Fairway work to begin in May

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Construction on a planned Fairway Market to replace Waldbaum’s at the Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center probably will begin in May, Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said this week.

The market will take over the spot occupied by Waldbaum’s, which will move out of the site at the shopping center in March, Iannece told the board’s monthly meeting Monday. Fairway will be at 242-02 61st Ave. in Douglaston.

The store will take up more than 55,000 square feet and create 300 new union jobs, said Jeffrey Chester, an attorney for Fairway.

The board also voted 32-5 in favor of adopting its ad-hoc committee’s report on an electronic LED sign near the front door of Bayside High School that found the structure to be “illegal.”

Melvyn Meer, chairman of the committee, said Michael Athy, Bayside High School’s principal, had agreed to turn off the sign until the board made its decision.

“The sign is illegal and should be removed as soon as possible,” Meer said.

Board members said the school, at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St., had been accommodating in the matter, but at least one resident in the audience said their complaints to Athy had been ignored.

The principal, who was at the meeting, kept his comments brief and said he wanted to hear from the community.

“I’m here to take notes,” he said.

The sign, which went up right before the beginning of the school year, was paid for with $33,000 raised through school alumni and private donations, the principal said.

Residents complained that the structure, which was used for announcing PTA meetings and other events, was distracting to homes near the school.

“I think the sign is dangerous,” board member Frank Skala said. “Someone is going to be looking at it instead of the car in front of them and kill a kid.”

A city Department of Buildings spokeswoman said illuminated signs are not allowed in residential districts unless they are for a hospital or a related facility.

The board was also updated on a controversial Korean church that is being built at 26-18 210th St. in Bayside.

Anthony Naletilic, who lives on 210th Street and is part of a group that is trying to halt the church’s construction, said the DOB could revoke plans for the house of worship.

“Hopefully, we can put a stop to this out-of-character development,” Naletilic said.

But a DOB spokeswoman said the agency had found one objection at the site during an audit. The church’s permit could be revoked if the property’s developer does not correct the objection within 10 days.

The nature of the objection was unclear, but the DOB spokeswoman said it was of “an administrative nature.”

Bayside residents said they were concerned the site would create parking problems along the street.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 10:28 am, October 12, 2011
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