An oasis of al fresco dining in Forest Hills could become a thing of the past. Queens Community Board 6 will hear a proposal to replace the neighborhood's so-called "Restaurant Row" at 107-18 70th Road with a 120-foot-tall mixed use development, DNAinfo reports. While current zoning only allows for a seven-story building, elected officials said the developer will seek a special permit to build taller.
The row is home to nine restaurants, though some have been vacated over the past couple of years. Local residents have launched a petition to fight the plan, and as of Wednesday morning, it had 666 signatures. They fear the loss of outdoor dining, which is not allowed on Austin Street, as well as and increased congestion, especially with a Target opening in a former Barnes & Noble nearby. The developer would welcome restaurant tenants back to the new building, but restaurateurs are skeptical, the report said. The community board meets tonight at the Kew Gardens Community Center, Room 202, at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road.
· Forest Hills' Restaurant Row Could Be Replaced By 120-Foot-Tall Building [DNAinfo]
· Save Restaurant Row and our Forest Hills Community [Change.org]