From the Forum:
The departure of a major airline company has left some Forest Hills store owners struggling and hoping to survive the loss of business.
About two weeks ago, JetBlue Airways, a Queens-based airline company that has its main base at John F. Kennedy International Airport, opened its new headquarters in Long Island City. Its previous location had been at the Forest Hills Towers on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, near where Queens Borough Hall and Queens County Supreme Court are.
JetBlue took about 900 employees when it moved to its new location. Their departure has affected the amount of business some store owners near the towers are getting since the company left.
Roman Davidov, who is part-owner of Hot Bialeys & Bagels, which is about one block away from the towers, said that his store has lost roughly 20 to 30 percent of business since JetBlue moved away from Forest Hills.
Nilesh Patel, president of Vasu Convenience store, which is across the street from where JetBlue was, said he has lost about $50-60 every day since the airline left.
Although Patel said that he doesn’t think he is in danger of closing the store for good, he did say that he might have to stay open one or two hours later to make up for the lost money.
As for who will come in to fill the void JetBlue has left, Ken Siegel, who works as the international managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate firm that is looking for a new tenant of the open space, said that the office space JetBlue was in is very attractive to potential suitors and they have gotten many companies, both local and from Manhattan and western Long Island, that have expressed interest in moving into the available space. He declined to say what companies are interested.