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Queens Chronicle

DOB denies luxury building permit

70 objections from Buildings Dept. delay construction of Elm West

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:11 am, Thu Dec 5, 2013.

“Coming to America” was a box-office blockbuster, but the mixed-use building planned for the former site of the Wendy’s used in the film isn’t a hit with the Buildings Department.

The construction permit for the proposed seven-story building, dubbed “Elm West,” at 51-35 Reeder St. in Elmhurst has been denied by the DOB due to 70 minor objections to the construction plans.

According to DOB spokeswoman Gloria Chin, the objections need to be satisfied in order for the application, which was denied in October, to be approved.

“There are no violations at this address. There are, however, 70 objections that need to be met in order for the application to be approved,” Chin said in an email. “They include complying with zoning regulations and clarification on various issues such as parking, fire protection and elevator regulations.”

Elm West, if built, will stand in the same 36,259-square-foot lot where a Wendy’s, made famous in the 1988 cult classic “Coming to America” once stood.

The fast-food restaurant, given the fictional named McDowell’s in the film, was prominently featured in the blockbuster as the workplace of Eddie Murphy’s and Arsenio Hall’s characters.

The planned 75-foot-tall building, developed by Pi Capital Partners in Elmhurst, will have 115 residential units. It will be the sister mixed-use complex of the Elm East condominium across the street at 86-55 Broadway.

The 30,000-square-foot, fully-leased Elm East, which opened in 2012, contains 84 residential units and is seven stories tall as well.

The ground floor contains numerous shops and stores such as Starbucks, Carvel and Subway.

The original target date for completion of Elm West was the third quarter of 2014, according to real estate magazine The Real Deal.

With the DOB putting the brakes on the building’s development plans, that target date could be in jeopardy.

A secretary for Tan Architects, the company listed on the denied application, believes that the delay should not last much longer or significantly impact any upcoming construction plans.

“We’re still waiting for approval from the DOB,” she said, while declining to give her name. “It will be soon. Either late this year or early next year.”

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