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Queens Chronicle

Parkway Hospital still abandoned

Some civic leaders want to see the vacant site become a senior center

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:30 am

Little in the way of change has occurred at the site of the former Parkway Hospital, which has sat vacant since 2008, but area civic leaders hope for a transformation soon.

The abandoned building, which sits in an R1-2A zone at 70-35 113 St. in Forest Hills, was to be the subject of a foreclosure auction in June, but was taken off the auction block shortly before it could happen, according to Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).

Public records show the site is still owned by Parkway Hospital Associates. However, no work permits have been issued for the location since 2009 per Buildings Department spokesman Kelly Magee. Koslowitz said the building might currently be involved in bankruptcy litigation.

Civic leaders have expressed their desires for the building to become either a senior center or an apartment complex, but no one is expecting substantial movement at the site anytime soon.

Community Board 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio, like many area leaders, doesn’t have much of an answer as to what might occur at the site but wishes for the former hospital to be renovated into something seniors within the community could take advantage of.

“I really don’t know what’s going on and there’s not a whole lot that can possibly go there,” Gulluscio said. “We’d still want something like senior housing; it would be a great spot for it.”

Forest Hills Civic Association President Barbara Stuchinski, like Gulluscio, does not know anything new about the site’s status and agrees with his sentiment of what the building should become.

“I haven’t heard anything about the site recently,” Stuchinski said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone doesn’t try to turn it into more apartments. There’s always a need for more apartments, but this area probably could use another assisted living facility.”

Parkway Hospital’s administrators didn’t go out without a fight. Dr. Robert Aquino, the former CEO of Parkway, tried to keep the hospital open by bribing former state Sen. Carl Kruger, leading to Aquino’s four-month sentence in prison last year.

Forest Hills resident and community activist Michael Perlman also is in the dark about the future of the site. He believes a senior center is a “possibility” but he has his own vision for what should become of it.

“In terms of Parkway Hospital, my vision is to have a first-rate hospital there,” Perlman said. “I think we could use a renovated, state-of-the-art facility there.”

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