New Queens businesses band together to lure shoppers to Sunnyside

Michael Gianaris

June 08, 2011

The Daily News wrote about how Sunnyside merchants have started a new initiative to make the neighborhood a more appealing place to shop, visit and hang out.

A new group focused on revitalizing Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside kicked off its agenda yesterday with some simple yet key goals - Shop local, buy local and free up some parking spaces.

"How can we entice you to shop more in your community?" Ciaran Staunton asked a large gathering of residents, elected officials and property owners at his pub Molly Blooms on hand to launch the Queens Blvd. Merchants Initiative.

"We have 200,000 people who pass here every day going to and from Manhattan," he pointed out. "How do we get them to stop?"

Staunton, a local resident, has long pushed for a more attractive streetscape. That section of Queens Blvd. is pockmarked with empty storefronts, iron gates and shabby awnings.

He is hoping the grass-roots program, pairing property owners and community members, will help find resources and ideas to improve the area.

First on their list is lifting the parking restrictions on Queens Blvd., which bar cars from using the meters until 10 a.m.

"By 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. traffic is not there to the degree that you need five lanes open," said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens/Bronx), who attended the event to show his support.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and a representative for state Sen. Michael Gianaris also promised to back the fledgling effort. Van Bramer said he is lobbying the city to change the parking rules.

Read the full article here.