NOT one but two regional articles from BBQ meccas came out this past weekend lauding our local pit-masters. The first from Kansas City’s daily paper, highlights John Brown’s Smokehouse and how it’s become a home away from home for Chiefs fans on Sundays. It mentions how local LIC resident Tony Richardson, who spent about a decade of his NFL career in KC, is regularly behind the bar or in front of it on game days, and even convinced Dante Hall to stop by. The second story appeared in the Houston Chronicle, and talks about how the NYC BBQ scene has migrated to Queens. Correct or not, when you get Houston & KC blabbing about another area’s BBQ at the same exact time you know that something is going on. Because where there’s smoke there’s fire.
//HUNTERS Point South Phase XXIV Developers Announced – normally the announcement of the chosen developers for the latest phase1 of Hunters Point South would be a major story here in LIC. For current residents though, all it’s really become is a way of measuring time. Despite it’s initially being an enormous plot of land, only the park portion of HPS was given a ‘master plan’ treatment, with affordable housing being the sole variable given any weight to the actual buildings in each phase. Those in the community not in the affordable ‘band’ were offered
nothing lip service per the Wall Street Journal, who broke the news2:
“The proposal reflected the amenities the community had requested, Ms. Bozorg said. There may be a medical facility, a grocery store and space dedicated to arts and culture.”
Who in the community made these requests??? The use of the subjunctive in the quote above is indicative to me that community requests were never really taken into account in this proposal, and it’s just a throwaway item for the city. Another medical facility? The Northwell Health Urgent Care Center in Gantry Park Landing on 50th Avenue appears to have closed about two years after it opened. Which shouldn’t be surprising given that there’s a UMD Walk-in Medical Center just down the road on 50th Ave., and a Forest Urgent Care Center one block over on 49th Ave just off Vernon Blvd. -not to mention the longstanding QueensWest Health & Wellness Center also on 50th Ave, which is less of a “facility” and more of a local medical practice. Look, official pablum notwithstanding, the statement above was obviously nothing more than a placeholder and the retail tenants will be decided by the highest bidder3. Obviously the thrust of the development is to add more affordable housing, whereby in a reversal of the usual split the apartments will be 80% affordable and 20% market rate. Which leads to the question “Why bother not just making it 100%?” Why do you keep the 20% ‘dangler?’ Just to let a few schnooks feel bad about paying a higher price for the exact same unit?
Anyway, the significance of all this is that the city really could not care less about the current community because it’s got its own citywide agenda to pursue. Given that this is their piece of land, there’s not a lot we can do about it. But, it makes it all the more essential that the master-plan now on the table, Plaxall, is honed in on as the best shot for getting what the community needs most and what every other community has: a rec center4.
Therefore, the most interesting aspect of last week’s HPS announcement, was the rendering included in the Wall Street Journal’s story exhibiting a massive tower. To my eye it looks to be about 70-stories high5. Sound familiar?
A Chiefs Great, A Barbecue Restaurant, and a Kansas City Success Story in New York – all about Tony & Josh Bowen, JB’s founder
New York City’s Up-and-Coming Barbecue Borough – it ain’t Bklyn
New York City Picks Developers For Queens Mixed-Use Complex – no word as to how they chose them, hmm…
Sapps Restaurant on Jackson Ave to Open November 28 – the latest from Shi will be Japanese & Asian fusion in Court Square
Leasing Now Under Way for 1,800 Unit ‘Jackson Park’ in Queens Plaza - 1,800 units to fill? That should bring rents down across the board
- I think it’s actually still Phase II, part III, but who really cares about the numerics. By way of reference, it’s the southern-most plots, leaving two in between remaining mysteriously empty for the time being [↩]
- also funny, is how every publication but one acknowledged the WSJ’s getting this scoop, except one [↩]
- the developer keeps the retail portion of the development [↩]
- As an aside, had the city ‘master-planned’ the building’s in Hunters Point South, they could have reclaimed all the square footage in the gyms and some of the common spaces in every building and created a massive community center that would have been usable by all [↩]
- who knows if it was drawn to scale, but my guess is it was [↩]