Thursday, February 18, 2016

RKO on the market again

From Crains:

The long-vacant RKO Keith's Theatre in Flushing, Queens, is up for sale—again.

The 1920s-era cinema at 135-35 Northern Blvd. has been gathering dust for 30 years as a series of developers have bought and sold the property without completing plans to convert it to apartments or hotel rooms. On Feb. 17, the latest firm to take a crack at redeveloping the property, JK Equities, announced that it is putting the former movie house up for sale. RKO Keith's Theatre is being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield.

"In the past six months, we have received several unsolicited offers to purchase the site at attractive pricing," said Jerry Karlik, head of JK Equities.


Anonymous said...

So if it anything ever gets built, we are settling for a small partially rebuilt lobby from what's left, a concierge and condos atop? I'm sure the grand staircases will be gone.

Anonymous said...

Yea probably by chinese investors who never even set foot in america. House more of China why don't we?

JQ LLC said...

Hey, don't disparage our wealthier chinese benefactors. They, along with the frivolous spending hipshits, are the lifeblood our local economy and the drivers of all this overt real estate speculation and mindless upzoning for atmosphere breaking tower building.

keep on printing those EB-5's

(sarc) said...

Realestate Listings on Queens Crap, another public service...

Anonymous said...

Hey JQ now they are buying the Chicago Stock Exchange!
Moving up from real estate, that's so old fashioned!

Anonymous said...

How about Congress member Meng allocating funds for the reconstruction of the RKO, as former congressman Ackerman should have done years ago?

Anonymous said...

the grand staircase is already gone.

Anonymous said...

On sale again by the same mafia that bought and sold it several times in the past. This is a big fucking scheme. I've been hearing about the sale and possible redevelopment of this theater for over 2 decades. Maybe Trump should donate some of his millions to the cause so that it really gets redeveloped!!

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

Yet another soul crushing debacle that is typical of the 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil' Queens Desecration Society, where preservation, conservation and restoration are an illusion---and trust, character, integrity and principle are for suckers!

And, for the imbecile who referred to the great monumental 'Triumph Of Civic Virtue' as "...that f**king statue" (that has been temporarily banished and [languishing] to a Brooklyn graveyard, among the dead, for 3.5 years, and counting!), THIS is why a symbolic, allegorical beacon like Civic Virtue is urgently needed here right now---more than ever before (are you listening Melinda Katz, DCAS and Co.?)!

In the meantime (as always), welcome to all Queens, city government anarchy, fellow residents, proudly delivered with impunity by all selfish, incompetent higher ups, ALL of whom stopped caring about Queens (and its taxpaying residents), much less honest, ethical leadership (that leads by example), so very long ago---and, it shows!

Anonymous said...

Meng will support the Chinese investors first

Jerry Rotondi, Comm. To Save Keith's Inc. said...

People have been asking me....because of my connection to the RKO battle since 1986...
" What's up at the Keith's."


Just like I've been telling them all along..."The 4th owner is likely to flip the property to a 5th owner" and be rid of it.

I guess I was right on the mark.
Gee...I wish I could have that kind of foresight picking a winning horse at the track.

My next prediction is...
that the partial landmark status, which the Keith's currently "enjoys" , will be revoked in the near future.
Perhaps it will be for some reasons of being unstable.

With a disinterested community board, and shady political representation, that should be quite easy to accomplish.

You see, folks... if CB7, and all of the "glorious" elected officials, really had pulled out all of the stops years ago for the RKO to be would have been Queens' answer to the superbly restored Loew's Kings theater in Brooklyn.

But, alas, that is another entirely different borough. Queens is full of petty larceny crooks. Paying off our officials with ice cream money will suffice. In Brooklyn they have a higher sense of class.

Incidentally, legitimate Broadway productions are already scheduled for the Brooklyn Kings theater.

Jerry Rotondi, Comm. To Dave Keith's Inc. said...

I attended that dog and pony show at CB7...where Keith's owner #4 showed us all a few slides... which depicted their workers gold leafing the base of a column or two , and tarring the roof over the ticket lobby.

It was easy to convince many of the CB7 dullards into believing that the new owners de jour , were serious about restoration.

Afterwards, CB7 voted a unanimous "YES" to approve the new building.
They were willing to clutch at any straw which would allow that "eye sore" of a Keith's to "just go away".
Yet, who can really blame them at this late a date.

Well, that's show biz at your local community BORED!
Maybe it's high time to flush that board and infuse it with new blood.

Flushing has already been flushed (architecturally speaking) quite for a few sacred cows like the Quaker Meeting and Bowne House, etc.

Anonymous said...

Uh...the grand staircase IS NOT gone.
Not that it really matters at this point.
The whole place will be gone soon enough.

How about some affordable housing for the homeless being built there, Mr. Mayor?
Let the lobby be restored,
so the low income or no income can have a nice grand entrance like the more fortunate New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

Congress member Meng? LOL!
She is as crooked as Ackerman was.
Her dad, Jimmy Meng, was covicted of carrying an $80,000 bribe in a fruit basket to try and buy off a judge for a friend of his.
Somebody please take Toby Stavisky's pulse to see if she is still alive.
How about Peter Koo? WTF does he do?
There you have it. Nobody to the rescue. The RKO will sit there until it crumbles or is de-landmarked.
Then the site will be developed.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Purge that lazy crooked community board.
Dump follow the buck Chuck Alelian and replace that high earning DM Bitterman.
Why shoud a DM get $90,000 a year for doing not very much?

Anonymous said...

If it could have been, it would have been!

Flushing had a great opportunity, decades ago , to make the Keith's Queens' showplace,
if it's elected officials (except for Julia Harrison who gave her all to the community) had united to make it so.
Taiwanese money bought them all, beginning with Manes, then Shulman, etc. etc. etc.

Now it's too late. Tear it down, with dignity , and donate the scraps to the Museum of The Moving Image.

Shame on all of you who were bought with Chinese money. It flowed like water into the campaign coffers of many a crooked politician.
Now that China is in an economic bind, where will the new political donors be hailing from...Russia?

Politicians can always be bought cheaply. Quality art and architecture must be created by skilled artists and artisans.
It is one of a kind and irreplaceable.

Jerry Rotondi said...

Richard, we are in full agreement about the loss of our architectural, cultural and art treasures.
What attracts people to neighborhoods. that they want to live in , are exactly those things in addition to good school systems and convenient transportation.

Brooklyn is being transformed by the retention and restoration of its fine old town houses, the Brooklyn Musem (not, UGH, the substandard Queens Museum) etc.
A friend just recently moved into a circa 1880s town house in the Crown Heights historic district. The value of that property has just doubled. People are now flocking to Brooklyn. Their last resort, when it eventually gets filled up will be Queens.

The LPC continues to ignore the legitimate requests for the creation of such historic districts in Queens.
The reason why is that it would interfere with mega development. Politicians get their cash from developers.
LPC follows these , on the dole , politicians' orders to not create any new historic districts which might encumber their contributors' plans for raping our neighborhoods.

Borough hall has and has always been the epicenter for corruption. It was brought to it's height by the suicided Manes.
This credo still prevails. Katz was bought by developers's money. Cleansing her dirty hands with a fresh coat of paint on the NYS Pavillion towers does not erase her selling out many neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Peter Koo...Grace Meng...Toby Stavisky....Community Board 7.
What chance do you think that the remnants of the formnerly splendid Keith's theater have?
The Chinese have bought Flushings' politicians decades ago.
They now own the town!
I say build a model Great Wall of China around it and develop it into a theme park along the Willets Point area.
Now, that might become a real tourist attraction.

Anonymous said...

I know that "La China" Meng is reading this.
Do you intend to do anything regarding the RKO or just sit and continue to occupy a warm seat in Congress?
Pretty good job that Gracie has. No term limits. Great medical benefits. A fat pension when she retires.
I too would like to be a member of Congress.
You can coast through life. Being president of the U.S.A. is much more work.
Wonder what John Liu, Tommy Huang's cousin, is doing these days.

Anonymous said...

"Flushing Down The Toilet"!
That will be the title of my electronically published book when it's finished.
Chapter one:
"Chinese Cahoots Wirh Crooked Council members."
Chapter two:
"Community Board Corruption."
Chapter three:
"Huang Kong".

Jerry Rotondi said...

An afterthought:
CB7 must be groaning. The thought of having to go through a 5th owner's presentation
will surely give Chuck Apelian and company some heartburn.
I will be there if there is another presentation, for observance and amusement purposes only.
Going to the movies cost too much these days, even with a senior discount.
The CB7 shows are free.
Comedy, drama, betrayal...what more could anyone ask for?

Pete Koo-koo said...

Think of downtown Flooshing as an uncharted inscrutable Oriental province.
It has its own rules, customs and mores. U.S. law does not apply here.
Municipal regulations have been broken often enough that it no longer matters.
Please enjoy your visit. Make sure that your immunization shots are up to date.
Carry a perfume flask to mask the odors.
It's unsanitary side streets might pose some slipping hazards.

Anonymous said...

Not so fast with the 5th owner.
With the market turmoil and economies slowing down around the world is a big luxury to park money into something that might not happen for years.
Easier to buy Stock Markets. Quicker return on the buck.

They can do a lot of things, but the focus is still on this landmark and the history of it.
Knowing the players, they like to work without creating big waves, commotions.
Seems that all involved are passing the RKO around like a hot potato!

Anonymous said...

There's another option to get rid of this "hot potato" that nobody has thought of. Or have they?
NYC pulls eminent domain out of the hat. Maybe offers a land swap to Karlik's Chinese owners.
Then, now owned by NYC, they have the legal right to revoke its landmark status.
Presto! There you go! And the walls come tumbling down!

Anonymous said...

Jerry Karlik is just fronting for a mainland Chinese investor. (Supposedly he's local).
If Chinese showed up as the owners of the Keith's at CB7, it would not look very good.
Send a mild mannered "White boy" to do the grunt work.
From Tommy Huang to another Chinese. Full circle like a cartoon Chinese fire drill.

Jerry Rotondi, Comm. To Dave Inc. said...

When council member Julia Harrison suggested that NYC seize the Keith's from Tommy Huang (eminent domain)... and perhaps incorporate it into a building site which would be a magnet school for the performing arts...then borough president, Claire Shulman, said no.
From Manes to Shulman on down, this poor neglected historic building has been passed around the political table like a two dollar slut.

There were many other suggestions for the creative reuse of the Keith's , including a multi cultural performing arts conference center.
Wouldn't that have been a nice attraction in 1987? But, here we are in 2016
, with a sluggish community board, and dull witted politicians who would really like to see the theater down.
You will never hear that opinion publicly expressed, though.

I am about to make an out of the box, daring suggestion.
How about removing the landmarked ticket lobby and grand foyer and relocating it to another spot?
It could be done. It will cost. But what has it cost the community so far to leave it rotting?
Maybe move it to LIC near Astoria Kaufman Studios and the Museum of The Moving Image complex.

Jerry Rotondi said...

Sorry my tablet messed up.
Correction..Comm. To Save Keith's Inc.

Mr. History said...

Nobody wants to buck borough hall. Least likely the suckling politicians. Borough hall has wanted the RKO buried from way back.
And we must not offend any Chinese here. They own the politicians. These crooked politicians have and will continue to bend over backwards for their campaign contributions.And who else would buy property in a CHINATOWN like Flushing? Chinese, of course.
And they are not spending like drunken sailors these days. The RKO will continue to rot until it falls down on its own accord.
Since 1986 the building has remained unheated and its basement sump pumps inoperable. The theater is built over the old town pond used for the Prince Nurseries. Just look at an old map.

Anonymous said...

Maybe billion are Donald Trump will pay for relocating the landmark spaces. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Manes, Huang and Ackerman were asshole buddies.
They conspired to bury the Keith's. What has been done back then cannot be undone.
And who would go to a restored Keith's Theater today if it were possible?

The local Chinese would not even support their own Chinese opera company which was headquartered in College Point years ago.
It closed. Flushing is located in the boondocks. It is smelly, filthy and overcrowded.
Hardly a draw. Yet One Flushing, Flushing Chamber Pot of Commerce, Flooshing BID think that its's the cat's meow.
Too bad that Katz doesn't think it's the cat's meow too.

And Ron Kim is pissed that it is looked upon as a foreign country.
Well, it is! Cheap Chinese live here...low class and thrifty. They wouldn't part with a Yuan, even if it was to save their lives.
Spend dollars to go to a restored Keith's.

Anonymously Grey Gardens said...

Alas, Anonymous, Ron Kim is part of the pathological SCOURGE that so completely betrays public trust and integrity---to pathologically, treasonous, traitorous effect!

But, Kim himself is merely a sub-level puppet who takes his marching orders from the more entrenched, openly practiced sociopaths of graft, greed and corruption that have systemically obliterated Queens County to 'Fourth World'status of all government tyranny, and monarchy rule---and the totalitarian, dictatorship that so governs a 'Police State' like New York, much like California was governed during the 'Communist' scares of Hollywood, during the 1950s.

Sadly, America is no longer a democracy practicing Republic (as evidenced by the above examples of societal collapse), and only getting worse by the hour!

Jerry Rotondi said...

"Sociopaths of graft, greed and corruption".
I second that, Richard. Aptly put!
A four word description of the political picture in a "fourth world" (as you've put it) borough?
That part remains to be seen.
Things are looking grim for the Keith's , as far as most can see, though.
Where does CB7 fit into your analysis?
I have my personal opinions and I would sincerely like to hear yours.

Anonymous said...

In Flooshing, China enjoys favored nation lawbreaker status.
Just look the other way. This is a Chinese satellite.
Now that China has its economic problems overseas, will their previously bought and paid for politicians,
still expect campaign contributions to the large amounts that they were used to getting?
We have outsourced our own politicians to work for the Chinese, right here in Flooshing.
Even Paul Vallone gets their money.

Anonymous said...

I's love to see CB7's hidden set of books.
How much Asian money winds up in Chuck Apelian's pockets (let's be fair, giving him the benefit of the doubt) if any?
Bitterman was surely tight with Wellington Chen.
She rarely made a move without the little duke of Wellington's advice.
But, then again, she is as dumb as a post. She always needs advice (maybe trips to Toronto too???)
Hmmm....$90,000 a year paid to a dumbkoff! That's really rich!

Anonymous said...

Ron Kim is the Dem party's ass wipe.
They clap. He follows. They like having an Asian in their ranks. It looks good for them.
But I'm sure, in private, they think of him as their Oriental house boy.

Jerry Rotondi said...

this year will be marking the 30th anniversary since the Keith's was sold to the infamous convicted criminal developer,
Tommy Huang...thus beginning the long sorry saga of the theater's ruin.

Association To Replace Apelian said...

We challage That smug lazy bunch of self important CB7 members to get serious about getting something good done with the Keith's site.
They have been dragging their flaccid sorry asses for years.
Follow the buck Chuck Apelian keeps on flashing his grim smirk and takes his usual proprietary attitude about his little kingdom.
He needs to be replaced by somebody with vision, not anger . He is a sawed off control freak.

Anonymous said...

Flushing was ceded to Asian control because its politicians and community board DID NOT want the downtown hub to become a "Black" or "Latino" neighborhood. So, everybody lets the Chinese-Taiwanese have free run of Flooshing.
The plan is , eventually, to drive the people of darker color, out of the Bland Houses.
The poorer Chinese have already moved in there. Soon, infil, housing will be built in its open spaces and rented at market rate.
The Taiwanese were introduced , primarily, as a species to push out Flushing's African American community.

Anonymous said...

True dat!
Look up some of the late Senator Leonard P. Stavisky's comments regarding Flushing, Tommy Huang, etc. in the media.
One ran something like this.
"We did not want Flushing to,sink like the Grand Concourse in the Bronx" (meaning Latino?).
Another by the Stavisky stooge, Assemblyman Morton C. Hillman.
"Thank God for the Asians. We didn't want to see Flushing become a south Jamaica (meaning Black?).

Foul , incideous, racism from the get go from Flushing's politicians.

That is also the purpose of racist CB7.

As long as the darker minorities are confined to other areas, they let Flushing get developed beyond anything that it's infrastructure can handle. As long as it's Chinese development and not Black or Latino.

"NIMBY!" , cries Chuck Apelian (quietly).
As long as his cul de sac world is not invaded by Blacks.
As long as Gene Kelty's Whitestone haven is not polluted by the wrongraces and overbuilding. Everyone is happy!

Anonymous said...

A question was once put to a Flushing assemblyman in reference to this kind of covert racism.
I was there to hear the answer.
"Better yellow than black, assemblyman"?
His answer, with a red furious face, "How dare you"?
Hmmmm....speak the truth behind all of that hidden anti Black Latino racism?
Besides, Blacks and Latinos did not have enough money like the Taiwanese-Chinese to buy politicians.
Aye, there's the rub! Who owns your crooked pol?

Jerry Rotondi said...

Back in the day (before my 1986 nvolvement began)
the Museum of The Moving Image was set to testify at the LPC in favor of a full interior designation of the RKO Keith's.
As told to me by a former Committee To Save Keith's Inc. member....they pulled out at the last minute.....
pressured by Donald Manes to do so.
If they bucked the Don, they might see their funding cut. Soon after, Manes's buddy, Tommy Huang bought the Keith's. How much money did Manes receive for his betrayal? Just read "City For Sale".

Now there is some Queens history for you, you useless Queens Historical Society docents.
I should know how anemic this group is, having served two terms as a board member at QHS.
They throw some great Victorian tea partys, but champion REAL historic preservation? Don't expect it!
They are tied to the apron
strings of borough hall and the local pol's'.They also do not want to see their funding get cut if they speak out too loudly.

Anonymous said...

Why is Chuck Apelian permitted to remain on CB7 when he is in league with Paul Vallone?
Isn't that a conflict of interest? How come Marilyn Bitterman remains at her $90,000 a year post when she has proven to be incapable?
One hand washes the other in the great Democratic dictatorship of Queens.
Put in your years of service and you get your ass licked with a nice fat patronage job.

Anonymous said...

I just heard this on the radio.
China...Ithink it was Beijing...has surpassed New York in the number of billionaires that live there.
How much of their wealth was squeezed out of Flushing, etc.?
Nice. We even outsource billionaires.
Sigh! Maybe Donald Trump is the one, after all of my doubts, that can whip America back into reality.

Anonymous said...

Where is Peter Koo? Can anybody find Waldo?

Anonymous said...

LOL! Peter Koo?
You'd need a translator to understand his Chingrish if you can find him.

Anonymous said...

If any reporter wants to travel to Broadway Flushing, you can find Tommy Huang's old attorney, Lung Fong Chen.
He lives in a house on the south side of 33rd Ave. between 165thand 166th Street.
He was disbarred years ago. But I'll bet he knows a lot about his old client, once billed as the "Asian Donald Trump". LOL!
Then, further down on the west side of 165th Street approaching Crocheron , is Roger Lo's house. He is a former real estate agent for Huang.