From the Times Ledger:
The fate of a storied Jackson Heights commercial building emptied in recent months by rising rents is still in question nearly a month after the final hold-out, the beloved Cavalier Restaurant, closed its doors.
A strip of five storefronts beginning at the corner of 86th Street and 37th Avenue, the brick building was divided into five units, which have housed businesses including a beauty parlor, an accountant’s office, a meat market and a shoe store. But its future is far from certain.
The building is in the process of being sold to new owners, whose identity Perry Berger, the managing agent representing its current owner, did not disclose because it is still under contract.
Several sources close to the Cavalier have said the restaurant’s rent would have doubled under the new owners and that it was asked to pay six months’ security. That combination led Londoño to close the eatery Feb. 7 in a tearful farewell to the neighborhood that had called it a second home since 1950.
Rumors have swirled in recent months that the building will be turned into a big-box store or razed and turned into an eight- or a nine-story building, but Berger said he sees little chance of such a change.
“It’s in a historic district, and the zoning for that area would, I think, make it almost impossible to get an eight-story building over there,” he said. “Anybody would be hard-pressed to go above three stories.”