4 THE QUEENS COURIER • DECEMBER 21, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
blitz hits E & M
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
email@example.com / @robbpoz
Merry Christmas, Queens train riders!
Your commute to and from midtown
Manhattan is about to undergo a
For the week between Christmas
and New Year’s Day, the MTA will
embark on a maintenance blitz that
will close tracks carrying the E and
M lines between midtown and Long
Island City. Service on both lines will
be altered during the period, which is
regarded as one of the less intensive
commuter periods of the year.
Th e work will start early on the
morning of Tuesday, Dec. 26, and continue
straight through the late morning
of Sunday, Dec. 31.
If you’re planning on going to
Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, don’t
worry: the MTA says it will restore all
service, and provide additional trains,
well before the festivities at Times
According to the MTA, more than
500 of its workers will work in and
around the 53rd Street Tunnel under
the East River and connecting tracks.
Th ey’ll install four miles of cable necessary
for signal improvements; replace
2,000 feet of third rail and 700 feet of
regular track; clear 1,000 feet of track
drainage pipes; and apply leak-eliminating
grouting on tile walls.
Here’s the service changes you’ll fi nd
once track work starts on Dec. 26:
E trains will run on the F line
between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt
Avenue and West Fourth Street at all
times. During overnight periods, the
E trains will operate on the F line to
Second Avenue on the Lower East
Side, where trains will terminate.
M trains will not operate at all
between 71-Continental Avenues
in Forest Hills and Essex Street in
Manhattan; R trains will continue providing
service. Th e M train shuttle currently
in place between Metropolitan
Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues
is not aff ected and will remain in operation.
R trains will continue making stops at
Queens Plaza except during overnight
periods. At that time, shuttle buses will
connect riders between Queens Plaza
and the 21st Street-Queensbridge station,
where E and F service is available.
Visit mta.info for more details.
Whitestone calls for changes
at accident-prone corner
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @smont76
Aft er a series of recent accidents,
including a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian
Photo via Facebook/Robert Stridiron
Police on the scene of a hit-and-run incident at the site on Nov. 23
Condo plans for Flushing’s
RKO Keith’s reportedly stalled
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
email@example.com / @smont76
A condo project slated to be built atop
a beloved Flushing landmark is facing
delays, according to a recent report.
Th e RKO Keith’s movie theater at 135-
29 Northern Blvd. opened in 1928 and
was granted partial interior landmark status
on its ornate grand lobby and ticket
foyer spaces shortly before its closing in
1986. Th e site has been vacant ever since,
passing through several diff erent developers
who tried unsuccessfully to re-develop
Th e historic property was most recently
purchased in July 2016 for $66 million
by Xin Development, a U.S. development
arm of China’s Xinyuan Real
Estate. In May 2017, the city’s Landmarks
Preservation Commission (LPC) offi cially
gave the green light to the developer’s
plans to build a glassy 16-fl oor building
atop the landmarked space.
However, developers have hit a snag,
according to a new report from Th e Real
Deal. A broker who has worked with
Xinyuan told the publication that “the
project is stalled and there are landmark
Th e company has also dismantled Xin
Development in recent weeks and turned
over management of the
RKO Keith’s and two other
New York City projects to
Kuafu Properties. Xinyuan
retains ownership of the
Under the specifications
of the Landmarks
Commissioner, the developers
were required to enclose
the landmarked areas during
construction and disassemble
them, restore them off -
site and then reinstall the
salvaged ornamental plasterwork,
woodwork and replicas.
of the theater, like the auditorium,
were slated to be
Demolition permits for the
site have not yet been fi led with the city’s
Department of Buildings, according to
the agency’s database.
News about the re-development drew
the ire of certain locals, who argued that
the historic site should be restored to
its former glory as a community arts
center. A petition to save the site from
demolition has garnered over 2,600 signatures
since it was published in late
A spokesperson for Xinyuan told Th e
Real Deal that the company is “constantly
making eff orts to enhance our existing
development and project management
capabilities in international markets” and
has entrusted Kuafu to provide construction
management and marketing services.
Xinyuan’s move is part of a larger speculation
that China-based companies may
be pulling away from investing in the U.S.
real estate market, the report also said.
with serious injuries, Whitestone
residents want to see action from a city
Residents are collecting signatures to call
on the city Department of Transportation
(DOT) to install additional safety measures
at the intersection of 17th Road
and Murray Street. Published by resident
Joseph Angenbroich on Dec. 11, the petition
requests a four-way stop or traffi c
light at the site to calm conditions.
On Th anksgiving night, a 71-year-old
pedestrian crossing at the intersection
— which currently has a two-way stop
— was hit by a van and thrown several
feet into the air. He was transported to
Flushing Hospital in critical condition.
It was later announced that the driver,
identifi ed as 52-year-old Carmine
Minichino of Corona, had a blood alcohol
level nearly twice the legal limit, according
Th e Th anksgiving incident is one of
many at the site over the years, according
to Angenbroich. Earlier this month,
two vehicles collided at the site, launching
one of the cars dangerously close to a
Th e intersection is close to multiple
schools, a church and a playground, the
Whitestone resident also pointed out.
In just three days, the petition has gathered
over 800 signatures.
“I’ve witnessed over 4-5 accidents
myself over the past 5 years at this same
intersection,” wrote signee Anthony
Lombardo. “Something needs to be
According to a DOT spokesperson, the
city agency completed a study at the site
in December 2016, at which time it did
not meet the criteria for the installation
of an all-way stop sign.
“DOT will work closely with the community
to explore feasibility for other
potential safety enhancements,” the
View the petition by visiting www.
Photo via Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects
A rendering of the proposed luxury condo building at the RKO