump. This is especially true as similar development plans in Long Island City (LIC) were blocked by Ocasio-Cortez in the past.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez Explores Vision for LIC's Astoria Waterfront Arts District

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toured the proposed Astoria Waterfront Arts District with community members on Feb. 13 to learn more about the project, which would stretch from Astoria Boulevard down to Rainey Park and its numerous cultural institutions, and formerly represented Long Island City (LIC) in her district.

🌲 Random

✅ What Happened

The Surprising Emergence of Talking Heads' Big Band at Brit Row Rehearsal in Long Island City (LIC)

FOH engineer Frank Gallagher's story starts in late-1970s New York City, when he got a call to Brit Row Rehearsal in Long Island City (LIC) to find the surprise creation of Talking Heads' nine-piece "Big Band", which played the Wollman Rink and Heatwave Festival. U2 even used Talking Heads' gear when their van broke down in Calais!

Eviction Looms for Hurricane-Displaced Families in Lower Manhattan & LIC Despite City Aid

Displaced by Hurricane Ida, 70 families living at the Millennium Downtown hotel across from the Oculus in Lower Manhattan are being evicted at the end of the month as city aid ends. With the help of Brooklyn Community Services, the city offered rental assistance and affordable housing options but many of the families have yet to find permanent housing, including those in LIC. A bill has been introduced to legalize basement apartments, but it has yet to pass.

🚔 Public Safety

Indictment of Astoria and Woodside Gang Members Following Shootings; Two Injured at Woodside Houses NYCHA

Nearly two dozen gang members were recently indicted in Astoria and Woodside Shootings following a longstanding investigation. Two people were injured in Woodside Houses NYCHA development in 2020. The violence stemmed from disputes between opposing sets of Crips in Long Island City (LIC).

📰 In Other News

LaQuan Smith's Elevated Sophistication Unveiled at the Rainbow Room

LaQuan Smith unveiled his Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection at the luxurious Rainbow Room in New York City. His precise tailoring, clever suiting, delicate blouses, and sheer dresses showcased an elevated sophistication and balance between sensuality and sophistication. Smith has grown immensely since his days at his LIC studio and it was evident in his collection.

DSNY Funding Boosts Sustainability Goals in LIC with $31 Million Composting Initiative

Mayor Adams' Big Apple composting initiative has been a massive success, with Queens leading the way in its first season. To support the sustainability goals set by Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City (LIC), the DSNY will receive $31 million for compost-related funding for 2023.

Welcome to Green Valley: A Family-Owned Deli with a 30-Year Business History in LIC

A family with a 30-year business history in Long Island City (LIC) has opened a new deli, Green Valley, near Queensboro Plaza subway station. Owned by brothers Abdullah Nassir, 45, and Hussein Nassir, 40, the store offers a range of hot food, cold sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and grocery items. They had previously operated a deli at a location that was bulldozed, forcing them to close nearly two years ago. With a fresh and bright look, Green Valley is open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays through Sundays and may offer 24-hour service in the near future.

Mayor Eric Adams Opens Humanitarian Center in LIC to Assist Asylum Seekers


In an effort to assist the growing number of asylum seekers, Mayor Eric Adams announced that the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Long Island City would open 144 rooms to provide migrants with services and support, making it the seventh Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center in the city.

Apply Now for Apprentice Roofers: United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local Union No. 8 Accepting 250 Applications Until March 24

The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, Local Union No. 8 based in Long Island City, New York, is now accepting 250 applications for 25 apprentice positions through March 24. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, be physically able to perform the labor of a roofer, have reliable transportation, pass a drug test, and reside in the counties of New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, and Putnam, or east of the Hackensack River in Hudson County, New Jersey. For more information, contact United Union of Roofers at 718-361-1169.

Making Long Distance Love in NYC: Karla Casco and Jesus Mendez Canela's Journey

Navigating NYC dating can be tricky, especially when your partner is on the other side of the city. Karla Casco and Jesus Mendez Canela made it work by relying on public transit and viewing the distance as an adventure. Despite living only 10 or 15 miles apart, the commute from Long Island City (LIC) to Washington Heights can feel almost insurmountable. Eight years since their fateful meet-cute, the couple have settled in Sunset Park and Washington Heights respectively and have found joy in the intentional visits.

LaGuardia Community College Receives $500K to Expand Mental Health Literacy & Crisis Intervention Program

LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens has received $500,000 to expand its Mental Health Literacy & Crisis Intervention project, which provides training to faculty, staff, and students on mental health, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention. It aims to help high-risk populations including LGBTQIA+, students with disabilities, international and culturally diverse students, African-American students, and student veterans. The program will also involve off-campus resources and facilities to provide additional clinical support and resources.

Exploring New York City on a Budget: How to Experience the City for Under $300

My husband and I recently visited New York City for two nights for a net cost of $252, utilizing a variety of strategies to decrease costs. We booked a Fairfield Inn & Suites near Times Square and took public transportation, leveraging loyalty programs and rewards to save. If you choose to go outside of Manhattan, consider Hyatt Place Long Island City/New York City (LIC) which cost as little as 12,000 points per night.

From Pandemic Beginnings to Prestigious Venues: Huey-Min Chuang's Journey as an Artist

Huey-Min Chuang, a self-taught artist from Long Island City, will be speaking about her journey as an artist and one-person business owner in her first individual exhibit, "You Are Welcome Here", at the Voelker Orth Museum in Flushing, Queens, which runs through April 11. Chuang developed her artistic talent during the pandemic at age 48, and her work has been shown in prestigious venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music and White Columns Gallery.

The Avant-Garde Legacy of Mikéah Ernest Jennings in LIC's Chocolate Factory

Mikéah Ernest Jennings, a forty-three-year-old queer Black Adonis, was a powerful actor who was remembered fondly in Long Island City's Chocolate Factory performance venue, having built a career in New York's avant-garde theatre scene.

Lifting Up Women Living with HIV: LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN's Mission in LIC

LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN at MoMA PS1, located in Long Island City (LIC), has been sending thousands of handmade Valentines to women living with HIV since 2015 to combat stigma and spread awareness of their challenges.

Donate Blood Now: New York Blood Center Urges LIC Residents to Sign Up for Blood Drives!

The New York Blood Center is facing its greatest blood shortage in a decade and is urging donors to sign up for upcoming blood drives in Long Island City, Kew Gardens, Glendale, Forest Hills and other locations. Donors can find registration information and more at nybc.org.

Electric Dreams for LIC: MTA Proposal for Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Line at the Crossroads

The decades-long proposal to electrify the Port Jefferson Branch line of the Long Island Rail Road is nearing yet another derailment, with the MTA's 2025-2044 20-Year Needs Assessment in October potentially pivotal for it's future success. If successful, it could provide an economic boost to North Shore communities, such as Long Island City, by providing reliable and efficient transit to and from Manhattan and Stony Brook University.

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Disclosure: This newsletter was curated and edited by a human. We leverage AI technologies to help us discover content and draft the newsletter.