Shop owners say Flushing Commons construction will hit sales

Despite relief fund, local retailers still have reservations about the planned mega-project

Flushing Commons rendering
Flushing Commons rendering

Discussion has begun among locals and stakeholders on the effect the long-delayed Flushing Commons development will have on local retailers.

At the first meeting of a task force launched by Queens borough president Melinda Katz, a local business association voiced concern that construction of the mixed-use project at the corner of 39th Avenue and Union Street will hurt sales at neighborhood stores.

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The city has earmarked $2.25 million to help small businesses deal with difficulties arising from the building of the complex. But the Union Street Merchants Association “still has a lot of questions,” including how that money will be spent, according to the Times Ledger.

The developers of the $850 million project, the Rockefeller Group and TDC Development and Construction, plan to help maintain parking availability by building a four-level underground garage in the first phase. That parking lot will be used while the complex is actually being built, the developers said at the meeting. The article did not mention Mount Kellett Capital, another developer that entered a $300 million debt and equity financing package with Rockefeller and TDC last month. [Times Ledger]Angela Hunt