Restaurant Row wins battle against developer
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Feb 15, 2017 | 1608 views | 0 0 comments | 168 168 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forest Hills’ Restaurant Row will live on.

Plans to build a new development at 107-18 70th Road have fallen through. According to local small business owners and an attorney for the developer, the restaurants in the complex will not have to close or move.

Last year, a developer’s plans to construct a 12-story, mixed-use building caused community outcry.

Plans included a commercial space on the ground floor, as well as a rooftop garden, glass walls and cellar parking for about 61 cars.

A Change.org petition gathered nearly 2,000 signatures from residents who were worried that the “aesthetic and historic quality of Forest Hills” would be diminished if Restaurant Row were removed.

Restaurants that could have been impacted by the controversial plan include MoCa Asian Bistro, Cabana Nuevo Latino, Bangkok Cuisine and The Grill Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar.

Oleg Kaz, owner of The Grill, was the first person to notify the community about the developer’s halted plans. Last week, Kaz posted to a local community Facebook group notifying residents of the news.

“I spoke to my landlord regarding a different matter and he basically told me,” Kaz said.

He said that another local business is planning on expanding into one-half of the former Pizzeria Uno space that is currently sitting empty. There is a “For Rent” sign on the other half of the space.

There are a few more signs seeking rentals on the street. Kaz hopes they can be filled as soon as possible.

“When we have empty spaces like this on the block, it gives a very bad impression to the whole street,” Kaz said. “I know it’s a competition, but all those spaces, when they are in use bring more people to the neighborhood.

“It really kills the whole purpose of the ‘Restaurant Row’ if half of it is empty.” he added.
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