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Queens Chronicle

Cord Meyer, builders of success

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 10:30 am

You cannot talk about the success of Queens County without putting Cord Meyer at the head of the list. Many Queens developers have come and gone but the Cord Meyer Organization is here to stay.

Cord (Cordt) Meyer, a German immigrant, originally focused development in Elmhurst in 1893 and worked out of a storefront and purchased land in what was then called Newtown. In 1904 he built the beautiful building you see here at 108-18 Queens Blvd. He knew Queens’ days for farming would not continue much longer. Two years later he bought land from farmer Frederick Backus on the north side of Queens Boulevard and changed the name of the area from Whitepot to Forest Hills, for effective marketing of homes. The office building had a beautiful fountain out front, but that was removed when the boulevard was widened.

The striking building was used several times in silent films by Astoria Studios as a prop and backdrop in the 1920s. The building came down in 1966 and was replaced with the large building that towers over the area today with the initials CM on it. Curiously Cord Meyer Development has its offices down the block at 111-15 Queens Blvd., in a much more humble building.

After the death of Meyer in 1910, his sons continued his success with Arbor and Forest Close in 1926 and 1927. Apartment houses Lexington, Livingston and Continental sprang up along 108th Street. Grandson Cord Meyer (1920-2001) had a colorful career with the CIA from 1949 to 1977.

In 2003 remaining family members Charles and George Meyer passed control of the company to Sal Panico as CEO and Anthony Colletti as COO. CM is still No. 1 after all these years, looking forward to greater projects in the 21st century.

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