Dec. 29, 2013 By Christian Murray
Rudy Prashad, the owner of Center Cinemas, may have received an early Christmas present.
On Christmas Eve, he noticed a large ‘for lease’ sign had been erected inside the former Dime Savings bank next door—located at 42-25 Queens Blvd.
The notice helped calm Prashad’s nerves since the former Dime location is owned by 42-25 Queens Blvd Corp., the same company that bought the corner property which includes his theater, PJ Horgan’s and a local dentist office.
Prashad, whose lease ends December 2014, has been concerned ever since the building was bought for $6.675 million in December 2012 that the site would be redeveloped and he would be forced out.
“This gives me hope,” Prashad said, who is very eager to renew his lease and remain in Sunnyside.
Prashad has been trying to renew his lease for months—so he knows whether it is worthwhile to continue to renovate the theater. The landlord/management company, he said, finally told him they would discuss it in January.
The former bank space is up for rent for $18,000 per month, according to the real estate agent working on the property. The terms of the lease—such as its length—are up for negotiation. The real estate firm will be presenting a list of candidates to the management company.
Earlier this month, Michael Christopher, the property manager, did not reveal what the plans are for the property. He said it was a private matter.
Local real estate agents had expected the owner to develop the site and build residential units. The annual operating income from the property while Dime was a tenant was $326,000, providing a meager return.
Furthermore, given the size of the lot (17,100sqf) and the recent up-zoning, a developer is able to build a structure with a maximum floor area of 68,400 sqf. The current building only has a floor area of 16,200 sqf (plus basement).
Meanwhile, 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.
This was the listing when the property was put up for sale.