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Developer buys Flushing lot to build community facility

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The city has sold a vacant property in downtown Flushing to a Bayside developer who has plans to convert the building into a mixed-use community space.

The city Economic Development Corp. finalized the sale of the lot, at 135-15 40th Road, to Success 88 LLC for $1.5 million last week.

The building has become an eyesore on an otherwise vibrant street since it was vacated in 2005. It used to serve as office space for the city Sanitation Department before it was abandoned because of structural damage.

EDC issued a request for proposals for developers interested in transforming the property in 2011 and selected Success 88 LLC in 2012.

The new building will be required to have at least one entire story and no less than 1,000 square feet devoted to a community facility as part of its agreement with the city. The other stories will be commercial and retail space.

Betsy Mak, who heads Success 88 LLC, said she is still getting estimates from engineers for the project, but she expects the ground floor will be retail space, the floor above that will be the community facility and the rest will be office space.

“We’re still in the designing phase,” she said.

The inclusion of the community space will allow the firm to build a facility up to 12,000 square feet. Although zoning laws would have normally restricted Mak to build a maximum of 8,500 square feet of retail and commercial space, a special category of the city’s zoning law allows the developers to build an additional 3,500 square feet because of the community space.

Mak said work should begin on the site within six months.

Success 88 LLC has a long history of renovating and developing properties across the city, including more than 30 projects in Queens since 1989, according to the EDC.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 12:00 am, August 1, 2014
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