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Councilwoman questions shutting of Asian market

The market was set up in...

By Chris Fuchs

An Asian market that temporarily opened late last month in the former Main Street headquarters of Queens County Savings Bank has closed even though the Flushing city councilwoman remains skeptical about whether it will reopen.

The market was set up in the former bank on Main Street expressly for selling goods for the Chinese New Year and closed on Sunday, the end of the new year.

On Friday morning, a sign printed on computer paper said “Closed for Alteration” and the front doors were locked shut. Boxes of merchandise were stacked flush against a second set of doors leading into the bank.

“I have no idea what it signals,” said City Councilwoman Julia Harrison (D-Flushing) in a phone interview Friday. “I make no comment about what they’re doing until they do it.”

In December, Queens County Savings Bank completed its acquisition of Haven Bancorp of Long Island, moving its corporate headquarters out to Nassau County. Although it was unclear who had bought the property or who has invested in it, TDC International Development and Construction Corporation is one possible developer of the bank at 38-25 Main St.

But when Harrison noticed that a market had been set up in the bank to sell merchandise for the Chinese New Year, she accused the developers of creating “yet another disappointment to people who want to shop in their downtown.”

Harrison said she had been told the bank site was to be developed into a town center of sorts, reflecting a “World’s Fair” feel and possibly housing such stores and restaurants as Barnes and Noble, Borders, Red Lobsters and TGI Fridays.

But in an interview last month, Wellington Chen, a consultant for TDC, an affiliate of Fultonex, said the developer had not decided on the details of the project and the market was a temporary means for the owner to earn an income while the building was unused.

Reached by phone Tuesday morning, Chen declined to comment any further on the proposal or the market, other than to say, “I do not want to divide the community any more.”

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

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