Neighbors in NYC are fighting to save the historic Ohr Natan Synagogue

Queens residents are up in arms over a plan to demolish a historic synagogue and eatery and replace them with a 15-story mixed-use apartment building, according to neighbors.

More than 3,500 residents have signed a petition to save the beloved Ohr Natan Synagogue – housed in an Art Deco-style building with an iconic bell tower – and the Trylon Theater & Tower Diner in Rego Park, according to a change.org petition .

The project is also expected to be hotly debated at a Community Board 6 meeting on Wednesday night.

“This is one of the most cultural, social, significant, historical and architectural sites in society,” the petition proclaims. “The redevelopment plan would not only tear down historic buildings, but smoke a synagogue that provides religious and humanitarian services, and likely pose an economic difficulty to all the small businesses in the area.”

The plan from developers RJ Capital Holdings requires 158 apartments and 18,000 square feet of commercial space to replace the religious institution and restaurant, according to foresthillspost.com.

RJ Capital Holdings has said it plans to convert the synagogue into a 15-story mixed-use apartment building.
Matthew McDermott

Rudolf Abramov, the company’s development manager, has previously said he hopes to break ground in 2022.

However, the project requires a zoning change that must be approved by the city’s uniform land use process, and is only the subject of a public consultation, which will be held by the community council at. 18.30 Wednesday.

The World Trade-inspired building that houses the synagogue was built in 1939 and was once a movie theater showing classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” before becoming a Jewish house of worship.

    Built in 1939, the building that housed the synagogue was once a cinema showing classics such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind" before they become a place of worship.
The building that houses the synagogue was built in 1939 and was once a movie theater showing classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” before becoming a place of worship.
Matthew McDermott

The eatery is a neighborhood staple serving Greek-American grub such as chicken souvlaki, spinach pies and turkey burgers and was once home to the Emigrant Savings Bank.

“A new development will also increase congestion, kill trees, block sunlight and would lead to a domino effect of demolition and overdevelopment in nearby communities,” the petition said. “We strongly urge developer RJ Capital Holdings … and all of the city’s agencies and elected officials to be team players and listen to the concerns of the public.”

Representatives of the synagogue and the dining room did not immediately respond to The Post’s call Wednesday. RJ Capital Holdings also did not return a request for comment.

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