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Flushing Theater Has New Owner, May Finally Be Developed

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Flushing's long-suffering RKO Keith's Theater has sold, yet again, to a new developer who has taken over the plans to turn the historic building into rental apartments and retail space, the Post reports. Developer JK Equities paid $30 million for the 85-year-old cinema. The building will be 17 stories tall and will include 357 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail space and a community facility for seniors. The original three-story lobby, designated an interior city landmark in 1983, will have to be retained.

The theater is being taken off the hands of developer Patrick Thompson, who bought it from developer Shaya Boymelgreen in 2010 for $20 million. Boymelgreen is the one who put the redevelopment plan in place, but he was forced to give up the building after he split with partner Lev Leviev in 2007. Before that, the theater was owned by Tommy Huang, the developer who basically created Flushing's Chinatown, who ended up pleading guilty to endangering public health after letting 200 gallons of oil leak from the building's furnaces into the basement and later lying about having cleaned it up. The theater closed in 1986, and has sat vacant ever since.
· $30M sale for Flushing's RKO Keith [NYP]
· RKO Keith's Theater coverage [Curbed]