• October 22, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Redevelopment plan for center hits snag

Executive director of FH Jewish Center says there’ll be new partner

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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:12 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2019.

The Forest Hills Jewish Center’s building was scheduled to be torn down this year so its lot could be redeveloped into a mixed-use tower with the congregation moving back in upon completion.

But Executive Director Deborah Gregor told the Chronicle Wednesday morning that the company the center was talking to is not going to be its partner on the project.

“We’ll have a different partner,” she said before declining to talk further about the subject.

Other center officials could not be reached.

In January 2018, she told the Chronicle that the plan had been in the works for nearly 20 years.

“It’s an old building and things start giving way,” Gregor said then. “Repairs are very expensive and the congregation has had a hard time covering those expenses.”

In the place of the center at 106-06 Queens Blvd. was to be a 120-foot-tall as-of-right mixed-use tower with both housing and retail space.

Gregor said the redevelopment was being done to make sure the synagogue would stay for generations. “We’re still strong, viable and healthy, but our building is no longer that,” she said. “Energy efficiency wasn’t even a word when it was built.”

The new synagogue was planned to take up 50,000 square feet, a downsizing from the existing location, with retail space making up the remaining 130,000 square feet, according to real estate management firm Jonathan Rose Companies’ profile of the site on its website last year.

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