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Queens Chronicle

Vleigh Place site a big question mark

Row of stores burned in 2016 blaze demolished; future of property unclear

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Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2018 10:30 am

More than a year has passed since a fire destroyed a strip mall in Kew Gardens Hills. And the site’s future is a big question mark.

On the night of Dec. 30, 2016, a blaze destroying the 14 businesses from 77-39 to 77-63 Vleigh Place, including a kosher pizzeria, bakery, law office and barber shop.

The Department of Buildings condemned the building the next day and slated it for demolition on Jan. 11, 2017; the project began last September and was signed off as completed by the city on March 28.

The block is now a large concrete pit, partially filled with dirt and enclosed by windowed green barriers. A Caterpillar demolition excavator, as well as scattered construction waste and materials, can also be seen on-site.

According to DOB records, Aldrich Management Co. owns the property. An employee at Aldrich, who declined to identify himself, confirmed the completion of the project. “Demolition’s been completed, the city signed off on it,” he said, opting not to further comment on the lot.

According to area resident Richard Reif, the community is curious and concerned about what the property’s future is.

“We don’t know what’s happening. There are rumors that it’ll be turned into a parking lot, which would be horrible, an apartment building, mini mall, which is basically what it was before,” he said. “They put a fence around it, but nothing is built.”

The offices of Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Community Board 8 say they haven’t heard any recent updates about the site unrelated to the demolition.

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