From the Daily News:
A Manhattan real estate investment firm close to snagging the drama-plagued RKO Keith's movie palace already faces heat from Flushing leaders over a construction just blocks away.
Sam Suzuki of Venator Capital LLC, which is reportedly buying the historic theater, built rowhouses in 2000 that blocked Fire Department access to an apartment complex at Bowne St. and 38th Ave., locals charge.
The city Buildings Department will try to send an inspector to check on the complaints at the Bownetree rentals, said agency spokeswoman Carly Sullivan.
Preservationists fear Suzuki will continue a decades-long saga at the RKO Keith's. The city revoked the permits of its notorious former owner, Tommy Huang, in 1990 after he let crews bulldoze its landmarked grand staircase.
"A little red flag just went up in my head," said Jerry Rotondi, 67, of Flushing, who has fought for two decades to save the 1928 theater on Northern Blvd. at Main St.
Officials at Community Board 7 seemed uneasy about Suzuki owning the RKO Keith's.
"If we're going to sell something to this guy, I want to make sure he doesn't build something like he built" at Bownetree, said board chairman Gene Kelty.
The board's district manager, Marilyn Bitterman, called the Bownetree rowhouses "awful."
"The RKO Keith's has been like a cancer in downtown Flushing forever," said ex-Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.
Well then, Claire, you and the Keith's have a lot in common!