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Retail, patient services planned for Queens Hospital Center site

Queens Hospital Center's brick "A" building at 164th Street and Grand Central Parkway is being demolished to make way for new development projects.

QHC plans to use the land for a complex likely to include about 100 units of rental housing, commercial office and retail spaces, outpatient services, a wellness center, a retail pharmacy, a daycare center and a multi-level parking garage with at least 250 parking spaces, a QHC representative said during a presentation to Queens officials at Borough Hall Monday.

"We need the space for doctors, and the apartments would be very helpful for residents, who usually spend a year at the hospital," said Judy Barr, a project manager at the city Economic Development Corporation.

Barr said the apartments would be targeted at middle-income people living or working in the area, and would rent for about $1,100 to $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment.

"It's a win-win situation," said Antonio Martin, chief executive officer of Queens Hospital Center. "It will provide affordable and convenient housing for QHC employees and the community."

Other projects include a 800-seat Gateway High School for students interested in science and medicine, a morgue, and a Margaret Tietz center to provide dialysis services, assisted living, senior housing and an adult day care program.

CB8-QHC Land Use Committee members, who have complained in the past about not being informed about QHC's development plans, suggested the Request for Proposals scheduled to be released in mid-February be delayed up to 60 days to allow time for a preliminary public hearing on the proposed apartment complex.

"I see the need for some housing there, but we would request that it be scaled back a bit, to about a quarter or a half of that," said Kevin Forrestal, president of the Hillcrest Estate Civic Association and a Community Board 8 QHC Land Use committee member. "The more people you're putting in, the more issues there are on transportation, sewers."

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call (718) 229-0300, ext. 155.

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