BY JON CRONIN
After being dragged to court in 2014, the Synagogue Ohr Natan will lose its lease in February 2017 and the landlord developer RJ Capital Holdings will erect a 105,000 square foot mixed use building in its place.
Ohr Natan Rabbi Nahum Kaziev said in 2013 when RJ Capital took over, they told him there would be no development, “Then suddenly they hire a PR and marketing company.”
The triangular building on Queens Boulevard between the corners of 66th Avenue and 99th Street in Rego Park used to be home to local historical theater the Trylon, which closed in 1999. The synagogue has leased it since 2001.
In 2014, the landlord, who bought the property in 2013, claimed that Ohr Natan had not paid one month of rent. The case was dismissed when the synagogue proved that they had paid their rent.
Kaziev said they will continue to fight in court when the eviction proceedings begin. “At this point we don’t any option,” he said.
According to previously published reports, RJ Capital purchased the site and four other properties nearby located at; 98-69 and 98-83 Queens Boulevard and 66-02 99th St. for the sum of $9 million in 2013.
Ohr Natan spent over two million updating the facility for their needs. They put in new bathrooms, handicapped capabilities and a new sprinkler system. Kaziev because of their monetary investments, “We have too much at stake.”
The community center in the synagogue distributes free food for 480 families and provides English classes, after school programs, and for their congregation of over 1,000 Bukharian Jews and the local community.
Queens Boulevard is a hot spot for commercial re-development. An eight to 12 story apartment building is proposed on 70th Road in Forest Hills that will force out the community’s beloved Restaurant Row. Last month members of the community and residents of the Lane Towers, which is next to the 70th Road development, packed a Community Board 6 meeting and created a petition decrying the mixed-use building at Change.org with 1,829 signatures.
Another modern glass faced 7,000 square foot apartment complex with 59 apartments will be constructed soon at what is currently 98-02 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park. The currently commercial strip has been almost completely vacated except for one convenience store on the corner of 65th Avenue and Queens Boulevard.
The owner of the new apartment complex is Frank Bahar Real Estate Corporation, located at 108-18 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills. The architect for the project is Peter Casini, located at 67-39 Clyde St. also in Forest Hills.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin