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Queens Chronicle

Civic upset over massage parlor

Neighbors say facility is open ‘at all hours’ in Flushing storefront

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

A Parsons Boulevard massage parlor in Flushing that opened in March has neighbors concerned that it’s a bad influence on the area.

Ken Cohen, president of the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, said the second-floor massage parlor, called Asian Bodywork, located at 75-05 Parsons Blvd., is “open at all hours of the day and night.

“We are concerned because the business doesn’t fit,” Cohen said. “No one knows what’s going on and we’ve had people watch the entrance and they’ve seen women inside after 11:30 p.m. and early in the morning.”

The massage parlor is located above an unrelated laundry-dry cleaner in a small business area. Signs show pictures of people undergoing massages and advertise the cost at $40 an hour.

Attempts to reach the operation were not successful as those who answered hung up when questions were asked.

Cohen said the operation has received several fines and that the business wasn’t certified. “We have reached out to the police, Community Board 8 and Councilman Gennaro, but it’s a slow process,” he added.

According to the Department of Buildings website, the business was operating a physical culture establishment without a permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals. The complaint was issued on June 27.

Paul Leonard, spokesman for Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), said he was aware of the situation and reported a DOB inspection was scheduled for July 10. No resolution has been announced.

“DOB was looking into a certificate of occupancy and late-night hours,” Leonard said.

The DOB website indicates there are two active zoning violations and one for working without a permit.

Marie Adam-Ovide, CB 8 district manager, said Monday that the business is scheduled for an Aug. 13 Environmental Control Board hearing where she expects the operation to be fined and the owners will likely be told to go for a variance or close down.

“But even if they go for a variance, they will have to close down until a decision is reached,” the district manager added. “They will have to close one way or the other.”

Florence Fisher, president of the Mid- Queens Community Council and a member of CB 8, said the business should be shut down. “It’s not needed in the community,” Fisher said.

She and Cohen can’t understand why the city hasn’t stopped it based on the zoning issue. “If it’s operating in an area that it’s not zoned for, then the city needs to close it,” Cohen said.

Gennaro has also spoken to officials at the 107th Precinct and information has been sent to the vice squad.

The business is owned by 75 Parsons Blvd. LLC, but no one from there could be reached for comment.

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