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Montauk Cutoff / site of the proposed "Ranch on Rails"

Information about this lot

There are 5 lots grouped here:
  • Queens, unmapped lot #1 ().
  • Queens block 68, lot 74 (25-40 BORDEN AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
  • Queens block 109, lot 3 ( BORDEN AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
  • Queens block 110, lot 1 ( 51 AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
  • Queens block 111, lot 1 ( 50 AVENUE). More details at OASIS.
Address: 50 AVENUE, Queens, 11101
Area: 0.87 acres (37768 square feet)

Political Boundaries

City Council District 26 represented by James G. Van Bramer
Community District Queens 2 ( qn02@cb.nyc.gov / 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 think this lot is vacant because:

  • The lot was added manually by site admins.

Government Agency

New York City Transit (MTA) (public)
Contact: John Coyne, MTA Real Estate (212.878.7158 / jcoyne@mtahq.org)

John Coyne is the MTA real estate fellow.

Pathways

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

News feed

Nov. 14, 2017, 10:43 p.m.
NYCommons Researcher said

The mapped lots included in this site are part of the Long Island City Industrial Business Zone (IBZ): https://www.nycedc.com/industry/industrial/nyc-industrial-business-zones. 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.

Nov. 7, 2017, 12:26 a.m.
NYCommons Researcher said

The lot that is south of Borden Avenue (Queens block 68, lot 74) is part of the Newtown Creek Significant Maritime and Industrial Area (SMIA). SMIAs are intended to protect and encourage concentrated working waterfront uses, and are regulated by the NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP): http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/applicants/wrp/wrp-2.page?tab=3#collapse3

Most SMIAs are located in environmental justice communities and in storm surge zones, making places that are already overburdened by contamination especially vulnerable to more pollution due to climate change. The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA), through its Waterfront Justice Project, has successfully campaigned to update local regulations to address community resiliency and climate adaptation in SMIAs, and continues to research ways to build climate resilient working waterfronts. Read more about the Waterfront Justice Project: http://www.nyc-eja.org/campaigns/waterfront-justice-project/

June 26, 2017, 8:09 p.m.
Mara at 596 acres said

This is an older email, but i wanted to put it here!

On Apr 20, 2017, at 4:33 PM, Coyne, John jcoyne@mtahq.org wrote:

Marlisa,

The LIRR has no further objections or questions about the pedestrian safety plan. They are now circulating a concurrence document that basically OK’s the expansion of the garden area. Once I have that I can go ahead and amend the agreement to give Smiling Hogshead access to the expanded area.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

John

June 7, 2017, 11:56 a.m.
mara at 596 acres said

Folks are moving forward in implementing the Ranch on Rails! Plug into it at any Terrific Tuesday at the Ranch, (25-30 Skillman Ave, Long Island City) EVERY TUESDAY EVENING. The potluck starts at 7:30pm. Join earlier to garden, too! Here's the update from Gil Lopez:

"Hi all,
Just a little update. The MTA is currently removing the blue bogeys off the Montauk Cutoff. The project manager says they should be done in 2-3 weeks. As a reminder, the MTA has stated in the past that we will be able to take control of this addition 1/2 acre of land and begin implementing our plan after these are removed this summer.

[photo of the 'blue bogey' vehicles on the old tracks that the MTA is removing]

"The Hogshead Board is currently working on revising our Garden License Agreement so the language allows for all of the improvements, activities and programming we have proposed in the Ranch on Rails plan.

"I invite all of you to reconnect with me and everyone here at the Ranch continually working to achieve the visionary goals we have set out in our RoR plan. Please consider attending any of our regular Terrific Tuesday event. We can all talk about when to set up a more formal Cutoff Coalition meeting next Tuesday.

In SOILidarity,
Gil Lopez"

Sept. 9, 2016, 1:40 p.m.
"Paula said

We anticipate a public announcement once the new lease is signed - January!

Paula Z. Segal, Esq.
Executive Director
596 Acres, Inc.
540 President St #2E
Gowanus, Brooklyn NY 11215
718-316-6092 x 2
718-316-6092
paula@596acres.org

596 Acres champions resident stewardship of land to build just and equitable cities.

Sept. 9, 2016, 12:49 p.m.
Wendy Brawer said

I’m interested in helping the Ranch on Rails move forward. Is this public or under wraps?

BTW, Patagonia grants (via local stores) due in early Oct. It helps to offer staff a walkthru or short, informal presentation at their space. If there's interest, and you want me to intro you/this, let me know - best to all and hurray!! hurray!!

Sept. 9, 2016, 9:46 a.m.
Paula posted
Sept. 9, 2016, 9:44 a.m.
Paula at 596 Acres said

Long Island Rail Road is planning to take an incremental approach to development of the Cutoff Coalition’s vision, starting in 2017! The plan is to expand the footprint covered by the Smiling Hogshead Ranch agreement to include the whole of the Degnon Terminal and the portion of the Montauk Cutoff that is west of 49th Avenue. This includes a section of elevated track!.

We can think of this as a demonstration project for the larger proposal or a proving phase. It starts really soon! It is time to: Plan for next year!

May 5, 2016, 8:43 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Check out www.cutoffcoalition.org and spread the word about the vision!

March 29, 2016, 8:22 p.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
Ranch on Rails Press Kit!
Feb. 27, 2016, 12:46 a.m.
paula at 596 acres posted
Feb. 26, 2016, 10:31 a.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
The Cutoff Coalition Submission WE DID IT! Click to see!
Feb. 8, 2016, 4:31 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

The collaborative vision for the adaptive reuse of the Montauk Cutoff is supported by Smiling Hogshead Ranch, 596 Acres, the Newtown Creek Alliance, State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, the Long Island City Community Boathouse, Green Map System, HarborLAB, members of the biology faculty group at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), NYC Compost Project, 2030 Districts, Common Ground Compost, Farming Concrete, Sculpture Center, Sierra Club, Transition NYC, as well as independent architects, scholars and residents, including the chair of the environmental committee of Queens Community Board 2.

Want to join in?

Jan. 11, 2016, 10:55 a.m.
paula at 596 acres said

The Cutoff Coalition is a group of New Yorkers developing a plan for the adaptive reuse of the Montauk Cutoff. The Cutoff is a five parcel tract of MTA property in Long Island City, Queens, tied together via 0.69 miles of recently “abandoned,” elevated railroad tracks. We are crafting our response to the MTA’s official Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI), due February 26, 2016, but need more voices like yours in the Coalition. It would be amazing to have GrowNYC’s support and collaboration. Our next meeting is on January 21, 2016 in the evening (location TBD).

The Cutoff Coalition already includes Smiling Hogshead Ranch, 596 Acres, the Newtown Creek Alliance, the Long Island City Community Boathouse, Green Map System, HarborLAB, members of the biology faculty group at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), NYC Compost Project, as well as independent architects, scholars and residents, including the chair of the environmental committee of Queens Community Board 2. It would be great to get GrowNYC to join or to commit to support our adaptive re-use concept.

We know that as a community in dialogue we will design a stronger proposal than if we were to compete against each other. Therefore, we are joining our talents and resources to create a collaborative vision for the decommissioned railroad tracks. As a springboard for community wealth building, we are excited about:

** Green infrastructure, focusing on site bioremediation (e.g. soil and water purification, stormwater catchment and reuse, engineered bioswales);

** Community owned renewable energy installation and demonstration site for photovoltaics, wind turbine power, algae for biofuels, methane production from compost bio-digestion;

** Urban agriculture in the form of a demonstration farm that extends the five year old garden already created there, mushroom production, greenhouse facilities, aquaponics, and extensive composting technologies;

** Maker-spaces, artist studios and the potential for a cooperative business hub, and a bicycle coop;

** Community open spaces; and

** Educational programming.

We are proposing to create a transformative economic and social environment, building capacity for radical change by making these models undeniably apparent and accessible.

Dec. 5, 2015, 10:54 a.m.
paula at 596 acres said

This week, our efforts towards a collaborative vision for a the reuse of a former rail line in Long Island City were extensively covered in Curbed. It's not too late to join the Cut Off Coalition in responding to MTA's invitation for an adaptive re-use plan for a former rail line. The next formal meeting will by on January 6, 2016, but review notes from past meetings and documents to get caught up, drop a line and join us. The proposal is due February 26, 2016.

Dec. 2, 2015, 4:50 p.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
MTA's responses to questions about the Request for Expressions of Interest Click to read them!
Nov. 16, 2015, 5:54 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

We noticed the Cut Off mentioned in the Federal Register:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/11/02/2015-27837/the-long-island-rail-road-company-abandonment-exemption-in-queens-county-ny

I asked John Coyne at MTA about it. Here is his response:

The abandonment process is a necessary first step to the adaptive reuse of the Cutoff. Officially abandoning the Cutoff will relieve LIRR of the obligation to provide freight service to businesses located along the right-of-way, which would otherwise, under federal law, have the right to demand such service. Even though there currently are no businesses along the right-of-way that could feasibly utilize freight service, it is nonetheless an important procedural element that must play out before anything else is to be done with the property.

Nov. 15, 2015, 5:25 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

We have created a google group for managing this project. The group’s email address is montauk-cutoff@googlegroups.com. Anyone can send a message to this address and everyone who is subscribed to the group will receive it. You can also see an archive of messages to the group here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/montauk-cutoff

Mia took notes at the meeting last week and they are posted here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jkd_yicZtlwf72B1z0-b7pcokHGcwinCAGmDgC5Exc4/edit?ts=5645410a (with photos of the notes we took together! awesome!)

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 2 at 6:30pm, again at Nomad Cycle | 47-10 Austell Pl, Queens, NY 11101 https://goo.gl/maps/nZVNeVnLNRT2 (thanks, Nomad!).

Here is the homework ~~~~ before December 1, please send an email to montauk-cutoff@googlegroups.com with two things in it:


  1. Three or four sentences describing what you wanto see as an adaptive re-use. Choose one to describe: the whole project (all 4.2 acres!) OR one specific aspect.


  2. A list of the skills, resources and connections you are bringing with you to make that vision a reality.


I will follow up with John Coyne at MTA next week to ask the questions we still do not have answers to. Please let me know by Tuesday at 5pm if there are additions to the list in the notes above.

Onwards!

Oct. 30, 2015, 11:23 a.m.
Robin G. said

Been off the 596 radar for a while and newly resubscribing. As a neighboring resident of Sunnyside, i'm thrilled to see this effort. i'll definitely put 11/11 on my calendar. Thanks!

Oct. 17, 2015, 2:13 p.m.
paula 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. 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 https://goo.gl/maps/nZVNeVnLNRT2. Citizens Committee for New York City, 596 Acres and the Smiling Hogshead Ranch team will co-facilitate the collaborative session.
Oct. 10, 2015, 9:40 p.m.
paula said

There will be a walk-through of the site with MTA (and representatives of 596 Acres and Smiling Hogshead Ranch, already operating on the parcel next door, http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4001000002/) on Friday, October 16 at 10am.

RSVP!!!

John Coyne at jcoyne@mtahq.org no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, October 12, 2015.

Proposals are due February 26, 2016. Let's get together and come up with an awesome one!

Oct. 10, 2015, 9:01 p.m.
Erycka de Jesus said

Sounds like quite a learning experience, I'm in!

Oct. 8, 2015, 1:10 p.m.
paula at 596 acres posted
Some starting thoughts of what we can create together...
Some starting thoughts of what we can create together...
Sept. 24, 2015, 2:51 p.m.
paula at 596 acres said

Some good coverage of the opportunity: http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2015/39/highline_2015_09_25_q.html

"... 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. 24, 2015, 2:49 p.m.
paula at 596 acres uploaded
The MTA is looking for great ideas for adaptive re-use of this decommissioned rail line! (Click for full Request for Expressions of Interest) There will be a walk-through of the site with MTA (and representatives of 596 Acres and Smiling Hogshead Ranch, already operating on the parcel next door, http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/4001000002/) on Friday, October 16 at 10am. RSVP: John Coyne at jcoyne@mtahq.org no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, October 12, 2015. Proposals are due February 26, 2016. Let's get together and come up with an awesome one!
Oct. 27, 2012, 9:18 a.m.
reva meeks said

Ok, will do.

Oct. 27, 2012, 6:30 a.m.
jeff said

Sounds good.

Jeff Keiter, RLA

Seasonscape Landscape, LLC

tel: 917.723.8810

seasonscapelandscape@yahoo.com

Oct. 27, 2012, 2:11 a.m.
Gil Lopez said

Thanks for organizing Damion. Lets wait to meet as a group with NCA before we contact John Coyne again.

Oct. 27, 2012, 2:10 a.m.
Gil Lopez said

Thanks for organizing Evan. Lets wait to meet as a group with NCA before we contact John Coyne.

Oct. 27, 2012, 2:07 a.m.
Gil Lopez said

This is currently active but the rail is slated for deactivation. Claiming these spaces is a preemptive act to galvanize community interest leading up to the decommissioning. It would be good not to contact John again until the organizers of all the Montauk Cutoff lots meet with the NCA to plan further.

Oct. 26, 2012, 5:18 p.m.
reva meeks said

John Coyne at MTA: "The property you identify is part of the LIRR Montauk Cutoff, which is a currently active freight rail."

Oct. 26, 2012, 5:14 p.m.
someone posted
from Borden Ave looking down Dutchkills towards Newtown Creek
Oct. 26, 2012, 5:11 p.m.
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looking east down Borden Ave
Oct. 13, 2012, 2:56 p.m.
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Oct. 13, 2012, 2:55 p.m.
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Oct. 13, 2012, 2:54 p.m.
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Oct. 13, 2012, 2:53 p.m.
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Oct. 13, 2012, 2:52 p.m.
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