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Queens Chronicle

Retail set for former Rego Park strip club

Goldfingers, closed for 15 years, may be replaced by a coffee shop, gym

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:24 am, Thu Jun 19, 2014.

A long-shuttered Rego Park strip club may be giving way to even more retail space along busy Queens Boulevard next year.

According to plans on the Department of Buildings’ website and the Winick Realty Group, a two-story, 20,000-square-foot retail building is planned for the site of the former Goldfingers strip club at 92-77 Queens Blvd.

The club, unpopular with area residents and elected officials, closed in 1999 and the building has sat unused ever since.

Last July, Atlas Projects, the developer of the site, agreed to a 49-year lease with an option for an additional 49 years worth $40 million with Andon Investments, the building’s landlord.

According to reports, the borough’s first drive-through Starbucks is being eyed as a tenant for the first floor, while the second floor may have a Retro Fitness gym.

However, Robert Heicklen of the Winick Realty Group, one of the property’s real estate brokers, declined to name any of the prospective businesses interested in the space, but he did say two deals were “close” to being finalized.

“I can’t clarify who the tenants may be,” Heicklen said. “But there are two deals coming close to fruition.”

A Starbucks spokeswoman could not verify whether a new branch will occupy a portion of the planned building.

“We cannot confirm any plans for a new store opening at 92-77 Queens Blvd. in Queens,” the spokeswoman said. “We are always looking for ways to better meet the needs of our customers. However, we do not have any additional information to share at this time.”

According to Heicklen, about 8,100 square feet of retail space is still available for rent outside of the two nearly completed deals.

“We are actively marketing it,” he said. “It’s a great project. It’s one of the newest and more understated projects coming to the market.”

A stop-work order has been in place at the property since 2010 because of unpermitted work partially obstructing passageways, but Heicklen doesn’t expect that will be an issue when it comes to the timetable for construction.

“I can only speak about the brokerage aspect of the site, but I know we are expected to deliver the space in the second quarter of 2015,” he said. “That would be terrific for everyone.”

In terms of parking, the building will have 42 spaces in an underground lot with six spots at street level.

Plans originally called for a 15-story residential tower with the possibility for up to two floors of retail, but that plan was scrapped because of financial reasons, according to Christopher Okada, president of Okada & Co., the brokerage firm representing Atlas.

“It’s about a return on investment on every dollar of capital for construction. For every $1 you spend on construction for residential, you get a net income of 10 cents,” Okada said. “For every $1 of construction you put in for retail here, you get a 50 cent return. Retail is a lot more profitable.”

Contrary to statements from Heicklen and Starbucks, Okada said he is “85 percent sure” the national coffee chain and Retro Fitness will occupy the building.”

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