4 JANUARY 3, 2019 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Developers seek to modify vacant M.V. ‘big box’ space
BY MARK HALLUM
Rentar Development, the owners
of 66-26 Metropolitan Ave. in
Middle Village, may be looking
to revamp their building vacated by
two big retailers recently to attract
new tenants and prevent the space
from becoming a ghost town.
July saw Kmart closing its doors
for good; that was preceded by Toys R’
Us in January aft er the company fi led
bankruptcy. Now, the developers are
seeking permission to modify the
building for additional truck loading
Community Board 5 will take a
vote on Rentar’s proposal at the Jan.
9 meeting, which could control the
fate of whether or not the commercial
space will fi nd a fresh suitor.
Gary Giordano, CB5’s district
manager, said that although he is not
opposed to the application to the city
Dept. of Transportation, he does not
believe there has been adequate time
for the advisory board to really examine
the plans and analyze its impacts to
“I doubt that noise would be a major
issue over on the front of Metropolitan,
because of the cemetery across the
street and really no houses right there.
I think navigation into the loading bay
could be an issue,” Giordano said.
“This is one of those things where they
want the recommendation quickly. This
recommendation is due the 10th, the day
aft er the board meeting; so this is not going
to be as organized as we usually are,”
Giordano added, expressing concern for
pedestrians on the sidewalk as well. “How
easy is it going to be for tractor-trailers
to back into the proposed loading bays?”
Dennis Ratner, the president of Rentar
Development, was not available for
comment during the holidays, but the
company kicked up its search for new
tenants once Kmart announced Rentar
Plaza’s location would be among its
locations shuttering in October.
Ratner said in September the company
was not even close to fi nding a
company willing to set up shop. Two
retaining wall enclosed gardens will
have to be removed if the loading bays
Rentar Plaza is not the only commercial
real estate struggling with the
brick and mortar store bust.
With Macy’s closing hundreds of
stores in 2017, including the Douglaston
Plaza location, Ashkenazy
Acquisition Corporation, which owns
the shopping center, was forced to
take a strong look at how they could
stay profi table.
Photo via Google Maps
The company turned to Lowe’s
Home Improvement to reinvent the
space for their use and fi ll a hardware
store demand only being met by a retail
outlet 10 miles away in Long Island.
Ashkenazy was forced to buy MovieWorld
out of their space in the shopping
center, displacing the business to
cater to the larger corporation’s retail
Extensive modifications to the
building were required which led to a
contentious Community Board 11 meeting
and the eventual vote to advise
the Board of Standards and appeals to
approve the Lowe’s variance.
The exterior of Rentar Plaza in Middle Village.
Toilet part thief hit M.V. & Rego Park eateries: DA
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
A plumbing pilferer who tinkered
with toilets at several
Queens fast food restaurants
to steal valuable parts was thrown in
the can last week.
Richard Mirabile, 44, of upstate
Congers was charged on Dec. 28, 2018
with third-degree burglary, third- and
fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit
larceny and attempted petit larceny.
Bail was set at $25,000 and Mirabile
was ordered to return to court on Jan.
9, Queens District Attorney Richard A.
Brown announced on Dec. 31.
According to the charges, on eight
separate occasions between Nov. 23
and Dec. 28, 2018, Mirabile was spotted
on surveillance footage or in person
entering a restaurant’s bathroom and
leaving moments later with a bag full of
items. Aft er Mirabile left each establishment,
employees noticed that the toilets’
fl ushing mechanisms were missing.
At 12:53 p.m. on Nov. 23, prosecutors
said, Mirabile entered a Wendy’s
restaurant, located at 61-11 Fresh Pond
Road in Middle Village, and went
towards the men’s bathroom, where
he was out of view from surveillance
footage for a few minutes, with a bag
in hand. Aft er Mirabile left the facility,
the manager entered the restroom
and found that the automatic fl ushing
fi xtures on both the men’s toilet and
the urinal were missing.
Mirabile allegedly returned to the
same Wendy’s on Nov. 26 and stole
more fl ushing mechanisms.
The pattern allegedly continued
on Dec. 7. At around 4 p.m. that day,
Mirabile was allegedly seen entering
the bathroom of a Burger King, located
at 33-10 Astoria Blvd. in Astoria,
carrying a shoulder bag. Ten minutes
later, Mirabile reportedly left
the establishment with the flushing
mechanisms from the men’s room
toilet and urinal. Mirabile allegedly
repeated this theft at the same Burger
King on Dec. 28.
On Dec. 10-11, surveillance footage
allegedly shows Mirabile at an Arby’s
on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle
Village and a Wendy’s on Metropolitan
Avenue in Rego Park. In both instances,
Mirabile allegedly entered and exited
the restaurants’ unisex restrooms.
Soon aft er Mirabile’s visit, workers
discovered that the flush fixtures
Finally, on Dec. 26, Mirabile allegedly
stole the toilet fl ushing mechanisms
from the Bean N Bean coff ee shop in
Flushing and another Arby’s in Fresh
Meadows. Each toilet fl ush fi xture is
valued at approximately $250.
“The defendant in this case stopped
into various restaurants in Queens
County – not for food, but for toilet
flush fixtures,” said Brown. “Bypassing
the counter to order a quick
meal, the defendant allegedly made a
bee-line for the restrooms and exited
minutes later with toilet fl ush fi xtures
stuff ed in a bag. Some restaurants
were allegedly hit twice by the plumbing
plunderer. The defendant will now
face the legal consequences for these
Photo via Getty Images