Residential Development Stalls Along Queens Blvd and 69th Street

Queens Blvd
Queens Blvd. at 69th Street, looking east. Behold, Woodside’s grand skyline.

Not long ago, the corridor along Queens Blvd was upzoned to permit a greater density of housing. The stretch of Queens Blvd running just west of Woodhaven Blvd to just east of Sunnyside has always been a historic no-person-land of single story restaurants, auto shops, and parking lots. Essentially, a little slice of Long Island shoved into Queens. With opportunity abound, developers began digging into the landscape and by late spring 2015, 70-26 Queens Blvd was well underway. Then came 70-09 45th Avenue, followed by 46-02 70th Street.

What do all three addresses have in common? Each one sits as a cement monolith with no residents. But what a charming skyline, right?

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177 Wilson Avenue, Just Another Development Tragedy in Bushwick

177 Wilson Ave
Bushwick: 177 Wilson Avenue’s full vacate order still in effect.

It’s easy to walk around Bushwick and appreciate all the street art along Jefferson Street, the breweries, and dining options. All of these new amenities come at a price, and often the price is incidental and hidden. Perhaps it’s even unintentional. Let’s take a look at 177 Wilson Ave, aka 1399 Dekalb Ave (make note of the 1399). This unfortunate piece of property was once home to DiMola Printing Co. As of this writing, the building sits empty, the result of recently issued DOB (Department of Buildings) stop work and vacate orders.

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845 Broadway Shows Signs of Life, Sort of

839 Broadway
Corner of Park Street and Broadway. Look at that stonework.

845 Broadway is a property in southwest Bushwick, just east of Flushing Avenue, that has seen better days. The roof looks like Swiss cheese, the windows are boarded up, and the facade is wrapped in metal. But there’s something architecturally remarkable that still lurks behind all the years of neglect. The old pre-war facade still remains in salvageable condition. Just a bit of TLC could get this property looking like new, or at least something close to it.

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Bushwick’s Rapid Change, 815 Broadway Renovation Nearly Complete

815 Broadway
You tell em!

RentCement traveled through Bushwick to document the intense real estate boom and its implications on gentrification. The trip today started at the Flushing Avenue station on the J line, where I visited several construction sites. My travels took me mostly along the southwestern border of Bushwick. The first site I visited wasn’t a residential building at all, but 815 Broadway, a commercial building that just completed renovations – and a bit of tagging.

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ACRIS Life Hack: Get a Full Property Record History When Lots Merge

Court Square, LIC
Court Square, LIC

Property lots merge frequently. Knowing this history means access to important information related to the subducted properties. ACRIS (Automated City Registration Information System) has no mechanism to flag merged lots. Documents registered with ACRIS might give you some indication of a lot merger, but finding a hint here or there is no substitute for knowing the detailed history. Thankfully the DoITT NYC Map and the DOF’s (Department of Finance) historical Tax Maps are here to help. Let’s use the following narrative to find the property records for three lots that merged into one.

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DoITT Map and ACRIS: Accessing Online Property Records for Beginners

Purves Street, looking north toward Jackson Avenue, LIC.



The City of New York has a vast database of real property records and data available to the public. This quick start guide will help you access this information. Let’s say you want to know the real estate transaction history for a property. Maybe you have questions such as, how many times the deed transferred in the last 10 years? Is there a regulatory agreement filed that conveys rent stabilized status for my apartment unit? Are sundry agreements always miscellaneous?

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Top Worst Landlord List Unleashed

100 worst landlord list.
Bad landlords beware!

New York’s annual Worst Landlord List, initiated by former Public Advocate (and now second term mayor, Bill de Blasio) was announced today by the current Public Advocate, Lititia “Tish” James. Jonathan Cohen/Silverstone Properties, with 188 units and 1,090 HPD violations, topped the annual Worst Landlord List, as Ms. James made the announcement flanked by several tenant advocacy groups such as Los Sures, CASA, Make the Road, and The Legal Aid Society.

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189 Bowery Nears Completion…to Dreariness

189 Bowery
How does this building make you feel?

I had the opportunity to spend an extra $2.75 transferring from the D to the J train this afternoon, and in the process got an idea for what’s happening on Delancey Street and Bowery. The Lower East Side is undergoing an extraordinary amount of construction, headlined by the controversial One Manhattan Square, and of course, Essex Crossing.

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Evidence of Affordable Housing Found in Long Island City!

27-19 44th Drive
New towers rise west of 27-19 44th Drive.

Being inside a 421a geographic exclusion zone and seeing new construction is like a bag of candy on Halloween. When I was walking down 44th Drive towards Jackson Avenue, I was more captivated by what was happening to my left (away from 27-19 44th) than the construction mess that was on my right. As luck would have it, 27-19 44th Drive is a legit 421-a building in a geographic exclusion area. You know what that means – rent stabilization AND affordable units! Take a look at the Department of Finance tax benefit stats:

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One and Three Gotham Center Rise in Long Island City

One Gotham Center
Workers pour cement flooring on the second floor.

Although the new Gotham Towers, as they are colloquially known, are not residential projects, their proximity to one of the fastest growing communities in the Big Apple merits an update. As of November 11, 2017, work is forging ahead with workers pouring cement for the second story flooring at 28-07 Jackson Avenue (aka Gotham Towers). The area was bustling with construction workers, local residents, and visitors alike. Across the street, work was forging ahead with Tishman Speyer’s an H&R Real Estate Investment Trust’s other massive project, 28-02/28-10 Jackson Avenue.

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