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Queens Chronicle

Developers mum on Janet Pl. project

Riverfront property in Flushing

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

One of the former owner-developers of the RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing has been sitting on a 3.75-acre waterfront site for two years with no immediate plans to build.

Shaya Boymelgreen’s Olympia Heights Management Team of Brooklyn bought the property at 39-08 Janet Place, off Roosevelt Avenue, in 2012 for $33 million and plans to turn it into retail and residential space.

The proposal is as of right, meaning the owner does not need zoning variances to proceed. The area is zoned C4-2, which allows for both residential and commercial space. And thus far, the developers have been tight-lipped about when they might build.

Nick Roberts, project manager of the Flushing, Willets Point, Corona Local Development Corp., said he calls Olympia Heights every month for updated information, but most recently spoke to someone there last fall.

“They see no need to get involved with us in developing a cohesive plan for the area,” Roberts said.

Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7, said the developer hasn’t been in touch with her office, even though most builders will touch base with the board as a courtesy.

Roberts said Olympia Heights wants to put in 300 condominiums and retail space. “It’s like Sky View Parc, across the street, just smaller,” he said.

Claire Shulman, who heads the LDC, said the whole area needs to be rezoned “to make the area harmonious and to open up the waterfront.” Shulman and Roberts believe financing may be holding up the project.

The waterfront property has had several owners. They include the Lev Development Group, the Vintage Organization and Abs Flushing Development.

Boymelgreen, who did not return calls to the Chronicle, purchased the Keith’s in 2002 and crafted plans for an 18-story, mixed- use facility with 200 condos. But he had a split with his partner and ran out of money, putting it back on the market in 2007, finally selling the former theater in 2010.

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