Thursday, March 24, 2011

Movin' on Up!

Finally, confirmation that the closing of the sad-looking strip of 7 stores next to the Key Food is being done to make way for a "national retailer." The entire building will be demolished and a new one built in its place.

Here's the link to the article on (Forest Hills Ledger) :

Cord Meyer to evict seven stores Developer says it told tenants in 2006 of plans to revamp Continental Ave. site

The way I look at it, anything is better than what we have there now. Though I do like the unique character that comes from small, independent shops (see Park Slope, Brooklyn), this is one strip that needs a facelift.

Oh, and thanks to reader "Susan" for calling our attention to this breaking news. (She posted it on the Open Forum page of the old site which reminds me I need to create a space for people to do such things here on the new one!) UPDATE - I just changed the "News Tips" page above so readers can now post news tips directly to the page.


  1. Crossing Queens BlvdMarch 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    I'm really surprised they are tearing down the building to replace it with another one story building. It's not the most beautiful building in the world but I think it has some character. Maybe the cost of combining all those spaces makes starting over more economical.

    I always suspected the national retailer rumor because all stores in a complex don't close at the same time. Hopefully, Cord Meyer, with long-standing ties to the community, will build something that adds to the neighborhood (design-wise) and not look to put up a cheap, bland, brick box.

  2. I don't think you understand. They are erecting the building and the store front and it will be with the Windsor 2 in mind.

    In other words, they are building a bottom story which can be built with further growth in mind.

    The WINDSOR 2 will 1000% be built here at a later date either now or later. But it will be built with hookups for the Windsor 2 to be built later on.

    Which is GREAT NEWS and what I predicted all along. We need new housing and I look forward to the Windsor 2 in the future.

  3. If you look at Cord Meyer Development's website, every property they developed in recent years adds no character to the neighborhood. They appear cheap, predictable, and generic to the eye. The poorest example of their developments is that black glass office tower on Continental Ave, designed in the early 1960s. Can someone answer why it won an architectural award by the Queens Chamber of Commerce?

    The Windsor condo is out of character for the business district in regard to height and architectural style. The surrounding business and residential district retains a high integrity of sites with historic character i.e. the Tudor, Colonial, & Art Deco style. When Cord Meyer developed the Windsor in 2005, they referred to it as Art Deco, but that is far from it.

    This posting and some people's comments overlook the fact that this spot was originally the famed Carlton Terrace nightspot in the 1940s, where legendary greats performed in a true Art Deco spot, dating to the time of the 1939-1940 World's Fair.

    The remaining facade is very solid, and consists of simplified and sleek Art Deco vertical and horizontal lines . You can visualize a classic car parked out front, with the facade mimicking the car's sleek detail.

    Why does Cord Meyer Development wish to obliterate the majority of remaining history in Forest Hills? Hasn't our neighborhood lost enough in recent years? First they planned on sucking the soul out of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, and now this. If they want to develop, do so with historic character in mind on a plot elsewhere, that would not entail destroying any history. DO NOT TOUCH THE ART DECO FACADE. Restore it, and design around it rather.

  4. Disagree, though I would admit there are loads of different architectural styles in the city in new construction.

    Developers and Stylists have a right to come out with and develop their own unique designs. And in fact the new building is coming in so we aren't arguing. It was already permitted for.

  5. Im not going to deny that Forest Hills gets the lower end of architecture and that new buildings in cities around the world get nicer modern projects.

    Some gorgeous designs and architecture has been done in the modern world and I wouldn't go far and say that Forest Hills has the higher class construction in any way shape or form.

    But on that note, the building that was there was a total junkbox. Old and decayed and it had to go.

    Rego Park already had a fire and modern buildings are built up to more stringent codes as well. That building had to go no matter what and it didn't represent anything of any historical significance worth protecting.

    Cord Meyer is cleaning up the neighborhood and making that side of Queens Boulevard that much nicer.

  6. Mr/Mrs Anonymous, point out a few of "loads of different architectural styles in the city in new construction." Developers and architects should always respect the outlying surroundings. A harmonious neighborhood in regard to historic architectural character (which there's a lot of in the surroundings) = A greater visual presence for passersby and property values.

  7. Forest Hills Gardens was worth protecting and is worth protecting.

    The Windsor 2 site was a total junk box. Has to be replaced.

  8. Look, take the new WTC site where they were building the Freedom Tower which I believe is still in progress. Some liked the glass design, but loads of people liked the World Trade Center buildings the way they were initially built. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion on architecture.

    Forest Hills Gardens should NEVER be changed. I would be against that. But nothing in Forest Hills is historical sans the Ridgewood savings bank that they preserved which some like and others don't.

    But anything else people are free to destroy and rebuild. The new site there will make the community much nicer.

  9. Do some of you realize that a number of the commercial properties and apartment houses (many of which include commercial spaces) on Austin St & Continental Ave were designed to reflect the Tudor style of the Forest Hills Gardens? It was once called "The Village." Some of those Tudor establishments have tacky storefronts and canopies, which is another story, and has to go. The few Art Deco sites remaining in the neighborhood should be retained and adapted creatively. Cord Meyer preserved the storefronts and mosaic mural on the south side of Queens Blvd near their Windsor development (TD Bank) with some modifications, so why can't they do that here? This Art Deco structure is even more worthy architecturally, and cost more to design when it was first built.

  10. Because this isn't in the Forest Hills Gardens section or even close to it.

    It is completely on the opposite side of Queens Boulevard in a totally different section.

    The archiectural design style on this section is variable where the highrise projects are for the ground floor retail since it looks like this site will contain grand floor retail unlike the Kennedy House.

    So you would be looking at the Pinnacle or Windsor 1 or Forester for inspiration.

  11. As long as the design isn't gaudy, any nice architectural design will fit into the community. The Forester and Pinnacle are two totally different designs with ground floor retail.

  12. And Windsor 1 also has unique characterists with a Mural on the TDBank section.

    Cord Meyer is smart and is interested in the beautification of the future of this community.

    The black Cord Meyer building wasn't attractive but it is an office building and none of the office buildings in Queens from Rego Park to Forest Hills to Kew Gardens, to Briarwood are attractive.

  13. Any firm that pushes out small businesses for the sake of mega development (big box stores) & the elimination of character is not intelligent. Sure, the firm can prosper financially, but the firm does not care about the business owners.

    The mosaic tile mural depicting Forest Hills with the WTC in the background is not a 2005 mural, which would have coincided with the Windsor. Greenpoint Bank proceeded Commerce Bank which is now TD Bank, so Greenpoint Bank had the mural installed. Cord Meyer Development had nothing to do with that mural's design. Cord Meyer developed the Windsor behind & above the existing south side Queens Blvd storefronts in 2005 for the less distinctive 2-story commercial building (exception being the mural & curved corner), so they should apply the same approach for any new development (like we really need it) where the former Carlton Terrace/present Key Food & adjacent shops site is, being that is more historic & built better than the other storefronts across Queens Blvd.

    Some Mid-Century Modern/International Style office towers on Queens Blvd are more attractive & historic than Cord Meyer's dreary black glass building on Continental Ave. They won awards on top of it, & include Lefrak Center and Lefrak Tower on Queens Blvd in Rego Park, as well as the Pickman Building on the north side of Queens Blvd near Union Turnpike. In recent years, have any Cord Meyer developments won awards? Almost all of Cord Meyer's buildings from Forest Hills' heyday have won awards.

  14. Disagree. New construction will make our community look much nicer and they are doing it.

    Forest Hills won't find the top in architectural designs though sans Forest Hills Gardens.

    Cord Meyer however does not put out garbage and the buildings have always lasted and been well built.

    I have no doubt when the site is finished and we see design plans whether it be Windsor 2 based design which is the most likely or something different but it will definitely make that section look so much better.

  15. In regard to modernism, the Kennedy House is a classier building that won an award when designed by Philip Birnbaum, in contrast to Cord Meyer's "anytown USA" Windsor, which barely has a lobby. There are also many people that consider the Pinnacle to be an eyesore. Has anyone wondered why new buildings are not designed creatively in the Tudor, Colonial, Art Deco, or International style? Why are rooms generally small & why don't the developments have lots of grass, trees, windows, & lobbies? The answer is greedy overdevelopment, & the urge to develop in a snap.

  16. The news article seems to indicate it will be a retail store and people are saying it will be a CVS so if that happens, what will appear there is just a large CVS retail store just like the others that exist all over the nation.

    The news article seems to indicate they are still considering Windsor 2 for the future, but on the other hand is knocking down the old facility and will just create a 1 story building.

    So its confusing to say the least. It could be a Whole Foods or a Walmart in there for all we know or anything. Seems like Cord Meyer is going to knock the facility down but isn't even sure the best way to monetize the facility for development.

    So we don't have a clue right now as to what it will be except to know they will start late summer to knock it down.