JACKSON HEIGHTS — The Bruson Building, which was severely damaged in a multi-alarm fire in April that left dozens of businesses and groups out on the street, is set to be rebuilt in the coming weeks, according to an owner of the building.
The owner said the building will likely look exactly the same as before the fire and that the original businesses will be welcome to return.
The four-story structure, on 37th Avenue between 74th and 75th streets, has been shuttered since April 21 after an overloaded power strip sparked the fire, which then spread because a door was open in a third-floor business, according to the FDNY.
"We're going to rebuild what was there," said Craig Bruno, 58, one of three trustees with The Joseph Bruno Trust, which owns the building.
"There was a four-story building. It will be a four-story building when we're done."
The Department of Buildings approved a permit on July 1 for the "emergency stabilization and partial demolition of the fire damaged rear wall," according to city records.
Bruno said construction will hopefully start within the next two to three weeks, and once the wall is stabilized they'll move on to debris removal from inside the building. They'll also add new windows, he said.
He didn't have a date for when the project would be finished, but he said he hoped the former tenants would return if they wanted to.
"My timeline is I'd like to get it done yesterday, but with all the permits it'll take as long as it takes," he said.
"Who knows what their status will be in a year and a half, or the two years that it takes, but we'd love to have them all come back."
The Bruson Building was built in 1948 by Bruno's grandfather, Joseph, and he said it will most likely look exactly the same as it has for more than 60 years.
It was important for them to get the building back up as soon as possible, for both the tenants and the beneficiaries of the trust who use the building for income, he said.
"First of all, our heart breaks for all the tenants who lost quite a bit and we want to get them back in there," he said.
"Also it is the sole means of income for members of the trust."