Great Wall Supermarket, on Northern Boulevard and Leavitt Street, will be replaced next year by a glass-clad, 11-story building after the supermarket’s owners decided to not renew the lease, according to city records. The proposed building’s modern, sleek look will tower next to the Civil War-era Flushing Town Hall, causing many in the community to criticize the new building for not conforming to the appearance of its historic neighbor.
“This thing looks like it’s something out of Miami Vice,” Flushing resident Vincent Amato said. “You can kiss goodbye any sense of history this neighborhood still had.”
Despite community resistance, Community Board 7 passed a request to change the area’s zoning, allowing the building’s developer, George Chu, to move another step closer toward his goal of developing a mixed-use building with a hotel, store fronts, community space and apartment units.
Flushing Town Hall wrote a letter expressing their support of the new development, and the planned community space will be used often by Town Hall events. During the community board meeting, the board members defended their decision to allow the building to be constructed.
“We’re not granting something that’s significantly different then what could be there,” Chuck Apelian said. “None of us are negligent of the history.”
As the meeting ended, Apelian said, “This is a tragedy not just for Flushing, but the whole nation. Hundreds of years of American history will be overshadowed by this new building.”
So, Chuck is opposed to the building, but voted for its zoning change anyway? WTF?