Construction on the building that was formerly the home of St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst is fully underway, according to Community Board 4, which represents the area. While it looks much the same as it always has from the outside, the former hospital, located at 90-02 Queens Blvd., has been completely gutted, according to CB 4 Chairman Anthony Moreno.
The Brooklyn-based developer — 89-52 Queens LLC — which is behind the construction, bought the hospital for $14.35 million in 2009, according to city records.
The purchase came after Caritas Health Care, which ran the hospital, filed for bankruptcy in early 2009 and was forced to shut the facility down.
In published reports, a representative for 89-52 Queens LLC said the developer had been open to using the space as a healthcare facility, but that no medical providers had shown interest in the property.
So, as described Moreno, the firm has opted to build a commercial and residential space instead, and he is pleased with the results thus far.
Moreno described the former hospital as “a beautiful building,” which he told board members he toured three weeks ago with the developers and Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).
The building will have a grocery store in the basement or ground floor and then two floors of retail space. The third floor will be used as offices, while the fourth floor will provide “community services,” according to Moreno, such as doctor’s and dentist’s offices.
The top three floors will be apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms, Moreno said.
“They’ve done a wonderful job,” he added of the construction work thus far, and noted, “we do need supermarkets in the area.”
And while there had been opposition in the past to developing the space as anything other than a hospital, Moreno said that now, “there seems to be no opposition.”
He predicted construction on the building would be complete by the end of the year.