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Queens College still searching for dorm – QNS.com

Queens College still searching for dorm

Although the deal to acquire the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Flushing as a residence hall has fallen through, Queens College (QC) is still looking for a property that could become a small dormitory, said QC President James L. Muyskens.
&#8220It looks like it is not going to work out, and we are very disappointed by that,” Muyskens said. &#8220When that fell through, it sort of put us back to the drawing board stage.”
Muyskens said that the college had become interested in the property, which could be transformed into a 300-bed residence hall with the addition of two floors, earlier this year, but could not negotiate a contract with Galway Properties, which purchased the hospital last year for $10 million.
St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers had closed the hospital, located on Union Turnpike between 160th Street and Parsons Boulevard, in July 2004 for financial reasons. Plans for the site that never came to fruition included offices, housing, a rehab center and dormitories for St. John's University, located only about one mile away from St. Joseph's Hospital.
Repeated calls to the owners of Galway Properties were not returned.
QC planned to charge students between $850 and $1050 for a single, and between $750 and $850 per person for a double occupancy room. The revenue that the college would have gotten from students was not enough to make the price tag for the property worthwhile, Muyskens said.
&#8220We don't see ourselves as really becoming a residential college, but to have some residential dormitories would be useful to us,” Muyskens said, explaining that the college planned to house honor and graduate students - who often work late hours in the laboratories - as well as international students in the new dorm.
&#8220We are looking at [other] opportunities, and if the opportunity presents itself we will take a closer look. There really isn't a schedule here,” he said.
In considering another property, two of the biggest factors are price and location.
&#8220Of course in this case, [St. Joseph's Hospital] is close to campus, and it's on a bus route. Location is extremely important, and that was a convenient one,” Muyskens said.
Muyskens also said that QC had worked closely with Community Board 8 (CB8) during negotiations with Galway for the hospital and would continue to do so should the college consider purchasing another property.
&#8220We want to be a good neighbor,” he said.
Members of CB 8 were also disappointed that the deal fell through with Galway Properties.
&#8220[The site] is an eyesore; the property is empty. It looks overgrown, and it looks unkempt,” said Diane Cohen, District Manager for CB 8.

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