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Dime Bank Vacates Queens Blvd/43rd Street Building–as Development Looks Likely

Photo: QueensPost

Dec.9, 2013 By Christian Murray

Dime Saving bank vacated the building on the corner of Queens Blvd and 43rd Street on Saturday—thereby raising further questions as to what the owner plans to do with the property.

With Dime gone, the property has three remaining tenants: Center Cinemas, PJ Horgans and a local dentist.

Center Cinemas is the most vulnerable business at this point since its lease ends December 2014. PJ Horgan’s lease doesn’t end until June 30, 2018, while the dentist has the option in 2014 to renew his lease for another five years. The terms of that renewal are not known.

Rudy Prashad, the owner of Center Cinemas, has been trying to renew his lease for months—in order to make plans. The landlord/management company, he said, finally told him they would discuss it in January.

Prashad is not sure what the owner plans to do with the property. Meanwhile, the owner of the property could not be reached for comment. However, the property manager Michael Christopher said that it is private matter and didn’t want to comment further.

The property was sold by Dime Savings bank for $6.675 million Dec. 20, 2012, to “42-25 Queens Blvd. Corporation,” a firm run out of Astoria.

At the time, a representative for the owner, said “We have no plans at this point for the property” and have “not decided what to do with it.”

However, local real estate agents expect the new owner to develop the site and build residential units. The annual operating income from the property while Dime was a tenant was $326,000, barely enough to cover the debt servicing on the property. Dime paid close to $195,000 per year in rent.

Furthermore, given the size of the lot (16,300sqf) and the recent up-zoning, a developer is able to build a structure with a maximum floor area of 68,424sqf. The current building only has a floor area of 16,080 sqf.

Meanwhile, the owner of the cinemas, who has plans to make a number of costly improvements, is not sure whether to go through with them or not. “I just need to know where I stand,” Prashad said.

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Develop it! Queens needs more skinny arse, dull, pasty faced mid-western transplants to uptalk loudly on the 7 train.


What they need to do is build an affordable gym for us. like planet fitness. this would be the perfect spot for them. remove the movie theater and dime bank and build a much more afforadble gym. i defiantly believe Planet Fitness is PERFECT for Sunnyside. Im so sick in tired of all these shops popping up in Sunnyside and do not cater to majority of us. I have lived in Sunnyside for 17 years and I can honestly say there are less than a handful stores I would say cater to us. There are like 4 different pizza shops, 10 different salon/spa’s (for whatttttttttttt?), 4 asian restaurants, etc etc… it makes no sense to me.


Reality Calling

@sue that plot of green grass is private property belonging to the houses around/on 48th — that is what a shared garden means. I live in the garden across the street (yes it too is a shared garden) and I would be really pissed if non-residents (as in “you dont own a house adjacent to the property”) started taking chairs to sun bath on “my” garden. Same applies to the 48th street garden. Private property – thats why we call the cops whenever a stranger is in the gardens (also thats what the burglars do is hide in the gardens and stake out the houses).

Your only hope of enjoying those gardens is to a) buy a house there or b) become bff with an owner.


I haven’t seen a movie here since the turn of the century, probably because I feel it would be a sub-standard experience. I’d rather get some exercise and head over to the Kaufman Astoria. When I was a teenager and seeing a movie was cheap entertainment, I didn’t care if the theater was dumpy but today, there’s no excuse.

Any improvements that Mr. Prashad has in mind are probably long overdue.


I love that you can see a new movie on a weeknight in Sunnyside and be home in five minutes. And for a great price. It’s one of the things that makes this neighborhood desirable in the first place.

You hear that developers? You take it away and you’ll damage your own prospects.

Annie D

1996 was a loooong time ago (sorry people, it was), especially for a lot to be unused and vacant. There are a lot of these “protected” plots of green space around and while I agree it shouldn’t be built up with ugly housing (I went to the meeting and have been active in those petitions), that has to be coupled with ideas for positive reuse. As it stands the Phipps playground, with its rusty equipment and barricaded barren greenspace, is actually a blight on the neighborhood. A real shame considering it’s positive and progressive origins.

Sue Yerassoff

The Phipps Playground has been closed since I moved here 15 years ago. The one on 48th has been locked since then too. All that greenery and space and NO ONE uses it.

Dorothy Morehead

@Sue. Phipps Playground was sold in 2007 to a developer. The only hope of keeping it as open space is its history as a playground and inclusion in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District. Whether or not a community garden can be included in the playground if the Landmarks Commission turns down the developer’s application would be up to the Commission. It is my hope, and that of many Sunnysiders, that the property remains open space and that it will be open to the public.


5 foot gremlin,

if you think those are terrible suggestions then you are completely out of touch with what this neighborhood needs and thus, your opinion is invalid

Sue Yerassoff

@DM Legal mumbo jumbo which keeps a beautiful spot in our hood unused. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring a chair there and sit and read a book? Play on grass? Smell some flowers? Uh uh. All because of legal mumbo jumbo.

Dorothy Morehead

@Sue. The playground on 48th St. between Skillman and 43rd Aves. is owned in common by the property owners of the original block of the Sunnyside Gardens development (1924). It has been maintained by a few individuals since the larger open court was cut up by fences in 1964 when the original 40-year easements and deed restrictions expired.

@Annie D. Phipps Playground was in use as a playground from 1931 until 1996. The equipment is still there. The decision as to whether the property will remain open space or developed for housing and the siting of the Aluminaire House is in the hands if the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Sue Yerassoff

@Annie D @Dorothy @Sunnyside There’s a beautiful grass patch on 48th st between 43rd Ave and Skillman-no one’s allowed in. Uh uh.

Annie D

@Dorothy – the Phipps Playground is not a playground, it’s a vacant, scary lot. How about make it a community garden? There are enough playgrounds nearby and no outdoor spaces for the rest of us!


I agree with SSPHM, actually, except for the parking lot. People will come from all over, park in Sunnyside and get on the train. Plus, the Jahovies will occupy it starting at 6am when they have their little pow-wows.

Put a gym in their to counter balance all the crap food places.


It’s true, that theater has been sucking hard for years. I’ve seen bootlegs with better quality. I wouldn’t mind if that place got torn down but just not for another residential building. This community NEEDS things…things for its families and even the hipsters.

What do we need? a) Parking. Manhattan has them all over the place its about time Sunnyside wakes up and puts them in.

2)Day CARE centers. We need places for our kids to hang out, ps 150 does absolutely SHIT for its kids after 2:30pm. Most adults come home at 6, what the hell is a kid supposed to do? Stay with some indian woman who speaks no english???

c) How about a Gym? one that doesn’t require 1/3 of your income and has a real pool? New York Sports club is severely overpriced for what they offer and Sunnysiders wanna look good. A gym with a roof track, There ya go, great idea right?

6)Markets ! Organic market kicks ass, So does the new Japanese one and the Euro one, why? Cuz people want more than just Sushi and Thai every night. Throw in an Italian deli, or a French Bakery and the people will benefit from it.

These are all great ideas, better than the ones that people who make more than me came up with. Better than those ideas that included ridiculous art under 40th and music for birds on 50th. You people who care about this neighborhoods future should be fighting for these things not more rental units.

oh well, I’ll be outta this shitty neighborhood soon enough so I’m just blowing it to the wind.


The cinema is disgusting. The people who own it stopped caring more than 15 years ago.

The marquee has been graffitied for more than a decade
The floor is so sticky it’s a non-newtonian fluid
There are soda stains ON THE SCREENS
The roach population is evident (even in the dark)
The seats stink like teenager sex

I think we can do better, Sunnyside.

Dorothy Morehead

@Truth Hurts
The lack of activities for kids is exactly why I spent last Friday afternoon at Kaufman Astoria. Where do you take two active 7-year-olds and a super-active 4-year-old on a rainy afternoon? It’s the Hall of Science, Kaufman Astoria or the indoor play space on Steinway. The parks are great in good weather but that is half the year.

I hope you will support the efforts to keep the Phipps Playground on 39th Ave and 51st St. as a playground and not developed as housing.

Truth Hurts

Ahhh yes!! Cram more people into this cluster effed neighborhood. I have come to see this is really not a family friendly neighborhood, unless you consider taking your todler bar hopping. God forbid there is some open space, or something to look at other than more brick and concrete.


@Angela….Jimmy is printing his mayoral candidacy posters as we speak, he has no time for this pettiness.

zone drone

I can’t imagine spending $75 for movies when a cheaper alternative is right here.

But anyway, the same thing is about to happen down on the other side by Superior market. Builidng up is vogue. Thanks new zoning laws.


The husband and wife dentistry tandem are superb. I hope they are able to stick around in their current digs. I recommend them.


I believe it will be residential. With the new school opening up on the other side of the boulevard.


@croner I understand that a company involved in movie production has bought the site, though the corporate name would not indicate that. Certainly a company involved with movies should see the value of a movie theater. Whether they would develop and run it themselves is the question. I would not suggest that the current owner invest further without a favorable lease but it doesn’t hurt to put it out there that the community would like a movie theater.

The guy on the croner

You’re all a bunch of idiots who don’t comprehend what’s going on there.
Your fantasy world I’m-happy-to-be-spending-other-people’s-money-cause-it-involves-no-risk-to-me selves are telling the tenant ( i.e. theater owner) what he should do to improve the place, but THAT’S NOT THE ISSUE!
The issue is that a year from now, the new owners will probably be giving him the boot regardless of whatever improvements you all think he should be making. So, you really think the guy should be making improvements now, when he has such a short term lease?
You really think that???
@ the person who wants a 3-story bookstore – when’s the last time a 3-story bookstore was built in Queens?


To the New Property Owners,

I, and the community at large, are asking you to PLEASE leave Center Cinemas and PJ Horgan’s intact. Both are THRIVING businesses that are extremely popular within the community. A small, affordable cinema in the neighborhood and a public house beloved by all are what makes our neighborhood unique. The Dime building is a huge footprint that would provide ample revenue if it was developed into a mid-rise residential building with retail frontage on two major thoroughfare.. Use the basement for a parking garage.

In other words, play nice with out community. Don’t force us to chain ourselves to bulldozers.

Mary Caulfield

Please keep the Center, PJ Horgans and the dentist. You will have much less resentment from the local people if you keep what is loved in this neighborhood. We have enough destroyers down in LIC. Don’t come here, too.

Packard Streeter

Yes, hooray for the cinema, but please, no fat reclining seats, liquor, waiter service, and all the rest of the silliness that is pushed lately, that takes away from the movie itself. A separate place for food and drinks, fine, that’s a moneymaker, but geez, can we not stop shoveling grub into our faces for an hour or two?

Dorothy Morehead

As much as I try to support local businesses, I go to Kaufman Astoria. Price is less important to me than the quality of the movie and the comfort of the venue. A friend and I with three girls went to see Frozen in 3D and spent $75.50 on tickets alone. But it was worth it for the total experience–good movie with great picture and sound, comfortable seats, clean theater, clean restrooms, fun play area, place for the adults to sit with our coats while the girls played. I’d love to see The Center improved to offer these features as well as a cafe and performance space. It could become a real hub of activity for the community.

Mark of the Beast

It’s a pity Hollywood mostly pumps out sludge like a broken sewer pipe. What venue people can view this amoral garbage is irrelevant.

Mayor McCheese


I disagree.

I’ve worked in the post production end of cinema and even programming films. The quality of the tech in this place will be of no concern if the establishment itself takes a proactive stand on the changing marketplace.

Repertory children’s and family films from new parents’ youth before noon.
First run 1-2 per week from 1-2 distributors.
Art house funded by first run and repertory sales.

Push for beer and wine. Pick your snacks based on noise pollution.
Maintain normal prepackaged food for 1-2 years due to food laws but push beer-wine.

Create a new paradigm of income for your business in the local market.

Consider ripping out the seats in the smaller, not first run theaters and going into a Nighthawk Cinema-esque atmosphere for those theaters.


The cinemas should expand and update its look with reclining seats, better screens, sound system, etc. Similar to AMC in Fresh Meadows or the theater in Menlo Park, NJ which also has waiter service and alcohol.
Of course the price of tickets would go up, but you would have a more comfortable movie experience.


Including the Cinema , PJ Horgans and a dentist in the new building plans would make sense. Lots of people would make use of all 3 ………..

reddi-wip in my mouth, hell yeah

Dr Kubikian don’t leave!!!! please!!!! last honest dentist on the planet.

Mark of the Beast

Another eyesore in Sunnyside’s future. Zoning regulations only apply to the little guy.

cecilia corvacho

It is very sad not to know where to stand and worse there are many kids, young adults and even we parents not to know what is relly going to happen with that cinema that it has been there since always and I believe that the owner need to explained what is going on immediately!!


Yesssss..YES! PACK MORE PEOPLE into Sunnyside , perfect , PS 150 school can barely hold the kids they have and doesn’t have an After School program that can keep the kids busy, NO parking anywhere in this neighborhood, what an EXCELLENT Idea,

oh to be a eal estate developer, the world they live in, picturing the tons of idiot hipsters willing to pay top dollar for a wonderful view of a shitty train and a noisy boulevard.

See the Big Picture

Dear property owners, Please keep the cinemas! We don’t have enough neat places like this for date nights, and I’d love to see it get support for renovations. Everything in town is just a bunch of Irish bars and sushi joints. (Those places are nice, but the cinemas is one of the few businesses that make it worth living in Sunnyside! It’s so convenient and unique!)

Mayor McCheese

Alamo Drafthouse was set on an UES location. This business model would be a surefire hit in this changing neighborhood.

In before youth ruining Sunnyside.

They see films rollin’

They hatin’


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