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Renovations on old Wendy’s begin in Flushing

Paul Lo, the broker for A.O. Realty in...

By Chris Fuchs

Renovations started Monday on the former Wendy’s restaurant on Main Street in Flushing, where five workers were murdered last spring, to turn the property into a mini mall that will house more than 15 vendors.

Paul Lo, the broker for A.O. Realty in Flushing, said the mall could open in two weeks’ time. But the attorney representing the owner, who purchased the property in February, said the opening date may be as late as June to prevent it from coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the massacre in which five people were murdered and two others wounded last spring.

“We’re trying to be sensitive to the opening date,” said Glenn Lau-Kee, the attorney.

As part of the renovations, the interior of the former restaurant, a two-story building at 40-12 Main St., will be partitioned off into more than 15 booths whose vendors will deal in merchandise geared to Asian-Americans, Lo said. The rent for each booth will run from $3,000 to $7,000, he said.

Lo declined to offer further comment, however, saying it would violate a confidentiality agreement between his firm and its clients.

In February, the former restaurant was purchased by Ben Wong, a Flushing man who is an owner of Wok and Roll, a chain of takeout Chinese restaurants in New York City and elsewhere. Before the sale, the property had been owned for nearly a half century by the family of Victor Nevins, a Whitestone realtor who reportedly sold it to Wong for $508,000.

One of the terms negotiated in the purchase was that no food preparation would be done on the premises, a condition that family members of the victims requested. After purchasing the property, Wong initially had said he was considering opening a restaurant that would focus more on non-Asians customers than Asians.

For more than seven months after the shootings, the former Wendy’s restaurant had been shuttered, its windows boarded up with plywood on which elegiac messages to the victims were written. One of two Queens men accused of the murders, Craig Godineaux, 30, was sentenced to life in prison in February after pleading guilty to a 50-count indictment under which he and another man, John Taylor, were charged.

Taylor, 36, is still awaiting trial and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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