relax

Author Topic: What's up with the Pistilli properties?  (Read 20062 times)

Offline jayladdin

  • Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« on: July 08, 2006, 07:50:26 PM »
Does anybody know what's going on with the two Pistlli-owned properties in Astoria - the former Eagle Electric Company on 21st and the former Stern's Warehouse on Ditmars and 45th?  I've called the office, but all you can do is fax them your information and they say they'll contact you when they have any updates to report.

I did a whole bunch of Googling but couldn't find anything terribly recent - just a report about them promising some senior citizen's housing for the Ditmars property.  I see people working at both properties at random times, but they don't look anywhere near done, and weren't they supposed to be ready by now?

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Offline megc

  • President
  • **************
  • Posts: 6167
  • Sea turtles need our help.
    • Harmonious Belly
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 08:46:28 PM »
the former Eagle Electric Company on 21st

I wrote about this here, several months ago:
http://astorianyc.blogspot.com/2006/03/miscellanea.html

Hope it helps!

Handyman

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 10:38:27 PM »
Actually been inside the Ditmars and 45th site.   Eeech, what a freaking disaster.   Job should have been done months and months ago.      Going cheap on the materials and labor from what I can tell.      I wouldn't buy one... certainly not at the prices I've heard.     No info on the Eagle electiric site... but I'm guessing it's the same story.  At least the Ditmars site looks nicer on the outside.   Who designed the one by the park??    Yuck.

Offline jayladdin

  • Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2006, 10:59:32 PM »
I wrote about this here, several months ago:
http://astorianyc.blogspot.com/2006/03/miscellanea.html

Hope it helps!

Thanks - as always, your blog is extremely useful (went to both the Sandwich Kings and Waltz today based on your blog!).

I had read that article before - it's from 2003, and based on the 18-24 month estimate, the project should have been completed over a year ago.  This fact and what Handyman cites above makes me wonder if there are problems with both projects and they're trying to keep them quiet.

The Augusta Group, according to the 2003 article, is designing the one by the park, but I can't find any information on them or their work on this project.

Handyman, what kind of prices are you hearing for the 45th St site?

Offline megc

  • President
  • **************
  • Posts: 6167
  • Sea turtles need our help.
    • Harmonious Belly
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2006, 11:14:50 PM »
Having been at the mercy of much construction on the UC Berkeley campus (we used to joke that "UC" instead of meaning "University of California" it meant "Under Construction"), big projects always seem to take more time than originally allotted.  I wonder if this is a similar case....?

Offline jayladdin

  • Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 12:19:04 AM »
Having been at the mercy of much construction on the UC Berkeley campus (we used to joke that "UC" instead of meaning "University of California" it meant "Under Construction"), big projects always seem to take more time than originally allotted.  I wonder if this is a similar case....?

Funny, that was the same on my college campus as well....  :D

I'd imagine there are a lot of people in Astoria who would be interested in these apartments.  If things were going well, but just delayed, I'd imagine that Pistilli would get the word out to let people know that they're on their way.  By not mentioning anything at all, and not giving out an ounce of information over the phone, I can't help but think they have something to hide...

Gatorboy

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 01:37:12 AM »
Ah yes, seem to remember a picture in the newspapers a summer or two ago of a bunch of happy campers at a BBQ. If memory serves me correctly, it was the Vallones and Pistillis.

Do not know if its true that the former was interested in apartments in the latter's building. Almost certain the latter made campaign contributions to the former.

Someone told me (who is on the community board) that there were, shall we delicately say, cash flow problems? I don't know.

Would he dare use non-union labor in an area so staunchly pro-labor? hmmm.

But I can say for certain that an architect from California I know was horrified at what he termed the 'mutilation' of the old Steinway factory. He said that the junk they sprayed  on the outside is a cheap insulation that traps moisture and deteriorates the underlying wall. He further claimed it is banned in Florida and other places.

The key thing after that improvement (some would say mutilation), is that they can never landmark the building. That's one nasty thing Astoria don't need, right?

And that Astoria Park effort looks like a cruise ship on steroids. If there are senior residences, are there some tax breaks or subsidies?

For another example of his rarefied taste, check out the former L I Savings Bank on 30th Ave. Ten years ago it was a beautiful gem with an adjoining park. Now it looks like the corporate headquarters for every 'upscale' nightspot in the neighborhood.

Years ago, if the developers destroyed a neighborhood's charm, at least they could have been counted on to put up buildings that had some classy style.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 01:45:38 AM by Gatorboy »

Handyman

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2006, 10:09:08 PM »
Jay,  I've heard that basic units are starting at 350k with upgrade options.     I've seen that they have many water issues and have seen much of the flooring ripped up on the 4th floor.   Water and pergo-type flooring dosen't mix.   (by the way, there's 5 floors, so for them to have water damage on the 4th...  *rolls eyes*

Suprised that Vallone isn't in an uproar since he lives close to the Eagle site.  What's that going on now..   5 years?    Hmmm.  kinda gets you thinking.      Lost a lot of what little respect  for Pete Sr. when the biggest piece of garbage was helping him in his bid for election that year.   Won't go into names, but his initials are M.D.

And while we're in the neighborhood...  who's responsible for the hellgate turning PINK???

Just curious.

Offline lanseaux

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3375
  • Mexico
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2006, 11:44:42 PM »
Just to clear up one thing I've heard mistakenly said before:  the place on Ditmars and 45th is not and never was the Steinway factory.  The Steinway factory is still alive and well in its original Astoria location on Steinway Place, which is the continuation of 38th Street north of 19th Ave. 

The Hell Gate bridge paint is a special paint that was formulated by a German company specifically for the Hell Gate bridge during its refurbishment that was completed in 1996.  Its original colour is closer to purple, but it is officially called Hell Gate Red, and don't try to suggest to any of the people involved in the painting project that it is anything but red (Jim tried).  Like all - or most - red-related pigments, it does fade in the sun, hence its pinker appearance over a number of years.  Before that it was kind of a rusty (or rusted) black.

Gatorboy

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2006, 01:42:03 AM »
Steinway had two factories. Yes, the Ditmars building was indeed the other Steinway factory. The Ditmars facility was sold in the 1950s and later became the Sterns warehouse.

In a community where the arts groups are always starving for space, this building, with its incredible past, (with a tincture of imagination) could have been converted into world class arts workshops, etc. Those factories were built solid, but were never intended as residences (no real insulation, for example).

Just think what could have happened had that place been an incubator for the arts community, and the electric effect that population could have had on the surrounding area.

Now we have ... well .... what shall we charitably call something like that anyway?

Offline masande

  • Activist
  • ****
  • Posts: 190
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2006, 10:40:31 AM »
i think the most 'charitable' way to describe the property at 45th and ditmars is an abomination. it looks like a visit to ye olde europe designed by a thirteen year old. trained and having worked as an architect i have many, many, many problems with how they 'converted' this building both from a functional and an aesthetic perspective.

i used to ride by this building when i first moved to upper ditmars and think, "wow that building has some great bones." with gigantic windows spaced 10' on center, it would be a perfect place for loft conversion ala soho or brooklyn.

instead we have gotten a cheap and many times incorrect application of materials. and also we have gotten a building that started great and was turned into an object that is equal parts casino boat and convalescent home.

and to clarify, the exterior finish is known as synthetic stucco (e.i.f.s.) or by the trade name dryvit. in this case it was probably used as a cheap alternative to having to repoint all the mortar (meaning chisel out all the old mortar and replace it with new). it is the least expensive alternative to get a fairly water-tight building exterior. and yes, it is prone to failure and has resulted in many a lawsuit.

Gatorboy

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2006, 10:47:11 AM »
To let this go up: it this building not a monumnet to the lack of aesthics or imagination of our community's leadership?

what other horror shows are in the pipeline?

Offline jayladdin

  • Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2006, 10:53:53 AM »
Thanks for all these replies.  They've been extremely helpful.  The more I read, the more sense it makes that updates on both these projects have been kept behind closed doors for the past few years.

The whole co-op lease situation on the Eagle site makes me nervous as well.

It'll be interesting to see what eventually happens with either of these, and how much longer it takes.

All I wanted to do was live by the park...  :roll:

Gatorboy

  • Guest
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2006, 11:07:42 AM »
you should be....

don't be surprised if the deals fall through that they become warehouses for all kinds of interesting folks.

Interesting paradox for politicians on development: it often brings in people who don't vote the 'right' way (as they will find out in LIC). Hence the push for 'affordable' housing and fear of 'gentrification' by the politicians (gotta keep the 'right' balance, eh?)

Offline lanseaux

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3375
  • Mexico
Re: What's up with the Pistilli properties?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2006, 11:49:11 AM »
Interesting.  I knew it had been a Sterns warehouse, but that was it.  Now I'm going to have to find out what exactly it was used for by Steinway.  (Not just "pianos" - which lines?  Was it pianos, or another Steinway investment?  The Steinway family were involved in more than just pianos.  I know this is O/T for this thread; I'm just musing briefly out loud.)


 

Visit our sister site Jackson Heights Life