By Tom Momberg
O’Sullivan Builders and Developers broke ground last Friday on its new 45-home development named Bridges at Whitestone, putting to use the long-vacant land of the former Cresthaven Country Club.
Tim O’Sullivan, who runs his family’s Queens-based firm, has history in Whitestone.
“My family has a lot of history at this actual site. When I was a kid at 5 years old, I went to the CYO camp here… and my whole family used to play tennis here,” O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan said the project has been in the works for a long time. A high school was proposed for the site at one time by the city School Construction Authority, but O’Sullivan said he believed his proposal was much more in line with what the community wanted and needed.
“This site has been vacant for so long,” he said. “My sister Mary and I—our office is just three blocks away. We drove past it almost every single day thinking ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get this?’… We were planning for years and years, and once it was put up for sale, we moved into action.”
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) have all been behind the developer’s proposal, helping them through the process.
“This is a great day for Whitestone,” Braunstein said. Whenever we have a large open space like this open for development in northeast Queens, everyone immediately gets very nervous. Everyone gets concerned that someone will build something cheap or out of character … it’s very refreshing to have someone from the community like Tim to come in, because we realize (he) understands what is appropriate for this neighborhood.”
The timeline for the development is along a three-year stretch. Within the first phase starting in the coming weeks, O’Sullivan is planning to start construction on about two-dozen homes along 150th Street, 6th Avenue and Powell’s Cove Boulevard. The second phase, which may begin sometime in 2016 after the developer goes through the city’s process of establishing a new road down the center of the space.
The development will feature six different single-family-home styles ranging from 2,000 to 3,760 square feet—each designed by architect Frank Petruso, which he plans to align to maintain the waterfront views. The developers said the home prices would go on the market for between $1.6 and $2 million.
The sales and marketing team partnering with O’Sullivan for placing families in the homes is Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.
The development got its name, the Bridges at Whitestone, because it is centered between the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb