Category Archives: Rumors

Does anybody know what’s being filmed at the Long Beach Catholic School?

A reader named Allan writes:

I saw trucks and movie trailers in the parking lot of the catholic school today… I was wondering if you knew what they were filming… A commercial? Or maybe a big name movie? Thanks

 

Well, I can’t answer that question, but I was hoping one of you could. This was at the Catholic school on New York Avenue and W. Broadway. I did a quick google search and the only thing I found was Royal Pains being filmed in Island Park @ Waterfront Blvd & @ The Long Island Exchange (antique store). Source: On Location Vacations.

Section 8 Housing on E. Pine Street being renovated. Is change coming?

Newsday is reporting that the “Pine Town Homes” @ 151 East Pine Street are going to be purchased soon and will be renovated. Newsday states that the total project cost is $26.6 million. That’s a lot of dough for Section 8 housing!  Will this renovation bring major change to the 100+ unit complex or will it continue to serve low-income residents?

The North Park area of Long Beach, where this complex resides, could go through a major transformation if the redeveloped bay front area ever breaks ground.  This plan has been referred to as the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).  I blogged about this back in 2008 and there hasn’t been any movement on this issue since then.  (see – The future of Long Beach being considered).

The redevelopment of the bayfront area located between Long Beach Boulevard and the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Conceptual plans include: a 250-slip marina, “salt air” performing arts center / amphitheater, promenade, five mixed-use towers that would contain residential units, a marine science center, restaurants, A water taxi to Island Park.

Some locals refer to the North Park-area as a ghetto, while others see it as one of the last parts of Long Beach that’s still affordable. For that, it will be very interesting to see the outcome of the Pine Town House renovation.  As of now, it seems like the economy has been the only thing that slowed down the LWRP, but perhaps things are starting to pick up? We shall see….

Newsday Source : Nassau hands out millions for redevelopment

LWRP INFO: http://www.longbeachny.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={307741C4-483C-4C97-BED0-20FF147304D3}

 

The Allergria and the lot next door

Regarding Long Beach debt a bargain for Garden City-based developers.

 

PART I: THE ALLEGRIA

Back in March I wrote a quick rumor about the Allegria on the brink of foreclosure. I just found an article that was written a few weeks after my post supporting that rumor. I’m confused by the article’s source, but it looks like the website it’s on redirects links from the Long Island Business News which is a legitimate source. From the article:

The Allegria Hotel next door could use the parcel (empty lot) for parking, since the hotel can’t get a permanent certificate of occupancy from the City of Long Beach until it secures enough onsite parking. But while Alrose Group, the hotel’s owner, is anxious to solve its parking problem, its first priority is trying to keep the Allegria out of foreclosure.

John Laliotis, owner of CTM Consulting Group in Wantagh, told LIBN he had been in talks to buy the $36 million note on the Allegria, held by Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank. But that deal didn’t come together, and Laliotis said the Alrose Group, which has defaulted on its hotel loan, will likely make a deal with Brooklyn Federal to retain ownership.

The Allegria PR department actually contacted me after I posted the rumor asking that I take it down, but you know what? I don’t make a dime on this blog so I just ignored their ‘warning’. The last thing I want is for that hotel to close. I don’t live near it, so I am not wrapped up in the parking frustrations that some residents suffer. But I do think the Allegria is an asset to our beautiful Long Beach. If you search though my blog you will find that I wrote more positive things about the hotel than negative.

Keep in mind people: Foreclosure doesn’t mean that the hotel is going to disappear overnight or be turned into something else. Right now it’s a hotel. Judging by all the all the bookings it’s gonna get for the Quiksilver Pro, it seems like it plans to stay that way.

PART II: THE LOT NEXT DOOR

Which takes me to another rumor that I posted (See: Barnes & Noble by the Sea?). Yeah, that one had no legs to it, but I posted it for fun.  Like it or not, we all know that Kindles, Nooks & iPads are eliminating the bookstore, so that’s that.

There was an auction for the vacant lot back in September and now we know who owns it. The future use is still up in the air.

Now after buying the $4.6 million note on the property at an undisclosed albeit steep discount, Burman, Krieger and their partners in BK at Long Beach are weighing their options on what they might build there.

Burman and Krieger are the same people who gave us the Aqua. So what does that tell us? More Fancy Aqua-style condos? Retail & restaurants on the boardwalk?  I wrote all about this back in October and I don’t feel like repeating myself.

Though BK at Long Beach hasn’t yet decided what it plans to do with the property, observers say luxury condos are one possibility. Burman and Krieger were successful with their last Long Beach condo project, called the Aqua, which is 75 percent sold. Completed in 2009, the eight-story, 36-unit Aqua has ocean views from each condo, as well as an indoor pool, outdoor dipping pool, fitness room, oceanfront clubroom and concierge. Units at the Aqua range from 1,730 to 2,400 square feet, with prices starting at about $1.3 million.

Even though I basically just posted the entire article, please read the original written by David Winzelberg for even more information: Long Beach debt a bargain for Garden City-based developers

Long Beach Cinemas closed? (updated x3)

Updated (May 6th): One week after the fact, Newsday is finally at the party, but with no added information (Read Newsday – Last picture show in Long Beach?). From the article:

Long Beach Cinemas abruptly closed last week with no explanation. Representatives of Philips International, which has operated the movie house since 2002, didn’t respond to requests for comment this week. Long Beach officials also haven’t been able to find out the reason for the closure.

“When we called we were told, ‘No comment, speak to the bank,’ ” said City Manager Charles T. Theofan. He added that city officials were investigating whether Philips had encountered financial problems.

If the City Manager knows nothing, that means the theater owner (Philips) hasn’t filed for any building permits yet for a change of use. Please note: I used the word YET. Something could be in the works. AS of now, that dispels any rumor that a restaurant or dollar store is moving in. It’s not that easy: there are building codes, zoning, change of use, certificates of occupancies involved, & assembly issues. One interesting note from the Newsday article is something that I mentioned in my “theory” article. The fact that Philips is a large company.

Philips, based in Manhattan, is one of the metropolitan area’s largest real estate developers. Its portfolio includes more than 200 office, condominium and retail properties in seven states.

How can a small movie theater be such a financial problem for a company that owns property across seven states. It’s a drop in the bucket. Philips still owns the property and they have to have other plans for it. Please read my theory on the future of the movie theater, as well as the rumor mill which includes ‘bed bugs’ and Peter Lugers.

Now, also in today’s Newsday, under the Movie Listing section is a place holder for Long Beach Cinemas with a phone number to call. I called the number and got a “phone disconnected” signal.

 

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Updated (May 2nd): The LB Patch posts an article, but still no new info. The mystery remains….

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Updated (May 1st): The LB Herald has some new info, but the still not enough. Read: Long Beach Cinemas abruptly shuts its doors

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(April 30th): I got a tip earlier today from a reader named Susan regarding the Long Beach Cinemas. To quote Susan: “no marquee-no posters-no lights”. I just passed by the theater and she is correct; it just looks vacant. Susan added how she heard that it was a bank foreclosure. I can’t confirm whether or not that info is true.  I do, however, have hope that a new operator will step in and take over. Of course, I have a dream that it will reopen as a Huntington Cinema Arts clone, but I doubt that will happen…

Anyways, I’ll post more info as soon as I can. In the meantime, if anybody has anything to add, please comment here or email me using the contact form.

(ghetto photo courtesy of google maps)

LB Cinemas – The rumors are getting out of hand.. haha

I am going to compile all the RUMORS that I hear or read regarding the Long Beach Cinemas property. Well first of all, my post on the theater getting taken over by Clearview Cinemas is pure speculation on my part, not a rumor.  I’ll add it to the list anyways.

I present to you a list of all the rumors:

 

Keep them coming people!! These are great!

My Long Beach Cinemas Theory (Pure Speculation)

Long Beach Cinemas closed down. Why? Nobody seems to be able to answer that – including The Patch and Herald.  Was it financial troubles? A bank foreclosure? Based on the Patch & Herald articles, the theater manager doesn’t even know why it closed. Everything points to the property owner.  I decided to do some digging around and I now have a theory.

Ok, so the property is owned by a New York-based company called Philips International; a giant real estate company with a very large portfolio. Just see for yourself. This company is big. That makes me believe that “an owner with financial troubles” wasn’t the reason why this theater closed down, but a bad tenant (the theater operator) was.

I decided to contact Philips International and find out what was going on and to see if the property was for sale. Their reply was very vague, but based on their giant portfolio, I have a feeling this property isn’t for sale. This is a company that owns and rents. That makes me believe they have other plans……

Amongst Philips’ vast array of properties are two theaters – both on Long Island: The Franklin Square Cinema and the now-defunct Long Beach Cinemas that we all know and loved (and hated).  Lets face it people, there were issues with Long Beach Cinemas. They didn’t play the movies we wanted. Sometimes the projection was crooked or the sound was too low. They had no discounts. Blah blah blah.

On to my theory:  Philips’ theater in Franklin Square is operated by Clearview Cinemas. Being that they already have this relationship, maybe a deal has been made for Clearview Cinemas to takeover operation in Long Beach.  Yeah, It’s not AMC (which owns Loews & Regal), but it’s better than nothing.  Clearview Cinemas would bring a better overall experience than what we had, plus we get our theater back!

Now for those who want an independent art theater like the ones in Malverne or Huntington, Clearview Cinemas has those too; Manhasset & Roslyn are just two examples. If Clearview does take over,  it would be great if they turned our theater into a hybrid: A mix of Independent art films along with the blockbusters. As of now, I’ll take anything. As long as a theater stays there.

So, will the Long Beach Cinemas be rented to a Clearview Cinemas operator? Please understand, this is pure speculation. I have absolutely no idea what is really going on, but based on the owner’s giant portfolio and the fact that they already have a relationship with Clearview Cinemas at a theater nearby, it seems plausible.

Restaurant Rumors!!! Don Juans & Peter Luger

I know folks in the real estate industry, so I hear things… Two things that I recently heard are:

  1. Don Juans, the Mexican Restuarant that was once on Old Country Road in Westbury, is coming to a spot somewhere on Park Avenue in Long Beach. Where? I have no idea. Just heard it will be on Park Avenue.  I’m guessing it might be the vacant space in that new shitty looking center that no-longer has Chase Bank.  Don Jauns still has a location in Massapequa, for those who want a preview of whats to come (besides diarrea).
  2. Peter Luger is coming to Island Park and will occupy the former SHOGUN Japanese Restaurant lot, which is right over the soon-to-be-named-Michael Valente Bridge.  Voted ‘Best Steakhouse’ in NY for 26 years in a row, Jimmy Hays could be in for some serious competition.

I am not sure how valid these rumors are, but both would be welcome additions to the area.  I have a personal vendetta against Panchos in Island Park, so any cheap-gringo style mexican food that will compete with Panchos is fine with me. Peter Luger is great if you are a big man and like to smoke cigars. I’m not, but I do like butter, which their steak is drenched in.

 

50 W. Broadway (That empty lot next to the Allegria Hotel)

A few people have emailed me regarding the empty lot next to the Allegria Hotel. They wanted to know if I knew what was going on with it. I don’t.

What we know so far:

  1. It’s not owned by the Allegria Hotel, but they did try to buy it at one point.
  2. There was a bank auction on September 28th. Who won the auction? I don’t know yet.
  3. It’s zoned for commercial (remember the old Turquoise On the Boardwalk?). Maybe mixed use will be used?
  4. The site is approximately 17,140 square feet (Yeah, I got that from the banner in the photo below.)
  5. THAT LOT IS AN EYESORE!!

Rumors:

  1. Barnes & Noble looked at it. (Not sure how true this is, but it’s fun to talk about.)
  2. 12 story residential tower. (That was emailed to me. Not sure how far it got or how true it is.)
  3. Parking for the Allegria (Not going to happen) The hotel apparently has some financial troubles; they aren’t going to spend millions of dollars for parking.

What will probably happen:

I’m guessing that we will see something that is mixed-use:  Parking at street level, retail on the boardwalk,  two or three stories of condos above that.  I don’t think anything more dense will be appropriate, unless it provides enough parking to accommodate it. (1.5 spots per apartment is the going rate these days.)

What kind of commercial-use would work on the boardwalk?   A Restaurant/Cafe?  Retail?  Both? (See Barnes & Noble Rumor)

We already have the over priced and inconsistent Atlantica @ the Allegria next door.  Another food joint would be nice, but it would have to be different. More casual? Better food? CHEAPER? Yeah, that all works for me.  I’m scared that the only thing that keeps the Atantica afloat is booze.   I would love for Long Beach to have its staple – a place that Long Beach is known for. Such a location could do just that, as long as it’s good and cheap.

Can retail work on the boardwalk? hmm… What kind of store would work there? A clothing store? A surf shop? Can such a place survive the winter months?  Barnes & Noble (presumably with Starbucks) sounds very interesting. I’m just not sure where the book industry is going with all these Kindles, Nooks & iPads taking over.  Then again, sand and sun aren’t kind to technology, so books are the way to go as far as a beach is concerned.

As always, I will post whatever info that I can dig up.  Tell me your thoughts!

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Rumors, Rumors, Rumors: Barnes & Noble by the Sea? W Hotel?

I generally don’t like posting rumors, but this new one is extremely interesting. The second one is just an update.

1. Do you know that vacant lot next to the Allegria Hotel that we keep complaining about?  A few weeks ago it was mentioned that the Allegria doesn’t own that lot and the owner had no plans on selling it to them.  Now, keep in mind, that lot is actually zoned for retail. A strip of food shops used to exist there, but were knocked down during the King David renovation – thus making it seem like it was part of the Allegria development.  Fast forward to today:  a reader named Hank commented that Barnes & Noble are now in the picture:

Heard they want to build a Barnes and Noble on the Ocean with a Cafe. They were there surveying the property.

Barnes & Nobles does in fact have absolutely no stores in this particular area of southern Nassau County.  Could a Long Beach location make sense for a company that is now battling book sales against Kindles & iPads?  Maybe destination, gimmick stores with cafe’s on the ocean are exactly what Barnes & Noble needs to keep the profits coming it- an evolution in retail.   Can anybody fill us in on any truth or updates to this?

2. W Hotel taking over Jackson by the Beach? About a year ago I posted that the Jackson was for sale.  In April it was brought up whether or not the hotel was still open because it looked like it went dark.  With that, it was posted in our forums and I got an emails from two separate people that W Hotels were looking to take over.  Current status: Well, the real estate listing that I originally posted has since been taken down.  I recently gave Jackson a ring and they are still alive and kicking.  It doesn’t look like anything is gonna happen soon.   Anybody got updates on this rumor?

Of course I could just be getting duped on both these rumors, but I am willing to take a risk… this is a blog after all, not a newspaper. Why not have some fun with them?

discuss…….

‘Lazy Days’ are numbered

My wife told me that the east end book store ‘Lazy Days’ (651 E Park Ave) is going to close at the end of August. Well that stinks. The owner might reopen somewhere near the train station, which would be a better location. In the meantime, he’s just going to concentrate on internet sales.

I would go in an interview the owner, but I once did a post calling for a bigger book store like (cough cough) Barnes & Noble. I doubt he knows about that, but I’m not taking any chances….

Speaking of lazy days, I was too lazy to get out of my car this morning to take a photo of the store, so I grabbed that image from Google Street View.