FOREST HILLS — A real estate office that has been a Forest Hills fixture for more than three decades closed its doors several weeks ago after owner fell ill and has not been able to operate the business, former employees said.
The Better Homes and Gardens office, at 101-15 Metropolitan Ave., between Continental Avenue and 70th Drive, closed for good in early July after 34 years in business, according to local residents and former employees.
No information has been posted at the entrance and the office behind the roll-down gates looks as though it's been frozen in time. The phone has been disconnected, but the company's website still features local real estate listings.
Agents employed at the office, which specialized in homes and apartments for sale in Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Glendale and Middle Village, said that the owner fell ill about 7 months ago and has not been able to return to work since. About 4 to 5 months ago they decided to look for new jobs, they said.
“It was a great office and good people worked there,” said Margaret Parisi Fazzone, who had worked for Better Homes and Gardens for about 17 years.
The office employed about 30 agents, who over the years sold hundreds of properties in the area, former employees said.
Locals said they were concerned about why the office closed so suddenly.
"It’s weird going by there and looking through the gate and seeing everything frozen in time, with no indication of why they are not opening,” said neighborhood resident John O'Reilly.
Attempts to contact owner's representatives were unsuccessful. It was not immediately clear what will happen to the office.