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Share Your Vision for Fire-Damaged Bruson Building at Town Hall Meeting

By Katie Honan | December 29, 2014 4:32pm
 Residets can express their thoughts at a meeting with local pols and the building's owners.
Residets can express their thoughts at a meeting with local pols and the building's owners.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Residents who have ideas for the future of the damaged Bruson Building can share them at an upcoming town hall sponsored by local pols, officials said.

The building — which was heavily damaged in a multi-alarm fire last April — is currently undergoing renovations and is looking to fill multiple empty storefronts and offices by next year, according to a member of the trust that owns it.

The meeting will be held Jan. 22, 2015, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, and is co-sponsored by by Sen. Jose Peralta, Rep. Joe Crowley, Assemblyman Michael DenDekker and Councilman Danny Dromm.

Craig Bruno, who is part of the trust that owns the Bruson Building, told DNAinfo New York earlier this month that he'd like to see "major" chains, including Popeye's and Burger King, fill up the stores on 37th Avenue.

The ground-floor space has been left vacant with moves by Armondo's restaurant and Frank's Pharmacy and the building has more than 70,000-square-feet of vacant space.

The upper levels were occupied by Plaza College, which was in the process of moving to Forest Hills when the fire broke out.

Some, though, see an opportunity for something else — and have even sent letters to Bruno and local electeds to bemoan a plan for fast-food restaurants in the location, according to residents. 

Posters on the forum Jackson Heights Life have proposed a movie theater, a coffeeshop, an extension to Elmhurst Hospital, a community center and more for the vacant offices. 

Bruno told DNAinfo he hasn't heard from any locals but plans to be at the Jan. 22 meeting to hear residents' concerns. 

Reconstruction on the building began in August and the upper floors will be completely modernized, he said.

The project is expected to be completed within a year, according to Bruno.