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24-hr. Home Depot site makes Forest Hills debut

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Home Depot, the home improvement retail giant, last week opened a new 24-hour, 120,000-square-foot store on Woodhaven Boulevard, making it the chain's fourth location in the borough.

Hundreds turned out Feb. 16 for "contractor's night," an evening for builders and homeowners to browse through promotional displays, enjoy steaming trays of food, and watch government officials saw a board in half in lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting.

In keeping with past practice, the national hardware chain donated $5,000 to a local service organization - the Forest Hills Community House - recommended by Borough President Claire Shulman.

The opening of the new Home Depot near the Forest Hills/Glendale border has drawn strong opposition from some members of the Forest Hills and Glendale communities.

Residents complained that truck traffic would disturb the small, residential streets in the Home Depot's vicinity and especially opposed the store's remaining open 24 hours.

But the opening drew only praise from the beaming guests and dignitaries who attended last week.

Relaying a message from the mayor, Deborah Weeks, the mayor's commissioner of business services said the hardware giant would play "an important role in the economic renaissance sweeping New York City and the metropolitan area."

"The best thing about new business is new jobs," said Seth Borostein, representing the borough president, who expressed Shulman's support for the retail community in Queens.

Home Depot employs 2,200 people in the metropolitan area. The Woodhaven store has 300 employees, including about 100 who were transferred from other Home Depot stores, said co-manager Nina Bianchi.

Alex Roldan, 25, of Flushing, was one such worker. A Home Depot employee for nearly 21 months, he said the store held the key to his future success: "Assistant manager, manager, regional manager," he said. "Who knows?"

Home Depot has stores in Flushing, Long Island City, and South Ozone Park.

Luis Camacho, who recently bought a house in Glendale and was browsing with his wife Glenda, said Home Depot's opening just down the street was "like a homeowner's dream."

"All they need is a caf

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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