Pistilli Grand Manor

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45-02 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, NY

Pistilli Grand Manor
PistillGrandManor-Exterior.jpg

The Victorian style facade draws the eyes and encourages wonder to what is hiding behind the cream and red bricks
Building Information
Developer TTW Realty Group, Joseph Pistilli
Management Company Pistilli Group
Number of Units 201
Number of Floors 6
Year Built 1910
Construction Method Concrete
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45-02 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, NY
Distance to Public Transit Within walking distance
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning M1-1
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Steinway & Sons Piano Factory
In 1910, Pistilli Grand Manor was completed and was to host Steinway and Son's Piano factory in Queens, New York. Originally from Germany, Steinway purchased 400 acres of land, and along side the factory, he built matching Victorian townhouses and a church.[1] The area has since been referred to as Steinway Village or Long Island City.[2]


After the piano factory, Pistelli Grand Manor became Stern's warehouse. The original owner Nikos Kefalides, died in the crash of Swissair Flight 111 and left the building abandoned for two decades.[3]


Joseph Pistilli purchased the land and renovated it into condominiums with retail and commercial space in 2008.[4] [5]


Location

View from Astoria Park of the magnificent Triborough Bridge
Google Maps view of the friendly and convenient Neighborhood

Nestled right between the East River and the north west section of Bowry Bay, Pistilli Grand Manor offers both privacy and great views.


Located within the general area is Astoria Park, opened in 1913 and famous for its scenery. There are many bridges leading into the park, including the Triborough and Hells gate, which are both well known for their unique design.


Rich in history, Astoria Park also holds an Olympic-sized public pool that was built in 1936, making it the oldest pool in Borough. To maintain the athletic interest, basketball courts, tennis courts and nature trails are scattered throughout the park.[6]


The community is part of School District Number 30, and there are lots of education and recreation facilities in the area.[7]


A subway runs about the area, stopping at convenient locations such as Ditmars Boulevard, and Astoria park within walking distance there is:

  • Matrix Fitness Club
  • Porto Bello Pizza & Restaurant
  • Paul Raimonda Playground
  • Avel Lounge

In addition to those, there are many bookstores, shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants and schools in the area.


Construction

Originally built in 1910, we can assume the building followed typical concrete constructions practices of the time. Considering it has stood for over 100 years, it's safe to say they had pretty reliable and durable methods back then, and if it has survived this long, its likely to survive 100 more with the help of a few maintenance tasks.


The renovation in 2008 was supposed to be 20% affordable senior living and 80% condominiums. Upon these terms, the building permit was approved.


The original developer of the renovation died during the course of the project. Pistilli Group took over the project and did not follow the proposal promising to include senior residences.


An architectural addition made to the exterior of the building was glass construction of the arched awning that contrasts with the Victorian style of the Building.


After the construction was completed, many of the Queens residents were not impressed with what had been done. Some commented they had gone to view the condominiums and were disappointed with the cheap quality considering the potential the historical building had.[8] They also commented that it was overpriced considering the quality, and the only reason they were sold for such high prices is because it is the only condominium within ten blocks.


Upon researching public reviews on websites such as Astorians.com there appear to be many concerns about the managementof the building regarding issues such as water leaks, mold, and other maintenance concerns. [9]


Layout and Features

High ceilings, recessed lighting, parquet floors, and cherry wood cabinets are just some of the warm and welcoming features in this building. [10]


The design is open, with over sized windows and vaulted ceilings to allow sunlight to flow into the area. This openness gives the suites an airy and spacious feeling that is consistent throughout the entire building. The front entryway to the building is an arched steel structure that guides people into the spacious lobby.


The parquet floors are installed throughout the entire units including the bedrooms.


The bathroom has a large amount of tile work. This makes it low maintenance and easy to clean.


All kitchens provide a refrigerator, dishwasher, and a stove with a range hood. [11]


The building provides up to date wiring and central A/C, an upgrade from the former steam powered electricity.[12]

Floor Plans

Apartments range from 600 to 1,500 sq ft and are either one or two bedroom layouts. There are a variety of different layouts.

Amenities

Fitness Center located on the ground floor

Pistilli Grand manor offers many different amenities and services:

  • many helpful staff members
  • full-time 24 hour doorman
  • on-site superintendent
  • on-site handyman
  • two laundry rooms/floor
  • fitness center
  • on-site parking that is both covered and uncovered
  • concierge
  • controlled Access Entry
  • storage
  • wheelchair accessible

Bylaws

Pistilli Grand Manor Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No


Some suites have recently been re-established as senior discounted suites.

Pets under 25 pounds are acceptable.

Sustainability

The original building was constructed well before any LEED certifications or environmental concerns existed.

Queens encourages sustainable homeowners. So residence of Pistilli Grand Manor are asked to preserve the environment and its resources as best as they. Ways to do this include turning off the lights, using less water, and other simple yet effective methods. [13]

Also, like the rest of New York, there is recycling pick up services. Mixed paper, cardboard, metal, glass, and plastic bottles can all be recycled and saved from the land fills.

Another environmentally appealing factor is how close the building is to alternative transportation and businesses. Residents don't need to excessively use their car and some may not even need one. [14]

Trivia

Steinway Village Amusement Park
  • Discounted prices for senior residents was originally disregarded by Pistilli Group. Citizens complained and eventually Pistilli was forced to provide discounted suites.
  • Scott Joplin, the African-American composer and pianist who wrote hits such as Maple Leaf Rag, is buried at St. Michael's Cemetery only a few blocks from Pistilli Grand Manor.
  • The Swissair Flight 111 crashed on its way from the New York to Switzerland. All 229 people on board died, making it the second highest air disaster in Canada (the plane crashed off the coast of Halifax.) The crew followed standard procedures when they detected smoke of an unknown origin. This meant they had to shut down the power, causing the fans to shut off, and creating a vacuum. The vacuum sucked the smoke further into the passenger area and cockpit bringing flames along with it. All those who survived the fire were killed by the actual crash as the plane hit the water at 345 miles per hour.
  • Steinway developed the modern piano based on late nineteenth-century inventions. The first piano produced by the Steinway & Son's was number 483, and was sold to a New York family for $500. The company currently crafts approximately 2,500 pianos a year worldwide with factories in Astoria and Hamburg.

Other contributions Steinway made for the town, in addition to the church, the factory and the townhouses, were:

  • one of the first free kindergartens in the United States
  • a free circulating library
  • trolley system that connected the factory to the 92nd Street ferry from Yorkville in Manhattan
  • an amusement park on north beach
  • tunnel under the East River that is still used today by the No. 7 subway line

References

  1. Curbed
  2. New York Times
  3. Street Easy
  4. Relator.com
  5. New York Times
  6. Queens Real Estate Talk
  7. New York Times
  8. Astorians
  9. Astorians
  10. Pistilli Grand Manor
  11. NY Bits
  12. Keller Williams Realty
  13. Queena Gazette - LICA and City Agencies Hold Green
  14. About - Commuting and Traveling in Queens, NY


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