Friday, October 11, 2013

Developer to Build Three New Eateries in Queens

The Mattone Group, a real estate developer based in College Point, announced plan to build three chain restaurants on a parking lot directly across the street from the Queens Center Mall. Located on 59th Avenue between 92nd and 94th Streets in Elmhurst, the 100,000-square-foot lot has remained unoccupied since the builder bought it from the city Economic Development Corporation in 2001. The Mattone Group will now be constructing an Olive Garden, a Longhorn Steakhouse and a Joe’s Crab Shack on the site.

When the developer purchased the site between Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway exit  for $2.2 million, they agreed to utilize the space by building an 18 screen megaplex with a three level parking garage.

The City Council approved the idea, but the local community board did not.

The EDC also placed several restrictions that the Mattone Group refused to abide by.

The project was then canceled and no other development plans for the lot were proposed.

The EDC held a court hearing with the Mattone Group to resolve the conflict over the vacant lot that they agreed to occupy 12 years ago.

The developers ended up paying $3 million to the city for failing to follow through and agreed to the development of the three chain restaurants, signing a contract with the EDC, without approval from the community board.

Mattone officials said community approval was not necessary since their development plans meet the area’s zoning laws.

Community Board 4 has since seen the development plan and supports it, particularly because of the job opportunities it will provide.

The Economic Development Corporation estimated that the restaurants will create 225 steady jobs.

Construction is set to begin later this year and expected to be completed by 2016.

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