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Is Queens the New Brooklyn?

October 21, 2010 3 comments

Show me the development! This corner was supposed to be developed into a new condo/shopping center. What happened?

I read the AM New York article from yesterday “Is Queens going Brooklyn?” There were many interesting points raised by it and I hope to come back to it in later posts. But one comment in there really had me baffled:

From the Q&A portion with Queens borough historian Jack Eichenbaum:

What neighborhoods are prime for development?

[It’s] already happened in Astoria and Forest Hills, and it could happen more in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Flushing.

Huh? Just what development is Mr. Eichenbaum referring to? The Windsor? From what I can see, Forest Hills hasn’t had any new significant “development” aside from the Windsor building in a loooong time. Am I missing something?

This especially irks me because that is exactly what our neighborhood could use — new development! How about starting with the dilapidated storefronts along Queens Blvd. heading towards Kew Gardens?

As discussed yesterday on this blog, the hotel planned for Austin St. never materialized – and that sounded like a very exciting project for our shopping district, just the type of new development we need here. And I am intrigued by the Marriott proposal in the Daily News yesterday – as long as it incorporates the historic stadium and allows public use in some way.

But Mr. Eichenbaum, if you are out there reading this, I’d love to know what development you are referring to here in Forest Hills. This is vitally important. Aside from a few creative retailers, in case you haven’t noticed, Austin Street doesn’t have much spark these days. A lot of bland or tired looking businesses, some of which seem stuck in a time warp (I can think of one or two diners in particular, and the food they serve seems to have been sitting around for ages as well).

Just walk through some of the fantastic neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan and you will see what I mean. There’s so much room to do soooo much better here.

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