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Editorial: Hard to trust

With all due respect to his son, we can think of no reason on earth why anyone in northeast Queens should trust the intentions of developer Tommy Huang. Huang is infamous in downtown Flushing where he purchased the historic RKO Keith’s Theater on Northern Boulevard. Huang allowed the beloved, landmarked building to become a rotting, boarded-up eyesore. He is a convicted felon who has repeatedly shown that he cannot be trusted.

Huang was invited to a meeting of the East Bayside Homeowner’s Association at the All Saints Church in Bayside by civic founder Frank Skala to explain what he plans to do with a property at 39-39 223rd St. He didn’t show. Instead the elder Huang sent his son, Henry Huang, to the meeting.

Huang bought the property for $1.2 million and his son said he plans to build up to five single-family homes at the site. The fear is that Huang will do for East Bayside what he did for downtown Flushing. At best he has been vague about his plans, just as he has been vague about his plans for the RKO Keith’s.

Henry Huang was equally evasive and vague about why his father was a no-show at the meeting. When asked why his father did not attend the meeting with Skala, Henry Huang, who insisted his father was not afraid to show up, said, “We heard that Frank Skala was going to lynch us.”

Skala is the president of the East Bayside Homeowner's Association. He is a longtime activist with a reputation for being a scrappy fighter when he believes his cause his just. We have had our differences with Skala but we don’t recall his lynching anyone. And what kind of a father sends his son to a lynching?

More than once we have argued that the city should have taken the RKO Keith’s away from Huang. No one has the right to buy a property and then let it decay to the point that it is bringing down an entire neighborhood. That is precisely what Huang did on Northern Boulevard.

The city Department of Buildings should stay on Huang. He cannot be allowed ever again to do the kind of damage he did in Flushing.

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