Developer gets final approval to transform landmarked Queens theater into condos

July 13, 2011 04:15PM

Having just received the final approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals, developer Patrick Thompson is moving ahead with plans to turn the landmarked RKO Keith’s Theater in downtown Flushing, Queens into a 17-story, 357-unit residential rental complex, according to Crain’s.

“I am very delighted and look forward to starting construction,” Thompson said.

At the close of last year, Thompson submitted his plans to the board, which included a modification of plans that had been submitted by its previous owner. The new proposal included increasing the number of units from 200, increasing parking spaces inside the building to 385 from 229 and increasing the retail square footage to 17,000 from 11,000, Crain’s said.

“This long-neglected site is finally on the road to rebirth as a mixed-used development that will provide much needed housing and a senior center,” Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said. “From the 1920s to the 1980s, when it was vacated, the RKO Keith was a major entertainment Mecca for everything from vaudeville shows to motion pictures.”

Thompson is the third in a string of developers that have taken on the site. Two previous owners — Thomas Huang and Shaya Boymelgreenfailed in their attempts to revamp it.

Thompson expects to start construction by the end of the year. [Crain’s]