Luxury apartments planned at former Abbraciamento site
by Andrew Shilling
Mar 12, 2014 | 12398 views | 2 2 comments | 287 287 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo from the former Abbraciamentos Restaurant
Photo from the former Abbraciamentos Restaurant
After paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB) surfaced last week, developers Criterion Group confirmed their plans to build a seven-story, 120-unit luxury apartment building at the site of the former Joe Abbraciamento Restaurant at 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park.

Criterion manager Nabeel Sheikh said while renderings for the new property are still on the way, he expects the building will be similar to Criterion's Class A residential building at 12-15 Broadway in Astoria, but with about 30,000 more square feet.

“It’s a similar style, but we’ll tweak it to the neighborhood,” Sheikh said. “It’s an untapped market, so this is our testing the waters. The neighborhood here is more family oriented, so we don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.”

Criterion Group currently has 10 residential buildings in Astoria and Flushing. Sheikh said this development would range from studio apartments to two and three-bedroom units.

“The main benefit for this location is the easy transportation to the city,” he said, noting the close proximity to the Q11 and Q21 buses and R train on Queens Boulevard.

There are no plans for commercial options on site, according to the DOB application. The project include 3,910 square feet of parking.

Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society, said he is unhappy to see plans for another apartment building in the area replacing a long-time community staple like Abbraciamento’s.

“You hate seeing that happen to anywhere in the community,” he said. “It’s one thing to lose something that’s so special, but to be replaced by an apartment building is just discouraging.”

With dozens of other apartment buildings just across the street from the location, Wendell said the new building would only create more congestion on the subways.

“If this had been on the next block, no one would be talking about it,” he said. “This is one of those special places.”

Setting aside the sentimental significance to the neighborhood, Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said the new development could be a good thing for the neighborhood.

“The first reaction with everyone is to find something wrong with it,” Masi said. “I just don’t see it as a problem, especially now when they have to do it with parking.”

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March 23, 2014
correction on spelling in above comment.



March 23, 2014
Since 5 years ago some zoning has been downgraded.

Since 5 years ago I heard the same offer came that was taken now.

What most residents, politicians do not realize is in order to put an underground parking facility to accommodate the requirements of how many units will be built, that means shouting down woodhaven blvd. causing detours, additional traffic for a long period of time.

Bon Appetit