You are reading

MTA Plans to Renovate Storefronts on Lefferts Boulevard Bridge, Hire a Real Estate Manager

Lefferts Boulevard Bridge in Kew Gardens (Google Maps)

Sept. 29, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Storefronts situated along a popular bridge in Kew Gardens are set for major upgrades and a new landlord, according to the MTA.

The agency is looking for a master tenant to repair and manage more than a dozen storefronts situated on the Lefferts Boulevard Bridge – which goes from Austin to Grenfell streets and runs over the Long Island Rail Road line.

The transit agency wants the new master tenant to renovate and manage 13 storefronts that sit atop the 100-year-old bridge.

The master tenant will be in charge of repairing the buildings and maintaining their upkeep for at least 25 years. It will also be responsible for managing and subleasing the retail spaces.

The MTA is accepting proposals from management companies that are qualified to be master tenants–with applications due by Dec. 15.

The agency said it is seeking a real estate firm that will be able to turn the commercial strip into a thriving business area.

“With this solicitation going out to the leading real estate companies in the country, the MTA is reaffirming its commitment to the Kew Gardens community,” MTA Construction and Development President Janno Lieber said in a statement Friday.

“This is a significant leasing opportunity, but it’s also an opportunity to play an indispensable role in a tight-knit community by managing and maintaining a set of properties that locals have many times described as a beloved community focal point,” Lieber said.

The buildings were constructed in the 1920s atop two concrete and steel platforms and line both sides of the bridge. They are located at 81-09 through 81-21 Lefferts Blvd. facing northwest and at 81-12 through 81-24 Lefferts Blvd. facing southeast.

The MTA said that nine of the storefronts are occupied and four remain vacant. Subleases on the occupied stores expired in March but the MTA said it has guaranteed tenants the right to stay through Dec. 31.

The MTA indicated in 2017 that it might demolish the entire bridge since it had structural issues at the time.

Local officials and residents mobilized and started a campaign to save the bridge arguing that it is a vital part of the neighborhood’s business district and has historical significance.

In 2018 the MTA invested $1 million to repair the bridge to make sure it was structurally sound. The funds did not go toward fixing the stores.

In July, Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal and State Sen. Leroy Comrie introduced legislation to prevent the buildings from being torn down or redesigned differently.

The lawmakers said that the bridge and the buildings need to be protected due to their historic architecture. The bill also aims to make sure the current tenants get the first right to return when the construction work is completed. The bill is still in committee stage.

The MTA will issue a formal request for proposals from potential master tenants on Friday, Oct. 16, with proposals due by Dec.15.

The properties are being offered by MTA Real Estate through its broker, CBRE.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Brenda Felton

There are store fronts on Lefferts between Talbot St. and Austin St. that are an eye sore. The store fronts are unkept, large amounts of bird droppings, rusted gates, signs are dirty and unpainted. These stores are the gateway to the bridge.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.