Sunday, February 1, 2009

Slummification of Kissena Blvd continues

From the Queens Chronicle:

The stores that define a community, the bakery, deli, butcher shop, pharmacy, beauty parlor and laundromat, are long gone. Even worse, the buildings remain empty, their awnings torn and signs faded.

To concerned residents and merchants of Kew Gardens Hills, this is the beginning of the end for a formerly vibrant strip of stores on what is known as the “Kissena Curve,” on the boulevard between 71st and 72nd avenues.

Calls to a number posted on one of the empty stores went to David Minkin Real Estate in Rego Park. A receptionist refused to give out any information on the future of the location or about the owner.

The Kissena property is owned by Pelcorp, a real estate firm in Palm Beach, Fla. It is headed by Prescott Lester, whose great-grandfather was a Queens builder. Lester is related to David Minkin and succeeded him in business.

Shirley Weinstein, president of the Mid-Queens Community Council, lives near the shopping area and is not happy with what she sees. “It looks like hell,” Weinstein said. “It’s a horror to me.”

She has heard that the owner wants to put in a big-box store such as Costco on the two blocks, but that it won’t happen for a few years.

Ken Cohen, president of the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, has lived in the area since 1952 and is very concerned about the deterioration of the Kissena Curve...The rumor he’s heard involves razing the two blocks and building apartments with stores on the first floor. Cohen plans to ask local elected officials to get involved and find out what’s happening.


Previously: The state of Kissena Blvd.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem is that some developers are behaving as if it's still 1995, not 2009.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, many of our civic groups are largely comprised of elders, and lack their own blogs or websites.

If I wanted to join the Mid-Queens Community Council, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association, or the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, who should I call? Where would I find them?

Anonymous said...

Since Corey wears two hats...
#1. as a political "consultant" and #2. as the president of Queens Civic Congress that group has become a toothless tiger
(not that it ever was really much under Sean Walsh either)!

Hey (ha, ha) let's start up a new group or conduct a survey.

We could ask borough hall for a grant....yeah!

Queens has no brains, spirit, cohesive identity or a pair of balls!

Just a bunch of f----g farmers!

People like Toby Stavisky have become their patron saints!

Missing Foudation said...

Every other shopping district in Queens is either trashed, or in the process of getting trashed.

But stop the subway on the 7 line and the merchants on Vernon howl, the entire media gets their spotlight.

Lets face it.

Old Queens is being hollowed out piece by piece. Only the Tower People along the waterfront really count (well there IS all that tweeder oriented lipservice all but useless if you are not an immigrant or senior)

Maybe Pratt has done a study about this. No, how about Hunter?

Does the preservation community notice this? What, totally focused on Manhattan? What a shame.

Any local leaders? Oh yes, the Four Boroughs.

Face it. You guys are f*ked.

Anonymous said...

Those prattlers from Pratt prattle
over development to ensure future job security for their "architectural" graduates!

Just like those "urban planning specialists", like Miklejohn, who
spend their time cooking up bogus studies at Hunter that support
developers' agendas!

Anonymous said...

This is the "end of a... vibrant strip"? Y'all vibrancy-bashers should be celebrating!

Missing Foudation: Maybe Pratt has done a study about this. No, how about Hunter?

There you go, picking on the schools again! Seems like your panties are in a bunch... maybe Pratt should study that too!

Anonymous said...

Just like those "urban planning specialists", like Miklejohn, who spend their time cooking up bogus studies at Hunter that support developers' agendas!

Oh, please elucidate!

Anonymous said...

Anon,

you have not responded to the specific isssues showcasing your defense of these (shall we say), 'developer's workshops'?

A Fellow Anon.

Anonymous said...

I posted a longer response (pending blog owner approval) under the Kew Gardens crap item, but the abridged version is this:

I encourage you to reconsider your stance toward the area schools. The students and faculty are there because they genuinely care about the city and good planning. In other words, they agree with you on many development issues and could be your allies. So rather than railing against the planning schools because they aren't everywhere at once, examining everything - or at least your pet issues - perhaps you could try a more productive approach and bring your good ideas to them as suggestions for studio projects.

As for defending what you call "developers workshops," well, I refuse to comment on the nonexistent. At Hunter (and I presume the same is true at Pratt and the rest) our studio groups don't work with developers. We work with community groups or non-profit clients. And we sure as heck don't receive money for our learning experiences!

Missing Foundation said...

I encourage you to reconsider your stance toward the area schools.

(Why?)

The students and faculty are there because they genuinely care about the city and good planning.

(We hear the same thing from the mayor - he SAYS he cares, therefore he MUST care)

In other words, they agree with you on many development issues and could be your allies.

(Oh great, yes I read the same thing in the stacks of letters they send me)

So rather than railing against the planning schools because they aren't everywhere at once, examining everything - or at least your pet issues - perhaps you could try a more productive approach and bring your good ideas to them as suggestions for studio projects.

(Like a pol telling us to work with a developer for a compromise - no not on the 9 story monster in my backyard, but on the color of the door, the placement of shrubbery)

As for defending what you call "developers workshops," well, I refuse to comment on the nonexistent.

(In other words, I don't agree with you, cannot answer you, so your comments don't exist. Tough world out there when you don't have the clubhouse controlled press to protect you.)

At Hunter (and I presume the same is true at Pratt and the rest) our studio groups don't work with developers.

(No, but as Hunter showed the world in Sunnyside Gardens, you fought the community, you divided the community, and you only listened to the clubhouse agenda)

We work with community groups or non-profit clients.

(Sure, like upzone upzone upzone Dutch Kills Civic)

And we sure as heck don't receive money for our learning experiences!

(Well we sure as hell spend taxpayer money on infrastructure from your little learning experiences.)

THE POINT IS YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED THE POINTS RAISED.

DULY NOTED, WE ARE MOVING ON, BUT THIS ISSUE WILL BE REPEATED AGAIN AND AGAIN.

EVERY STUDY THESE SCHOOLS DO WILL BE EXAMINED CLOSELY BY CRAP.

Anonymous said...

Wow, not exactly the mature response I was expecting.

It's not clear what "points" I was supposed to be responding to. You say the schools "fail us" and I tell you that students devote two income-less years of their lives studying planning because they're dedicated to making the city a better place. And they generally agree with you on the bricks and mortar stuff (if not with your social positions). At which you scoff.

Well, if that's how you respond to an honest effort at dialogue, then I'm sure you'll continue howling regardless what happens. Go right ahead, and I'm sure the outside world will continue paying you no heed.

MIKE SIDELL said...

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF BUSINESS. KEW GARDENS HILLS THAT IS. ON OCT 13, 2010 NATIONAL WHOLESALE LIQUADATORS RE OPENED ON THE KISSENA CURVE. THIS TUESDAY FEB 2, 2010 THE ARONS KISSENA FARMS WILL RE OPEN ON THE CURVE. RUMORS HAVE IT THAT AN ELECTRONICS STORE WILL OPEN IN THE OLD LIQUOR STORE AND MAYBE A GYM NEXT DOOR. SO CHECK WITH ME FIRST THE SP MAYOR OF KEW GARDENS HILLS QUEENS NY 11367