The idea that the Forest Hills Jewish Center might eventually sell its building and land at 106-06 Queens Blvd. has been talked about for years and considered by the congregation and its leaders for about two decades.
On Wednesday, Executive Director Deborah Gregor said there is an agreement to sell the property to Top Rock Holdings of Manhattan and RJ Capital Holdings of Bayside.
The story was first reported by The Real Deal, a news outlet dedicated to covering the real estate industry. The developers plan to tear down the building and replace it.
“The proposal went to the congregation for a vote before the deal was inked,” Gregor told the Chronicle on Wednesday. “The members of the congregation supported it very wholeheartedly.”
The nearly 70-year-old building, with stained-glass windows and an ornate stonework exterior, overlooks MacDonald Park. But it has not aged well on the inside, and has become more difficult and expensive to maintain and effect repairs when needed.
“Energy efficiency wasn’t even a word when it was built,” Gregor told the Chronicle back in 2019. She declined to discuss the possible price. A closing date, she said, still has not been determined.
The Real Deal reported the center purchased the property from Cord Meyer in 1949. The story said a memorandum of contract with the developers was signed last year but filed this week with city officials. Certain legal restrictions on the property also required the office of state Attorney General Letitia James to sign off on the deal before it could move forward.
The property also was believed to have been ready for sale in 2019, with the Chronicle reporting at the time that it would be replaced with a 120-foot-tall tower with apartments and retail space. The deal eventually fell through.
The plan back then was for the Forest Hills Jewish Center to relocate nearby at least temporarily, with the possibility of returning to accommodations at the new location if a more permanent site could not be obtained. Gregor said Wednesday that still is a viable option at this point.
“It’s possible,” she said.
The Real Deal report stated that the congregation intends to save the stained-glass windows as well as a 20-foot-high ark that holds Torah scrolls.
The Chronicle could not reach the developers for comment prior to deadline on Wednesday.