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Sunnyside Site Destroyed by 2018 Fire on Sale for $12.5 Million

Queens Blvd. and 45th St. (Photo: Nina Sityar)

Jan. 21, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A prominent Sunnyside site that once housed a number of restaurants and stores before they were destroyed in a massive fire is on sale for $12.5 million.

The property, located between 45th and 46th Streets along Queens Boulevard, had contained six well known businesses– including the long-time pub Sidetracks–before the inferno ripped through the buildings on Dec. 13, 2018.

The inferno was so destructive that the city ordered the remnants of the buildings to be demolished.

The structures were torn down and work on leveling the .3 acre parcel was completed in August 2019.

Rasell Realty Corp., a family-run firm that owns the site, has decided to sell the property, since the company doesn’t have a background in development.

“We’re not in the construction business and we wouldn’t know how to develop the site,” said Christopher Petsanas, a co-owner of Rasell Realty.

Petsanas said that the decision to sell was difficult, given that the property has been in the family for three generations. Rasell Realty was established in 1946 and the company acquired the parcel more than 50 years ago.

He said that it made more sense to sell it to a developer that has experience constructing mixed-use buildings.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we are selling but we decided we just needed to move on and nothing else really made sense to us,” he said.

The family owns one other piece of commercial property, which also happens to be in Sunnyside. The building is located at 47-11 Queens Blvd.

The parcel first went on sale in July 2020 for $16.5 million but Petsanas said the asking price has tumbled due to a depressed market.

Petsanas said that the commercial property market peaked around 2015/2016 and the pandemic exacerbated the downward slide.

The company will then look to invest in more property once the sale is completed, he said.

The site of the former Sidetracks on Queens Blvd. between 45th and 46th St. (Photo: Nina Sityar)

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