2020 Preview: The biggest development stories to watch in Ridgewood

Photo: Max Parrott/QNS

While the biggest ongoing story of 2020 in the Ridgewood area promises to be the development of the Cooper Avenue homeless shelter in Glendale, that development is not the only project in town.

Queens Community District 5 — encompassing Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood — can expect three large residential developments in addition to three extensive sewer improvement projects in the year ahead.

First, an update on the oldest of the area’s large-scale residential developments: construction of the Ridgewood Tower Development has stalled. The holding company of AB Capstone filed revised plans for the site on Jan. 31 of last year for a 17-story structure residential building at the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and Palmetto Street that will include 138 apartments.

Over the past year the excavation of the site has continued, but the developer recently hit a roadblock, according to Ted Renz, the executive director of the Myrtle Avenue BID. 

“On the corner of what used to be Woodbine and Myrtle. And there’s two retailers — there was a sushi store and a discount store that have not left the premises, so they cannot demolish the rest of the structures to continue to project,” said Renz.

The next phases of the project’s construction reportedly hinge on the negotiation between the residential project and the two retailers.

Next up is the neighborhood’s most tense development of the past year. When Avery Hall Investments held an informational community forum on a tentative rezoning of 1590 Gates Ave. in June, they ended up a full-blown protest by the Ridgewood Tenants Union on their hands. According to a rep from the office of Councilman Antonio Reynoso, AHI has since gone ahead with the as-of-right luxury project instead of attempting a rezoning. 

The other big expected development is located in a trio properties at 56-40/56-42 Myrtle Ave. and 17-11 Hancock St. that recently sold for $9.3 million. Renz predicted that building as-of-right on the property would result in seven to eight stories of residential development.

In addition to the residential development, District Manager Gary Giordano outlined the ambitious sewer plans that the district has in store. 

First Giordano said that he expects the completion of a large water main project at Penelope Avenue and 74th Street sewer and to head toward completion in the spring. Portions of Penelope Avenue in Middle Village started closure last January.

The infrastructure improvements have been a long time coming. The improvements go back to  goes back to Aug. 8, 2007, with the city’s response to a powerful storm that battered Ridgewood with 4.5 inches of rain in an hour, flooded the neighborhood and crippled New York City subways, Giordano said. 

There’s also a sewer project that is supposed to begin in 2020 as a continuation of the Penelope Avenue project that would continue along Juniper Boulevard South from 74th street to 71st street. The plan is to install 96-inch sewer line in that stretch. 

“I mean you could drive your car through there,” said Giordano.

The final upcoming sewer project involves the installation of new sewer lines along 69th street from Calamus Avenue to Queens Boulevard. 

Besides the sewer improvements, Giordano also mentioned that the running track and soccer and football field at the west end of Juniper Valley Park will be undergoing reconstruction.

The deteriorated track and turf of the field will be replaced sometime in the next year.