Plans on the Department of Buildings website states that the Jewish funeral home will be demolished to make room for a seven-story apartment building with 51 units and commercial space.
An original proposal by the developer was rejected by the City Planning Commission (CPC). However, the current proposal is legal under the land’s current zoning, and the developer is moving forward with the project as an as-of-right development.
“What was agreed upon, among other things, is that on the site of Parkside Chapels a high-rise apartment building would be erected dedicated solely for senior affordable housing,” said Koslowitz. “I am assuming that the 100 percent affordable housing plan is off the table. But, the developer by law, even with an as-of-right project must set aside 30 percent of the units for affordable housing.”
An online petition was started to stop the demolition of Parkside. Opponents of the plan say there are historic items inside the chapel that will be destroyed along with it. It was built in 1961.
“As a 58 year resident of Rego Park-Forest Hills, it certainly pains me that Parkside Chapels is to be lost as a business as well as neighborhood architectural staple,” said Koslowitz.
The funeral home was designed in 1961, and many feel that it is a historic and important part of Queens, including Michael Perlman, the chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council.
“It was a place where many Queens residents and other residents from New York found peace at a time of challenge,” added Michael Perlman, chair of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council. “It was a very graceful and spiritual chapel and was intelligently designed.”
Ohr Synagogue and the Tower Diner, both located on Queens Boulevard, face possible demolition to make room for more housing.
“I feel that if we continue to witness the loss of these buildings in the name of so-called progress, it will be counterproductive to try to maintain our identity as a community and as a borough,” said Perlman.