The defunct Parkway Hospital site is up for auction yet again! The Jasper Venture Group, a Manhattan-based real estate investment firm, had announced plans to build luxury condos at the location in May, which was auctioned off to 70-35 113th Street LLC in January. However, the developer declined to discuss the current situation.
An employee of councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) saw the site listed for an auction on July 11, in a real estate publication. The councilwoman’s office has not heard from the developer or Joseph Risi, the Queens Supreme Court-appointed referee, according to Michael Cohen, a spokesman for Kozlowitz. Cohen said he was “not surprised” to see it up for auction again.
A firm called 70-35 113th Street LLC. won the initial auction on Jan. 10, with a $22.2 million bid, but failed to come up with the money by the original closing date in February. Risi granted the bidder several chances and on May 29, he declared a default.
“I’m fed up with it because the building looks disgusting and I would like to see it cleaned up at least,” Koslowitz said at the Community Board 6 meeting last Wednesday.
She attributed Jasper Venture Group’s failure to develop the property to a misunderstanding of zoning laws. The area is zoned either for one-family houses or an institution. However, the developer never filed for a variance or change to the zoning laws, which would enable it to build condos or apartments, according to Jeff Mulligan from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals.
Koslowitz told CB 6, “It seems that we want to be careful and we don’t want to push forward, we don’t want a homeless shelter, we don’t want something that is going to be a blight on the community.”
She said it is difficult to rezone a single piece of property and that the situation is complicated because there is a school on the same block; Parkway is on 113th Street. “I certainly don’t want a public facility there, with a school right next door,” Kozlowitz said.
Frank Gulluscio, the district manager of CB 6 said there have not been any recent developments and that he is “waiting with bated breath on this one.”
Michael Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, lamented the shortage of hospitals and quality health care in the borough and argued that the derelict, graffiti-covered eyesore should be renovated and technologically upgraded to fill the void.
“Our elected officials and Mayor de Blasio should be advocating for their constituents who feel that way,” Perlman said. “Hopefully my vision and that of my neighbors and colleagues will come to fruition.”