APEC opens new temporary headquarters

APEC Ribbon Cutting 3

On Monday, hundreds of residents and elected officials attended the grand opening of the temporary headquarters of the Alley Pond Environmental Center.

The center has moved to 224-75 76th Avenue in Oakland Gardens while its building on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston/Little Neck is being renovated and expanded. That project will take about two years to complete.

The large crowd at the grand opening enjoyed fruit smoothies, vegetarian Bengali cuisine, interactions with animals and an array of activities.

Attendees included Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, Councilman Paul Vallone, Councilman Barry Grodenchik, District Attorney Melinda Katz and Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

APEC, a nonprofit environmental education organization, educates children and adults, protects and preserves Alley Pond Park.


Queens County Farm secures new space

Barry and Queens Farm

The only remaining farm in New York City is moving to a bigger plot of land.

Last week, Councilman Barry Grodenchik announced that the Queens County Farm has secured a lease agreement for 1.6 acres. It will take over a space owned by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

“This additional land will allow the farm to increase crop production by more than 30 percent,” Grodenchik says.

According to Queens County Farm Museum executive director Jennifer Walden Weprin, the land leased to them by the state was part of the farm’s original footprint dating back to¬†1697.

The farm hosts an average of 400,000 visitors annually, and has welcomed more than 10 million visitors since it was established in 1975.

“This expansion supports the farm’s planned growth and will enable us to broaden our reach so we can serve more people in need of fresh produce in our communities,” Weprin says.


Goldfish Swim School to open location at Tangram

Tangram Hero

A leading swim school franchise with nearly 100 locations nationwide is expanding to Tangram.

Goldfish Swim School has committed to an approximately 8,000-square-foot indoor space at the Flushing mega-development, developers announced earlier this week.

The facility is slated to open by spring 2021.

Goldfish Swim School will have a 75-foot, three-lane pool with a viewing area for parents, as well as a snack bar.

The school teaches more than 130,000 children, ranging from infants to 12 year olds, per week across the country.

In addition to offering swim sessions, Goldfish will also host birthday parties with a special party package that includes invitations, two hours of private access to the facility, certified lifeguards, cupcakes and beverages, balloons and more.

The Tangram location is expected to accommodate more than 3,000 kids and parents each week.


Center for the Women of New York reopens in Fort Totten

CWNY Ribbon Cutting

Over the weekend, the Center for the Women of New York (CWNY) celebrated its grand opening at its new facility on Fort Totten.

CWNY was founded in 1987 by Ann Juliano Jawin as a nonprofit membership organization. The group works for full equality for women’s rights.

The center offers women a safe place for their exploration of short-term, low-cost career paths. It includes a legal clinic, referral service, job club, financial clinic and support groups for women in crisis and victims of domestic violence.

For five years, CWNY had a building at 401 Weaver Street on Fort Totten. The city evicted the center, and after a legal challenge, they reached a compromise to restore a historic landmark building at 207 Totten Avenue.

The site had not been used or maintained in 35 years, and required a lot of expensive renovations, estimated at $3 million.

Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, Assemblyman David Weprin, Councilman Paul Vallone and former Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza provided the funding, along with private donors.

For now, CWNY will operate on the building’s first floor while funds are raised for the rest of the floors and an elevator.


Tangram House South to begin closings

Tangram Hero

Tangram House South, the first residential tower to be completed at Tangram, has commenced closings and begun move-ins, the developers announced last week.

The building is already nearly sold out thanks to its “unprecedented new lifestyle offerings” that combine 192 luxury homes with amenities, the developers said.

Located at 133-27 39th Avenue, Tangram House South has homes ranging from studios to three-bedrooms and penthouses.

Household amenities include five-inch wide white oak floors, ceiling that go up to 10 feet Miele kitchen appliances, custom-designed Italian cabinets with LED lighting, spacious closets, a washer and dryer, and even a built-in wine cooler in some units.

Nearly all of the homes offer balconies. Some have fireplaces, outdoor barbecue grills and private terraces.

Residents will also enjoy a health and wellness club, space facilities with saunas and a salt room, indoor-heated saltwater lap pool and more.

The attended lobby will have a 24-hour doorman, concierge and residents’ manager.


Orangetheory Fitness finds a home at Tangram

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The Boca Raton, Florida-based fitness franchise Orangetheory is coming to Tangram in Flushing.

The company, with over 1,000 locations nationwide, signed a 10-year lease with the mega-development. The studio space will occupy 3,200 square feet and will open in summer 2020.

Orangetheory specializes in group sessions with a focus on cardiovascular and strength training. Total body workouts last 60 minutes and are led by certified personal trainers that guide and tailor workouts to achieve clients’ goals.

Their workout rooms include treadmills, bikes, striders, WaterTowers and floor equipment.

Orangetheory will have three membership levels: Orange Premier, which offers unlimited classes for six months; Orange Elite, which offers eight classes per month for six months; and Orange Basic, which is four classes per month.

Membership benefits include month-to-month contract, access to 1,000+ studios nationwide, online or mobile booking, freeze privileges, flexible class times and more.

“Orangetheory Fitness will significantly fill the current void within the fitness studio market in Flushing,” says Alex Chiu, executive vice president of F&T Group, which is developing Tangram with SCG America.


Don’t approve Total Wine and More in College Point: pol

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Google Maps

A Queens state senator has called on the State Liquor Authority to reject an application from Total Wine and Liquors, a wine and liquor superstore, to open a new retail location in College Point.

State Senator Mike Gianaris wrote a letter to SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley opposing the application because of the “untold harm” it would do to small businesses across the borough, he wrote.

“Total Wine would be a total disaster for small businesses in western Queens,” Gianaris says. “I stand with small business owners to fight for a stronger community and against further intrusions from anti-competitive businesses that prey on small businesses.”

Queens has more than 350 locally-owned liquor stores, according to the senator’s office.

Gianaris said he heard from small business owners expressing their “dissatisfaction” with the proposed superstore.

The retailer reportedly applied for a license in Hartsdale, Westchester County, but was also denied by the SLA.

Gianaris hopes the SLA be “equally wise” to reject this location.