Target Opens on Austin Street

Target’s opening was right on…. target.

They knew this day was coming; the residents of Forest Hills have anxiously awaited the day when the state’s most convenient department store, Target, would finally open its doors to customers. In the months following the closing of Barnes and Noble, residents of Forest Hills stopped by 70-00 Austin Street (Target’s location) to see what better store could take the place of the beloved local bookshop. For weeks, paper covered the shop’s windows– but eventually the big red dot appeared on the storefront.

Wednesday, July 20th, was the grand opening of Target, and not just Target, but Target in “flexible format” style. Due to the size of the store, this Target was formally known as a Target Express, but now it is called a flexible format store, because every product sold in smaller Targets is unique to that stores location. We’d be better off calling it “mini Target.”

Approximately 21,000 square feet, this mini Target is about one fourth of the size of a usual, suburban Target location. With currently 61 stores operated in the New York- New Jersey-Long Island market, Target will be opening an additional 5 more flexible format stores this year.

Kristy Welker, a PR person for Target, claimed:“We started this urban concept in 2012. We started as city-targets. We first started in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. That was a test phase for us, just kind of like dipping our toes in the water in terms of bringing stores into more urban settings versus the traditional store in a suburban setting. Since some of our top performing stores are in New York, we were looking to make more Targets available. Our new Queens Forest Hills location was designed with the resident’s needs in mind, including local city dwellers and families with kids in the neighborhood.”

Even though it’s not as fully equipped as your usual Target, this mini Target has about every possible house staple and product that a Forest Hills family would need. Groceries, sports merchandise, beauty products, stationary, technology products and even a CVS pharmacy– which, believe it or not, seemed to be a concern to some Forest Hills residents.

One customer was displeased with Targets new format. He said “We don’t need anymore pharmacies. We now have one on every block. What the Forest Hills community needs is more grocery stores, and I would have liked to have seen more food and produce in this Target. I’m surprised they didn’t put a Trader Joe’s here.”

The Forest Hills community will just have to get used to it’s first ever mini department store, and with time they might even come to love it more than a Trader Joe’s.

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Letter to editor cites Forest Hills development tragedy

In a letter to the editor of the Forest Hills Times this week Joanna Friedman, of 72 Road in Forest Hills calls out legislators to stop endless development in town.

She expresses her views on how some new development is leading to the rising commercial rents and Austin Street is looking more like a ‘strip mall’ than ever before. She writes that her view of Our Lady Queens of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills makes it feel more like Paris. She is calling on legislators to see that the idea of job growth and new housing brought on by development might just have a downside if there is no end in sight. 

She warns that having more people live here through endless development will lead to the destruction of Forest Hills altogether.


………   That loss is my tragedy; it’s too late for me. But it’s not too late for others. Forest Hills is characterized by trees and sky and light. Just a few more tall buildings will change that. Forest Hills is quiet. Just a few hundred more residents will change that. 

   In the Austin Street area in particular, we are maxed out. Rush-hour traffic now resembles Manhattan. Rents are so wild it’s almost impossible to sustain an independent business here. Austin Street is beginning to look like a strip mall. Is this what we want? ……..


Read the entire letter here:

Read more: Queens Ledger – Save Forest Hills 


West Side Tennis Club Foundation to host summer gala

As The West Side Tennis Club and Forest Hills Stadium increasingly become part of the fabric within the community, The West Side Tennis Club will host a summer gala which will benefit the community.

The Foundation Gala aims to help youth develop life skills and self-esteem. Furthermore, funding will support and encourage participation in tennis for those who are physically, socially or emotionally challenged. Additionally, the Gala will also go towards funding for a library and museum of tennis history.

The Foundation’s summer gala will be on August 6th, starting with cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. The flyer below features more details on the night.

Foundation Gala


20% OFF sunglasses at MK Vision in Forest Hills

Attention Forest Hills & Queens residents!

MK Vision, located at 107-29 71st Ave. in Forest Hills, is offering 20% OFF all of their sunglasses!

mkvision20blog2 MK’s upscale optical store has set itself apart from  other optical stores by offering the widest range of  designer frames at the most affordable prices. They  also have the biggest showroom in Queens, where  you can feel like a celebrity

“We want to see you look good,” said owner, Kaleena  Ma. “The 20% off is to show our customers that we  value them, and we love our community,” said the  young entrepreneur, who is an integral part of the Forest Hills business community.

Check out Mott Optical’s custom eyewear brands, “Mott & Bayard” and “Suki,” and visit their store to try on all of their elite eyewear today!



NYC Councilmembers give support to Queens Community House

Queens Community House, a multi-service settlement house serving more than 20,000 children, youth, adults and older adults every year, has received immense support from the New York City Council and its members, especially Karen Koslowitz, Rory Lancman and Daniel Dromm. The three members have given a combined $143,000 in budget discretionary funds to the borough-wide nonprofit.

11041671_10155329495165066_9078656661548342279_n Established as a community  center in Forest Hills, Queens in  1975, QCH  has expanded into a  broad network of programs  operating out of 25 sites in 11  different neighborhoods in  Queens – and the New York City  Council has noticed.

 “We offer Queens residents a much-needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to become active participants in their larger community,” Executive Director Ben Thomases said. “This money will go a long way in helping us change the lives of our neighbors for the better.”

 Council Member Koslowitz represents the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill. Moreover, as Chair of the Queens Delegation, Koslowitz was determined to fund non-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the entire borough, including QCH.

“I was delighted to provide $56,500 to Queens Community House, which will go towards programs for both our senior citizens and our youth,” declared Koslowitz.  “Each year, Queens Community House helps thousands of Queens residents from our youth to our elders with programs designed to educate, engage and improve quality of life.  This funding will go towards the enhancement of senior programming, which includes educational and recreational activities such as art, exercise, dance, nutrition and computer classes.  This support also provides activities such as health screenings and healthy aging programs. Additionally, I was pleased to provide funding for Queens Community House’s outstanding Evening Teen Center.”

The Teen Center provides recreational activities, college counseling and access to employment opportunities to more than 300 young adults in the community.

Council Member Lancman, who oversees Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica, arranged for $59,000 to be given to the Pomonok Senior Center and Pomonok After School Program, both run out of the Pomonok Community Center.

“The funding I allocated will help Queens Community House serve thousands of Queens residents through educational and recreational activities,” Lancman said. “By working with Queens Community House, we are able to keep after school programs open later and support summer camps to help working parents. Queens Community House serves so many of my constituents, and I am happy to support them.”


The mystery of Twist & Smash’d

Yelp/Jeffrey M.

Yelp/Jeffrey M.

A fast food restaurant on Austin Street has left residents puzzled as to whether it has permanently closed or not.

Twist & Smash’d, which serves burgers, twisted potatoes, salads and drinks, has been closed for weeks. However, the restaurant took to Facebook on June 13 to say that they would indeed be coming back. They stated that they were closed due to an electrical issue as well as being away at the music festival Mysteryland USA in Bethel. On June 13, they announced that they would be re-opening the following weekend. However, the eatery now has an “available space” sign on its window.

The possible closing may have been due to the competition with other eateries. The new Shake Shack, Bareburger, Cheeburger Cheeburger and pubs are all nearby to Twist & Smash’d.

There is a new Twist & Smash’d Sports bar located at 34-02 Steinway St. in Astoria.

Will you miss the Twist & Smash’d if it will indeed be closing permanently?