Plans to redevelop the site of the popular former Scobee Diner in Little Neck are expected to progress with the city’s recent approval of a variance.
Closed in 2010 because the landlord wanted to greatly increase the rent, the Scobee, located at 252-29 Northern Blvd., was considered a landmark, where area residents came for a quick meal, special occasions or a coffee klatch.
It has been vacant since then and last year was boarded up until the developer, Lion Bee Equities of Manhattan, could get a parking variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals.
The BSA gave the approval last month. It was required since the lot is located in three different zoning districts. The variance is for parking in a residential section of the lot, according to Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, whose offices are located nearby.
“I’m still sorry the Scobee closed,” Seinfeld said. “Now it will become a bank and dentist’s office.”
Plans call for a 5,612-square-foot, two-story building that will include a Citibank on the first floor and the dental office on the second. Parking will be moved to the back of the property with 17 spaces.
The diner dated back to at least 1939 and had incarnations as the 20th Century Diner and the Jacobean Diner. The name was changed in 1965 to Scobee after a town in Poland where one of the new owners came from.
One of the previous owners was the Tenet family of Greek immigrants who ran the place. One of their sons, George, who worked as a busboy there, went on to head the CIA.
In other development news, Seinfeld reported that building permits were granted to the new lessee of the former Leviton manufacturing site at 59-25 Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck. E. Gluck Corp., a Long Island City watch manufacturer, will move there and add 81,000 square feet to the building.
The business, which makes watches for Armitron, among others, hopes to be moved in by the spring.
The 6.7-acre site has been vacant since Leviton moved out in 2009.
Gluck employs 348 workers and the business is not expected to disrupt the surrounding community since it’s a 9-to-5 operation and is not noisy.
Bob Nobile, who heads the Little Neck Pines Civic Association, has said that neighbors feared a big box store or a drugstore would replace Leviton. There was even talk of a high school. So, to him, Gluck “sounds like a good thing.”