Thursday, June 1, 2017
Lefferts bridge businesses endangered
From DNA Info:
About a dozen mom-and-pop businesses lined along the Long Island Rail Road bridge in the heart of Kew Gardens fear they may face demolition as the MTA tries to figure out what to do with the aging structure, local residents and officials said.
The bridge on Lefferts Boulevard, between Austin and Grenfell streets, near the Kew Gardens LIRR station and the Kew Gardens Cinemas, is one of the most distinct spots in the neighborhood.
Built more than nine decades ago, it's been compared by locals to the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge in Florence known for shops built along it.
But over the years the aging structure has become a hazard as falling bricks and pieces of crumbling facades continue to put residents and passing trains at risk, local merchants and officials said.
Now, the MTA is considering not renewing the lease for the property operator when it expires in 2020, instead commissioning a developer to figure out what to do with the run-down structure, prompting concerns that new buildings could replace the 13 businesses currently located along the bridge, according to several people who participated in a meeting with MTA representatives which was held at Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz’s office earlier this month.