Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Steinway Mansion property to be hemmed in by warehouses

From Brownstoner Queens:

This is bizarre: We Heart Astoria spotted DOB paperwork for two-story manufacturing warehouses proposed for 11 different addresses in Astoria. You can see 10 of the locations pictured above in white dots — all the locations fall on the perimeter of the Steinway Mansion. The buildings are all 30 feet high and range from 1,662 to 2,585 square feet. DOB documents propose eight enclosed parking spaces for the 1,662-square-foot buildings, 10 enclosed parking spaces for the 2,193 square-foot buildings, and 12 parking spaces for the single 2,585 square-foot building.

Why is it bizarre? You really didn't expect that someone was going to drop a load of money on a mansion that's falling apart and not use the surrounding space to turn a profit, did we?

Great job by Gianaris, Simotas, Markey, et al.


Anonymous said...

The only hope for that property was if the surrounding area became LESS industrial. So much for that.

Anonymous said...

The property was purchased to clear it for development. The developers will bring this into productive use as follows:

The construction of the buildings will weaken the mansion foundations. Much needed repairs will be patched up, and the interior appointments stripped and sold.

It will briefly be opened as a cabaret or the like with musical entertainment and perhaps craft beer (the hipster kids - the kind who follow We Heart Astoria - will love it) until it gets closed after a few months because the business model was never intended to be long term.

The inevitable break ins, fires, and damaged unrepaired roof will inspire hand-ringing and little else from that community.

A few more cycles and little more than walls will be left. An application for a demo hardship, and a museum from upstate will gladly take the embarrassing remains out of the community.

The developers got this for a few thousand dollar campaign donation - Costa was bragging they he knew them for years.

This is Astoria, where everything and everyone is worthless, but the dirt under their feet and what can be planted into it.

The purchasers, whose offices are hiding behind a big "Tacos Mexicanos" sign on Broadway, really make this a classic Queens success story.

Its the biggest reason people from outside Queens did not want to get involved: from the embarrassing library farce to Curtis Sliwa's bedroom, our leadership has made Queens, and its residents, beneath the world's contempt.

Anonymous said...

The only thing surprising here is that the mansion isn't being 'altered' to become a warehouse.

Anonymous said...

I can hear it now: "if this wasn't landmarked we could have altered it and saved it."


Anonymous said...

What about Steinway. They have millions (and Paulson's billions). Don't they realize this will make them look bad just feet from their door?

Most people, particular the people in Steinway's world, do not share Astoria's values.

Anonymous said...

Well that certainly explains We Heart Astoria's sudden interest and access to inside information.

Make a perfect cover to down out the Friends, and considering hipster attention spans, when the inevitable shit hits the fan, and the place closes starting its inexorable slide to ruin, the Friends group will already be forgotten (which should not be difficult as the community is doing everything it can to ignore them now.)


Anonymous said...

A source close to the FoSM told me that they actually had commitments to both purchase and restore the mansion but everyone agreed to shy away from going forward until the elected officials came on board.

Almost no public money would have been involved and the owners would have got a lot more than $2.65 million (let that be a lesson for you all that like to cook deals with a politician. You will always get the short end of the stick.)

Now a source near county told me that the reason the elected officials did nothing was that Crowley and Gianaris were too busy furthering their careers by sucking money out of the community and shoveling it to Washington and Albany. Their interest is pretty specific and that is to further their careers and this, like most things that benefit the community, did absolutely nothing for them. Aravella and Costa were told not to get involved as having this area's future fall into someone else's hands would interfere with that process.

Don't blame Markey. She blundered into someone else's backyard which is a big no-no in NYC politics.

Anonymous said...

the issue at hand here is LPC only designated the tax lot that the structure is on, and not the grounds. the original tax lot is 100x100 and the structure is 14' short of the metes and bounds. everything to the north of that is fair game.

blame LPC, at least portions of the adjacent lots should be landmarked as well.

and if i could have gotten that much development land for $1.7m, i'd have done it in a heartbeat. someone very clever figured out the tax lot situation.

Anonymous said...

I hate what Queens is becoming into! No penalty for wrongful actions from residents, illegals and politicians. There is going to be no character left only third world looking built crap. History forget that, Queens' history is becoming erased by the day.

Anonymous said...

This is the end of the mansion. Holes will "develop" in the roof to speed up the rot then every fixture and wood worth $$ stripped and sold. The building will then be condemned and plowed for safety'

This is how they got rid of the landmarked Gatsby mansion in Port Washington.

Anonymous said...

Not so fast with the doom and gloom:

The Friends of Stinway Mansion is going nowhere. Indeed, their efforts has new life.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion did not make a real effort because during most of 2013 the fate of company, Steinway & Sons, was in limbo (solved) and the nebulous political environment in NYC during that year (settled).

The lack of support of the politicians was something factored into the campaign a long time ago. Politicians anywhere else would have jumped on board to help their community - but the politics of that part of our city resemble the Hermit Kingdom and has to be dealt with accordingly.

Even now, all they have to do is have just one politician make one phone call to Steinway and express an interest to save the place.

Yes, that is all it takes.

How about it Joe? Costa? Mike? Aravella?

Ready to stand up for improving the community's image, business prospects, property values, and most importantly, educational opportunities that would improve a quantum leap?

There is a guy out there, a son of Queens, who gave Central Park $100 million and is looking to leave a legacy. His company is retooling itself as going global. What a better place to do that in back in its roots, in Steinway, in Queens the home to the world?

The mansion is in that state in part due to the antics of the Halberians - daddy's voodoo crap linked to the Steinway family and the magical price that always seem to change to make it out of reach was typical of that clan. Part of the legend and lore of Astoria was to drive by that place at midnight back in the 70s and see all the Olds 98s and Caddys parked outside. Now we don't need to report on all that do we?

The fact that its in the hands of businessmen, might be in the right direction - these fellows only care about making money and for the right price they would sell the property in a heart beat.

All that is needed is for the community, the political leadership, and the arts scene in Queens to make some tough choices - get involved and improve the community (as well as make money, improve property values and make the area a byword for the arts) or let a few guys make a few bucks and suffer the consequence having every outrage that is about to reported linked to the borough and community's image.

Believe me, if this mansion gets destroyed it will take the borough and community and everyone responsible a long time to wash the taint off their hands.

Remember, peeps, its doesn't matter what you do, its how its reported to posterity and guess who does that writing?

Be smart and make money or be stupid get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Someone else beat me to the "wait for the holes in the roof" comment.

Anonymous said...


Better not let your friend Costa hear you talking like that - he is telling people publicly that "the new owners have said nothing about doing any damage to the interior and I have to keep them at their word."

How much did the new owners give in campaign donations: $3500? $2500?

But the ire has to be focused on that community. They elected people like Costa, they kept their mouth shut, or said stupid things when they opened it.

The next few years are going to be a turkey shoot. Sit back, folks, and enjoy the show!