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Appealing for Rehab at Abandoned Rockaway Courthouse

The abandoned courthouse on the Rockaway peninsula has been adjourned for approximately 50 years?far longer than it was ever in session. Once again, developers and city officials are attempting to revive the monumental Greek revival edifice on Beach Channel Drive. The City is looking for a buyer for the limestone and marble building that opened in 1932 and closed after Queens consolidated its courts system in 1962. The most recently interested party is Uri Kaufman, president of the Harmony Group, who wants to turn the monumental building into an outpatient surgical center offering treatments like laser eye surgery, cosmetic surgery, and ambulatory care like MRIs. The Harmony Group outlined its proposal in a meeting with Community Board 14 in December 2011.

Some people would ideally like to see the building used as a community center?as it was by an arts group briefly during the 1970s?but after decades would settle for almost any productive use. This is not Kaufman's first bite at the Rockaway courthouse apple. In 2002, CB14 unanimously approved the sale of the building to a real estate trust he controlled. Kaufaman was going to move his business's offices from Manhattan into the courthouse and erect a 16,000 square foot office building on the site. It was all part of a move to capitalize on a building boom on the Rockaway peninsula at that time. Although there was significant support, the deal apparently never went through, like most plans for the abandoned courthouse.

· City looking for developer to revive the Rockaway courthouse [NYDN]
· New life for Rockaway courthouse [The Wave]
· New life for old courthouse [The Wave]
· The Abandoned Courthouse [ForgottenNY]