Moving Forward: Cord Meyer continues tradition of assisting local nonprofits

Cord Meyer
Dancing Dreams provides adaptive dance classes each week to more than 80 children in Cord Meyer’s dedicated community space at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. (Courtesy of Cord Meyer)

As one of the oldest real estate companies in New York City, Cord Meyer Development has long prioritized the importance of giving back to the community. This is especially true at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, established by Cord Meyer in 1960.

“When you have a shopping center that’s been here as long as the Bay Terrace, it requires that we continue to change to meet the needs of our neighbors, our tenants and the community at large,” said Cord Meyer Vice President and Project Lead Joe Forgione.

The Bay Terrace Shopping Center has gone through several expansions and modifications over the years. One thing that has remained the same is its reputation as the heart of Bay Terrace. Additionally, Cord Meyer has maintained a longstanding commitment to its tenants and the not-for-profits in the surrounding communities. This was on full display during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of the partnerships were strengthened these past few years under new leadership,” Forgione said. “We recognized the need for people to have a safe place to gather. One of our biggest assets is space, so we were able to provide events that allowed people to social distance.”

Some examples included movie nights and concerts, as well as car and art shows. The restaurant tenants often provided special menus for attendees, with the food being delivered directly to their cars. Additionally, promotional items from other tenants were also distributed. On top of this, Cord Meyer had a rent relief program to assist the tenants, all in an effort to get their businesses through a difficult time.

Cord Meyer always looks for opportunities to assist local not-for-profits in new ways while keeping the shopping center active. The company now shares resources, manpower and marketing support with the groups and offers available space at its properties.

Among the organizations that Cord Meyer has been assisting at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center are the Bayside Historical Society, Bayside Little League, Commonpoint Queens, Chabad of Northeast Queens, local Girl Scout troops and Dancing Dreams.

Cord Meyer Development has enjoyed a long relationship with Bay Terrace Shopping Center neighbor Commonpoint Queens, pictured here at last year’s Bay Terrace Fall Festival. (Courtesy of Cord Meyer)

“Cord Meyer has been a generous community partner to the Dancing Dreams nonprofit program,” observed Dancing Dreams Founder and Executive Director Joann Ferrara. “They have been creative and innovative in finding us space and have supported our program in every possible way. Thanks to Cord Meyer, Dancing Dreams has been able to remain in the Bay Terrace area, providing adaptive dance classes each week to more than 80 children.”

According to Forgione, the relationships between Cord Meyer and these organizations has strengthened in recent years. For example, in addition to creating a dedicated community space that has been used by Dancing Dreams, Cord Meyer provided space to the Bayside Historical Society for an art show and space to Chabad for holiday services. Additionally, vacant space was repurposed for Girl Scout troop meetings, storage was provided for Bayside Little League to keep their equipment more accessible, and Cord Meyer has provided Commonpoint Queens with pop-up space for their initiatives.

“We appreciate these opportunities where we’re able to bring the community into the shopping center because having a mix of uses is a growing trend for shopping centers,” Forgione said. “People can come here to do their regular shopping, pick up their groceries, go to a movie, stop at a restaurant or meet friends. We’ve always been a place where people can spend the whole day.”

Forgione also expressed his thanks to the community for embracing the changes made to the shopping center and showing their support for the community groups and businesses there.

Cord Meyer Corner

Did you know that the Bay Terrace Shopping Center was built by Cord Meyer Development on part of a 225-acre farm once owned by Charles G. Meyer, the son of company founder Cord Meyer? The Meyer family home and farm were located near what is today Bell Boulevard and 18th Avenue.

Cord Meyer
Photo of the Charles G. Meyer farm (Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York)