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SCA Drops $82M for Future Public School Site in Flushing

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The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) is off to the races with a plan to add more public school seats on the site of the former New York Armenian Home in Flushing, Queens.

SCA bought the 69,757-square-foot lot at 137-31 45th Avenue for $81.85 million from a group of three companies tied to Eastone Equities and Chinese investor Xuan Cheng, the executive director of Sansheng Group, according to property records made public Friday.

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That’s a more than $30 million markup from what Eastone paid for the site in 2018. 

SCA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said the lot will be used to build a new primary school in District 25, part of the authority’s goal to add 32 buildings in Queens, bringing 18,700 new seats to the borough.

In December, the New York City Council approved the SCA’s plan to build a new 696-seat public school, with a 30,000-square-foot play yard, on the vacant lot between Colden Street and Kissena Boulevard, the Queens Chronicle reported. The site is near Kissena Corridor Park and the Queens Botanical Garden.

SCA will begin drawing up the designs for the $179 million project in March, according to its $4.98 billion five-year capital plan. It’s aiming to complete construction of the new school by September 2028. 

Members of Queens Community Board 7 signaled wavering support for the school, with Board Chair Eugene Kelty voting against it at a March 2013 meeting “because of the high price” and the SCA’s reputation for secrecy. Despite some members’ objections, Community Board 7 ultimately voted to recommend it. 

The planned school will be on the site of the Armenian Home senior care facility, which shuttered in 2018 after a 70-year run. 

Armenian Home handed the site off to Easteone for $50 million. Eastone demolished the building and filed permits for a 20-story residential tower, City Realty reported. That project has since faltered, and the city has cited it for construction violations.

SavillsRichard Eaddy, Ira Schuman and Joseph Byrnes brokered the deal and declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Eastone did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Cheng could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.