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Queens Chronicle

Abbracciamento’s in Queens to become apartments

Owner says the building is being sold to a real estate developer

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:33 am, Thu Mar 20, 2014.

The building that was once home to iconic Rego Park eatery Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant may soon become Woodhaven Boulevard’s newest residential complex.

Plans were filed with the Department of Buildings on March 3 to turn the former restaurant at 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd., that closed one day earlier after 66 years in business, into a seven-story, 120-unit residential building.

As of press time on Wednesday, only a plan exam application had been submitted, and a decision whether to approve the plan or not will be made in the near future, according to DOB spokeswoman Kelly Magee.

If the plan exam is approved, the developer can then file for work permits.

An Astoria-based company, Criterion Group, will be developing the site.

John Abbracciamento, co-owner of the former restaurant his father established in 1948, told the Chronicle on Wednesday that he is in the process of selling the building, which also houses a handful of small businesses such as an optometry office and a dog grooming shop.

While he would not reveal the sales price of the building or whom he is selling it to, Abbracciamento did say that the sale may close by the end of the month.

However, he was unsure of what Criterion planned for the building.

“It’s no secret that the property has been sold,” Abbracciamento said. “As far as what they’re going to do, I really don’t know.

“I didn’t sell the property to any Tom, Dick or Harry,” he continued. “I want to make sure what comes into the neighborhood will be good for the community.”

Criterion did not respond to the Chronicle’s multiple requests for comment as of press time.

The building the former restaurant occupied is zoned for a maximum height of 75 feet, and the plan for the new residential structure lists its height at 73 feet.

According to the application, the residential complex will be 81,176 square feet and will contain 60 parking spaces.

Abbracciamento said the idea for the new building to house apartments wasn’t the original plan for the lot.

“First you hear condos, then you hear apartments. I just don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “I’m more or less in it right now to wait for whatever decisions they are going to make.”

In regards to the other small businesses operating at the location, Abbracciamento said they were being looked after, but what will become of them if the plan exam is approved and work permits are issued is between them and the developer.

“I’ve given everyone a fair amount of time. They’ll be taken care of,” he said. “But it’ll be done by the people taking care of the building. That has to be discussed between them.”

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