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Forest Hills Jewish Center’s Development Plans on Hold

Forest Hills Jewish Center (QP)

Forest Hills Jewish Center (QP)

Oct. 4, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The Forest Hills Jewish Center’s ambitious plan to redevelop the site is on hold, as its business partner is no longer part of the deal.

The initial plans to build a 10-story mixed use building are now up in the air. However, the Jewish center still plans on redeveloping the site — and demolishing its existing building — but is now looking for a new partner.

The building at 106-06 Queens Blvd, which houses a synagogue, classrooms and other services, was supposed to be demolished this year if the original plan had gone through. In its place, a 120-foot-tall building would have been constructed with space for the Jewish center as well as additional commercial and residential space.

The previous developer would have paid for construction of the new building in exchange for the land, but now the center is looking for a new developer with a new proposal after the original plans didn’t work out.

“We’re in the process of issuing a RFP [request for proposal] for a development company,” said Executive Director of the Center Deborah Gregor.

She said the new redevelopment plan for the center would depend on the proposals they get. Whether or not it will be similar to the original plan conceived in 2018 depends on what is being pitched.

“We’ll see what the developers come up with,” Gregor said. “Our only priority is to continue to provide services, to have all of the services that we do provide here in a new facility.”

There is no firm deadline to find a new partner as of yet, Gregor said. The Jewish center has been planning to redevelop the site for 20 years, she previously told the Queens Post.

Gregor said that the Forest Hills Jewish Center will not close, even during construction.

“Whatever happens our first priority is not to close for one day,” Gregor said.

The Queens Chronicle was the first to report that the company the Jewish center was talking to would no longer be its partner on the project.

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10 Comments

doreen

Forest Hills and Rego Park are not what it once was.
Today there is crime in these areas.Buildings are being put up that most people cannot afford.This is why people are fleeing New York. It is very dangerous just to take a walk.

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Sara Ross

We don’t need any more residential buildings. Why must people tear down architecture that isn’t done any more to make way for tacky looking buildings? We need small businesses for the people already here. Tear down the ugly temple across from the post office.

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Midtowngirl

Don’t forget the senior citizen is housed there and the seniors are so dependent on it for a hot meal, fellowship and various activities.

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Oh, Please!

It is obvious Forest Hills Jewish Center cannot handle their finances or manage their own property. Their inability to support themselves cannot be a surprise, they had to know membership and donations were dwindling for years! It is absurd to expect whoever purchases the property to “make concessions to respect our neighborhood’s history”. A developer doesn’t have to “respect history or the citizens” if you want that you buy it. Recall why Amazon bailed out of Queens? Too many expectations and the ‘you owe us’ attitude of local residents. If you don’t understand the Past you will Repeat it.

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FoHi

Unfortunately, my view on this one is a more realistic one. If the owners don’t care enough to keep and preserve it, then what more can be done? It would be nice if the new developer could somehow pay homage to the synagogue in any construction but I can’t blame whoever purchased it and builds a hi rise, you have to blame the synagogue for selling it in the first place.

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Evan F. Boccardi

Any plans should involve the preservation of the historic and beautiful stone facade of the the temple, and the integration of said facade into the new proposed building.

If someone is looking to build new housing and make money on our neighborhood, they of course, are allowed to buy what they want, but out of respect to our citizens, they should make concessions to respect our neighborhood’s history, even it means a smaller bottom line!

-Evan F. Boccardi

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Linda

Most unfortunately, it is increasingly clear that developers in Forest Hills have no interest in preserving the architectural beauty and integrity of our community. Witness the mcmansions, paved-over lawns, and utilitarian luxury apartment buildings that have popped up without aesthetic regard over the years.

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elaine stephens

Why must you tear it down? We don’t need another tall monstrosity for somone ‘s ego

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T.Rubin

Why do we need another high rise.it makes our forest hills like down town Manhattan .please live it alone

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I'm not holding my breath.

I live nearby, and the congregation has been “talking seriously” about downsizing, merging with another congregation, or redeveloping the site for the last 25 years. Even before then, the topic was being discussed, albeit less “seriously.” At the rate things are going with them, my guess is that it’s going to take them at least another 25 years to actually decide what to do, and then another 25 years to actually do it!

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