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Developer seeks rezoning for 400K-square-foot Queens project

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A Queens-based developer hopes to transform a retail site in the borough into a sprawling, mixed-use project with more than 300 housing units.

RJ Capital Holdings is seeking to rezone a swath of Queens Boulevard in Briarwood for a 17-story development spanning up to 396,000 square feet, according to an application it recently filed with the Department of City Planning. The project would stretch from 138-13 to 138-43 Queens Blvd. and include 339 residential units, 85 to 102 of which would be affordable. It would feature about 33,000 square feet of retail space and a 132-car parking garage as well.

The affordable units would be for households earning between 60% and 80% of the area median income, or between about $84,000 and $112,000 for a family of three.

The rezoning would also encompass a nearby site, at 138-11 Queens Blvd., which would be home to another large, mixed-use project, standing 17 stories tall and spanning about 134,000 square feet, according to the filing. It would include 110 residential units, 28 to 33 of which would be affordable, along with about 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 40 parking spots.

RJ Capital purchased 138-13 to 138-43 Queens Blvd. between 2020 and 2023 for about $23.8 million overall, property records show. The firm does not own 138-11 Queens Blvd., which a limited liability company linked to Larry Shelon bought in 2018 for $2.5 million, according to property records.

It was unclear if the two firms were partnering on either or both of the projects. A representative for RJ Capital did not respond to a request for comment by press time, and Shelon could not be reached.

RJ Capital expects construction to take about 2.5 years and hopes to finish the project in 2028, according to planning documents.

Without the rezoning, the firms would plan much smaller projects for both sites. At its property RJ Capital would build a 7-story, mixed-use development spanning about 207,000 square feet with 133 residential units, about 72 parking spots and still about 33,000 square feet of retail. The Shelon-owned site would also house a 7-story, mixed-use development spanning about 85,000 square feet with 56 residential units, about 31 parking spots and about 18,000 square feet of retail.

Built in 1953, the current retail property at the RJ Capital site spans about 19,000 square feet, according to commercial real estate database CoStar. The Shelon site is home to a retail building spanning 2,200 square feet, according to CoStar.

RJ Capital, based in Bayside, also has condo projects underway on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope and Grand Central Parkway in Forest Hills, along with a retail project on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, according to its website.

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Eddie Small , 2024-05-14 18:32:59

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