Queens Quips – March 2017

Made in Queens store showcases artisan product in Long Island City

The Made in Queens (MiQ) store, featuring handmade crafts, designer goods and small-batch artisanal foods, is appearing at the Resobox Gallery & Cafe in Long Island City for a multi-week sale. Beginning on April 9, Resobox, located at 41-26 27th Street, offered goods during a sale that will continue through May 6.

Resobox is a Japanese cultural center that celebrates Japanese influence in the arts.

Vendors for the pop-up shop will include Sandra Smith designer bags, Metrix Jewelry, Hooks and Luxe accessories, Forest Witch leaf teas, Queens Thread and Niizeki Hiromi Studio.

Previously, MiQ operated out of a storefront at Queens Plaza South. Its mission is to promote borough-based artisans, including the sale of items like pottery, cards, chocolate and juices.

“It’s a win-win,” said Sante Antonelli, the director of business services with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC). “Visit MiQ and peruse wonderful products made by local crafters and then enjoy some delicious Japanese food.”

Queens home sales drops in February

A new report released by the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty showed that home sales in the borough went down more than 21 percent compared to last February. Realtors warned that if the downward trend continues, that can be a sign of “weakening demand likely caused by the recent rise in interest rates.”

On the positive end, median home prices stayed relatively stagnant, the report said, hovering around $470,000 to $480,000 since last June. The inventory of Queens homes for sale has also risen in consecutive months for the first time since last June. Realtors at Keller Williams Realty said they’ve been getting more calls from homeowners thinking of selling their homes.

If this trend of more people looking to sell and sales continuing to decrease, it will lead to a shift in the market that favors buyers over sellers, realtors said.

Panera Bread raises money for cancer research

Panera Bread collected $17,643 dollars for Memorial Sloan Kettering for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The proceeds came from a portion of sales of the eatery’s Pink Ribbon Bagel, which was served at Panera Bread locations throughout New York City and Long Island. The funds will be used to help Memorial Sloan Kettering finds new and better treatments for those fighting breast cancer, as well as work to eradicate the disease. In Queens, Panera Bread stores in Bayside, Glendale, Long Island City and Rego Park all collectively contributed to the cause.

Dick’s Sporting Goods opens new location in Queens

Queens welcomed the first Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Glendale earlier in March. The sports chain kicked off the grand opening with a three-day celebration featuring former Yankees and Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry. The store gave plenty of goods away, with early guests receiving gift lockers, t-shirts and even gift cards. The new location, at 73-25 Woodhaven Boulevard, also borders Forest Hills and Middle Village. Dick’s also has a store in Staten Island, which opened back in 2011. It takes over for Sports Authority, which was closed last summer after declaring bankruptcy. Dick’s is now included in the shopping strip with stores like Michaels, Staples, Trader Joe’s and Home Depot.

SBS improves storefronts in downtown Far Rockaway

The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have upgraded the facades for 18 different businesses in downtown Far Rockaway as part of its Storefront Improvement Program. Local small businesses such as Mott Toy Center, Tino’s Unisex Hairstyling and Rockaway Electronics and Tax Services have new signage and awnings, door replacements and additional exterior lighting and painting.

“It is amazing how much new signage, storefronts and lighting can change the atmosphere along a business corridor,” said Councilman Donovan Richards. “It’s a new day in the Rockaways and these changes have already been a huge improvement.”

The storefront improvements are part of the city’s larger efforts to revitalize the greater Far Rockaway region to the tune of $91 million.

“Investing in small business corridors helps foster thriving, dynamic neighborhoods across our city,” said SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop. “By funding the revitalization of storefronts in Downtown Far Rockaway, we have created an inviting place for shoppers to visit and have provided a boost to the local economy.”

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