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Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Information about this lot

Known Use: community green space
Address: 49 AVENUE, Queens, 11101
Area: 2.29 acres (99968 square feet)
Block and Lot: Queens, block 100, lot 2
More information about this lot at OASIS

Political Boundaries

City Council District 26 represented by James G. Van Bramer
Community District Queens 2 ( / 718-533-8773 ), district manager: Debra Markell Kleinert
Find all elected officials for this lot at Who Represents Me? NYC

Why is this lot here?

We posted this lot because:

  • The lot is being used as a community green space.
  • Neighbors got access to it with the help of 596 Acres.

Government Agency

New York City Transit (MTA) (public)
Contact: John Coyne, MTA Real Estate (212.878.7158 /

John Coyne is the MTA real estate fellow.


This land is being stewarded by the following group:

Smiling Hogshead Ranch, 407.432.8156

A group of us have been farming and gardening here since February 2011. If you would like to get involved send an email or find us on Facebook. We would love to have more participation as we build capacity and community around this space!


Here are some pathways you might follow to use this piece of land legally:

News feed

Nov. 14, 2017, 10:46 p.m.
NYCommons Researcher said

Smiling Hogshead Ranch is part of the Long Island City Industrial Business Zone (IBZ): The IBZ program is intended to protect manufacturing businesses and jobs from the pressures of the residential and commercial real estate markets by creating zones in the outer boroughs where manufacturing is incentivized, commercial uses are limited, and residential rezoning is not allowed. These protections are not enshrined in law, however, and depend on the priorities of politicians for enforcement.

Dec. 1, 2015, 5:39 p.m.
2nd Visioning Meeting 12/2, 6:30pm @Nomad Cycle said

We hosted over 35 community members last month to begin our discussion. We created the Cutoff Coalition and scheduled our next meeting for:
Wednesday, December 2nd
Nomad Cycle | 47-16 Austell Place, Long Island City 11101
Dinner provided (courtesy the Awesome! Foundation & Smiling Hogshead Ranch members)
Join us as we review ideas and resources, review the RFEI timeline and critical milestones, discuss the Cutoff Coalition's structure, review or shared visions and the MTA's responses to the questions we posed at the walkthrough and at our last meeting.

Nov. 23, 2015, 10:19 a.m.
meredith posted
Here is what this lot looked like before neighbors transformed it with 596 Acres’ help (google took this gloomy picture in 2007)!
Oct. 29, 2015, 9:43 a.m.
Montauk RFEI visioning organizers uploaded
Visioning meeting on Nov. 11 Following up with last month's big news, we are happy to report that over 25 people came out for the first walk through two weeks ago and the MTA hosted a second walk through last week for several more interested parties. The MTA/LIRR has released a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to adaptively reuse the rail line behind Smiling Hogshead Ranch, spanning from the Sunnyside Railyard to the Dutch Kill. Composed of five parcels of land, over 4.2 acres of land and 0.69 miles of elevated track. If you have not already familiarized yourself with this RFEI, please do so, it can be viewed and downloaded below. Responses are due February 26, 2016. Leading up to this date, we will to convene a coallition of community stakeholders, devise a shared vision for this land, and prepare the community response to this RFEI. The first community visioning session Date: Wed. November 11th Time: 6:30pm Location: Nomad Cycle (47-10 Austell Place, LIC, NY 11101) Bring your ideas & proposals! We have attached an early sketch to open up the flow of ideas. Please let us know what we left out or how you and your organization would like to help realize these dreams. We can use this page to help us organize: RSVP on Facebook: We have also started a Montauk Cutoff Google group to help organize, to opt in to this discussion click this link: This is not just a dream but rather a real opportunity to create! So bring your ideas and opportunities for funding your idea, and plan for operating the proposed use. Be ready to think about how your idea compliments others. The coming months are a time to figure out synergies between all proposals. By working together we amplify our power, increase our positive impact, and wield the true power of our community. Let’s do this together!
Oct. 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Cutoff RFEI Community Visioning meeting on Nov. 11 said
Help create a new vision for the old Montauk Cutoff spur in LIC. Join community stakeholders to collectively craft a vision for the adaptive reuse of the Montauk Cutoff spanning the LIC Industril Business Zone from the Sunnyside Railyard to the Dutch Kill.

Oct. 17, 2015, 2:15 p.m.
paula at 596 acres posted
Join the community to start a collaborative proposal for the Montauk Cut off on November 11 at 6:30pm.
Join the community to start a collaborative proposal for the Montauk Cut off on November 11 at 6:30pm. The walk-through this week was fantastic and got a lot of people thinking together about how the Cut Off can be transformed. It also really drove home that whatever is proposed and executed on the Cut Off will impact the use of the Smiling Hogshead Ranch parcel directly. It could expand the ranch, leave it as-is or replace it. Join your friends and neighbors to continue the conversation on WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11 AT 6:30PM at Nomad Cycle | 47-10 Austell Pl, Queens, NY 11101 Citizens Committee for New York City, 596 Acres and the Smiling Hogshead Ranch team will co-facilitate the collaborative session.
Sept. 24, 2015, 2:51 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Some good coverage of the opportunity:

"... the notion that Queens could get its own Highline-style park, which has been mentioned in some published reports, completely misses the mark.

“Please don’t get me wrong, I and other members of Smiling Hogshead Ranch all love city parks and absolutely adore the Highline,” Lopez said. “It is almost endearing to have the comparison made, but it creates a public expectation for a richly designed and opulently constructed, passive park while we have been working to create something very different. If you mention Highline to the specialists I’m engaged with they’ll move on to other projects. We have the opportunity to develop something much bigger here that would better serve the population. Now we have to come up with a serious business model to figure out how to pay for it all.”

Sept. 17, 2015, 11:26 a.m.
paula uploaded
MTA Request for Expressions of Interest for the Whole Montauk Cut Off Walk through: October 16 at 10am Deadline: February 26, 2016
Aug. 3, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Agreement signed with MTA! The Smiling Hogshead Ranch team now has official access to this lot!

May 28, 2013, 10:52 p.m.
Gil Lopez said

We are excited to be working in with other groups who are hoping to enter agreements with the MTA to activate more urban space in the city!
If you live in W. Queens, N. Brooklyn or Midtown and would like to get involved with our group please email or find us on Facebook. In SOILdarity...

Jan. 3, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
Gil Lopez said

the weekly Wednesday workdays continue...

Dec. 14, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
Gil Lopez said

We are planning to start meeting to compost and work in the garden once a week. We are going to start doing this each Wednesday from 9am-noon.

Oct. 8, 2012, 5:27 p.m.
Gil Lopez said

I just wanted everyone to know that I will be on site this Saturday, October 13th from 10am-3pm. There may be some big earthwork going on courtesy of our neighboring concrete mixing plant owner. Other than that we will be planting garlic and cover crops in preparation for fall and the coming winter.
please find us on FB as well: