In 2006 the Sunnyside Jewish Center of Queens was purchased by the Norcor Management Corporation with the intention of developing the land into residential housing. After the synagogue was knocked down and the land cleared, the real estate market crashed and Norcor’s plans were shelved. The land has sat vacant ever since, until now.
Norcor is now in the midst of negotiations with the School Construction Authority of New York to purchase the site with the hope of building a primary school for 379 students. If all goes well the new school building will be up and running in 2014, helping to relieve the congestion in what is New York’s most crowded school districts, easing considerably the pressure to fit more students in the other public schools in the area.
“The downturn in the real estate market has afforded us some new opportunities” said Lorraine Grillo, president of the School Construction Authority, which is financed jointly by the city and state, “including residential developments that stalled and are now available for us to acquire.”
As the real estate market in general has been stalling due to depressed prices and the sluggish economy, the education sector, specifically the School Construction Authority, has become big business. Private sector projects, such as residential condominiums and office towers are faltering while the S.C.A. has jumped right in to take advantage of the lower costs of construction, cooperative landlords, and precious but available land, in order to partake in aggressive expansion.