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Queens Chronicle

Georgia Diner lot hits the market

OK’d for residences, plot just off the boulevard carries a $24M price tag

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:39 am, Thu Mar 13, 2014.

Another parcel of land in Elmhurst went up for sale this week, adding to the likelihood that another residential building will be erected in the area.

The site comprises most of the parking lot of the Georgia Diner on Queens Boulevard, just west of the Queens Place mall. It is being offered for $24 million, according to an announcement made by Massey Knakal Realty Services, the broker handling it.

Facing Justice and 55th avenues, the mostly rectangular lot measures approximately 47,365 square feet. It carries a restrictive declaration that allows residential development or a community facility, Massey Knakal says; any other use, including commercial, would require termination of the covenant. A developer would have the right to build 227,352 square feet of space.

The firm notes in marketing the property that it sits next to “the most active retail corridor in Queens,” with the Queens Place mall directly on the other side of 55th Avenue, and the Queens Center mall just a little ways down the boulevard.

Reached by the Queens Chronicle on Tuesday, area resident and civic activist Robert Valdes-Clausell said he does not believe Community Board 4 was aware of the offering.

Another residential project could be a concern for the board, where Valdes-Clausell sits on the committee on the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, if the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority do not improve the area’s infrastructure and transit options first.

The shuttered Pan American Hotel could become housing, as well as the former St. John’s Hospital, and, he said, officials tend to look at each project in a vacuum rather than see their cumulative effect on the community. Three restaurants are slated for another parking lot in the area, and the future of another vacated site is unknown.

“There are a lot of issues in Elmhurst,” Valdes-Clausell said. “We’re taxed to the max by overdevelopment. He said he hopes the diner parking lot sellers, who could not be reached for this article, will come before the board to lay out their plans.

CORRECTION

This article originally misstated Robert Valdes-Clausell's status on Community Board 4. He is a member of its ULURP Committee, but not of the board itself. We regret the error.

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