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Queens Chronicle

Work to begin on Cross Bay strip mall

Ozone Park residents have complained about safety conditions at the site

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:37 am, Thu Mar 13, 2014.

The owners of a vacant lot on Cross Bay Boulevard got all the permits they need and will begin construction on a strip mall soon.

Dave Koptiev of Platinum Realty said all the permits the company needed from the city have been finalized. He estimated the strip mall will be completed in eight months.

The site, located along the east side of Cross Bay between Albert Road and North Conduit Avenue, has been vacant for years and a shopping center plan has been in the works since the adjacent Magnolia Court housing development was built a decade ago.

The lot was surrounded by a green fence that had become dilapidated, and part of it was damaged in Hurricane Sandy. The fence had also been tagged with graffiti.

On Monday, a new wooden barrier was being constructed to replace the old green fence.

“That makes the neighborhood look a little better,” said Ozone Park Civic Association President Howie Kamph. “There have been complaints from residents and they said they would address it and they have. That’s good.”

Kamph said, however, he would have preferred a freestanding building with only one tenant, such as a bank, restaurant or supermarket.

The site has been a problem for some time. Before Platinum Realty — which constructed a strip mall at 71st and Metropolitan avenues in Forest Hills and Rockaway Boulevard and Centreville Street in Ozone Park — the site was owned by the Avellino Group.

The previous owner had planned on a three-story building there, including storefronts on the first floor, a medical office on the second floor and a restaurant on the third.

Koptiev did not give any specific information on the size of the plaza, including whether or not it will be the same height as Avellino’s, or any tenants, but a source said the plans are similar to strip malls Platinum has built elsewhere, including in Forest Hills and the one under construction on Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park.

The project has been delayed because of issues with obtaining the necessary permits from the city Department of Environmental Protection and concerns over the flow of traffic on Cross Bay Boulevard. The site cannot be easily accessed from the southbound side of the boulevard, with drivers having to go into Howard Beach to make a U-turn to get to the site.

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