Friday, August 8, 2014

Klein Farm finally sold

From the Times Ledger:

Fresh Meadows’ Klein Farm has been sold to tenants who recently accepted responsibility for illegally cutting down trees on the historic property.

Ziming Shen’s Fresh Meadows Children’s Farm LLC bought the farm, at 194-15 73rd Ave., last week for $5.6 million from Audrey Realty Corp., a firm headed by Henry Huang, son of notorious developer Thomas Huang.

Shen was hit with $1,600 in fines by the city after his daycare center, Preschool for America, which leased the farm, altered the driveway and cut down trees without the necessary permits.

The farm sits in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District, meaning any significant changes to the property have to be approved by the City Planning Commission.

Outraged neighbors and community leaders first noticed the trees being cut down last fall and reported the arborcide to the city Department of Buildings.

The property was the borough’s last family-owned, working farm before the Huangs bought it in 2003 for $4.3 million. They then unsuccessfully tried to develop the farm into 22 two-family homes.

Neither Huang nor Shen returned requests for comment.


Anonymous said...

I have a problem with this.
If one owns a piece of property why can't you cut down the trees on it?
Do I need permission to kill the grass and cut down a tree before I put a cement patio in my back yard?
Can I rip out a bush in my front yard?
Individual rights are being sacrificed in favor of community rights.
And who is paying the tax on the property? Certainly not the community.

Queens Crapper said...

The property was part of the Special Natural District before Huang bought it, and he was not the one that cut the trees down and allegedly had no knowledge of his tenant's plan to do so. If you want to be able to cut trees down, don't buy property in an historic district.

azlu said...

@ Anonymous

"Individual rights are being sacrificed in favor of community rights."

That has always been the case.
To me, what's worse than that is when you see people throw filth just everywhere you go--as is the case in parts of my city, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I hope they don't turn it into crap or fight to get those 22 houses developed again. You know that those 22 houses would have been 2 family houses sold or rented to more Asians.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad - you know how it will end - with an illegal tear-down in the middle of the night.

A Huang did not buy that property to farm!

Queens Crapper said...

Huang sold it.

Mike Francesa said...

If they start selling some pies again all will be forgiven.

Anonymous said...

When you buy property you should be aware of the laws that apply to how the property can be used.

The farm sits in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District, meaning any significant changes to the property have to be approved by the City Planning Commission.

Prospective property owner, if you don't like those laws, get them changed before you buy the property.

It needs to be said, because it has not been said here for a while: A good person obeys the law. A bad person deliberately disobeys the law, and then fights to avoid paying a fine, or whatever the penalty is, for as long as possible.

The condemnation here is deserved.

Anonymous said...

When each person decides that their individual right trumps community rights, you have tons of people paving over their yards which then leads to overwhelmed drainage systems and community flooding...and ultimately a decrease in property values for everyone.

Robert anton said...

The best of Flushing is long gone now. Face the fact that it is over. Nothing is left of its former beauty.
Let the new occupants have it and move on if it bothers you so much. Don't pine over the fact that Flushing lacked the community solidarity that was required to keep it from the kind of change that proved to be ruinous to the one of a kind homes and trees. To be honest it started in the early 20th century but by the 1950ies it spiraled out of control to where it is now. FINISHED

Anonymous said...

im sure hey are hurting at the $1,6000 fine after the $5M purchace

Anonymous said...

This new owner is another scumbag.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right, the owner is a scumbag. We in Fresh Meadows knew this when they (as tenants at that time) cut down all the trees, in blatant violation of the special preservation district designation that states there can be no significant alteration of the landscape, building, etc. When Audrey Realty (Tommy Huang's company - another scumbag!) they knew this and figured they could just develop the property anyway but it was stopped. Now new scumbags are the owners. Years ago If David Weprin (then council member for the district) had shown the legislative will, the city could've purchased the property and the Queens County Farm Museum and agreed to oversee it as a working educational farm. But he did nothing. I doubt Mark Weprin (David's brother) will do anymore than "write a letter" now. So it's really the do nothing, useless legislators that contribute to the destruction of our neighborhoods. Ultimately it's the ignorant voters who blindly vote the party line, or the same name they recognize over and over again.

Anonymous said...

I used to live nextdoor, in Meadowlark Gardens, before it went co-op. The Klein farm was such a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. Now? It's a blight.

New York was building on foreign immigration, where people came and appreciated what was already going on and joined in. Nowadays, they come and try to change everything into the garbage dumps from whence they came.

I've since left Flushing. I used to regret it, but not anymore.