THE New York Times is out today with a story on the emptying out of the Blanchard and Paragon buildings on Borden Avenue, in order to make way for higher-paying office tenants. Whole businesses are vacating the premises, typified by the protagonist of the story, a furniture upholsterer who is leaving for Long Island. LICtalk has previously profiled two businesses in the Blanchard. The first BklynBooks (aka iPodMeister) was mentioned in the Times story, and is moving to Paterson, NJ. The second, Manhattan Fruitier, has moved a little further east to the LIC/Sunnyside border. Prophetically, the owner of the latter sent me this quote when I asked him about the sale of the building a year ago:
“You want a story: What it means for 10 businesses to lose their place of business and have to go out and find affordable space in an overheated NYC real estate market!”
At that time, none of the owners wanted to discuss it. My guess is that most of them ultimately made suitable if less convenient accommodations. Nevertheless, having visited these entrepreneurs and admired the novelty of their businesses, I can’t help but feel saddened by the fact that these types of enterprises are increasingly departing LIC to make way for larger companies.
//LIFE rolls on and there are places to go, people to meet, etc. There is an LIC Parks meeting this Tuesday, May 2 at 7pm at the Irish Center. The heads of Gantry Park and Hunters Point Park will both be there answering questions, aka fielding complaints.
Of course if you’d rather eat than bark, maybe attend Queens Taste on May 2 instead. For $125 you can eat and drink all you want from over 30 Queens restaurants and numerous local booze purveyors.
Queens Beer Week begins next Saturday, May 6 with a kick-off party at LIC Landing from 4-7pm. This used to be a free event, now you need to make a $40 donation at which point you’ll be able to guzzle all you want until the taps run dry, or you’re taken away in handcuffs. Per the story above, I miss the ‘old’ days.
//NOW that the weather’s turned nice, everyone’s focused on outdoor activities. With that in mind, I couldn’t help noticing a used mountain bike for sale in LIC on Tenant King for all of $50. Another interesting listing on the site was for a 2-br rental on LIC’s famous brownstone block on 45th Avenue.
Say Goodbye to the Upholstery Guy – “two “character-rich locations” in the neighborhood are being emptied of their last industrial tenants within a few days. They are being replaced by companies that will pay four or five times as much in rent”
de Blasio Comes to LIC and Gets Kitchen-Sinked w/ Complaints – It’s All About Gentrification Pt. II
Developer’s Plan to Transform ‘The Lot’ in Court Square Draws Neighbor’s Ire – It’s All About Gentrification Pt. III: NBC comes to LIC to interviewee
LIC’s Art Inspired Condo ‘The Jackson’ Opens Model Apartment – It’s All About Gentrification Pt. IV, but it’s also 75% sold
Anti-Gentrification Challenge Put to JVB – It’s All About Gentrification Pt. V
Queens Taste 2017 – this Tuesday from 6-9pm, more info & buy tix here
Queens Beer Week – more info & buy tix here
At Socrates Sculpture Park, Slyly Butting Expectations – big NYT profile on the artist who’s bringing goats to the park this summer
Queensbridge Park to Get New Park House – see rendering here
New To Market: 2-Bdrm w/ Almost 2,000 Sq Ft of Outdoor Space – thanks for the heads up to Qns.com
Jerry Barnard saysMay 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm
For what it’s worth, we have an antiques business, reasonably high end and mostly to the designer/decorator trade, that relocated to LIC Court Square 5 years ago. We were refugees fleeing Manhattan rents that drove us to seek a new location close to the city and offer a large space where we could show our wares. We found that in a building right under the # 7 train ( full disclosure: 43-10 23rd St@ 43rd ave. ) We were sure that we had found a long lasting home. Our building is full of artisans that cater to our trade: upholsterers, cabinet makers, gilders, rug restorers, lighting restorers, etc. We even put together a website to unite all these wonderful harding working guys: http://www.licdesigndirectory.com
Our 5 year lease is up in August. We’ve been informed that the building is being converted to small cubicle offices, where 60 or so people will all share the same bathrooms ( let’s hope they bring their own disinfectant wipes.) Money always speaks louder than caring words. Our lease will not be renewed.
Long Island City has been home, not that long but long enough. We’ve added to the community and to the landlord’s coffers. Guess we will be looking in the Bronx? Thank you LIC for all the “progress” that you have made.
Crispian saysMay 5, 2017 at 9:35 pm
Price of progress and improvement of neighborhoods. Bigger populations and movement of people back to the cities will drive costs of living up and force people from more desirable parts of the city. No issue with gentrification myself, welcome it.