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Block of Stores Including Avalon Florist in the Process of Being Sold

Avalon Florist at 47-06 Queens Blvd. The lot is in the process of being sold. (Photo: Queens Post)

Dec. 7, 2018 Staff Report

An iconic triangular lot at the corner of 48th Street and Queens Boulevard that houses three longtime businesses is in the process of being sold, the Sunnyside Post has learned.

The two-story lot, with an address of 47-02 Queens Blvd., has been home to Optimo Cigars, The Veer Mailbox Inc. and Avalon Florist for decades.

A “store closing” sign has already gone up at Optimo Cigars, the bodega at 47-02 Queens Blvd.

Optimo Cigars at 47-02 Queens Blvd. (Photo: Queens Post)

The owner, who would only identify himself as Jack, said he’s been running the store at the site for 36 years.

The bodega owner was told by the building’s landlord, Peter Conte, that he had to leave by the end of the year.

Conte, he said, had been looking to sell the site for some time.

Despite the near four-decade run, Optimo Cigars will not be looking to relocate.

The Veer Mailbox at 47-01 Greenpoint Ave., meanwhile, was also told to close up shop by the end of the year, according to Sunil Shah, who opened the mail services business there 14 years ago.

Shah had been operating on a month to month lease, and is looking for a new location to continue operations in the neighborhood.

Conte, whose family has run Avalon Florist at 47-06 Queens Blvd. since 1953, confirmed that he is in the process of selling the property.

The sale, he noted, has not been finalized, but will likely go through for early next month.

The businessman and property owner may look to relocate the flower shop elsewhere in Sunnyside.

He is unaware of the buyer’s plans for the property.

The lot is across the street from the “Sunnyside Point” a four-story building set to open in early 2019 after years of construction.

The developers demolished the prior building at the site that housed businesses like King Boulevard, SSS Video, and Azteca Restaurant to make way for the project.

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35 Comments

Sunnyside Alum

Why is everyone so upset about Optimo? What about Avalon? Peter and his family have been the go-to florist forever, for weddings and now, sadly, funerals. I hope he finds a new spot in the neighborhood.

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Old timer

Yes…. back in my day, when Sunnyside was simply marvelous ! 40’s 50’s and some 60’s.

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bartstone

That building has been neglected/underutilized for years and now someone with capital is going to invest in it and build something that people want, for a profit. If you own property in the area, you benefit from that, if you rent, you are harmed by it. This is how capitalism works folks. I’m yet to hear any coherent alternative from the anti-gentrification folks.

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Kyle B Campion

Hm, maybe mandate that new buildings that put costs on the community (more folks on trains, less parking, etc) actually contribute to the area? Or are those who don’t own property unworthy of such consideration?

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A. Hart

That’s all their doing now, building up the area with unaffordable apartments.. By the way, what is happening with the ABC STORE that was supposed to be reopened by now? Are they planning on taking over that block for new construction also? It appears nobody knows. What about it Sunnyside Post?? Can you find out???

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Sheila

The cozy feel of Sunnyside/Woodside is no more. It’s a shame of what is happening to our lovely neighborhood.

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50% off sale at Optimo Cigars

Optimo Cigars selling almost everything for 50% off/buy one get one free. I bought two bongs, one rig, three packs of Dutch masters all for wait for it 100 bucks

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A.Bundy

ummm…i think its called upgrades? did you really think that the stone age in sunnyside would last forever? all of these blocks with single level stores can easily be converted to highrise condos.

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Anonymous

Yes, I did…especially sin e I certainly won’t be around forever!!! Our little Village TYPE feel is mostly why we live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Jacson Heights.

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Par

Don’t need hi rise condos in family neighborhoods
What they are doing is running Manhattan over the bridge and into Queens.

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Richard Alicea

It’s all about the $$$. It’s the final nail in the coffin of Mom & Pop stores. Have you been to Steinway Street lately! It’s literally a Christmas Gost Town.

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Gerald

Please no more condos. Please no more condos. Please no more condos. Please no more condos. Please no more condos. Please no more condos. Please no more condos.

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Omar

Why? More condos mean more homeownership opportunities. Eventually the trust-fund babies will all be housed so new and unsold condos will have to sell to regular people.

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VelvetKnight

We’re well beyond the point where that should have happened. Now it’s all ultra-wealthy people buying properties as investments or just to store money. You’d be amazed how many empty multi-million dollar apartments there are in the city thanks to overseas billionaires. That drives up prices for the “regular” 100-millionaires living here, which pushes out the basic millionaire, and filters down to the rest of us. People love bashing gentrifiers, but they’re also moving to cheaper neighborhoods because they have no choice.

Basically, it’s the only kind of economics that actually does “trickle down.” Along with all the other BS.

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Omar

Sounds like the issue is not the construction of condos but how to manage sales and distribution. How about force builders to sell to existing residents, with higher priority to longer tenures. Or require owner occupancy the first X years. Right there the ultra rich, investment property types get weaned off. Bottom line is I don’t see how housing ever becomes closer to affordable if the supply isn’t allowed to grow. But our politicians need to meet with the builders and work for the interest of the (majority) of people as a precondition to building.

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Sunnyside resident

Good for Optimo Cigars to close. I remember when i was trying to buy something from the store and the guy refused service because he was “busy”. Good riddance.

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Yeero

That corner reminds me of the Athens Cafe on 30th avenue. Will make a great outdoor cafe/ eatery.

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Old as Dirt

the way some people freak out if someone is smoking a cigarette 2 miles from them I doubt they would enjoy eating w all the QB traffic passing but they just might!

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LIC RESIDENT CONCERNED

A seven story building will go up on that corner, commercial, residential. Ask Jimmy Van Bramer and Lisa Deller at the next community board meeting – they will let you know what will be built on that site.

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George

Oh what a tragedy. I used to go to Optimo Cigars all the time. And since I have no mailbox in my building I used the mailbox place for my mail. Never went to that ctuddy flower store. I bet a building for trust fund babies with a nail salon and Colombian restaurant will be built.

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