Whitestone resident buys Jewels property to build homes

By Madina Toure

The former Whitestone Jewels property has been sold to a developer who plans to build single-family homes on the lot.

The property, a six-acre lot at 150-33 6th Ave., was sold at an auction April 10 for $13.6 million, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced Tuesday.

Avella met with the new owner, Tim O’Sullivan, to discuss his plans for developing the lot. O’Sullivan plans to construct two-story, single-family houses.

His plans call for an as-of-right development that matches the existing R2 zoning on the site, which means that it is exclusively reserved for one-family detached homes.

Avella commended O’Sullivan for coming up with a project that does not violate the character of the neighborhood.

“I commend Mr. O’Sullivan for taking the concerns of these homeowners into consideration,” Avella said in a statement. “I am happy to support a project that will preserve the look and feel of the surrounding community and I look forward to working with him as he develops this property.”

Last month, Avella called on any potential buyers and developers to respect the zoning status of the Whitestone Jewel site and a property at 151-45 6th Road, on the waterfront near the intersection of 151st Place and 6th Road.

The School Construction Authority wanted to build a high school on the former Whitestone Jewels site, but the plan was halted in May 2014 after the SCA realized the area did not have sufficient infrastructure or transportation for a high school.

City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who was a candidate at the time for the seat he now holds, had also spearheaded a protest against the SCA’s plans to build a high school when neighbors caught SCA officials checking out the site in fall 2013.

O’Sullivan, who grew up in Whitestone, said he wants to contribute to the neighborhood in a positive way.

“We are looking forward to working with the community, Sen. Avella and our architect, Frank Petruso, to produce a development befitting this beautiful Whitestone neighborhood,” he said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour[email protected]local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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