One of the biggest stories coming out of the Queens local papers last week was the purchase of the Atlas Terminals by the Brooklyn-based Broadway Stages, a television and film production company that plans to convert the Cooper Avenue site in Glendale to a "massive film studio and retail complex," according to Liam La Guerre of the Queens Courier.
This story was also covered by NY1, though as of the time of this post the NY1 video was available online but not appearing in Google News searches for "Atlas Terminals" or "Broadway Stages."
This underscores the important role local newspapers play in reporting events that may not be newsworthy across the river but certainly are here. This is a story that will garner further coverage as the implications of it sink in, especially when the veins of development lead down the tracks to those properties along the proposed QueensWay and to Resorts World.
As you might expect, publicly elected officials are positive but measured in their response. La Guerre, like other Queens reporters who covered this story, includes a statement from Senator Joe Addabbo, whose district includes Glendale:
"Though we only have preliminary information at this point, I am pleased to hear Broadway Stages could bring a film studio and industry services to our community,” State Sen. Joseph Addabbo said. “In addition to the cultural advantages, the renovation and upkeep for a studio could provide job opportunities for my constituents. Also, the new studio’s location next to The Shops at Atlas Park could promote the Shops’ businesses, and overall contribute a boost to our local economy.”
Christopher Barca in the Queens Chronicle quotes the statement by New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, whose district office recently relocated to the Atlas Park mall next-door to Atlas Terminals:
“I am excited for the potential jobs and new cultural opportunities that may come as a result of this sale,” Crowley said. “While we still do not know all of the details, I will be working diligently to make sure any new development benefits our community.”
As well as covering the basics of the terms of the sale, Sarina Trangle's story for the TimesLedger newspapers addresses the most recent plans for the site, which had included a supermarket. Reflecting the wariness of many in the community, Trangle includes the response of another leader:
Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said the community had been particularly excited by the prospect of a supermarket, but she said it knew too little to comment on Broadway Stages’ plan.
“What we’re looking for is a good neighbor. That’s really the most important thing, that they understand the community,” she said.
Further reflecting concerns in the community the QueensCrap blog also linked to the Liam La Guerre story in the Courier, shrugging that the now-dead idea of a supermarket was to be a Fairway.
If the weekly newspapers and their intrepid reporters are going to include the official statements and press releases of the leaders and business owners, a blog like QueensCrap plays host to those whose comments, for whatever reason, cannot be attributed to an actual person and the comments on that blog are always worth checking out for that alone.
An actual person who is in the paper every week is Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society, director of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, internet radio host and man behind Project Woodhaven. Ed writes regularly about Woodhaven for the Leader/Observer, but it was his discovery of a forgotten WWI memorial that resulted in a front page feature by Jess Berry in that same paper.
In a review of the The Leader/Observer, a staple of this series, a reader will find Jess Berry's story about the new youth center opened by Safe Space, Andrew Shilling's piece on the new airplane noise monitors set for Broad Channel and Bayswater, various news briefs, crime blotters, letters, and a "Blog Watch" feature which includes a post from the LICpost.com's November 24 story about the uncertain future of the Clock Tower in Long Island City.
The Queens Chronicle carried on its cover this week a picture of the ribbon cutting for PS 316 in Ozone Park (story on page 5). The cover of the Courier Sun carried a picture of the abandoned LIRR tracks in Forest Park and the words "Laying the Tracks" in a story about the MTA's hopes to reactivate the transit corridor.
Finally, I would be remiss to not mention Michael V. Cusenza's article in The Forum on the leadership controversy at Community Board 9.
As a member of the board who had not heard of the situation until it was published in the paper, I was grateful for Cusenza's first-hand account of what went on at the recent Community Board 9 executive committee meeting. While the behavior at that meeting is the exception, it should better known what goes on at community board committee meetings.
If you are not sure how to find your New York City Community Board, go here.
See you soon!
Catching Up With the Locals will run periodically as I pick up old copies of the Queens weeklies and make my way towards making sense of and paying homage to the coverage of that which does not get covered anywhere else.
Sources: Atlas Park Terminal Story