Year in Review: Queens’ top stories from June 2021

QNS file photos

As 2021 comes to an end, QNS has compiled a list of the biggest stories, events and people of Queens that grabbed our attention this year.

Here’s a look back at the top stories for the month of June.

LaGuardia AirTrain project delayed after Queens congresswoman urges further federal review

Courtesy of Port Authority

Final approval of the $2.1 billion LaGuardia AirTrain project has been delayed by the federal government just as shovels were set to hit the ground on construction of the controversial light rail system.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced it would take longer than expected to reach a decision on the final approval of the project, known as a Record of Decision, citing concerns over the environmental review process and intense pushback from the community around LaGuardia Airport in East Elmhurst, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the area.

Construction underway on borough-based jail in Kew Gardens

Courtesy of the mayor’s office

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that construction is underway on the parking garage and community space alongside the new jail that will rise adjacent to Borough Hall and the Queens Criminal Courthouse.

The construction marks the first major activity in the borough-based jails program, an $8.3 billion effort to construct four new, smaller, more humane jails in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island.

The new 105-foot structure will house a 25,000-square-foot, two-level, multipurpose community space, plus more than 600 public parking spots. The structure is being built on the west side of the existing parking lot at Union Turnpike between 126th Street and 132nd Street.

Suspected gang member slain in Corona: NYPD

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Detectives in Queens were looking for the suspect who gunned down an alleged gang member on June 2. Police said the shooter blasted the 29-year-old man in the head near a home on 108th Street off Van Doren Street in Corona.

Officers from the 110th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call about the shooting, found the wounded victim unconscious and unresponsive on the sidewalk.

EMS rushed the victim to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Target plans to open new store at One Court Square in Long Island City

Courtesy of Target

A new Target store is coming to One Court Square in Long Island City. The popular national retail chain has leased 31,000 square feet at One Court Square, making it the newest tenant in one of the tallest towers in the western Queens neighborhood.

Target will take over the second floor of the 53-story building, which connects directly to the lobby. Savanna, a real estate investment management firm, is in the midst of upgrading One Court Square with an $85 million capital improvement program.

The new Target in Long Island City would be the eighth location to open in Queens.