Development blazes on in Central Queens

By Gabriel Rom

Central Queens’ real estate boom shows no signs of slowing down.

A major development site in Ridgewood has been expanded to two lots and a new seven-story condo is under construction in Forest Hills.

The lot size and price tag for the Ridgewood sites, which are in an M1-4D light manufacturing zone, will both increase. In addition to 951 Cypress Ave., the parcel now includes the neighboring warehouse at 1716 Weirfield St. The two properties, owned by Greiner Maltz Investment Properties, are currently going for around $25 million collectively

When combined, the two properties have an approximate lot size of 104 feet by 175 feet, with a total square footage of about 18,200 feet.

The buildable area grew to 118,300 square feet with the addition of the warehouse.

Like much of the recent development, the site in the center of the neighborhood, near Myrtle Avenue and surrounded by retail businesses. According to the listing, there should be positive pedestrian traffic around the site due to an ample amount of nearby public transportation, which can be beneficial for a potential ground-floor retail space, according to Greiner Maltz.

Both properties will be delivered without any tenants.

In Forest Hills, a new seven-story condo located at 109-15 72nd Road between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street will feature almost two dozen apartment units as well as retail space on the ground floor, according to city documents.

The listings come on the heels of a slew of real-estate dealings in both neighborhoods over the past few months.

Seth Bornstein, the president of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, noted that growing demand for condominiums is especially beneficial for the borough.

“People want to purchase,” he said. “There is a demand from people who want to invest in the borough and that idea of ownership is a good thing. It adds to a sense of community.”

Straddling the border with Brooklyn, Ridgewood has had an influx of mostly younger people fleeing Bushwick’s rising rental costs for the comparatively cheaper rates in Queens. But the development has led to what some longtime community residents say is displacement.

In September, LaserShip, a Virginia-based package delivery service and major Amazon contractor, signed a 10-year lease to relocate from Long Island City and fully occupy a Ridgewood warehouse as its newest distribution center.

Earlier this month, a longtime Ridgewood tenant, 1/2 Price Kids shop, announced it would be vacating its 60-84 Myrtle Ave. building, which was recently sold, by Jan. 1.

Earlier this month, Ridgewood residents gathered at PS 305 for an emergency informational session on tenant rights hosted by a mix of attorneys, non-profits and lawmakers.

According to community activists and tenants, concern has been rising over the loss of affordable units in Ridgewood as well as landlord harassment and illegal construction.

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at [email protected]cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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